Place Category: Feature
A busy town with an industrial past, a strong rugby tradition and a new lease of life, with access to the coast and regular annual events.
Although Carmarthen is the county town’, Llanelli is the largest town in Carmarthenshire. Situated on the coast, the town grew significantly as a mining town in the 18th and 19th centuries – important for coal and latterly for tin plate and its steelworks, known as ‘Tinopolis’ during the second half of the 19th century. The town was also home to a commercial pottery operation between 1839 and the 1920s. Like many other towns in South Wales, the coal and steel industries have declined significantly since the 1970s. The town is now home to a number of manufacturing plants serving the aerospace industry and to the Felinfoel Brewery. With a proud rugby tradition, Llanelli is also the base of the Scarlets Rugby Union team who play at Parc y Scarlets. The town is home to restored Llanelly House, an important example of early Georgian architecture with Elizabethan and Jacobean roots. It regularly holds exhibitions and is open for private tours. The Parc Howard Museum is situated in an Italianate villa situated in the 24-acre grounds of Parc Howard, which was gifted to Llanelli in 1912. Free to enter, the museum holds a large collection of Llanelly pottery, paintings, portraits and other art works and artefacts from the local area. Stradey Castle remains in private ownership but is open for pre-booked Heritage Tours on some days. The Millennium Coastal Path runs from Loughor to Pembrey – 13 miles of traffic-free cycling and walking with views to the Gower and Carmarthen Bay. The Discovery Centre overlooking Llanelli Beach is a good place to start! The Llanelli Wetland Centre has a packed calendar of events and it’s a quick hop to the National Botanic Gardens at Llanarthne from Llanelli. Llanelli has a vibrant calendar of events throughout the year including an annual walking festival, a CAMRA organised Beer festival, a classic car and vehicle show and a Christmas Carnival.
ACCOMMODATION FOOD AND DRINK
There’s 4-star hotel accommodation at Stradey Park, Coastal Park, and Llwyn Hall, with a number of guest houses in the town including Southmead. As you’d expect for a town of its size, Llanelli has a varied selection of places to eat. Try award-winning Sosban, Tafarn Morlais at Llangennech, Bahn Mai for a taste of Thailand or Altalia for Italian food. For ice-cream, head to North Dock and for pub culture, try the Half Moon and the White Lion.
NEED TO KNOW
Getting to Llanelli: Llanelli is easily accessible from the M4 at Pontarddulais.
Parking: The town has a number of car parks.
Public Transport: Llanelli is on the rail network, with trains to Swansea and Carmarthen. Buses serve Carmarthen, Ammanford, Hendy and a number of other small towns and villages.
Parc y Scarlets http://www.scarlets.co.uk/eng/home.php 01554 783900
Llanelly House http://www.llanelly-house.org.uk/ 01554 772857
Parc Howard http://www.parchoward.org.uk/ 01554 772029
Stradey Castle http://www.stradeycastle.com/ 01554 774626
Millenium Coastal Park http://www.discovercarmarthenshire.com/millennium-coastal-park/ 01554 777744
Llanelli Wetland Centre http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/llanelli/ 01554 741087
National Botanic Gardens https://botanicgarden.wales/ 01558 667149
Llanelli Ramblers Walking Festival http://www.llanelliramblers.org.uk/festival/ 01554 741306/773597
Stradey Park Hotel http://www.stradeyparkhotel.com/en 01554 758171
Coastal Park http://www.hotel-restaurant-llanelli.co.uk/ 01554 755357
Llwyn Hall Country House http://www.llwynhall.com/
Southmead Guest House http://www.southmeadguesthouse.co.uk/ 01554 758588
Sosban http://www.sosbanrestaurant.com/ 01554 270020
Tafarn Morlais http://tafarnmorlais.co.uk/ 01554 820121
Bahn Mai Thai 19 Station Road Llanelli 01554 780150
Altalia http://www.altalia.co.uk/ 01554 751157
North Dock Ice cream Parlour Llanelli Beach Front
The Half Moon http://www.thehalfmoon.wales/ 01554 772626
The White Lion Park view Terrace 01554 773818
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