The oldest town in Wales, Carmarthen is steeped in history and is the perfect place to absorb Welsh culture. Famed for its Roman heritage and connection to Arthurian legend, in recent years the town has developed a vibrant, cosmopolitan reputation, boasting lively bars and restaurants alongside two shopping centres with lots of little independents. Living in Carmarthen will provide you with a perfect base for exploring local beauty-spots, castles, rolling countryside and South Wales’ stunning coastline.
There really is so much to see, and these tips should help you get your time at UWTSD off to a good start.
Food and Drink
Carmarthen has a brilliant reputation for food and drink. From its indoor market to independent coffee shops; breweries to gin terraces, if you’re a foodie you’ll be spoilt for choice.
SU President Becky Ricketts recommends Florentino’s for groups of friends, dates, or meals out with family when they visit. Or if you want to venture a little further out of town, try Wrights Food Emporium in Llanarthne. Visit for delicious, locally sourced breakfast, lunch or dinner or just mooch around their deli.
If you’re looking for a place to grab something to eat while you study, try Yr Atom. A Welsh language café, its friendly and relaxed feel makes it the perfect place to brush up on your Welsh language skills whilst indulging in a monster milkshake.
Want something a little healthier? Specialising in vegan, homegrown and organic food, The Warren has a rustic interior but a warm and friendly vibe. They also host regular quiz nights, live music events and a monthly LGBTQ brunch.
There is something to suit everyone in Carmarthen, so don’t forget to bring your Totum Card and make the most of your student discount.
The Great Outdoors
Living in Carmarthen, you will be in the perfect spot to explore Wales’ brilliant coastline and areas of outstanding natural beauty. Sue Ainsworth from the school of Social Justice and Inclusion says;
Take time from your studies to explore the beautiful surrounding coast and countryside. Take the 222 service from Carmarthen Bus Station to picturesque Laugharne, where the brilliant Keeping Faith series was filmed… Make the most of your time in beautiful South West Wales!
It’s only half an hour away from campus, and is also home to Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse, overlooking the sea towards the Gower Coast.
Alternatively, just a short bus ride away from the campus is the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Here you’ll find a variety of themed gardens and the world’s largest single-span glasshouse, along with a tropical butterfly house and British bird of prey centre. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic and a sunny day out. Visit their website to find out what’s on over the coming month.
Arts and Culture
Carmarthen is packed with galleries and arts spaces by day, and alive with places to experience live music and performances by night. You’ll want to keep an eye on what’s going on at the following venues;
- The Parrot is a small live music venue, record store, bar and bottle shop. Visit for craft beer and pizza and their popular open mic night. Check out their Facebook page for a full list of events
- A destination for varied and diverse arts events, keep an eye out for your favourite musicals, comedians and shows at the Lyric Theatre
- Make sure you’re around to catch March’s Merlin Festival, a vibrant street festival of music and performance to celebrate Carmarthen’s links to the Arthurian legend
If you’re completely new to the area, you may want to take a look at Hwyl Events, who offer real Welsh experiences to visitors to Carmarthenshire. Activities include music, dance, stories and food which celebrate and showcase the culture of Wales in and fun and engaging way. Keep an eye out for their events.
The Student Experience Department’s Steve Davies says Carmarthen is a great place to be if you’re interested in sport;
It is home to many sports teams, with the Carmarthen Quins RFC playing in the Welsh Premiership, and Carmarthen Town FC playing in the Welsh Premier Football league. Also, a brand new, half a million-pound, state-of-the-art Velodrome has just been built in the town for cycling enthusiasts… Not to mention the Scarlets, last-season’s European Champions Cup semi-finalists are just half an hour’s drive away.
Have we missed something important? Share your tips for getting to know Carmarthen with us on @UWTSDStudents social media channels.