Wales – Gower and Camarthenshire

top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in Wales

Camarthenshire and the Gower Peninsula

1. The National Botanic Garden

The National Botanic Garden of Wales is contained in a stunning oval glasshouse, packed with plants from Mediterranean regions, South Africa and California. A central walkway leads past lakes, sculptures, and geological outcrops, with walks down towards slate bed plantings and different wood and wetland habitats. Surrounding land is used as an organic farm with Welsh breeds of cattle and sheep, and a walled garden provides organic vegetables for the restaurant and cafe.

2. The Dylan Thomas Boathouse, Laugharne

The Boathouse at Laugharne was the home of the Thomas family from 1949, until Dylan’s death in 1953. It’s a quiet peaceful place overlooking the estuary. Inside, an evocative museum shows how the house would have looked. In the living room a period wireless plays the rich tones of the poet reading his work. In the small garage where he worked, you can peer through the windows to see crunched balls of paper, pens, and screwed up photos of literary heroes.

3. Aberglasney Gardens

Founded in 1477, Aberglasney Gardens vary from informal woodland planting with running streams and wildflowers, to the formal cloister garden, walled gardens and the Ninifarium – a conversion of the ruinous central rooms and courtyard of the mansion. This area has been covered with a huge glass atrium, and contains a wonderful collection of warm temperate and sub-tropical plants including Orchids, Palms, Magnolias and Cycads.

4. Newton House, Dinefwr Park and Castle

Newton House was built in the 1600’s and is surrounded by landscaped grounds and a deer park. The ground floor and basement are furnished as they would have been circa 1912, and an exhibition on the first floor tells the story of Dinefwr’s past. Dinefwr Castle, which is where the Lord Rhys, Prince of Deheubarth, held court, overlooks the house and grounds. Visitors can explore the park, home to more than 100 fallow deer and a herd of rare White Park cattle. Facilities include a shop and tea room.

5. Rhossili and Worms Head

Rhossili is the ideal location from which to walk along the south spectacular Gower coast and discover its rare wildlife, archaeology, unspoilt cliffs and beaches. Rhossili Bay stretches for three miles, and behind it the 200-metre clifftop walk to Rhossili Down allows you to take in breathtaking views of the tidal island of Worms Head, accessible for only five hours at low tide. The Visitor Centre houses an exhibition about the area and a shop.

6. Mumbles and Oystermouth

Derived from the French word Mamelles meaning breasts, the term Mumbles is interchangeable with Oystermouth, located at the western end of Swansea Bay. This delightful seaside town is a livley place with good restaurants, budget hotels, pubs, cafes, a refurbished pier and the ruins of Oystermouth Castle to explore. Around the headland, reached either by the longer coast road or by a short walk over the hill, is the district of Langland Bay, whose sandy beach is popular with surfers.

7. Plantasia, Swansea

Explore a tropical haven of wonderful plants and animals situated in the heart of the Swansea. From insects, reptiles, fish and monkeys to bananas, pineapple plants, prickly cacti and giant bamboo – Plantasia has it all, and is perfect for a family day out, whatever the weather! Look out for special events in the school holidays, like the Hothouse Trail Competition, where children can hunt high and low in the jungle undergrowth to look for clues. Facilities at Plantasia include a gift shop and cafe. 

8. Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea

Swansea’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery contains traditional and modern art, with work by Old Masters as well as an international collection of porcelain and Swansea china. The 20th Century is represented with painting and sculpture by Hepworth, Nicholson and Nash alongside Welsh artists such as Ceri Richards and Gwen and Augustus John. A variety of temporary exhibitions are staged throughout the year, and a bookshop sells recent publications on the contemporary arts.

9. The National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

Housed in an impressive new building, the National Waterfront Museum at Swansea tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales over the past 300 years. Industrial and maritime heritage is ready to explore via cutting-edge, interactive technology married with traditional displays. Industrial history and its impact on peoples lives are brought to life through images, films, maps, words, spoken testimony and the latest sensory technology.

10. Carreg Cennen Castle

There are few castles in Wales or Europe which can boast a more spectacular location than Carreg Cennen, its ruins crowning a precipitous crag in a remote corner of the western end of the Brecon Beacons National Park. A visit to Carreg Cennen is an adventure – not least for the sight of the breathtaking 325 ft (100m) cliff on which the castle is perched and the dramatic trek through the passageway cut into the cliff-face, which leads to a natural cave beneath the fortifications.

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