Laugharne is remembered nowadays above all as the place where Dylan Thomas ,the wayward poetic genius wrote some of his best work. It is a township nestling along the Taf estuary about 8 miles south west of Carmarthen along the A48. It was originally a Norman town,and its stone fortress was used to defend the eastern routeway into Little England(nowadays known as Pembrokeshire). The township itself is steeped in history and its castle and streets are clustered into a little embayment on the western side of the river Taf. The estuary itself used to be used by big ships and boats centuaries ago but is now so silted up only smaller craft can use it. Beside the castle,the church with its battle- mented tower are also a reminder of the tonships Norman past. Also a number of traditions that are ancient and unique to the town still remain. Although called a township it is actually no bigger than a small village. ST.MARTINS CHURCH A must to visit. The church itself is open between 11am and 1 pm most days and they have a uniquley carved wooden screen and the graveyard can be interesting to peruse around.Here you will also find the grave of Dylan Thomas the poet and his Wife Caitlin. THE BOAT HOUSE Nestled right along the estuary , a lovely walk to get there,peaceful and a great view of the surrounding area. Here Dylan Thomas wrote some of his best work ,you actually go past his old writing shed,which, is left as he left it to get to the Boat House. The play "Under Milk Wood" was written here and below is an excerpt from a poem he wrote on his 35th birthday wich typifies the Taf estuary as you look out onto it. In the mustardseed sun, By full tilt river and switchback sea Where the cormorants scud, In his house on stilts high among beaks And palavers of birds This sandgrain day in the bent bay's grave He celebrates and spurns His driftwood thirty
-fifth wind turned age; Herons spire and spear. THE CASTLE An interesting few hours can be spent here looking around and they have a huge round tower you can climb up for a birds eye veiw of the township. The gardens are very nice here and the paths have been made out of cockle shells. THE BROWNS HOTEL Here you will find all the characters of Laugharne congregate,and it was the regular drinking haunt of Dylan and Caitlin.I do not know how many dart boards have been sold here to American tourists on the pretext that they had been played upon by Dylan Thomas at very high prices!!!! They also possess in the Hotel the bed that used to belong to Dylan and Caitlin and even Pierce Brosnan went there last year to try and purchase it without luck.It made the headlines in the local paper at the time too! TRADITIONS Laugharne has a Mayor as it is a town and also a Portreeve. They also have a court which is not anything to do with the law but more to do with tradition,this is held once fortnightly in the Town hall,and they do make some decisions to do with events and amenties within the town itself. The Court also owns land in Laugharne which it rents out to individuals during a twelve month period and if you have lived in Laugharne for more than a year you get to be a Burgess and this gives you the power of a vote but THIS IS MEN ONLY!!! A common walk happens in the summer once every three years where all the locals walk the actual township boundaries.Everyone gets very drunk very tired and very muddy. ARCHITECTURE Narrow streets some of which are still cobbled ,Victorian 3 tier houses in some streest and little cottages in others. AMENITIES Plenty of pubs and good restuarants,my favorite being "The Cors" which is very small but the food is excellant and they also do B&B too. There are two cafes and a fish and chip shop. There is also a nice park which is well kept. Th
ere is a car boot sale on a Wednesday. There are also several sandy beaches nearby such as Pendine,Amroth,Saundersfoot and Tenby. All in all well worth the visit. Visit their website www.laugharne.co.uk for more information about Laugharne and its surrounding area.
If you are a townie living in England and want to get away from it all go to any of the small towns or villages in Dyfed. Theres loads of great B & B s , some great walks and lots of castles and other things to do. The scenery is breathtaking and did you know that from the top of every castle, you can see another castle. Remember Wales is famous for being wet and yes it usually is so be prepared.........take your brollie and/or a good wet coat and of course waterproof footwear. Don't expect much in the way of nightlife but there are loads of excellent pubs serving good food at reasonable prices. We've been to Dyfed loads of times and never get bored with it and always seem to run out of time before we've had chance to do everything we planned. Some of the craft shops are a bit pricey but then they are usually run by English not Welsh people. So go on, give it a try.
EVERYONE should at least have one holiday in Tenby in their lifetime. I actually live about 15 miles from the old town but I regularly take day-trips just to wander round the town - the 'Pound Shops' are a firm favourite ... yes, everything costs just £1 - the beaches are clean and for the more intellectual visitor it's a historical treasure. B&B's are plentiful or for families the caravan sites are close to all amenities with entertainment and indoor activities for those occasional wet days. The one thing I've had a problem with is car parking which can be difficult for someone like myself who is disabled. The answer to that of course is either to stay somewhere within walking distance of the amenities or get up very early in the morning!