A local's guide to ​Llansteffan Castle

Discover why GetOutside champion Tracy loves to visit

Tracy Purnell By Tracy Purnell

Discover the Norman built Llansteffan Castlem, overlooking the River Tywi as it enters Carmarthen Bay with this guide from Tracy Purnell.

Llansteffan castle is located upon an old Iron Age hill fort, above the mouth of the river Tywi in Carmarthenshire, Wales. The castle was built in the 12th century by Norman conquerors of Britain and now lies in ruins; however it still has some near intact buildings.

A climb up the winding staircase inside its Gatehouse, takes you to a platform of spectacular views.

After a long period of neglect the castle is now maintained by CADW. There are information boards inside the castle explaining in detail about the individual buildings within.

There are still many interesting features inside the castle and within the buildings. While peering out of the arrow slits and windows you can just imagine the battles that once took place here.

The castle is free to enter and explore, it is also dog friendly. There is a large car park at the seafront of the village of Llansteffan and only a short walk to the castle. This car park has toilet facilities and a tea room. The walk to the castle is via public footpath and private road. The path leading up to the castle gate house is quite steep, uneven in places and a little muddy. But well worth the rewards that await at the castle entrance.

The Wales coastal path runs just below Llansteffan castle through a woodland area. You can catch glimpses of the estuary and the coast as you walk through this well maintained public footpath. There are some interesting pieces of artwork along this path and benches to stop and sit to admire the sea front views. There is also a seated shelter just below the castle, a great little hideaway to shelter if you should be caught out by a shower.

There is no circular walk that can be completed around the castle without walking on narrow lanes. A walk up to the castle and along the coastal path of the red sandstone cliffs to Wharley Point is a short but beautiful walk. There you can experience more beautiful views of Carmarthen Bay. Llansteffan Beach is also very accessible from the car park. If the tide is out your walk can start from the beach and concrete steps take you up onto the coastal path below the castle.

This really is a great day out for all the family. The furry ones included!

Tracy Purnell By Tracy Purnell


When not working every spare minute of Tracy's time is spent up mountains with her two best pals Asher and Marley (her dogs). Tracy became obsessed with triangulation pillars in April 2016 and has bagged 100 in the past 6 months – although Asher and Marley's tally must also be pretty high!

Tracy lives on the outskirts of Brecon Beacons National Park, and is our resident GetOutside expert for the area. Tracy also has a passion for photography, so expect many dog photos from her!