Castles, Country Parks and Houses - Apart from the garden heritage, Carmarthenshire also has a wealth of historic attractions including Castles, Country Parks and Stately homes. Some of the most popular castles are Carreg Cennen and Dinefwr both situated in Llandeilo, Dryslwyn, Kidwelly, Laugharne and Llansteffan. Country Parks include Pembrey with its sandy beach, walks and cycle trails, Llyn Llech Owain which is set in 64 hectares of land with a forest track for walking and cycling, Gelli Aur with its commanding views across the beautiful Towy Valley and Parc Howard Mansion and Gardens which explores Llanelli’s past. Set in the heart of Llanelli is Llanelly House which reopened in 2014 having been extensively restored. The visitor is given a fascinating glimpse into the characters and history of this Georgian mansion.
Outdoor Pursuits – Apart from the Country Parks Brechfa Forest is renowned for its cycle tracks which range in difficulty to suit families as well as the more experienced biker. The forest tracks also offer excellent- walking many are only a short walk from Bryn Marlais cottage. Further afield there is the Millenium Coastal path which runs from the National Wetland Centre in Llanelli to Burry Port.
For the more adventurous the Llandysul Paddlers Canoe Club is only a short drive away. They have no age or experience limitations and all are welcome.
Family attractions - include Folly Farm, which is a perfect family day out – meet the animals and join in the activities; Oakwood Theme Park with thrilling rides for everyone; the Gwilli Railway where you can step back in time and ride the steam train; the fascinating Dolaucothi Gold Mines used from Roman times to the 20th century and the National Wetland Centre –‘the wild side of Wales’.
Museums – For a more leisurely day out why not visit our local County Museum at Abergwilli or the Museum of Speed at Pendine which celebrates the land speed records made at Pendine sands and the exploits of Parry Thomas and ‘Babs’.
Dylan Thomas – for lovers of literature Dylan Thomas had his roots based in West Wales. He lived most of his life in Laugharne and produced much of his output in the famous Boathouse. However, he also has connections with other West Wales towns including Lampeter, Newquay and Aberaeron.
Nearby Towns – apart from the County town of Carmarthen which mixes individual shops in olde world back streets with modern shopping facilities including Debenhams, Tesco, Morrisons, a modern cinema, other interesting towns which are well worth exploring are Llandeilo, Llandovery, Lampeter and Aberaeron.
A supply of Tourist leaflets is all always available at the holiday cottage together with maps of local walks and attractions in and around Brechfa and Carmarthenshire.
Set at the southern reaches of the Cambrian Mountains, Brechfa Forest is perfect for outdoor pursuits including walking, cycling, horse riding, bird watching, fishing, and sight seeing and is served by a network of paths, tracks and quiet lanes. Brechfa Forest is one of the largest areas of Natural Resources Wales (formerly the Forestry Commission Wales) land in Wales. It includes extensive access tracks for visitors to enjoy on foot or bike, the closest being within a mile of Bryn Marlais.
Local – The Community Stores in Brechfa village is an Aladdin’s cave selling a wide
range of items of use to the holiday maker. Apart from a good range of local produce
and a free to use cash machine, they also stock batteries, plasters, maps, superglue
and even wellingtons! Pubs serving food include the newly refurbished and reopened
Forest Arms in Brechfa village, less than a mile from Byn Marlais. Other local pubs
serving food include The Black Lion at Abergorlech and The Plough at Felingwm Uchaf.
If you want something a little more special then you could try the award winning
restaurant Y Polyn at Capel Dewi. If you are looking for crafts then the Felingwm
Pottery at Felingwm Uchaf is for you.
Gardens - Carmarthenshire is known as the Garden of Wales and is home to the National Botanic Garden of Wales at Llanarthne and also Aberglasney at Llangathen one of the finest gardens in Wales. Both are a short drive from Bryn Marlais Cottage. Another local garden is Norwood Gardens and Tea Room at Llanllwni where you can explore the garden and have a cream tea after!