Llangadog and the western villages
Llangadog, Capel Gwynfe, Bethlehem, Trap, Myddfai and Llanddeusant are the villages that make up part of the west of the Brecon Beacons National Park, set in the beautiful Carmarthenshire countryside.
Llangadog is situated in the heart of the Towy Valley half way between Llandeilo and Llandovery, and is a focus for all the neighbouring villages - with an excellent village shop, post office, school and family butchers.Lying on the Heart of Wales Railway, Llangadog is a perfect place to stop off and enjoy the beautiful Towy River and views towards the Black Mountain. The village is well served by good places to stay, eat and drink. There are wonderful opportunities for anglers, and visitors can buy day or weekly permits.
Llangadog Common has been unenclosed grazing since the 13th century and it was a regular stopping place for gypsies in more recent years. At the edge of the common is an old toll house which ran a brisk trade in the 19th century when it charged farmers for collecting lime from the old quarries of the Black Mountain.
Until the 1990s, the fertile Towy valley was the centre of dairying in West Wales, and you can still see the original Llangadog creamery. Llangadog Show is the highlight of the farming year, held on the first Saturday in August and is well worth a visit.
Capel Gwynfe Capel Gwynfe is a small village about 3 miles to the south of Llangadog, with spectacular views of the Black Mountain. The village has a picturesque church dating from 1898 and a chapel. Look out for 2 large woodcarvings of red kites in the village. In years gone by, the village had 2 pubs, a school, 2 smithies, a corn mill and a woollen factory.
The tiny village of Bethlehem, named after its chapel, is located between Llandeilo and Llangadog. Perched on the hillside above the Towy flood plain, the road through the village is a popular route for cyclists.Bethlehem is overlooked by Garn Goch, an impressive Iron Age hill fort which commands fantastic views of the River Towy and across Carmarthenshire. A walk to the top reveals impressive stone walls and banks where you can see mountain ponies roaming freely. Spot a memorial stone on the approach to the hill fort - this was a favourite of Gwynfor Evans, who lived in neighbouring Llangadog and was the first Member of Parliament for the Welsh National Party, Plaid Cymru (1966).
The Post Office is renowned for franking cards at Christmas time and thousands of people each year send their cards to be stamped with the Bethlehem postmark.
Myddfai - The Parish of Myddfai is situated 3 miles south of Llandovery. The scenery is striking, with lanes running through steep wooded valleys giving glimpses of the grandeur of Mynydd Myddfai and the Black Mountain.
At the centre of the parish lies the pretty village of Myddfai with six roads radiating from it providing access to all parts of the community. Most notably, this pretty village was the home of the Physicians of Myddfai, two of whom are commemorated outside the church door.
Myddfai has some well-known neighbours - the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall who have owned a country home near here since 2007 and are regular visitors.
Myddfai Community Hall and Visitor Centre was opened in 2011 by the Royal couple. This superb venue provides state-of-the-art meeting space, as well as informative displays, a cafe and well-stocked gift shop, all run by volunteers for the benefit of the community.
Trap, is a pretty village 4 miles southeast of Llandeilo. A mile to the east, and visible from the village, are the remains of the stunning Carreg Cennen Castle, voted the most romantic ruin in Wales in 2010. Enjoy the panoramic views and the spooky vaulted passageway to an underground cave.
To the south of Trap is the rocky Carreg Dwfn (928 feet), the westernmost hill of the National Park. The village still has a pub, the Cennen Arms, and in 2011 Trap Community Association refurbished the old school into a cafe and information centre. Trap Fishery provides interesting fishing for all the family.
The famous Brecon Carreg Water has its bottling plant located just outside the village.
Don't miss Trap Show held on the final Saturday every July.
Llanddeusant is a beautiful community nestled in the foothills of the Black Mountain, about 5 miles southeast of Llangadog. It comprises a number of small hamlets, including Twynllanan and many scattered farms.
Visitors wishing to see Llyn y Fan will pass through Llanddeusant and its beautiful church. The village name is derived from the meaning "church of two saints", where supposedly Saint Teilo and Saint David met.
Llanddeusant Youth Hostel located next to the church is popular with walkers - just make sure you bring your own provisions, as there are no shops nearby.
Don't miss seeing the Red Kites being fed at the Red Kite Feeding Centre, open every day.
Llanddeusant Show is a popular, local community show always held on the third Saturday in August.