Carmarthen, lying above the River Twyi, grew up around a Roman fort, but is much better known as the birth place of myth's most famous wizard, Merlin. Indeed the Welsh name Caerfyrddin means Merlin's City. According to legend he put a spell on a tree, which is in Priory Street, and it bears the grim warning, "When Merlin’s oak shall tumble down, Then shall fall Carmarthen town".
Carmarthen is the largest city in West Wales and unlike most of the Anglicised south you will often hear Welsh spoken around town. It boasts some impressive architecture; as well as the castle ruins there are some attractive medieval buildings, the 18th century Guildhall and the Georgian splendour of Lammas St. For more information visit the Heritage Centre near the river, or go to the Carmarthenshire Museum in the Bishop’s Palace at nearby Abergwili.
Carmarthen makes a good base for exploring the Brecon Beacons.
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