Llandovery is a pretty, peaceful market town. Walkers Friendly and Cycling Friendly, it is a gateway to many routes, and has several cycle-friendly cafes and pubs and some nice independent shops. There's a Craft Centre, a small market on Friday mornings, a regular livestock market and an annual Sheep Festival in September.
In the 18th century drovers brought sheep and cattle here - 30,000 animals passed through every year on their way to livestock markets in Hereford, the Midlands and Smithfield market in London. The King’s Head building is where the Black Ox Bank first opened in 1799, so drovers could make promises rather than hand over gold sovereigns. Further back in time, the castle was built by the Normans from local sandstone. Over the centuries it saw much fighting - now only fragments of two towers and some walling remain, but the short climb is worthwhile for beautiful views.
EAT AND DRINK
Penygawse Tea Rooms
The Old Printing Office
The White Hall
Black Lion Antiques & Collectables
British Red Cross (its a good one!)
Davies and Co.
Llandovery Antiques Centre
Llandeilo is a vibrant little town, with a wealth of independent shops selling quality clothes, furnishings, antiques and crafts. It's also home to the National Trust owned Dinefwr Park, a house with beautiful parkland and a great castle. Llandeilo is a lively place - there are annual book and music festivals, and the Festival of Lights brightens up November.
There and some great cafes, bars, pubs and several delis stocking locally-produced products. Award-winning cheeses include Caws Cenarth, Teifi Cheese and goats’ cheese from Cothi Valley goats, with some very tempting names like Caws Bacchus and Welsh Haloumi. Look out also for their yoghurt and yoghurt drinks. There’s a country market every Friday morning in the Civic Hall, near the main car park.
http://www.visitllandeilo.co.uk has a good overview - here are our favourites:
EAT AND DRINK
The Works Antique and Garden centre
Dewi Roberts, Family Butchers
Carmarthen is about 45 minutes drive, with a castle, a gallery, a museum and a good mix of shops, both independent and chains. It's a busy, yet relaxed market town with lots of cafes and pubs - try the Warren for coffee or lunch, and Florentinos is a good Italian restaurant.
Take the back road to Carmarthen for Wright's Food Emporium - a destination for food lovers. And on the way back on the A40 there's Y Sied - Lisa Fearne's dynamic cookery school, with great workshops for adults and kid, and local produce to buy.
The Red Lion does good home cooked food and great curries. Check out The Last Gallery, with art displays and a stylish upholstery workshop.
Myddfai is a few miles down the road from Nantseren - it's a pretty, sleepy little village with a community-run visitor centre with gift shop, selling local crafts and Myddfai Trading Company products. There's also a cafe there, which serves delicious homemade cakes. The Physicians of Myddfai were herbalists and healers for hundreds of years, and are connected to the Lady of the Lake myth.
On the way to Brecon (again, its a 45 min drive), stop for coffee or lunch at the laid-back International Welsh Rarebit Centre in Defynnog. In the overgrown churchyard nearby is the Defynnog yew, said to be 5000 years old!
Brecon is a bustling market town, with plenty of interesting shops, cafes, pubs, regular food and craft markets, galleries and a couple of museums. There's also a theatre and a small independent cinema, and the annual Jazz Festival in August. Brecon Cathedral is beautiful, its regarded as one of Wales' finest buildings - and has a lovely cafe. The Hours is our favourite place for coffee, with a combination of delicious local food and beautifully displayed books.
Hire a boat in Brecon and spend a leisurely day on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. Perfect for a special birthday - we took a picnic and some bubbly!