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/

Our Visits to Cenarth Falls Through the Seasons

Cenarth Falls is a picturesque waterfall on the River Teifi located in the village of Cenarth. It is on the border of Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire. The Teifi is one of the longest rivers in Wales. It cascades over a series of rocky steps to create Cenarth Falls. The waterfall is particularly stunning during times of heavy rainfall when the water flow is at its peak.

Cenarth Falls in September.

The village is such a pretty place with a lovely riverside walk and plenty of cafes for a cream tea.

There are boardwalks along the riverside making the walk easy and accessible. There is a circular walk you can do along the river, then up through woodland and back through the village to the car park.

Cenarth riverside walk
Falls at Cenarth
Cenarth Riverside Walk

The area is also well-known for fishing, and the River Teifi is abundant with salmon and sea trout.

Cenarth Falls in November

In addition to its natural beauty, Cenarth is also famous for its history, with a long-standing tradition of coracle fishing. Coracles are small, round boats made of wicker and coated with tar or bitumen. Fishermen have used these unique vessels for centuries to navigate the river and catch fish. The National Coracle Museum by the river is worth a visit. 

Cenarth Falls and Coracle Museum

There is a Car Park at the Falls. Parking is £3 per car for all day parking (9am – 6pm). Cenarth is easily reached in around 30 minutes from Red Kite & Woodpecker Cottages.

We’ve visited Cenarth three times this year and each time has been so different. First time in May there had been so little rain that the falls were small and you could see much of the underlying rock.
In September they were perfectly flowing. This week after so much rain they are a force of nature, so powerful! Whenever you visit, Cenarth is very pretty.

Here’s a Reel I made for our Instagram showing the different seasons.

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.

Elan Valley Reservoirs & Dams

Elan Valley Reservoirs & Dams

Spectacular Scenery

Information

Name:Elan Valley Reservoirs & Dams

Location: Near Rhayader – 48 miles–80 minutes drive.

Website: Elan Valley Guide

Description

Elan Valley boasts 72 square miles of unspoilt nature and reservoirs. Whilst it is a bit further afield from our cottages than some other attractions, it is one of our favourite days out. The drive there is very scenic and the roads are quiet. 

When you arrive, head to the visitor centre where you can get a guide with maps and find out more about the dams. There is a gift shop, cafe and loos there and they often host exhibitions. You can also pay for parking (£2.50) which then means you can park in any of the car parks around the Estate. 

From the visitor centre you can then choose to drive to the dams and around the reservoirs, head out on foot on one of the walking trails or even hire a bicycle – Cycle Hire Prices.

The reservoirs are scenic but it is the dams which make this a unique place to visit. They are a marvel of engineering but also very beautiful.

The landscape is of national importance for the diversity of lower plants (mosses, liverworts and lichens) and the Estate is the most important area for land birds in Wales. It is covered by 12 separate Sites of Special Scientific Interest. 

The Estate has been awarded an International Dark Sky Park Award and it is filled with a wealth of nocturnal Wildlife which thrives under the very dark skies.

Elan Valley is good to visit all year round as the landscape changes with the seasons. Autumn is a particularly splendid time to go for the colours.