• Kidwelly1-Sam-Jones

Place Category: Feature

  • More than just its castle, Kidwelly has an industrial past to soak up and plenty more besides.

    ‘Cetgueli’ was recorded as early as the 9th century AD – the name probably reflecting the fact that the town occupies the site where 2 riverbeds (Gwendraeth Fach and Gwendraeth Fawr) meet – ‘Cyd’ meaning joint and ‘Gweli’ meaning bed. The Norman invasion saw the establishment of Kidwelly castle, redesigned by Edward I as part of the ‘ring of steel’ oppression of the Welsh. The ancient town – and the castle – saw plenty of action during the Welsh rebellions led by Owain Glyndwr. The town was an important commercial centre during the 14th century, although fortunes declined as the Gwendraeth Estuary silted up. During the 18th century, things picked up with the export of coal from Gwendraeth Fawr and then the establishment of a large brickworks and tin works, although little evidence of this industry remains today. Kidwelly also has a Dylan Thomas claim to fame, giving its name to Captain Cat’s boat the SS Kidwelly in Under Milk Wood.

    Kidwelly Castle is well-preserved and a must for visitors to the area. Managed by CADW, it is a great example of a ‘motte and bailey’ castle and was used as a location in Monty Python and the Holy Grail! St Mary’s church, which was originally built in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 14th century after being destroyed by fire, boasts some fine architectural features. The Kidwelly Industrial Museum houses the oldest surviving tinplate works in Europe – at one point, around half of the world’s tinplate production happened in the Kidwelly/Llanelli area – so, this is your chance to find out more (and it’s free)! For nature lovers, there’s the Glyn Yr Afon nature reserve which extends the Llanelli Millennium Coastal Path to the west and is home to a wide variety of wildlife and one of the largest populations of bee orchids in Wales. Kidwelly is also not far from the National Botanic Gardens at Llanarthne. If you fancy a day at the races, you’re not far from Ffos Las racecourse and you can book in for a round of golf locally too.




    4-star B&B accommodation can be found at Kidwelly Bed & Breakfast or you can enjoy life on the farm at Kidwelly Farm Cottages where you can self-cater, B&B or make the most of sea views in a holiday chalet. Anthony’s Hotel and The White Lion are pubs offering evening meals, or just outside Kidwelly at Llandyfaelog try the Red Lion. You’ll find café style lunches, teas, coffees and cake at Time for Tea and The Gatehouse. Burns Farm Shop at Parc y Bocs offers the opportunity to buy local, seasonal produce as well as to relax with a cup of coffee.



    Getting to Kidwelly: Kidwelly is connected to Llanelli and Carmarthen by the A484.

    Parking: There are carparks on Station Road and Bridge Street.

    Public Transport: There’s a railway connection in Kidwelly on the West Wales Line from Carmarthen and Pembroke Dock; some scheduled bus services.

    Useful Contacts

    Kidwelly Industrial Museum 01267 228696

    National Botanic Garden of Wales 01558 667149

    Ffos Las racecourse 01554 811092

    Glyn Abbey Golf Course & Country Club 01554 810278

    Kidwelly Bed & Breakfast 01554 890716

    Kidwelly Farm Cottages

    Seaview Holiday Chalets 01554 891737

    Anthonys Hotel 01554 890740

    The White Lion 01554 890313

    The Red Lion 01267 267530

    Time for Tea 01554 892908

    The Gatehouse 01554 891278

    Burns Farm shop at Parc y Bocs 01554 892724


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