Updated: Jul 16, 2019
Carreg Cennen Castle
Situated in a stunning area of the Brecon Beacons, Carreg Cennen Castle overlooks the towns of Llandeilo and Ammanford in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. You may be surprised to learn that the castle is actually privately owned by Carreg Cennen Farm and managed by Cadw. Admission charges apply to the castle itself, but there is a large well accessed car park and beautiful free walks around the site.
The castle is located and signposted from the village of Trap on bus route 280/281, Carmarthen to Llandeilo/Llandovery.
National Cycle Network route 47.
OS grid reference: Explorer Map OL12 or Landranger Map 159 - SN669019.
Opening times: Summer, daily 9.30am–5.30pm; winter, daily 9.40am–4pm.
We arrived at about 12:30pm on a Sunday afternoon and parked up. There were plenty of parking spaces in the large accessible well laid car park. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times as there are sheep roaming freely, all over the estate. We set off with Mojo our Jack Russell Terrier, past the cafe which is a stunning converted barn, that offers lovely food; up towards the castle past a dedicated church for beautiful weddings in spectacular Welsh scenery also on the land. Through the gate and along the well maintained path up towards the castle entrance. Once you get up to the gate entrance you can either pay at the small manned hut to continue on up to the castle or you can turn to your left, go through a gate and going enjoy the free walks around the castle grounds.
This is where it gets a little more off road. You need good walking shoes and although the day we went it was lovely and dry, it had been raining the night before so the ground is still very wet and I think on hindsight gators perhaps wouldn't have been a bad idea. However long trousers, good shoes and you will be fine.
This rugged pathway leads you down into the valley area, where you can either go across the bridge over a small stream and onto a 7.5km walk which is the walk 1a on the map, or you can continue past the bridge and follow on the yellow shorter walk 1b which is about 2.5km. This will take you round the foot of the castle mound and back up to the car park. It is a lovely walk, with beautiful picturesque scenery.
We definitely recommend taking a camera, even if it is a smart phone one. All our pictures are taken on a Sony Xperia Z3 mobile phone. We did actually start off on part of the red walk over the bridge and follow the red castle signs for quite a while, then we turn around and went back on ourselves again as we didn't want to do the full seven and a half kilometers.
We went back to rejoin the yellow path back up to the car park. This takes you along the road past a couple of houses and it is a really steep hill back up towards the car park. The wife is a seasoned walker and struggled, even Mojo was slowing. Once you do get up to the top of that hill you then have to cross a field that takes you back to the side of the cafe, where we started from, on the farm grounds.
The field it is a working cattle field with cows and bulls sitting happily, watching you go by, so again be mindful of your feet with the cow pats and it is very uneven underfoot from being turned up by hooves.
All of the paths are clearly marked. Well established and maintained stiles and gateways with easy access dog hatches. There are picnic tables and numerous benches dotted around too, for stop offs along the way. Be mindful that the area is a working farm, so be respectful of the loose animals at all times and remember to leave the area as you find it.
As you finish your walk at the cafe (which is very sensible on the owner’s part) treat yourself to a well earned cream tea, marvel at the views and enjoy the atmosphere of the working farm yard.
Over To You
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