Llansteffan Castle stands on a hill overlooking the Tywi estuary, standing guard over the river as it would have done in the early 12th Century.
Llansteffan was one of a chain of castles built by the Normans but its history as a stronghold goes back much further, with the castle taking advantage of the existing earthworks of an Iron Age hillfort.
Like many other castles in the region its early history is marked by repeated attacks and capture by the Welsh. The first mention of the castle is in 1146 when it was captured by the three princes of Deheubarth.
Late in the 12th century the castle came into the possession of William de Camville. The de Camvilles held Llansteffan until 1338, and during this time converted the castle into the stone fortress that remains today. They temporarily lost the castle to Welsh attacks in 1189, 1215 and 1257, but managed to regain the castle and repair and further develop the defences between each attack.
Today the castle can be reached from the car park at the beach. Just make your way to the southern end, where two paths will take you to the castle – the opposite shore of Ferryside is stunning and makes the climb well worth it.