Whether you decide to hunker down in style and not leave the premises, or check out the local area you’ll be spoilt for choice. Soak up the sights of the property and meander at your pace to feed the ducks at the pond, choose a book from our book shelf, delve into one of our board games from the cupboard or sit back and enjoy a film of your choosing in our cinema room.
If you do decide to tear yourself away from this idyllic setting it is only a short few minutes walk to the centre of Laugharne.
From the A477, brown signs for Dylan Thomas Boathouse guide you along beautiful country roads to Laugharne. It’s located on the coast, set in a delightful location on the estuary where the River Taf flows into Carmarthen Bay. Laugharne is, perhaps, most famously associated with Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Dylan lived in Laugharne from 1949 until his death in 1953. He once famously described the town as “a timeless, mild, beguiling island of a town”.
Most believe that Laugharne is the inspiration for the fictional town of “Llaregub” in Dylan’s iconic piece “Under Milk Wood”.
More recently, Laugharne was the prime location for the successful BBC Drama “Keeping Faith”. Some viewers of the programme might not be aware that the Carmarthenshire countryside and coastline have starring roles in the series along with The Cors Country House which features in Series 1.
The majestic castle in Laugharne stands on the banks of the Taf Estuary on Carmarthen Bay. It overlooks some of the most beautiful Welsh scenery. Rolling hills, water trailing out along the estuary and glistening sandbanks all make for the most picturesque view.
Originally built in the 12th century as a Norman stronghold, the castle’s position along the River Taf made it a perfect defence point. When it fell into disrepair, it was bought by a Tudor merchant and rebuilt as a mansion complete with Elizabethan gardens. It also had connections to Dylan Thomas, who wrote: “Portrait of an Artist” in the castle’s summerhouse. The view of the Taf Estuary was an inspiration for his creative talents.
One of the main reasons that visitors flock to Laugharne is to view Dylan Thomas’ boathouse, his home for the last four years of his life. The author of the famous play “Under Milk Wood” wrote some of his best work in this idyllic location with views as far as the Gower Peninsula.
Inside the boathouse, you can see the family’s rooms, photographs, and information on his life and works. An audiovisual presentation portrays Dylan reading some of his work. The boathouse has tea rooms that are currently open and offer refreshments, including famous Welsh cakes.
A beautiful walk is Dylan Thomas’ Birthday Walk. In 1944, Dylan wrote ‘Poem in October’ about the walk he took on his birthday to the top of Sir John’s Hill. The uphill walk starts at the far end of the castle car park and is 2 miles long. Enjoy the outstanding views of the Taf estuary, Dylan’s boathouse, the Gower Peninsula, Caldey Island and Tenby.
If you are a Dylan Thomas devotee, this is the final resting place of Dylan and his wife, Caitlin. A simple white wooden cross marks Dylan’s grave. Take a moment to wander around the graveyard while you are there. The crumbling tombs and tilted headstones are very atmospheric. The church is on the main street into Laugharne and is entered via a 14th-century Lychgate. The church can also be accessed at the end of the circular heritage walk.
Laugharne is a small town with plenty of character. A few independent shops, a deli, tea-rooms and several pubs offer the visitor a good choice of places to eat and shop. Walk along from St Martin’s Church back to the car park and admire the traditional houses and the town hall clock tower along the way. Keep an eye open for the bust of Dylan Thomas in a small garden near the car park.
Public conveniences (20p charge) are near the castle entrance.
The Laugharne Weekend is an annual literary and arts festival in West Wales.
The festival is deliberately small-scale. The size of the town – which itself is very small – ensures that the festival will not grow beyond certain bounds. Its location means that festival visitors and townspeople rub shoulders with the artists and performers.
The festival concentrates on literature, music and comedy, bringing talent from all over the world but always maintaining a particular kinship with writers and musicians from Wales or who have a connection with Wales.
The festival is held in the spring in the town of Laugharne.