As well as exploring the mountains of the Brecon Beacons from Nantseren, you can visit dramatic castles, beautiful gardens and market towns with independent shops, cafes and pubs nearby. See some highlights in the gallery above, and check out our mini guide below to local towns with food and drink recommendations. It's advisable to book in advance - especially if you are a big group.
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Llandeilo is a vibrant little town, with a wealth of independent shops selling quality clothes, furnishings, antiques and crafts plus great cafes, pubs and several delis. It's home to Dinefwr Park (National Trust), with beautiful parkland and a castle for lovely walks. There are annual book and music festivals in Llandeilo, and the Festival of Lights brightens up November. Carreg Cennen Castle, which deserves the overused word 'stunning', is nearby - combine with refreshments at The Tregyb (it's on the way) for a great day out!
EAT, DRINK & SHOP
The Tregeyb - food and cocktails venue (in Ffairfach, by Llandeilo: 07949 359418)
Diod - cafe/winebar/deli @diodllandeilo
Pitchfork and Provision craft bakery/deli/cafe
Cawdor Hotel - bar and restaurant
Heavenly - artisan chocolate and ice cream
Davies & Co - interiors plus cafe
Toast - clothes and home
Peppercorn - kitchenware
The Little Welsh Dresser - Welsh gifts, artwork, interior accessories
...and lots more!
The Castle Coaching Inn in Trecastle is a traditional pub recently renovated and reopened with good food, great for Sunday lunch. Trecastle Antiques Centre is a fun place to rummage for treasures, otherwise its a quite little village where you turn onto the A40 towards Brecon (about 15 mins drive from us).
Llandovery is a pretty, peaceful market town. Walkers and Cycling Friendly, it is a gateway to many routes, with cycle-friendly cafes and pubs. 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 as far as Smithfield market in London. Further back in time, the castle was built by the Normans. Over the centuries it saw much fighting - now only fragments of two towers and some walling remain. The short climb is worthwhile for beautiful views - its great fun for kids to explore, with a playground next to it.
EAT, DRINK & SHOP
Whitehall - good beer, and cocktails!
The Bear - South Asian influenced vegan and vegetarian food
Penygawse - tea rooms
La Patisserie - deli with fresh local food, great for picnics
Iechyd Da Wholefoods
Mathews Butchers - locally sourced meat, deliver to Nantseren!
Llandovery Antiques Centre
The Old Printing Office (gifts and clothes e.g. white stuff)
Brecon (45 mins drive) 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, which has a combination of delicious local food and a beautiful bookshop: @thehoursbrecon
Another favourite of ours is Hop in beer and gin, near the newly refurbished Brecon Museum Y Gaer.
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!
Carmarthen is about 45 minutes drive, with a castle, galleries, the recently updated Carmarthen Museum and family friendly Parc yr Esgob, with a nice cafe. There's a good mix of shops, both independent and chains. It's a busy, yet relaxed market town - try Karm'en Kafe near the castle for coffee or lunch (they can also provide pop-up dining or a retreat chef at Nantseren - see food and celebrations), or The Warren. Take the back road to Carmarthen for Wright's Food Emporium - a destination for food lovers, close to two beautiful gardens: National Botanic Garden of Wales and Aberglasney
Myddfai is a few miles down the road from Nantseren on the way to Llandovery - it's a sleepy little village with a community-run visitor centre with gift shop, selling local crafts and Myddfai Trading Company products (as provided at Nantseren!). 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.
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Images: Aled Llywelyn Photography; © Hawlfraint y Goron / © Crown copyright (2023) Cymru Wales; Shutterstock.com; Discover Carmarthenshire; wales–on-my-doorstep; this.girlwalks; viewswithlou - and thanks to our guests!