Wales and the Brecon Beacons Steam Railway Holiday
Let us introduce a spellbinding trip to the south-western reaches of Wales. Our summer date ensures that everything is available for us to enjoy in a long weekend based in sleepy Carmarthen. Good reasons to come are abundant – exceptional days out include Pembrokeshire and the national park, the Brecon Beacons, Dylan Thomas country and the magical Heart of Wales Line. Go west with us this September and be beguiled by the wizards spell!
We meet at Carmarthen Station early afternoon and transfer to The Ivy Bush Hotel – check in – relax awhile, then set off on our local afternoon excursion in the scenic Gwili Valley. The long awaited extension on the Gwili Steam Railway opened last year and we will travel on this during our first steam train ride of the holiday. Later we’ll drive down to lovely Laugharne to see the views that inspired Dylan Thomas.
A terrific circular tour begins with a short coach journey to Llanelli where we connect with the Heart of Wales Line for a delightful rural rail journey through rolling hills and rustic farmland to Llandrindod Wells. From here we take a scenic drive across the mountains to Cardigan Bay and the seaside town of Aberystwyth. Time now to forage for refreshments before enjoying the dramatic steam train ride up to Devil’s Bridge with the Vale of Rheidol Railway. A relaxed journey back to Carmarthen combines coastal and rural scenery and may even include a stop en route for a paddle!
Wizardry! – that’s what today is, featuring Pembrokeshire branch lines (a great way to see sights like Pembroke Castle and Milford Sound) and the upstairs/downstairs life of Scolton Manor near Bethlehem (!). Into the afternoon and we drive through Newcastle Emlyn and Cenarth with waterfall views to the Teifi Valley Railway – a real gem, in the middle of nowhere, a resurgent railway, miniature line as well, and homely tea room. A memorable end to a splendid, and varied, day out!
In South and South West Wales the most impressive landscapes are in and around the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons. So, for our last day we set off on a scenic drive via Llangadog and Llandovery to the Brecon National Park Centre. We’ll taste morning Welsh Cakes whilst enjoying the fine views before heading on to the Brecon Mountain Railway, our holiday finale. Here, without doubt, is the steam highlight of the holiday, which we will enjoy to the full until the short transfer to Merthyr Tydfil Station. Sample a “taste” of the valleys, as we journey by rail to Cardiff for homeward bound trains.
The Ivy Bush, Carmarthen
Carmarthen is a delightful place to stay. It is an ancient town with Roman roots, an amphitheatre, castle, and is associated with the Welsh Wizard Merlin. Our hotel is of a very high standard with all the usual facilities one would expect and with the advantage of a town centre location. The well-appointed bar and restaurant areas even extend to a south facing terrace.