Treasures of the Swansea and Carmarthen Bays

Trail written and researched by the Council for Museums in Wales.<br> Images courtesy of the museums. | 06 May 1999
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Route: South and West Wales coastline A484-A40-A4066-B4314-A477

Anticipated time needed to complete trail: 3/4 days (longer if the Gower Peninsula is explored)

Please contact museums and other venues in advance in order to confirm any entrance charges and seasonal opening times, as these may vary.

SWANSEA (VICTORIA ROAD)


Whilst at the museum look out for the award-winning display of the Egyptian Mummy and conservation project and also view the 'Cabinet of Curiosities'.

Other important places to visit in Swansea are:

The Maritime and Industrial Museum

The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery

The Egypt Centre (featuring the stunning Wellcome collection in a new purpose-built setting) and the Taliesin Arts Centre, The University of Wales, Swansea; Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP T: 01792 295960

The Dylan Thomas Centre (including original and unique material relating to the writer) Somerset Place, Maritime Quarter, Swansea Tel: 01792 463980

Plantasia (Swansea's hot-house experience), Park Tawe Complex, Swansea Tel: 01792 474555

Why not cycle or walk right around the length of Swansea Bay from the Maritime Quarter to Mumbles Pier before leaving Swansea?

Follow the A484 out of Swansea to Llanelli. You will pass the site of the proposed Millennium Coastal Path development alongside the Loughor Estuary

En-route you can visit the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, 1 mile to the east of Llanelli. Follow the brown duck signs to find it! Here you can wander through landscaped grounds amongst hundreds of tame ducks, geese and swans, as well as viewing from the seclusion of hides or from the main building whichhas a shop and other facilities.There is an outdoor play area, trails to follow and a Wetland Craftspace.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Llanelli, Tel: 01554 741087

N.B. Check for possible Foot and Mouth restrictions here.

LLANELLI

Explore Llanelli's past in the former Parc Howard mansion,a historic building set in a delightful well-maintained traditionalcivic park. Permanent displays at the museum include a superbcollection of Llanelli Pottery and local paintings.

Continue west on the A484 via Pembrey Country Park to Kidwelly.

KIDWELLY

Kidwelly Castle (cared for by CADW) is a chronicle in stone of the evolution of medieval military architecture. It spans four centuries, from its beginnings as a simple stockade put up by the Normans in 1106 to a powerful concentric 'walls within walls' fortress whose round corner towers echo castles seen on the crusades.

Kidwelly Castle, Kidwelly Tel: 01554 890104.

Visit Kidwelly Industrial Museum to see how tinplate was made by hand for over 200 years at the original tinplate works, set in pretty countryside. Other exhibits show Carmarthenshire's industrial past. The museum is located on the Carmarthen side of Kidwelly: turn off the A484 by-pass.

Continue north on the A484 to Carmarthen.

CARMARTHEN

Visit the Carmarthen Town Museum, an exciting new development located in the basement of the town library. Priceless artefacts relating to the town’s past are displayed at the site, including Roman material discovered in the area and an old Columbia Press.

Also In the town, Oriel Myrddin is a contemporary craft and regional art gallery with changing exhibitions of crafts and arts, gifts, cards and magazines.

Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Church Lane, Carmarthen, Tel: 01267 222775

On the Cardigan side of Carmarthen take a steam train into a wooded riverside picnic area.

The Gwili Steam Railway, Bronwydd Arms, Carmarthen SA33 6HT Tel: 01267 230666 (located north just off the A484 Carmarthen to Cardigan)

The Carmarthenshire County Museum, Abergwili (approximately one mile east of Carmarthen, on the A40) houses permanent collections which portray Carmarthenshire's past, including displays on Roman Gold, Welsh Furniture, a school room plus life on a small farm. Housed in the original Palace of the Bishops of St. Davids, visitors can still see the tranquil, private chapel. Take a walk around or picnic in delightful parkland, and see the Bishop's Pond.

Return to Carmarthen west on the A40, then head south for St.Clears and follow the A4066 to Laugharne.

LAUGHARNE

The poet and writer Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) was born in Swansea but his family roots were in Carmarthenshire. He lived at the boathouse in Laugharne for the last four years of his life writing many famous pieces of work there, including 'Under Milk Wood'. Dylan Thomas' Boat House is a heritage centre dedicated to the poet and his craft. Set in a cliff overlooking the glorious 'heron priested' Taf Estuary, the Boathouse offers a fascinating visit including memorabilia, interpretation, bookshop and tea-room. The fictitious Llareggub of 'Under Milk Wood' was confirmed by his widow Caitlin, as being based on the township of Laugharne.

The Boathouse, Dylan's Walk, Laugharne Tel: 01994 427420

Visit the ruins of Laugharne Castle overlooking the marches while you are there !

Follow the A4066 west to the coast for Pendine

Explore the history of Pendine's 'Sands of Speed' in a dramatic building overlooking the beach: here you can see Parry Thomas'restored speed record-breaking car 'Babs' during summer along with other historic vehicles.

Return via the B4314 to Red Roses for the A477 west and the route to Tenby.

TENBY

Explore the charm of the old walled town, castle, cafes and shops at Tenby, as well as the renowned stretch of sandy beach. Wander around the harbour with its wonderful views and be tempted by the exciting boat excursions, some for dolphin and seal watching.

Close by up on Castle Hill with more panoramic vistas, Tenby Museum and Art Gallery offers a wealth of fresh displays and attractions, with newly extended and upgraded gallery space.

Another intriguing building to visit is the Tudor Merchant's House, looked after by the National Trust. This late 15th century residence has early interior fresco remains and is furnished in the manner of a successful merchant and his family of Tudor times.

Tudor Merchant's House, Quay Street, Tenby SA70 7BX Tel : 01834 842279

Well done! You have successfully completed your journey. We hope that you will travel this route again and visit places you may have had to miss the first time as well as re-visiting your favourite venues.

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