Monday, 22 July 2013


Today we drove into Carmarthen as we were staying a little way out of town  just to see Merlin's Town it sits on the banks of the River Tywi some 10km from the estuary of the three rivers at Carmarthen Bay.

Aberglasney spectacularly set in the beautiful Tywi valley of Carmarthenshire, Aberglasney House features one of the finest gardens in Wales. Aberglasney Gardens have been an inspiration to poets since 1477, and one of the interesting features is a yew tunnel planted in the 18th century by the Dyer family believed to be the only yew tunnel in Britain planted as a single row.  It now proudly stands as one of the most stunning attractions in the gardens, when they had grown tall they were bent over to form an extended arch. Their trunks have spread and their branches have fused so that today it is hard to count how many separate trees commingle in the amazing yew growing gallery. A cloister garden parapet allows you to walk along the top of the walls for views over the garden below.

The Upper Walled Garden

The Cloister Garden

A little creature of the forest came to say hello and welcome us.

The Sunken Garden

The Wooded Garden

Kevin amongst what I think are the most prehistoric of plants

Another forest friends showing us the way

Bishop Rudd's Walk
The marvellous Yew Tunnel
We then visited the Henrhyd Falls famed to be a beautiful waterfall with an unbroken drop. Unfortunately due to the amazing weather we have been experiencing and the lack of rain the waterfall today was not really more than a trickle. It is in a deep wooded gorge and can only be reached by walking down a very steep footpath. At the bottom of the gorge,a footbridge crosses the River Nant Llech which takes you closer to the falls. Henrhyd Falls are the highest in South Wales at 90 feet (27 metres).

Due to the lack of water and dry conditions getting behind the waterfall was not a problem

Our next stop was again for another waterfall this time the Merlincourt Falls a spectacular eighty foot high waterfall on a tributary of the Neath River which was painted by Turner in 1794. The reserve includes 12 acres of upland broad-leaved woodland which ascends steeply from the narrow gorge of the Melincourt Brook. Because of the local humid atmosphere in this narrow valley, twenty species of ferns have been recorded including green spleenwort, brittle bladder-fern, hay-scented buckler fern and Wilson's filmy fern.

Continuing on we then visited the Aberdulais Tin Works & Waterfall is one of the most famous waterfalls of Wales and has long been a favourite visiting place for artists, writers and travellers. Set in a steep gorge, this place demonstrates the power of water and its impact on industry. There are traces of the 400-year history, from 1584, including a visit by the famous artist JMW Turner. An early water-powered tin works was the last industry here. Today the waters of the River Dulais are used to make Aberdulais Falls self-sufficient in environmentally friendly energy. It has the largest electricity-generating waterwheel in Europe. In full spate, 160,000,000 litres of water tumble over the famous waterfall. And it's been the driving force for 400 years of industrial innovation. Throughout the long history of Aberdulais, the wheels that have turned the power of water into industrial wealth, a tradition that continues even now. The chimney stack dominates the view as you walk up the riverbank path. It was used to carry away smoke and waste gases produced by the furnaces used in the tinplate manufacturing process.

The largest electricity generating water wheel in Europe.

Aberdulais Waterfall

Wales was once the largest producer of tin plate in the world.

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