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Prime Location Carmarthenshire Area Guide

Carmarthenshire is one of 13 historic counties in the south west of Wales and the third largest Welsh county. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the South and Ceredigion to the North, the county is widely known as the ‘Garden of Wales’. The landscape of the area incorporates extensive forests and mountains including Fforest Fawr, the Black Mountains and Cambrian Mountains, as well as small fishing villages and sandy stretches.

The county town of Carmarthen is the most populated in the area and has a rich heritage featuring a Roman amphitheatre and medieval castle. Despite being situated on navigable water, the harbour is no longer used commercially. Carmarthenshire is developing a reputation as an artisan producer of fine foods including cheese, meat and preserves. Tourism is a growth area for the local economy, with Carmarthenshire being the fourth busiest destination in Wales. Architecture in the county includes Grade II listed buildings, Georgian townhouses, Regency mansion houses and country estates, as well as more urban areas featuring quaint cottages and modern new build properties. As much as 70% of Carmarthenshire is considered to be rural, and the rural economy is noted as an important element in achieving the regeneration goals of the county.

Demographics

Carmarthenshire is home to around 80,000 people, a figure which represents a 4% increase between 2001 and 2007. More than 40% of the population lives in rural areas of the county. Carmarthenshire has a traditionally strong Welsh language identity with 64% of the total population able to read, write or speak the Welsh language. Over half of people living in the area registered as Welsh speakers in the 2001 census.

Small and micro businesses are considered to be the lifeblood of rural Carmarthenshire with almost 95% of this business group employing fewer than 25 people.

Education

There are a number of well performing primary schools across Carmarthenshire, including both religious and non-denominational schools. Secondary schools in the area include Queen Elizabeth High School, Bryngwyn School in Llanelli and Bro Myrddin Comprehensive School, which is a Welsh speaking school with most subjects being taught in Welsh.

Private education is available from St Michael’s Senior School, which offers co-educational boarding facilities for pupils and was ranked 22nd in The Times Top 100 Mixed Schools in 2012. It has a lower school, upper school and sixth form, and also offers preparatory schooling for children aged from three years. Carmarthenshire College, known locally as Coleg Sir Gar offers academic and vocational courses for 14 to 19 year olds and adults as well as higher education provision. University of Wales Trinity St David offers higher education and welcomes international, business and distance learners.

Transport

Carmarthenshire has excellent road links including access to several major motorways via the A40 and A48. Coach services run to the area from various locations across the UK and there is an extensive bus service in and around the town.

Rail services connect the county to London Paddington and the rest of Wales, with further services running from nearby Swansea to Manchester, Birmingham, Portsmouth Harbour and London Waterloo. There is also a twice-daily service between Swansea and the North East of England via Birmingham. Nearest air travel can be accessed at Cardiff International Airport and Swansea Airport.

Amenities and shopping

Shopping facilities are wide and varied across the county and range from independent stores, farm shops and markets, through to large retail and entertainment complexes. Handmade arts and crafts, local produce and gift shops are available from Carmarthen Market, which dates back more than 800 years. The market plays host to more than 60 traders and is in complete contrast to the modern St Catherine’s Walk complex. This newly developed facility in the town centre offers the UK’s first all 3D cinema, restaurants, coffee shops and national retail chains.

Theatres in the county include The Miners in Ammanford and The Lyric in Carmarthen, as well as Ffwrnes, a new 500+ seater venue in Llanelli that offers performing arts, media & community events. Leisure and sporting facilities in the Carmarthenshire include canoeing and kayaking, cycling, walking, golf, bowling, skiing and snowboarding.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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