This peaceful market town slumbering in the Teifi Valley shows no signs of the turbulence brought by warring lords and mythical creatures – soak up the atmosphere and imagine the past!
Although not much is left of the castle, it’s thought to have been built by Maredudd ap Rhys in around 1240 – not so ‘new’ after all! It passed into the hands of the English as part of a group of Welsh castles handed over to Edward, The Black Prince, in 1343 but was returned to Welsh hands during the Glyndwr Risings led by Owain Glyndwr. The subject of skirmishes in the Civil War, it’s documented that the castle fell into disrepair at this point. Newcastle Emlyn has supplied the needs of the local community as a market town for centuries, a role which remains today, with regular cattle markets held in the town. It’s also an education centre with primary and secondary schools and other local services. The castle is ruined, but the area has been well landscaped, with story boards telling the tale of the dragon that visited the town. The market hall has recently been renovated. Large chains stores don’t feature highly on Newcastle Emlyn’s high street. Instead, browse the independent and quirky shops for clothes, indulge in coffee and cake or even seek out some new plants for the garden. It’s also a good place for antique hunting. Both Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire coastlines and their beaches are easily accessible from the town. Local artist Helen Elliot produces her vibrant, colourful works here – visit the studio or join in a workshop. The West Wales Museum of Childhood just down the road, is an opportunity to take a stroll down memory lane and revisit toys from childhood, or why not saddle up at Starlight Riding Centre nearby. Newcastle Emlyn holds an annual food festival and welcomes the Christmas season with a Victorian-themed shopping evening, usually in early December.
ACCOMMODATION FOOD AND DRINK
The Gwesty’r Emlyn Hotel offers comfortable hotel accommodation at the end of the High Street or stay in a converted ‘fulling mill’ – Melin Pandy, on the edge of the town. The Welsh Museum of Childhood offers camping, as does Afon Teifi Caravan and Camping just 2 miles from the town. Accommodation can be found at The Ceridwen Centre, offering B&B, self-catering, glamping in yurts, wooden huts or a converted bus to stay in – it’s also a beautiful wedding venue, boasting fabulous views over the valley from its giant tipi.
Newcastle Emlyn has a number of great cafes – Ty Croeso, Y Cwtch Coffi, Harrisons and No 11 are all worth a look in. For meals try the Bunch of Grapes, Pachamama, Yasmin’s Indian Restaurant, or the new Bistro at Gwesty’r Emlyn. There’s a very well stocked Riverside Stores health/whole foods shop and café just over the bridge, an independent butcher and a weekly produce market selling fresh fruit and veg.
NEED TO KNOW
Getting to Newcastle Emlyn: Newcastle Emlyn is just off the main A484 between Carmarthen and Cardigan.
Parking: There is limited on-street parking along the high street and 2 car parks -one at the cattle market and one near the castle.
Public Transport: Regular scheduled buses to Carmarthen and Cardigan serve Newcastle Emlyn.
Trefehdyn Garden Centre http://www.trefhedyn.co.uk/ 01239 710292
Helen Elliot Art http://elliottart.net/ 01239711735
Starlight Riding Centre http://www.starlightridingcentre.co.uk/ 01239 710261
Emlyn Antiques Centre https://www.facebook.com/Emlyn-Antiques-Centre-438640346225528/ 01239 712991
West Wales Museum of Childhood http://www.toymuseumwales.co.uk/ 01559 370428
Newcastle Emlyn Food Festival https://en-gb.facebook.com/Gwyl-Fwyd-Castell-Newydd-Emlyn-Newcastle-Emlyn-Food-Festival-150904378279604/
Newcatle Emlyn Victorian Evening https://www.facebook.com/NewcastleEmlynVictorianEvening/
Gwesty’r Emlyn Hotel http://www.gwestyremlynhotel.co.uk/ 01239 710317
Afon Teifi Caravan & Camping http://www.afonteifi.co.uk/ 01559 370532
Pachamama Bistro https://www.facebook.com/Pachamama-Bistro-Newcastle-Emlyn-263176100420896/ 01239 711334
Yasmins 01239 711681
Y Cwtch Coffi 01239 710074 http://ycwtchcoffi.co.uk/
Riverside Café 01239 710 404 https://en-gb.facebook.com/Riverside-cafe-1532622053630394/
Harrisons 01239 711814 http://www.eatatharrisons.co.uk/