Llandovery is a great base for enjoying the western Brecon Beacons. Llandovery is an ancient market and droving town, and has been home to a host of interesting historical characters. One of the most famous residents is Llywelynap Gruffydd, a statue of whom stands gleaming next door to the hill-top ruins of Llandovery Castle. Once the location of violent attacks and battles during medieval times, those who climb up to the castle will be rewarded with peaceful views over the town and the River Bran.
Credit: Castle Hotel Llandovery
The area is popular for many outdoor activities including walking in the Black Mountain, road cycling, mountain biking at Crychan Forest and Cwm Rhaeadr, and fishing on the River Towy and Usk Reservoir. The town is also Biker Friendly and recently held the Llandovery Motorbike Festival!
Other local attractions include Llyn Brianne, the highest dam in Britain (229 ft, 91 m high) which was constructed in the 1960/70s to provide a regular water supply across South Wales. There are many beautiful walks in the vicinity. The nearby Dinas RSPB Nature Reserve is a peaceful woodland and river area with boardwalk.
As well as Llywelynap Gruffydd, other interesting former residents of the town include the ‘sweet songster’ William Williams Pantycelyn, who wrote the famous hymn “Guide me oh thou Great Jehovah” which is sung regularly at rugby matches; and Vicar Rhys Pritchard who compiled the influential poem Cannwyll y Cymry (usually translated as The Welshman’s Candle), a collection of poetical teachings and moral guidance.
Where to Eat
Lasswade Country House Restaurant
Lasswade Restaurant is a special place to relax and enjoy a fantastic evening with yoursleves, family and friends. With 2 A.A. Food Rosettes and Sustainable Food Awards. Lasswade is a period Country House with outstanding views and a large Lounge to enjoy pre-dinner drinks. We use locally sourced and mainly organic produce as the basis of our award winning menus. We regularly visit the local farms and farmers markets. Some produce is even grown and supplied especially for us by our local smallholders, thus supporting the local community. Roger, our professional Chef has a passion for the food he produces and this reflects in every mouthful.
The Old Printing Office Cafe
The Old Printing Office is a family run business in the heart of the beautiful market town of Llandovery, Carmarthenshire. The building dates back to the 1700s and housed one of the first printing presses in Wales, producing historic tomes such as Brutusiana. The surviving printing press machinery was donated to the National Museum of Wales and can be seen on display from time to time in St Fagans and other heritage centres. We’ve been open since 1977, and have recently expanded so that we could open the café serving home cooked seasonal food and tempting cakes and desserts together with freshly ground coffee. For fine days we now have outdoor seating overlooking the garden.
Castle Hotel Llandovery
People always tell us it’s really hard to find a ‘great pub’ in Wales. Not any more. Long ago, in our distant past we launched the first Welsh gastro pub and we’ve returned to our roots to renovate this charming Inn. In the best traditions of a Welsh coaching inn it has always been a place for travellers and visitors to rest, to replenish and recharge their batteries. It still is today.
A warm and friendly place to unwind, you’ll find a proper traditional bar, a roaring log fire to toast your toes and plenty of comfy sofas in which to lose yourself with a good book. The original rustic charm and character is still there, but we’ve added a few modern, fresh ideas.
Where to Stay
Basel Cottage Holidays
Basel Cottage is approximately 2 miles from Llandovery. A great dog friendly self-catering holiday cottage that welcomes up to two dogs free of charge. (Dog sitting available by prior arrangement). Recently extended and converted, this stone cottage is believed to date from the 1700’s and is found via a private lane adjacent to the owners’ property, Little Hall (once an old hunting lodge) in a peaceful and tranquil location. The property has approximately 17 acres of land set alongside a ridgeline with woods and fields adjacent to the private garden. The river running close to the property attracts a wealth of wildlife. The Accommodation sleeps 4 + 1, 2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms.
Barons Court Caravan Park
Barons Court CL Site is located on a smallholding of 4 acres, which has both livestock (goats, sheep, chickens and ducks) and wildlife, surrounded by stunning scenery. Red kites are often seen flying around as the feeding centre at Llanddeusant is situated 6 miles away. We are a family friendly site and accept well behaved dogs. There is a regular bus service going to Carmarthen, Llandovery and Llandeillo and the Heart of Wales railway line is only one mile away.
Red Giraffe Studio
Inspired home and lifestyle gifts with genuine provenance. Discover the unexpected! Sourced responsibly and ethically with regard to the environment we believe in the benefits of AID THROUGH TRADE and having lived in the third world many items are derived from the places with which we have a particular connection – Zimbabwe, Kenya and Malawi. Based in the heart of Wales The Red Giraffe Studio, Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, has an eclectic collection of gifts including art and craft which excite the Senses! Perfect gifts can be found for those who want to find something different.
Visit Myddfai Community Hall and Visitor Centre.
Myddfai Community Hall and Visitor Centre is an energy efficient facility in the heart of the picturesque village of Myddfai, three miles from Llandovery in Carmarthenshire, surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the Brecon Beacons National Park. With an integral café and craft shop, with quality local produce and crafts. This fabulous new Centre is recognised as one of the most stunning and well equipped venues in the area. More here
Llandovery Sheep festival- September the 24th 2016
Llandovery Sheep Festival celebrates droving, sheep farming & the wool industry. All weekend the town of Llandovery will be celebrating its farming routes and connection to the drovers trails of old. Highlights of the weekend will include the sheep dog trials, sheep shearing demonstrations. There will be competitions and music throughout.
Explore Llandovery with Scenery Explained Wales‘ Wild West tour. This tour will take you around Llandovery, as well as other westerly places of interest-such as Carreg Cennen Castle, Bethlehem and Llyn y Fan Fach. More here Llandovery – Is famous to geologists all over the world, because it lends it name to the Llandovery epoch in the Silurian period. Here the castle can be seen and interesting building stones throughout the town.
Credit: Scenery Explained Wales
Llandovery also has a swimming pool, and is home to Llandovery College, an independent school which has supplied a number of great players to the Welsh national rugby team.
Llandovery is easily accessible on the A40 and there are also regular train services on the Heart of Wales Line between Shrewsbury and Swansea, a journey which is highly recommended.
Check out our other town guides here