Dylan Thomass Boat House
Laugharne Castle

Laugharne Accommodation and Holiday Guide

Introduction

“A legendary lazy little black magical bedlam by the sea” – described by it’s most famous resident, Dylan Thomas.

Laugharne – Talacharn

Pronounced Larn, this delightful little village on the Taf estuary is the inspiration for the town of Llareggub, in Thomas’s “Under Milk Wood”, which he wrote here.

The village is small and approaching from the North, Church Street rolls into Clifton Street, which becomes King Street. From here the road bears around to the right and to the left where Market Street and Wogan Street lead to Laugharne Castle.

Brief History of Laugharne

The castle is an enchanting ruin, which was built in the 12th and 13th centuries. Sir John Perrot turned it into a gentleman’s mansion in Tudor times, and the combination of the two makes for an interesting building. Turner painted it and Thomas occasionally worked in the summerhouse. For fabulous views over the village, you can climb to the top of one of the two original towers. Another famous Welsh writer stayed at the castle house from 1934 and 1942, Richard Hughes author of “A High Wind in Jamaica”.

Attractions in Laugharne

One of the highlights of the village is a visit to his boathouse, at the end of a narrow lane and perched above the estuary, it is a museum and is kept as it was when Thomas lived here. The writing shed looks as though he has only just left, with crumpled up papers and bottle of beer on the desk. The living room has remained intact and you can listen to the great man himself read his work through the radio. It is truly a treat to those who love language, to listen to Thomas reading “Under Milk Wood”.

Thomas’s old drinking hole, Brown’s hotel, no accommodation despite the name, and unfortunately closed at the moment, is situated on King Street, and one of the main streets to run through the town. Although the bar looks much the same with the old cast iron table still sitting in an alcove, and there is a small amount of memorabilia, it is first and foremost a pub and not a shrine.


Events in Laugharne

Every three years the Laugharne festival takes place, showcasing local talent and businesses. The next one is scheduled for 2009, although there will be a series of events from 30th July to 4th August 2007.

Click here for Laugharne festival information

Activities in Laugharne

Dylan’s walk is a 1.5 mile circular walk that heads north from the castle and follows the coast, heading back inland via a 17th century farm and St martin’s church.
Heading south from the castle is another 0.5 mile circular walk via St John’s hill. Both have fantastic views and are very picturesque.


Wining & Dining in Laugharne

For such a small place, Laugharne offers plenty of choices for eating and drinking, although they get booked up quickly in the summer so it’s best to reserve ahead. The Owl and Pussycat Tearooms, and The Pea Green Boat café situated close to the castle offer excellent lunches, including cawl, a Welsh stew of leeks, potatoes and lamb. For an evening meal try The Stable Door Restaurant, The Portreeve’s Carvery or The Cors Restaurant, which offer more upmarket menu options. Alternatively, the pubs in the town offer good food and beer, try the New Three Mariners, an airy place with large comfy sofas and a good menu.


Shopping in Laugharne

Quicksilver on Market lane sells high quality hand made jewellery at very reasonable prices. They also undertake commissions. World of Wales on King Street has a good selection of Welsh arts and crafts.


Nearby Attractions & Towns

Five miles down the road from Laugharne is the seaside resort of Pendine, made famous in the 1920s by a number of attempts at the land speed record. The beach at Pendine is over 6 miles long, and in 1927 Malcolm Campbell sped into the record books at a roaring 174.88mph. The previous record holder, Mr J.G. Parry-Thomas, thought he could beat this and made the attempt a few weeks later in a car called Babs. Babs was chain driven and had an aircraft engine, and as they sped along the beach, the car exploded and Parry –Thomas was killed, decapitated by the chain. Initially Babs was recovered, but then buried in the sand until 1969 when it was recovered and restored. Babs now makes annual appearances at the Museum of Speed in Pendine during the summer.
Opening Dates
Easter Holidays - 31st October
Friday - Monday
Closed 1st November until Easter Holiday
Opening Times: 10.00 - 1.00, 1.30 - 5.00
Admission free
Telephone: +44 01994 453488

The main base for the speed attempts was the Beach Hotel, and mementos and photographs of those hedonistic days are still on display.
The small town of Whitland just a couple of miles from Pendine, is an historic town. It was the scene of the first all Wales assembly. In 930ad, king of Deheubarth, Hywel Dda called upon representatives from all the other Welsh Kingdoms to join him in setting up a series of laws that would amalgamate all the local traditions into one common code. The code was remarkably egalitarian, for example, bastard children were given the same rights as legitimate ones and equal division of land between spouses should they separate. These laws are inscribed on stone tablets at the commemorative centre .


Tourist Information

There is no tourist information centre in Laugharne, although it is such a small place that it is easy to navigate without one. Also the locals are very friendly and always eager to help.

Parking

There are small car parks close to the castle and The Owl and Pussycat Tearooms.

Churches

St Martin’s church, is in the centre of Laugharne. In the graveyard, Dylan Thomas and his wife Caitlin are buried together and marked with a simple white cross.


Doctor

Laugharne Surgery
The Clinic, Wogan St, Laugharne, Carmarthen, Dyfed SA33 4SP
Tel: 01994 427666


 

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015