One of the most hidden and spectacular parts of Carmarthenshire is hidden in the far north of the county.
Just before you cross the Bridge over the meandering Tywi in to Llandovery, take a left and head towards Cilycwm and the Llyn Brianne reservoir and on to some very wild country with some of the best upland oak forests in Britain. It’s a long way up, but but it’s well worth it to feel the seclusion of this quiet corner of Carmarthenshire.
This is where legendary mystical ,mythical drover part time wizard and robber Twn Sion Cati resided when he was being pursued by the authorities. He’s a kind of Welsh Robin Hood. His hideaway cave is nestled in the steep wooded hills here sometime centuries ago. Nobody really knows if he was a real character. I suspect he was based on a number of characters. It doesn’t matter! read about him here http://bit.ly/1qq1RzO It will add to the aura and atmosphere of your visit here, he’s an absolutely fascinating character.
There is an RSPB Reserve here which is really worth a look at the place comes alive in the Spring and summer when youll hear and see pied flycatchers, redstarts, common sandpipers, and grey wagtails bounding and chattering around the oak woodlands .They are trying to reintroduce the red a squirrel here! I’m also sure they must have filmed Lord of the Rings here it’s a spectacular valley.
Up above the woodland is the epic Llyn Brianne reservoir . there is a lovely meandering road that will take you out on to some seriously wild moorland that stretches north all the way to Machynlleth and North Wales. Check out Soar y Mynydd chapel here. It’s where the people and farmers of this remote and wild part of Wales used to worship. This is known as the Cambrian Mountains but I prefer the older Welsh Elenydd. A lot more people used to live up here but that old world has largely gone although some farms still pepper the moorland. To be honest with you I think we are in Ceredigion by now but it doesn’t matter! Check it out, its wild. Don’t get stuck in the snow though in the winter as you’re a long way from anywhere!
We filmed at this particular spot with our couple having a snowball fight! https://vimeo.com/161601183 My main aim was to shoot them looking over the lake at the top. A very Romantic Caspar David Freidrich shot check out his painting ‘The Wanderer’. However as we climbed the snow got deeper and deeper forcing us to turn back. I thought well how can I rescue this shoot? when I thought a snow ball fight between the two may work! It think it works well. I was hoping for one of those bright winter days but it was not to be. The view looking down the valley is spectacular, one of my favourites in the whole county. We would return here to film some drone shots latter in the year when there were leaves on the trees.
Right we are heading for the beach! Yes the beach! it’s about an hour drive from here or possibly more actually. So not far. Yes Carmarthenshire has epic beaches too! we are going to Llansteffan a stunning beach overlooked by a medieval castle. But on your way take a detour via Talley a gorgeous village nestling in a wooded valley with an enormous abbey in the middle. Head for the gorgeous little village of Abergorlech this is real backwoods Carmarthenshire. Steep wooded valleys and braying cows grazing in lush wild flower meadows. Head down this secret little valley which hardly anybody goes to and you’ll get to Brechfa, another stunning little village. There is something so utterly intrinsically welsh about this part of Carmarthenshire,untouched and timeless. Traditional family owned sheep farms pepper the hillsides, rusty old Massey Ferguson tractors chugging along leafy lanes with a gaggle of sheepdogs taking up the rear. Yes you’ll have to reverse!
Follow this road down and you’ll eventually come to Carmarthen and find your way to Llansteffan. The beach here is an absolute gem. Its overlooked by the spectacular LLansteffan castle. The other side of the Tywi estuary at Ferryside you will see the train run regularly along the rim of the shoreline. Around the corner from Llansteffan when the tide is out you can get to Scotts Bay a beautiful hidden cove. You can see down to Laugharne here, across the three pronged estuary and to Pembrokeshire beyond. We filmed a bit of the romantic promo here using the gimbal and the GH4 getting lovely movement off an old ship wreck embedded in to the beach.
So where to stay for the night tonight….I’ve got a treat in store for you that will send you back in time while look up at one of the best starlit skies in Britain..which are also back in time of course if you catch my drift! We filmed a stargazing promo here which was a lot of fun although challenging. find out where this http://bit.ly/2h0xEG9 is in the blog ‘A great place for stargazing in Carmarthenshire’