Llandovery river walk
Town and the Tywi.
Here’s a short, easy walk along the lush banks of river Tywi from the centre of historic Llandovery, a Walkers are Welcome town.
Need to know
Length: 2 miles (3.2km)
Time: Under an hour
Start and finish: Llandovery town centre
OS map ref: SN 767343
OS map: Explorer OL12 (1:25 000) series
Facilities: Visitor centre, car parking, shops, cafés and pubs in Llandovery
Along the way
Llandovery Tourist Information and Heritage Centre
As its name implies, it’s more than a standard visitor centre. As well as supplying a wealth of information on the western and central areas of the Brecon Beacons National Park the centre also contains displays on the area’s history, culture, myths and legends. Learn all about Twm Siôn Cati (the Welsh Robin Hood), famous Welsh hymn writer William Williams Pantycelin, the medieval Physicians of Myddfai and the ‘Lady of the Lake’ at Llyn y Fan Fach.
St Mary’s Church
Though its origins date back to the 12th century, this Grade I listed church is not the oldest building to stand at this spot – the mound on which the church now sits was once occupied by a Roman fort. The earthen remains of the Roman construction are still visible to the careful observer, while bricks from the fort were even used to build the church’s east wall.
Stretching 30m across the river Tywi in a single elegant arch, the 18th-century bridge at Dolauhirion is an inspiring sight. There has been a crossing here linking Llandovery and Cilycwm since 1170, but the current version was constructed in 1773 by architect William Edwards – responsible for a number of other single-arch stone bridges across Wales, notably at Pontypridd.
Rising in the Cambrian Mountains and flowing out into Carmarthen Bay, the 75-mile (121km) Tywi is the second-longest river located entirely in Wales. Its crystal-clear waters are a breeding ground for big sea trout – sewin in Welsh –making the river a popular spot with anglers. The Tywi’s fertile waters also attract another type of fish fan – a growing population of otters call the river home.
The remains of 12th-century Llandovery Castle overlook the town centre from a prime vantage point on a steep, grassy hill. They share this spot with a more recent addition – a shimmering stainless steel sculpture of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd-Fychan. The Carmarthenshire landowner was executed in Llandovery in 1401 by Henry IV for supporting Owain Glyndŵr’s rebellion against English rule.