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Llansteffan Castle, Llansteffan

4.7
#4 of 13 in Historic Sites in Carmarthenshire
Castle Tourist Spot
Llansteffan Castle is a castle overlooking the River Tywi as it enters Carmarthen Bay near the village of Llansteffan in Carmarthenshire, Wales.Prehistoric siteThe castle sits on a much older Iron Age promontory fort, proving Llansteffan has been inhabited for several millennia. The hill's summit can only be reached from one side, and the hill where the castle/fort stands commands the entrance to the River Towy (unlike today, the hill would have been stripped of trees to make foot soldiers vulnerable to attack by archers). The original earthworks can still be seen and were used as part of the modern castle's defence system—the castle proper rests within the earthwork rings.Norman period and afterThe castle was built by the Normans after 1100 as part of their invasion of Wales and granted to the Marmion family before passing to the de Camvilles through marriage.It was captured by Maredudd ap Gruffydd in 1146 against the forces of Maurice FitzGerald, Lord of Lanstephan and his brother William FitzGerald, Lord of Emlyn who were the leading Norman settlers of the region. The castle was retaken by the Normans in 1158. Llywelyn the Great recaptured the castle for the Welsh in 1215 and taken back by the de Camville family sometime after 1223. The castle fell to Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1257 but returned to the de Camvilles by the 1260s.
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Where to stay in Llansteffan

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4.7
  • It's well worth taking the 20 minute gentle uphill stroll from the beach to experience the stunning views from Llansteffan castle. Look out to sea across the estuary towards Cefn Sidan beach and the G...  more »
  • Had a wonderful time playing hide and seek in the castle! Enjoyed the walk up the hill and sliding back down towards the beach! The views are magnificent. Do not miss this!  more »
  • Depends where you park there is a good 20/30 min walk up to the castle but once your up there it is stunning, and its free. If you visit early morning or late afternoon the views are stunning in all d...  more »
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  • Free to explore and a fair amount of the ruins still left to see. There are approximately 4 information signs telling you about the castle and there is one tower remaining that you can climb to the top of. From there you have some beautiful views over the castle and country in the one direction and the beach and sea in the other. There are also some lower parts/rooms of the castle still intact available to enter. To reach the castle, we parked in the beach car park and walked up the path which is a fair little walk and requires a little fitness. After all, you're basically climbing a cliff in a slightly zig zag fashion. However, half way up we joined a country road, so if you can find your way on to that, then it may be possible to get closer so there is less of a walk. But there is still a slope up to the castle from the road. Plus the castle itself is on a bit of a slope overall. Inside, there are no paths. It is entirely grassed over, so it probably wouldn't be the best in wet conditions. We were lucky enough to have a sunny day, but there was still a little moisture about. As it is a free castle, there are no guides, no shop and no facilities. So be sure to prepare before leaving the car park where there were both toilets and food shacks. There was also a cafe over the road, but this was shut when we were there midweek in May. The beach also provides a lovely walk with some nice views, plus some rocks for those who like to climb. One person was also enjoying the sea breeze for flying their kite. Overall, a lovely place and for a free castle, it's one of the better ruins to visit.
  • Stunning castle. A lot to see. Free yo wander around. Way there is quite steep.
  • A long long walk up a steep hill to see a lovely castle with a marvellous view of hillside and sea. The ruins are vast but not to extremely much. There are a few chambers and a bit of the gate house tower you can climb up to get an even greater view. I think this might be one to return to for pictures as well but not just for the castle. There is also a beach at the bottom of the cliffs that is marvellous for walking provided the tide is on its way out. If it is in the waves crash on the cliffs.
  • Love this castle and no entry free, you can easily spend a whole day here
  • Nice Castle with a great view on the coast. There is small climb up to the castle and can also be joined with a walk from the beach (mind the tides). You can walk all around and have a nice day with kids.