Llandovery is one of those small towns in Wales that you could easily miss off your Wales itinerary. There are actually lots of reasons to visit Llandovery though.
It’s a historic market town at the northern edge of Carmarthenshire and on the Western edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Llandovery is also a gateway town to the picturesque Cambrian mountains.
Proudly Welsh and community-focused, visiting Llandovery is a chance to immerse yourself in Welsh culture and heritage.
Reasons to visit Llandovery Wales
Llandovery is renowned as a famous former droving town in the 1700s, who would herd hundreds of livestock through the town.
Drovers gathered from large parts of Wales before their huge cattle drives to markets across the UK.
Another nod to the town’s history is a huge steel statue of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd Fychan, overlooking the town.
He was a Carmarthenshire landowner who was executed in Llandovery by Henry IV of England for his support of Owain Glyndŵr‘s Welsh rebellion.
Wales market town
This charming market town is well-positioned to explore the surrounding national parks, hiking trails, waterfalls and the breathtaking Welsh landscapes.
It also has it’s own charms including boutique shops, cafes and a selection of high-quality places to stay
Spend some time exploring the nearby Brecon Beacons, the Usk Reservoir and the towns of Llanwrtyd Wells and Llandeilo.
Check out my guide as to why you need to pay Llandovery a visit.
Browse boutique shops in Llandovery
Llandovery has quite a few boutique shops and independent cafes considering it’s a small town.
Spend a morning searching for local produce, cakes, books, furnishings, gifts and a variety of vintage treasures.
There’s also a farmer’s market held on the last Saturday of every month. Pick up fresh produce from local producers and farmers.
One of the larger stores, Davies & Co, is a fantastic shopping stop to pick up beautiful Welsh blankets, trendy, upcycled furniture and unique gifts.
Discover the Brecon Beacons
Llandovery is right on the edge of the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park. Spend a day hiking, biking and exploring waterfalls in picturesque surroundings.
There are several hiking trails and circular routes you can walk in Brecon, all with different levels of difficulty.
Many people come to Brecon to walk up Pen y Fan, the highest peak in South Wales.
Why not summit Pen-y-Fan with a professional outdoor guide? Let a local expert guide you up the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons, through rugged Welsh wilderness.
Brecon 4 waterfalls valley
Book a Brecon Beacons waterfall tour and walk the iconic 4 waterfalls valley. It’s an impressive collection of steep-sided valleys with gushing rivers, that create unique caves and waterfalls.
Walk with a small group, led by a local expert, on a fun and informative half-day hike.
Learn about Welsh heritage
It always helps to learn more about the heritage and the culture of the place you are visiting. It can really help put a destination into the proper context.
This is especially true for Wales, as it has a long and complex history to unpack.
Learn more about the history of the town at the Llandovery Museum and Visitor Gateway, located near the Norman Castle ruin.
Here you can learn about how Llandovery has played a key role in Welsh history.
You can also get up to speed on local iconic figures such as Twm Sion Cati, the ‘Welsh robin hood’ and hymn writer William Williams Pantycelyn, he is best known for the words, ‘Guide me O Thou Great Redeemer’.
Eat like a local
Start your day in Llandovery with a proper Welsh fry up at West End Café in Llandovery, a firm favourite with locals and bikers.
This is a no-nonsense, traditional café serving gigantic breakfasts and steaming mugs of tea in the morning.
There’s no deconstructed avocado on toast here, just mighty fine breakfasts for big appetites.
Fancy a picnic for lunch? Pick up some freshly baked bread, cakes, scones and doughnuts from La Patisserie and head to a nearby beauty spot.
Treat yourself to dinner at charming Gastropub in Llandovery. Feast upon seasonal dishes made with fresh local produce at the Castle Hotel.
The menu features hearty pub classics such as beer-battered fish and chips, chicken curry rump steaks and burgers.
Explore Dolaucothi Gold Mines
Spend the afternoon exploring ancient gold mines dating back to the Roman era at nearby Dolaucothi Gold Mines.
Pop on a hard hat and traverse atmospheric mines with one of the knowledgeable and enthusiastic tour guides.
It really is an impressive skill to bring dark and eerie caves to life. The guides managed to paint a picture of life underground and the hardships and challenges miners would have faced.
The National Trust have done an excellent job of maintaining the remoteness and authenticity of the site, rather than turning it into an overly gaudy tourist attraction.
Have a picnic at Llyn Brianne Dam
This magnificent, manmade dam is Britain’s highest dam at an impressive 91 metres tall and had super scenic surroundings.
It’s a perfect place for a picnic stop and a place to get some great landscape photos. At night it also acts as a Dark Sky Discovery Site for stargazing in the Cambrian Mountains.
Ride the Heart of Wales line to Llanwrtyd Wells
Catch the train from Llandovery to Llanwrtyd Wells and experience riding the Heart of Wales Line.
This scenic train line runs through the rural heartlands of Wales and connects smaller communities and rather rustic stations.
It’s particularly loved by day-trippers and walkers and you will see many of them on board, clutching walking poles and thermos flasks. Watch out for the spectacular viaduct crossing at Cynghordy!
You can then spend a few hours exploring the kooky town of Llanwrtyd Wells, the home of Bog snorkelling in Wales.
Where to stay in Llandovery?
Llandovery has a brilliant range of accommodation if you’re looking for somewhere to stay for the weekend?
Choose from local hotels, charming cottages, traditional B&B’s, quirky AirBnb’s and glamping pods.
You can find a hotel to suit your budget and length of time by using online price comparison sites such as Booking.com to find the best hotel deals in the area.
Some of the best places to stay in Llandovery include:
Why not rent a room from a Llandovery local with Airbnb? There are a plethora of unique accommodation options in Llandovery, including yurts, cottages and riverside pods.
By booking a Llandovery Airbnb you can take your pick of accommodation located in more residential areas of the city and even stay with a local.
If you have never used Airbnb before you can have £34 towards your first booking now!
Stay at Basel Cottage
Looking for a dog-friendly cottage in Llandovery? Spend the evening at 5-star Basel Cottage.
This is a self-catering rural retreat conveniently located just down the road from Llandovery. It’s a great place to get away from it all.
Unwind in their converted, self-catering cottage that is fully equipped with everything you need for a countryside break. Pop a few logs on the fire and relax in cosy surroundings.
Stay at Cambrian Escapes Cilycwm
Stay in nearby Ciltcym at the fantastic Cambrian Escapes. Their charming site consists of three self-catering cottages surrounded by rural Welsh countryside.
It’s an awesome place to stay in the Cambrian Mountains, especially if you are a fan of stargazing.
These unique cottages are fully equipped with kitchen facilities, luxurious bathrooms, log fire and quirky antiques.
We stayed in their New York Cottage, it’s a rustic, mezzanine cottage that with original features, including a free-standing bath, lovely log burner and a veranda with views.
Their gorgeous cottages are perfect couples holiday destination in Wales. They are also a great location for star gazing and exploring Llandovery and the Cambrian Mountains area.
As you can see there are many reasons to visit Llandovery, it’s a charming town that is ideally located to explore both the Cambrian Mountains and the Brecon Beacons.
What do you think of my guide To Llandovery? Are you planning to visit this charming Market town? Let us know in the comments below.