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Meandering along the winding roads of the Welsh countryside, I can see why over one million tourists come here every year. Beautiful, lush green countryside and quaint villages accompany me all the way to my accommodation in small, historic town Laugharne, which lies elegantly on the estuary of the River Tâf on the south coast of Carmarthenshire.
I’m lucky enough to be staying in a magnificent self-catering lodge at the stunning Dylan Coastal Resort, which has recently undergone an impressive £20 million refurbishment. The striking property sits grandly on the hillside, and is the perfect place to relax with a cup of Welsh brew and locally baked Tregroes waffle.
What’s it like?
There are a range of lodges in the resort to choose from, featuring immaculate open-plan living areas, modern furnishings, balconies, hot tubs and sweeping views across the estuary. Residents can also take advantage of the state-of-the-art £7 million Milk Wood House Spa, which offers relaxation and recuperation with treatments by marine brand Ishga, a Technogym and infinity pool overlooking the sensational Carmarthen Bay.
You’ll also find a world-class mezzanine dining facility called the Milk Wood House Bar and Restaurant on site. The restaurant prides itself on being wellness focused and serves fresh, locally-sourced food, including seafood and pizzas topped with seasonal and sustainable ingredients.
What is there to do in the area?
1. Walk through the life of Dylan Thomas
Welsh poet and writer Dylan Thomas spent most of his working life in Laugharne with his wife Caitlin and their three children. The beautiful Dylan Thomas Birthday Walk gives an introduction to his life and work. Start in town and head for around two miles uphill through the beautiful forest along the estuary. On the way, you’ll get an opportunity to visit Thomas’ quaint boathouse and writing shed, where he produced some of his most famous literature. You can even visit his home near the town centre, his grave at Saint Martin’s church, as well as his favourite local watering hole at Brown’s Hotel.
2. Visit Laugharne Castle
I’d highly recommend exploring inside the Norman Laugharne Castle and uncovering its fascinating history (cadw.gov.wales; entry from £4). It’s possible to walk around the grounds, where there are benches available to sit and enjoy a sandwich from one of the local tea shops if the weather’s nice. The Owl & Pussycat was certainly a treat – a salmon and crab baguette costs £6. If you’re looking for a decent coffee, I’d head to a quirky delicatessen called The Ferryman (theferrymandeli.co.uk).
My dinner venue of choice would have to be Dexters Steak House & Grill at Brown’s hotel (browns.wales). The interior is delectable, the staff are extremely welcoming and you can enjoy a sumptuous meal and nice bottle of wine for around £45-£50 a head. Be sure to book well in advance and bring cash with you, as some venues don’t accept card.
3. Head to the seaside at Tenby
Located around 30 minutes’ drive away in the equally stunning county of Pembrokeshire Tenby is a bustling seaside town, with plenty of attractive beaches, charming cafes and a number of outstanding restaurants and pubs to choose from. Enjoy a homemade pasty for around £3-4 from the famous Pembrokeshire Pasty & Pie (parcelsofmagic.com) or even a couple of scoops from Tenby’s Ice Cream parlour on a nice sunny day.
The town is definitely worth a visit just to see the distinctively colourful houses along the harbour front, with ample opportunities to get that postcard perfect picture.
How to plan your trip
Luxury Lodges (luxurylodges.com) offers a minimum two-night stay at the Dylan Coastal Resort in a Ferry Hill lodge from £1,315. Lodges are also available to buy.