As the seasons change, it’s time to take nature’s lead, follow the sun and head west for some of the finest walking in South Wales. Expect birdwatching, British film history, literary brilliance, breathtaking mountain views and more.

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As the days grow longer and the sun gets a little warmer, Carmarthenshire in Southwest Wales springs into life. Whether you chose the mountains or the coast, there’s plenty to give your senses a springtime workout – just at the end of the M4.​ The area’s ancient woodlands are carpeted white and blue as the wild garlic and bluebells compete for attention. For the best views, climb the “Carmarthen Fans” on the western edge of the Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brecheiniog) or head to the north to the Cambrian mountains to watch the setting sun.

Main image: Llyn y Fan Fach, home to the mythical Lady of the Lake | Credit: @carmscouncil

It’s said that the world reveals itself to those who travel on foot and in Carmarthenshire there is no better way to get around. Dozens of coastal and rural walks intertwine with history and tradition. Carmarthenshire, with its rugged coastline, epic mountains and breathtaking vistas, provides a dramatic backdrop for a walking getaway in south-west Wales whilst the county’s verdant valleys are lined with quiet country roads and guarded by ruined castles. These diverse landscapes are rich in walking routes, varying from gentle, traffic-free trails to lung-busting hikes. Along each lies a succession of attractions: mighty castles, spectacular gardens, fantastic beaches – as well as outstanding places to eat and drink, attractive market towns and walking-friendly accommodation providing ideal bases for a walking adventure.

8 walks on which to discover Carmathenshire this Spring

Take your pick from eight of the best walks to enjoy in Carmarthenshire this Spring. There’s something for walkers of all abilities and interests whether you’re looking for an active weekend getaway, a challenging and rewarding week among the mountains, or a relaxing coastal adventure.

Looking through the woodland to Scott’s Bay_credit @carmscouncil

Looking through the woodland to Scott’s Bay. Credit @carmscouncil

1. Llansteffan Coast and Castle

What better time of year to sample the best of the Wales Coastal Path around Llansteffan than in Spring? Start off at the sandy beach of Llansteffan and make your way through the enchanting woodland to the beautiful Scott’s Bay. This stunning beach has views across the Tywi Estuary and due to its hidden nature can feel like you’ve discovered your own private bay. Continue to follow the coastal path up to the historic Llansteffan Castle where the panoramic views are worthy of a photo or two.

Llyn y Fan Fach

Llyn y Fan Fach. Credit: Shutterstock

2. The Lady of the Lake

The dramatic views and dark glimmering waters of the Llyn y Fan Fach are enclosed by grassy mountainsides. Folklore tells of a young farmer who, in the 13th century, spotted what he claimed was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen emerge from its waters. Do keep an eye out for this mystical Lady of the Lake. Circling the lake provides a pleasant walk for all levels, but those wanting more of a challenging walk can scale the mountainsides and admire the glacial lake from above.

Dylan Thomas Birthday Walk Laugharne

The Boathouse. Credit @carmscouncil

3. The Dylan Thomas Birthday Walk

Spring is a perfect time to visit the township of Laugharne, home to the region’s great poet Dylan Thomas. For those simply wanting to follow in his footsteps the Laugharne section of the coastal path showcases the best of the area. Follow the route of Thomas’ favourite walk as once described in his Poem in October. Expect lovely views across the estuary to Laugharne Castle and the landscape that inspired this literary legend. Finish your walk with a visit to the Boathouse in Laugharne, where he spent the last years of his life between 1949-1953 – there’s a charming little teashop in the museum too.

Spot dunlin, ringed plover, sanderling, and redshank along the Millennium Coastal Path_credit @carmscouncil

Spot dunlin, ringed plover, sanderling, and redshank along the Millennium Coastal Path. Credit: @carmscouncil

4. Sandy Water Park and Millennium Coastal Park

This gentle stroll around the lake of Llanelli’s Sandy Water Park and along the Millenium Coastal Path is one for all. This traffic free path is ideal for buggies and wheelchairs and has adjacent car parking. The walk around Sandy Water park is under 2km, however the coastal path stretches for 22km from Bynea to Pembrey. Spot orchids, sea birds, water birds in the lake and then venture through the Mabinogion Woods with its literary inspired sculptures. The Llanelli Beach is the highlight of this part of the Millenium Coastal Path which offers unparalleled views over the Carmarthen bay.

Bluebells in the woodlands of Dinas_credit @carmscouncil - Discover Carmathenshire

Bluebells in the woodlands of Dinas. Credit: @carmscouncil

5. Twm Sion Cati Cave

Did you know Wales has had its very own Robin Hood character? The highwayman Twm Sion Catti was notorious in the area and this walk takes in the glorious woodland and along the River Tywi up to the highwayman’s cave. Here you’ll find hundreds of years’ worth of visitor names carved into the rock at the caves entrance. Make sure to pass through the Gwenffrwd Dinas RSPB Nature Reserve too. A visit to the woodlands of Dinas in May is an opportunity to see the carpets of bluebells, a stunning violet haze beneath the trees. Carpets of lichens cover the trunks and branches of all the trees. Look out for Witches Beard or Usnea florida, with its tangled tresses and ‘eyes’.

Kidwelly Castle, as seen in Monty Python and the Holy Grail _credit @carmscouncil - Discover Carmathenshire

Kidwelly Castle, as seen in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Credit: @carmscouncil

6. Kidwelly

This trail takes in medieval castles, picturesque riversides and delightful wildlife. You’ll visit Carmarthenshire’s most complete medieval castle which featured at the start of the Monty Python and the Holy Grail film. Following the river will take you down to the Kymer canal and quay – said to be one of the oldest in Britain – which now welcomes you as a nature reserve. It’s a real favourite with birdwatchers and Spring is an ideal time to visit as the birds flock to the estuary and marshlands.

Llandeilo town. Credit: @carmscouncil - Discover Carmathenshire

Llandeilo town. Credit: @carmscouncil

7. Llandeilo and Dinefwr Castle

Llandeilo is a chic, bustling market town in the heart of Carmarthenshire. Bursting with galleries, craft shops and fashionable boutiques it sits on the edge of the Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog). From the town, head out to the Tywi Valley past the St Teilo’s well, known for its healing properties, and into the National Trust parkland at Dinefwr. Here you will find Dinefwr Castle, which was once the seat of a regional prince and now sits atop a hill as a picturesque ruin which overlooks the valley. Further on through the parkland you’ll find Newton House. This grand country home sits in Capability Brown gardens which contrasts with the Gothic exterior of the historic house. Wind your way back to the town through the woodland which is captivating in spring with a carpet of bluebells.

Cenarth board walk along the river Teifi - Discover Carmathenshire

Cenarth board walk along the river Teifi. Credit @carmscouncil

8. Cenarth and the River Teifi

The picturesque village of Cenarth is probably best accessed by this stunning riverside walk along the River Teifi. Start at the ancient market town of Newcastle Emlyn with its medieval castle and tales of myth and legend. Some say this is the place where the last dragon in Britain was killed. In Cenarth you’ll find dramatic river falls and an unusual museum of coracles – one of humanity’s oldest forms of river transport. Rest up in one of the riverside teashops or traditional Welsh Inns before heading back down the river to complete your walk.

National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne. Credit: @carmscouncil

National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne. Credit: @carmscouncil

​Unsurprisingly spring is also when local flora bursts into colour. A visit to two of Carmarthenshire’s iconic gardens, Aberglasnay and National Botanic Garden of Wales, is a must. You may also be able to taste springtime in one of Carmarthenshire’s renowned restaurants, pubs or markets offering fresh local produce.​

This tourism initiative is jointly funded by UK Government Levelling Up Fund and Carmarthenshire County Council.

To learn more visit Discover Carmarthenshire.