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Laugharne Castle

Visited July 2019

Location Laugharne, Carmarthenshire
Entrance Fee Yes
Railway Station Nearby No
Parking Yes
Facilities Gift Shop, Toilets


Laugharne is a pretty town in Carmarthenshire, with lovely views across the estuary and an impressive castle. It is also associated with writer Dylan Thomas who lived in the town for several years. The house he lived in, called the Boat House, can also be visited.






Laugharne is a very popular tourist destination, especially in summer and its main car park which serves the castle and the town gets very full. We arrived mid morning having already made an early morning visit to Llansteffan Castle and struggled to get parked, finally finding a space after 10 minutes of driving around.


The car park gives a good view of the castle, but the entrance itself is a short walk round the corner onto Wogan Street, which has a clock tower on the corner as a striking landmark. The outer gatehouse, built in the thirteenth century is the entrance to the castle, and just inside its walls is the modern visitor's centre.





Once inside the castle walls the visitor is in the outer ward of the castle, which would have contained buildings such as stables, a smithy and some kitchens. In the eighteenth century this area was landscaped into a garden for the owners, and some of the planting can still be seen today. The outer ward is still a garden today and has several pleasant seating areas, and garden games such as skittles and chess are available.


Visitors enter the castle through the inner gatehouse which this brings you into the inner ward of the castle, and contains the entrance to the keep, which is the only climbable tower on the site. There are some lovely views over the town and the estuary from the top. The castle was built in the Norman times, but a lot of what is left today was the work of Sir John Perrot, who transformed the castle into an Elizabethan mansion. Sir John was also responsible for transforming Carew Castle  in a similar way. He did not really get to enjoy his castles as he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1591 and died a year later.





Today Sir John's castle buildings are quite ruinous and have no roofs or upper storeys, but the castle is picturesque enough for this not to matter. There is a large area of garden for visitors to explore, as well as paths which criss-cross the site and lead to the gazebo. This was built onto the top of an original medieval tower in the eighteenth century.  It was here that the then tenant of the castle, an author called Richard Hughes, wrote his novel Hazard. Hughes was a friend of Dylan Thomas and this is how Thomas came to live in the town.


The castle and grounds are pleasant to visit and very child friendly, there is a children's trail on offer during the summer months, with the clues placed all over the castle grounds to encourage exploration. There is no cafe in the castle grounds but Laugharne has plenty of places to eat. After you have visited the interior of the castle there is a nice walk around the outside of the curtain walls which will take you to Dylan Thomas' house, should you want to visit.





More info:  CADW Laugharne Castle

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