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Living in Carmarthen
Students at the University of Wales Trinity St David will either be on the Carmarthen or Lampeter campuses, the two having recently merged.
Although both are set in some amazing scenery Carmarthen is the larger and busier town with easy links to Swansea and even Cardiff. Also Merlin the wizard was apparently born there, which has no relevance to your studies at all but is still quite awesome.
There’s been some investment into Carmarthen recently, bringing it’s shopping and entertainment up to par with some of the bigger towns. An area in the centre of the town is pedestrianised, where you can find the market, and also the Merlin’s Walk and St Catherine’s Walk shopping centres. St Catherine's is the newest and has a number of restaurants and an Apollo cinema. The Lyric Theatre hosts shows, live music, and comedy. There’s also the usual selection of bars and pubs you’ll find in a student town (the locally brewed real ale Felinfoel comes recommended). The selection of clubs is more limited, with Waterside and Metro being popular student destinations.
Rugby is the big sport here, with football coming a close second, and both having professional teams. There’s also a couple of golf courses and a leisure centre owned by the university with a pool, athletics tracks and an outdoor velodrome.
As well as all this new stuff in town, there’s also the surroundings to consider. Carmarthen still hangs on to a lot of its old Victorian character, which you can see in the buildings around the town centre in particular. Carmarthenshire is known as the “Garden of Wales”, and with the Brecon Beacons to the east and the western Welsh countryside in every other directions it’s not hard to see why.
The living cost here is comparatively low - often an important factor for students to consider - and so is the crime rate, making Carmarthen a safe and close-knit place to do your degree.
What can I see today?
- Castles: Carmarthen has its own medieval castle, and if you’re willing to venture out there are quite a few more within a short drive of home. Laugharne, Kidwelly, Carreg Cennen and Llandovery are all nice ones to visit.
- Beaches: There are lots. Pendine has a sandy section and a rocky section to please both sunbathers and adventurers. The Millenium Coastal Park at Llanelli is a great example of discarded land that’s been turned back to nature. Dylan Thomas liked Laugharne beach so much that he even wrote a poem about it!
- Anything you like: With all that great countryside around you, you’d be mad not to take advantage. As well as walking and cycling, there are facilities in the area to get you trying out canoeing, surfing and climbing too.
Good to know
- Car?: Yes. You’ll be heading out into the local area so often it’s sensible to bring a car if you’ve got one.
- Bus: The 226 and 228 run regular buses between the town and university, while the X40 links Aberystwyth, Lampeter, Carmarthen and Cardiff together.
- Train: The train to Swansea takes about 50mins, and Cardiff is about 1hr 45mins.