Self-catering cottages in Carmarthenshire, South Wales

Carmarthenshire is one of those counties with a 'bit of everything'. Bounded by the Cambrian Mountains and the famous Black Mountains, the Brecon Becons National Park and the Tywi Valley from the north through the east to the south, and the wonderful coastline to the west, it's a visitor's delight. Fabulous beaches, some great fishing, some wonderful gardens, flora, fauns and even visit the Dolaucothi Gold Mines in the Cothi Valley, where you can learn of one of sites of the UK's gold rush.

And if you are interested in British world records, Pendine Sands is where Malcolm Campbell broke three land speed records and where the museum there has some of his land-speed record cars on display. The Welsh National Botanic Garden near Llanarthne has not only the world's largest single span glass house but also the longest herbaceous border in the UK.

There is plenty of first-class self-catering accommodation throughout the county for those wanting a more homely place to stay whilst experiencing the county, Carmarthen, Llanelli, Whitland, Ammanford and Laugharne offer holiday activities and a full range of local food locally. Holiday properties are available across the county from luxury 5 star accommodation, farmhouse and family rentals to budget weekend and mid-week deals. Large groups of 2 or 3 families looking for somewhere to rent, will see many properties for 8-10 and 12 - 16 guests, once you get over 20 or 24 people staying the selection is more limited, but big holiday houses or bunk houses do exist, and we do also recommend groups of cottages for large group accommodation.

Large holiday houses for rent in Carmarthenshire

Self-catering for 10-16+ guests in 5 + bedrooms

Ty-canol, sleeps 15 in Kidwelly.

Big house to rent in Carmarthenshire near Kidwelly with 6 bedrooms, sleeps 15, Pet friendly, Barbecue, Pub within 1 mile, Cot Available, Swimming Pool, All En-suite, Gym.

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Ysgubor Wen, sleeps 10 in Llanelli.

Vacation retreat in Carmarthenshire near Llanelli with 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10, Pet friendly, Barbecue, Ground Floor Facilities, Golf nearby, Pub within 1 mile, Baby and Toddler Friendly, Cot Available.

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Carmarthenshire is often referred to as the Garden of Wales being as it is home to so many of South West Wales' gardening and garden-orientated gems, including the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanelli Scarlets, Aberglasney Gardens, the wonderful Millennium Coastal Park, the National Wetlands Centre for Wales and the lovely Ffos Las Race Course to name but a few of them. It's perfect for the self-catering holiday enthusiast who wants to enjoy their holiday at their own pace and in their own time, you'll find them centered around Carmarthen, Kidwelly, Laugharne and Llansteffan, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llanelli and Newcastle Emlyn.

Those seeking the best in salmon and river and sea brown trout fishing - families and the more serious angler alike - will enjoy a day in and around the River Teifi, reckoned to be one of the best locations in the world.

Staying in a self-catering cottage in Carmarthenshire and have a chance to explore the rich heritage of the area. There are spectacular castles, picturesque market towns and lots of stunning countryside to walk in. The National Botanic Garden of Wales is west of Carmarthen and well worth a visit if you are renting a holiday house near Carmarthen - especially for a big group of people, it's such a fun thing to do. There are also lovely vacation homes near Llandovery and pretty Welsh country cottages to rent near Llandeilo.

Time well spent in Carmarthen

Prior to the industrial revolution, Carmarthen, on the River Towy, was actually the largest town in Wales. It still stakes its claim as the oldest town in Wales. Lying in the magnificent Tywi Valley, it takes its name - welsh being Caerfyrddin - firmly taken from Welsh Folklore which stakes its claim as the birthplace of Merlin (the Welsh 'Caerfyrddin' translates as 'Merlin's Fort') who, of course, was King Arthur's famed magician. It is also cited as bing the first walled city in Wales and the home of the legendry Black Book of Carmarthen which can be seen in National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.

The ruins of the town's large Roman amphitheatre and Norman castle are both a must see for visitors, and the reopened Gwili Railway (a section of the former mail line to Aberystwyth make a great day out as a key heritage attraction. As previously mentioned, the Wales National Botanic Gardens with its endangered plants from around the world is worthy of a visit if only to marvel at the quite amazing and world's biggest single span glasshouse. A visit to the Aberglasney Gardens, dating back to the 16th and 17th Centuries and which are continually being restored. A quite unique winter garden has been installed with wonderful strange and exotic perfumed species from throughout the world, and it makes a truly memorable day out for the entire family.

There is plenty of good shopping along the historic 18th and 19th century streets, from locally-owned family businesses to the more familiar high-street brands, plenty of places to eat and drink. There is a weekly Farmers Market held on a Wednesday where many local delicacies can be obtained - including the world-famous Carmarthenshire Ham.

And for literary buffs, a visit to Laugharne just outside the town sees the 'shed' where Dylan Thomas wrote his world classic "Under Milk Wood".

Carmarthenshire self-catering rentals

Cottages sleeping 8-10 guests in 4 + bedrooms, bunkhouses, cottages and country houses.

Trewydden, sleeps 8 in Llandovery.

A unique large holiday home in Carmarthenshire near Llandovery with 4 bedrooms, sleeps 8, Pet friendly, Pub within 1 mile, Cot Available.

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Maes-yr-adwy, sleeps 8 in Llandeilo.

Large holiday letting in Carmarthenshire near Llandeilo with 4 bedrooms, sleeps 8, No pets, Barbecue, Pub within 1 mile, Baby and Toddler Friendly, Cot Available.

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Ysgubor Wen, sleeps 10 in Llanelli.

Vacation retreat in Carmarthenshire near Llanelli with 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10, Pet friendly, Barbecue, Ground Floor Facilities, Golf nearby, Pub within 1 mile, Baby and Toddler Friendly, Cot Available.

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History and heritage in Carmarthenshire

For those on the heritage and history trail, whether keen school children or inquisitive adults, Carmarthenshire has several major museums of note.

For the varied history of the county's long cultural, industrial and agricultural heritage, the Carmarthenshire County Museum housed the ancient Bishop's Palace at Abergwili, near Carmarthen, is well worth a visit. Here, children of all ages (from 6 to 96!) will enjoy the legend of King Arthur and Merlin his magician which abound with their roots around the Roman centre of Carmarthen. Tales and stories abound, the most famous of which is perhaps the statement that "When Merlin's tree shall tumble down, then shall fall Carmarthen town". Although there are many versions, no one ever did discover exactly what happened to Merlin, but they say he was imprisoned for eternity in a cave about two miles out of town when one of his own spells was cast against him. Perhaps you might care to take a break and head to Carmarthen to see if you can throw some light on the fable that has been intriguing the area for centuries!

Llanelli was of course once the tin plate capital of the world, and the Parc Howard Museum has plenty on record about this, in particular tracing the history of the process of making tinplate. However, for a more detailed journey, the Kidwelly Industrial Museum is the only museum dedicated to the tinplate industry in general, and more specifically, the individual processes involved in making it. You can also pay a visit to Kidwelly Castle on the Gwendraeth River which also has an on-site exhibition and full program of events.

Remembering how important the wool industry was for Wales, the National Wool Museum in, located in the historic former Cambrian Mills at Drefach Felindre in the Teifi valley was once nicknamed the "Huddersfield of Wales". Here you will find everything relating to the history of making woollen garments, there are demonstrations and exhibitions to watch. Children will come away not believing what it actually takes to produce the clothes on their back!

The Pendine Museum of Speed is fascinating as it traces the history of attainment of the land speed record over the early years. Near to the eponymous sands that have been used for so many record attempts, 'Babs' the car belonging to Parry Thomas that lay buried in the sand dunes at Pendine is now exhibited there during the summer, with other speed record-breaking vehicles exhibited at various timed during the year.