Get on your bike

A two-wheeled adventure in Carmarthenshire is great for all the family. Mountain biking is mainly on the easier side with green-level trails at places like Allt Nant-y-Ci near Saron, Crychan Forest near Llandovery and Llyn Lech Owain and Pembrey Country Parks. All offer relaxed pedals through leafy forests ideal for younger riders.

The Red trail at Cwm Rhaeadr Forest in the upper Tywi Valley is more challenging with jumps and drop offs and waterfall views whilst the various trails at Brechfa forest cater for all levels.


Two people mountain biking from above at Brechfa Forest Park, Carmarthenshire.

Biking in Brechfa forest, West Wales

There are also smooth, traffic-free trails for family friendly routes by bike. Choose from the Millennium Coastal Path along the spectacular Carmarthenshire coast, the off-road Swiss Valley trail through the Gwendraeth Valley and the Amman Valley path from Pantyffynnon to Brynamman along the River Amman.

Fancy a proper cycling break? There are no less than 23 great road routes to try, taking in coastal paths, country lanes and bustling market towns.

Read more: Epic Carmarthenshire road cycling routes

A railway line and cycle / footpath alongside an estuary.

Millennium Coastal Path, Carmarthenshire, West Wales

Learn something new

Curious kids (and adults too!) will find plenty to fire their imaginations. You can try your hand at panning for gold and learn how the Romans mined it at Dolaucothi Gold Mines.

At the WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre, kids will love learning all about ducks and geese. They even get to feed them. (Handfeeding the birds may be unavailable at certain times of the year). In summer months you can learn to paddle through the network of streams and lakes in a canoe.

children running over wooden bridge with tall reeds.
three children pond dipping.
family bird watching in hide

WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre, Carmarthenshire, West Wales

The National Wool Museum, located in the former Cambrian Mills, you can learn how the Welsh quilt found its way to Pennsylvania. The National Botanic Gardens is a splendid place to find inspiration from nature. Along with the amazing plants in the world’s biggest single-span glasshouse, you can examine pond life up close at the Aqualab, discover the healing properties of plants in the apothecary garden and learn about hawks, falcons and kites at the British Bird of Prey Centre.

At Aberglasney you can find out how the gardens of yesteryear looked in the Elizabethan Cloister Garden - the only surviving example in the UK. Or how about a little cultural stimulation? Head for Laugharne. Here you can see how one of our most famous writers Dylan Thomas, found inspiration for his works.

Read more: Family day out ideas in Carmarthenshire

Boy learning how to use a traditional loom
Young family posing for a photo in the glasshouse at the National Botanic Gardens

Exploring and learning at the National Wool Museum and the National Botanic Gardens, West Wales

Conquer a castle (or a mansion)

Carmarthenshire is home to some of the most romantically located castles and stately homes in Wales. There's Carreg Cennen set high on a steep hilltop, Castell Llansteffan perched on a windswept cliff, Laugharne Castle where two giant stone towers stand guard over the remains of a magnificent Tudor mansion and Kidwelly Castle with rooms and towers galore to explore.

Aerial view of castle overlooking sea.

Castell Llansteffan's amazing cliff top location, Carmarthenshire, West Wales

There are stately homes to roam too. Plas Llanelly House in Llanelli is a handsome Georgian pile where you can delve into the past with guided tours. You may even encounter one of the resident ghosts!

At National Trust Dinefwr, along with a stately Grade II* house there are 800 acres of parkland with deer and ancient breeds of cattle to meet. It's the only parkland in Wales to be given National Nature Reserve status and is also a Sight of Special Scientific Interest.

Read more: Discover cultural Carmarthenshire

Views from a partially ruined castle over a green valley.
Looking upwards at the sky through autumnal-leaved trees.
Newton House at Dinefwr Park and the Tywi Valley

Castell Dinefwr, the woodlands and Newton House, Dinefwr Estate, Carmarthenshire, West Wales

Go for a walk

When it comes to walks in Carmarthenshire, you can go for a short stroll or hike for days. The Millennium Coastal Park provides sweeping views of the Gower Peninsula. It's ideal for buggies and wheelchairs with more than 10 miles (6 km) of mostly flat path to enjoy, with lots of spots to grab a cuppa or enjoy an ice cream.

Further on, other stretches of the Wales Coast Path take in castles, dunes, conifer forests and sparkling clifftop views. You can also combine the train with a walk along the Heart of Wales Line Trail. Using the Heart of Wales railway line, you can walk one way and then hop aboard a train back.

Couple walk hand in hand along path between sand dunes with sea to one side

Walking along the Millennium Coastal Path, Carmarthenshire, West Wales

There are walks for wildlife fans too, from strolls around wildlife reserves like RSPB Rhandirmwyn and WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre thronging with bird and wildlife, to woodland yomps between ancient trees flitting with birds and insects and shimmering lakes home to dragonflies and butterflies. Kidwelly Quay is a birdwatcher's paradise - you can spot lapwings, dunlin, curlew, black-tailed godwits, redshank and teal from the pathway alongside the estuary. 

If you want a proper hike, head for the Fans. On the fringes of the regal Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park these vast glacial valleys and glassy lakes offer spectacular views and pulse-pushing climbs.

Read more: Top walks in Carmarthenshire

An estuary with grassland and reeds at the edges.
A brown water bird with a long, curved beak, standing on grassland.
A brown water bird with a long pointed beak and long legs wading in mud.

Curlew and Black-Tailed Godwit, Kidwelly Quay, Carmarthenshire, West Wales

Explore the great outdoors

There are plenty of other outdoor activities to try in Carmathernshire. Take Pembrey Country Park. There's an adventure playground, crazy golf, pitch and putt, a miniature train, toboggan run and a dry ski slope. You can explore the 500 acres of parkland on foot, bike (cycle hire available) or horseback.

A great spot for horse riding is the beach at Pendine Sands. A flat, seven mile (11 km) open beach, it's where four world land speed records were set between 1924 and 1927. There are rides of all levels available with Marros Riding Centre. Or if just enjoying the beach is more your thing, head for the eight miles of golden sand at award winning Cefn Sidan Beach.

long grass with blurred image of beach in background.

The natural beauty of Cefn Sidan Beach, Carmarthenshire, West Wales

Fancy casting a line? White trout, peal, mort or finnock – the migratory sea trout goes by many names, but in Wales the sewin is revered as the greatest catch of all. The rivers Tywi, Teifi and Cothi are great places to fish for sewin. Although you can land one with less difficulty in one of several local markets.

Read more: What to see on a trip along the Tywi

Do a little shopping

Many of the small towns in Carmarthenshire are home to busy communities of artisans making all sorts of interesting things to buy - perfect for a browse and a spot of shopping. Ceramics, glassware, sculpture, painting and jewellery, there are lots of artists creating uniquely lovely things.

Llandeilo is home to a bustling array of independent boutiques selling homewares, bespoke furniture, clothing and crafts. Look out for the Oriel Mimosa gallery for original artworks by local artists and the showroom of local jewellery designer Mari Thomas, featuring her uniquely elegant designs in silver and gold.

shop sign with lighthouse and word Llandeilo.
exterior of florist with flowers and plants.
painted coloured shop fronts.

Llandeilo's independent shops and boutiques, Carmarthenshire, West Wales

Llandovery is a lovely town, with ancient houses surrounding a tranquil square, a crumbling castle and interesting retailers, including several that specialise in antiques.

Newcastle Emlyn also has antiques, handmade soaps, a Fairtrade toyshop and galleries selling unique artworks and jewellery by local artists.

There are plenty of delis and friendly local pubs in all these places if you're feeling peckish after your purchasing.

Head further afield

Whilst there's plenty to keep you busy on a holiday in Carmarthenshire, you're also right on the doorstep of other parts of Wales that are rightly huge favourites with visitors. The soaring peaks of the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park, the family-friendly beaches of Pembrokeshire and the Gower Peninsula and the quieter, wilder sands of Cardigan Bay are all within a short drive - ideal for day trips.

Base yourself in Carmarthenshire and you can easily keep everyone happy - beaches, walking and cultural attractions can all be combined for the perfect family break.

A long, sandy beach.

The vast expanses of Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire, West Wales

Related stories