Llandeilo

First published in Town guides

Llandeilo is a town rich in history. It was the medieval capital of Wales, and sits prominently on northern bank of the River Towy. Surrounding the town is some of the most beautiful and unspoilt countryside in Britain.

It overlooks the lush pasture of the Towy Valley, where the graceful river passes beneath. One of the main features is the parkland of Dinefwr Park, where tamed wilderness contrasts with the wild mountains of the Brecon Beacons National Park on the far side of the valley.

Llandeilo itself is a thriving market town, the focal point for the neighbouring villages and the agricultural community. It is an attractive mixture of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian streets, and with fine buildings of historical and architectural interest.

There are dozens of unique shops and galleries, and much of the town has been designated a conservation area. Given the perfection of its location, it's not surprising that Llandeilo was once one of the most important towns in Wales.

It was one of the cradles of Christianity in Wales. The town is named after St. Teilo, a contemporary of St. David. He established a major religious centre here in the 6th century.

In medieval times it was a royal capital of Wales. It was a powerbase of the princes of Deheubarth, and stronghold of great leaders like Rhodri Mawr, Hywel Dda and the Lord Rhys.

Nowadays, it's location makes it the ideal base from which to tour Carmarthenshire and to enjoy its splendid scenery and historic monuments. It's also the hometown to the three great gardens of Carmarthenshire: Aberglasney, Dinefwr and the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

Most visitors arrive in Llandeilo courtesy of its spectacular stone bridge, the biggest of its kind in Wales, built in 1848 after an earlier four-arch bridge was swept away by flood debris.

There are numerous tourist attraction in and around Llandeilo. The town is on the fringe of the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park. Just outside Llandeilo in Trap lies the magnificent Carreg Cennen Castle. This 12th century structure enjoys one of the most dramatic and wildly romantic settings of any castle in Wales.

In the town itself stands the Church of St. Teilo with its square military tower overlooking Llandeilo. It dates from the 13th century, although the main body was rebuilt in 1848.

Llandeilo is easy to get to - just 20 minutes from the M4 motorway, which makes it the perfect place for a day trip or weekend break.

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