Best Things to do at Dinefwr National Trust

Visiting Dinefwr National Trust – a historic estate located in Carmarthenshire. Dinefwr is known for its grand mansion, extensive parkland, and rich history dating back many centuries. The estate encompasses Dinefwr Castle, Newton House, and a large area of parkland that has been designated as a National Nature Reserve. It is about a 40 minute scenic drive from Red Kite & Woodpecker Cottages. There is a large car park which is free to NT members or £5 for a full day for non-members. The easiest way to find it is with What3Words : Compelled : Trailer : Park

Newton House, Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire, National Trust

Newton House

A Georgian mansion that was built within the estate during the 17th century. It served as the home of the Rhys family, who were descendants of the Lord Rhys. The mansion is a prime example of Georgian architecture and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. It is open to the public and offers visitors a glimpse into the estate’s history. Entry to the house is currently £9 per adult for non NT members.

Dinefwr Signpost © Coedmor Cottages

There is so much to do at Dinefwr. You can explore the castle ruins, tour Newton House, enjoy walks through the parkland, and appreciate the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The estate offers a combination of history, architecture and nature.

Dinefwr Castle, Carmarthenshire, Days Out, National Trust

Dinefwr Castle

A medieval fortress that sits on top of a hill overlooking the River Tywi. It has a strategic location that allowed its occupants to control and monitor the surrounding landscape. The castle has a long history, with its origins dating back to the early 12th century. Over the years, it was the seat of the Lord Rhys, a powerful Welsh prince, and played a significant role in Welsh history during periods of conflict with the English. You can visit the castle for free and the views over the Tywi Valley are stunning.

Views from Dinefwr Castle of the Tywi Valley © Coedmor Cottages

Parkland and Nature Reserve

The parkland surrounding Dinefwr is known for its natural beauty and diverse wildlife. The estate’s landscape includes woodlands, meadows, and the picturesque Dinefwr Deer Park. The park is home to a herd of fallow deer that roam freely, adding to the scenic charm of the area. The estate’s parkland has been designated as a National Nature Reserve, emphasising its ecological importance.

The walks around the estate are beautiful in all seasons. Late spring is especially lovely when the bluebells are out.

Bluebell time at Dinefwr Estate. © Coedmor Cottages
Dinefwr Map

Here’s a handy map showing all the different areas. There are plenty of picnic areas scattered through the estate and also a cafe for refreshments. You can definitely spend a whole day exploring! Find out more on the NT website: National Trust Dinefwr

Photos 1,2,4,6,7, 9 & 12 – © Hawlfraint y Goron / © Crown copyright (2023) Cymru Wales. All other photographs © Coedmor Cottages.

Coed y Foel Woodland Walks

We took a drive out to Coed Y Foel Woodland Nature Reserve a couple of days ago for a walk (about 25 minutes from the cottages). It’s a really beautiful woodland and is a mixture of established broadleaf forest with a more open “nursery woodland”. 

There is a small car park with a few more spaces out on the quiet road.


The older part of the forest is mostly oak and the newly planted part is a mix of hazel, alder and other native species.

There is a pretty steam running through the valley – Ziggy enjoys a cooling dip there. 


It’s a moderately challenging walk but very peaceful and quiet and there are several circular routes you can take to make it more or less challenging. At this time of year there are lots of bilberries to snack on as you walk too!

There are information boards to show you the trails and the route is way marked (although not clearly in some places).

Here’s a little Reel I made for Instagram 😊

See more of our Instagram Reels here:

https://www.instagram.com/coedmorcottages/

Great Summer Walks in Long Wood Community Woodland

Long Wood Community Woodland is just 10 minutes away from Coedmor Cottages in Llanfair Clydogau.

there are 325 acres of woodland which is being managed by the local community. The aim is to restore the non-native plantation areas of the woods to native broadleaved species whilst managing the woodlands as a  community resource.

It is so peaceful and often we are the only ones there when we visit. The views of the Cambrian Mountains are just stunning on a clear day.

The main track through the woods goes all the way to Lampeter if you fancy a proper walk.

Find out more on the website: Long Wood Community Woodland

Walk up Esgair Fraith

Our cottages are only 5 miles away from this brilliant vantage point, so we visit often.  The summit of Esgair Fraith is 415m – it is in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains and has a Bronze Age cairn at the top. 

There are a few different routes to take to get there, but it is only 15-17 minutes drive.

Routes to drive to Esgair Fraith

It’s not a long walk if you park by the old Roman road of Sarn Helen.

Sarn Helen parking

Just a 5 minute walk up the track, through the gate (or over the stile) and then climb the grassy path to the cairn at the top of the hill. Red Kites, Buzzards and Skylarks will be sharing the view with you.

Track to the bottom of the hill
Track from the road up to the stile.
Stile to the hill track
Go over the stile or through the gate
Grassy track
Climb the grassy path.
Cairn on Esgair Fraith
The cairn at the top of the hill.

On a clear day you can see the western edge of the Brecon Beacons to the east. To the south you can see the highest peak of the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire. You can see the sea at Aberaeron to the west. Look northwards to see the Cambrian Mountains and the foothills of Snowdonia. 

Western view to the sea
Looking west you can see the sea!

If you are lucky you may even get to see RAF jets fly by – this has happened to us a couple of times.

Brecon Beacons viewpoint
Look east to see the Brecon Beacons
Dark Clouds from Esgair Fraith
Even on a cloudy day the view is dramatic.

If you want to explore more, head back down the track towards Sarn Helen.

track down to Sarn Helen
Looking back down the track towards the road.

There is another historic site on the other side of the Sarn Helen road which is only a few minutes walk. Careg Y Bwci ( The Goblin Stone) is a site of national importance. Thought to have originally been a Bronze Age burial chamber with standing stone circle, it was then probably used as a Roman signal station – like something from Lord of the Rings!

careg y bwci
stone circle
The Goblin Stone and remains of a stone circle at Careg Y Bwci.

Both sites can be visited in less than a couple of hours – although you may want to stop and sit a while to take in the amazing views – taking a picnic is recommended! If you want to stretch your legs further, there are brilliant walks through the neighbouring Clywedog Forest Plantation too.

New Year in the Snow 2021

We were expecting to have a quiet, uneventful New Year’s Eve this year with Wales being in lockdown and having to cancel our cottage guests. But we woke up to the most stunning sight on New Year’s Eve morning.

Our view on New Year’s Eve morning

It had snowed overnight…and was still coming down quite fast. This was our first proper snow since we moved here in March so we were very excited to see the change in the landscape.

Leigh and Ziggy heading down our driveway.
Our Tree Tunnel looks amazing with a covering of snow.
The beech trees seen from the other side – magical.
Woodpecker Cottage in the snow
The view down our lane…looks like we are locked down in more than one way today!
View of the hillside opposite us.
Lampeter below us looking like Hogsmead. 🧙‍♀️⚡️
The pine forest on the hill opposite the cottages.

On New Year’s Day we went for a longer walk up in the hills behind the cottages. We have permission for ourselves and our guests to walk here from the farmer who owns the land.

The track behind our cottages leads up the hill.
You get even more panoramic views from the very top of the hill behind us.
Walk even further into the next field and you have views in a different direction…and the snow is even deeper up here.
A magical Winter Wonderland a little further over the hills.

We were the first ones to walk on the snow…apart from the foxes, hares and rabbits that had left their tracks. We walked to the top of the hill behind us and then round into the field behind that where there is a byway that goes even higher. The snow got deeper the higher we went.

This is just about a 40 minute walk from the cottages’ front doors. Feels like you could be in Scandinavia.

Walking further down the track you come to the road which then leads you in a circle back to the cottages. The hill back up is steep at the end, but it is worth it! This circular route we took was 5 miles altogether, starting and finishing at the cottage door.

The view from the track back up to the cottages.

What a fabulous start to 2021 – lets hope once the lockdowns are over and the virus is under control we can welcome more guests to share the beauty of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire with us. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Check out our cottages here: Winter Holiday Cottages for Couples.

Our Daily Walks in the Hills During Lockdown

During lockdown we have had plenty to keep us busy but we have also set aside time to explore the countryside around the cottages. In Wales, lockdown rules are especially strict and at the moment we are only allowed to go out once per day for exercise and it has to be very close to home – no driving to get to a beauty spot for walking.

Ziggy doesn’t appreciate the scenery but does enjoy snacking on sheep poop.

Just as well that we live in such a gorgeous place then! ? At this time of year when the meadows behind our cottages are empty or just have sheep, the farmer who owns them doesn’t mind us walking up the hill to get some exercise…and more stunning views. As you get higher even more of the landscape opens up.

The meadow we walk up to get to the top of the hill.
View from the top of the hill

Right at the top is an old abandoned slate quarry and the panorama is so amazing from up there it is worth the effort to climb the hill.

View from the top of the Quarry
On a clear day you can see for miles and miles.

The gorse bushes are now blooming and the colours are unreal. ? We have been blessed with some perfect weather and the bluest of skies. It is so calming spending time just taking it all in and stopping to look at the colours and smell the flowers. Did you know that gorse flowers smell like Pina Colada? ?Why did I never know this before? It is quite an intoxicating aroma – very coconutty!

These colours are straight out of the camera(phone) no adjustments!

Being surrounded by nature does make you slow down – it is so therapeutic. We have so many different birds around us. Red Kites and Buzzards circle overhead and the songs of the robin, coal tit, willow warbler and wren are so musical. We even have a resident hare that visits the farmland behind our picnic meadow – we see him most mornings if we are out early enough.

The view from the bottom of the hill on the way back to the cottages.

We have discovered a few different circular walks that you can do right from the cottages so if you want to stretch your legs and connect with nature when you come to stay we can give you directions…or you can just explore and find them for yourself!

Enjoying the morning sun in the Picnic Meadow.