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SWANSEA TO WHITLAND

This is an extract from the page on Arriva Trains Wales.
To access the main site select either the North Wales, The Marches, and Chepstow-Swansea section, the Heart of Wales, Swansea and West Wales section, or the full version which combines the two.
Select one of these links to return to the Gazetteer of Stations or Route Sections page.

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Figures after station names show the approximate journey times from Swansea with the approximate journey times from Whitland in brackets.

After passing Landore depot on the right and burrowing through Cockett Tunnel, the train arrives at
Gowerton.
The northern coast of the Gower peninsular is some distance away, but not inaccessible from the station. In the town, St John's church is notable for its marble reredos.
The line crosses the River Loughor estuary in parallel with a more-recent road bridge, and soon is joined by the
Heart of Wales line which converges from the right.
Llanelli
owes its existence to iron, tinplate, copper, and coal, but today, Trostre Tinplate works is the only reminder of its heavy-industrial past. Its long-closed port has been turned to leisure use, and modern buildings are replacing the arcaded structures for which the town was noted. Some imposing buildings remain: the Jacobean-style Town Hall; Tabernacle chapel; Capel Alis; and the more-recent Roman Catholic Church. Parc Howard House is now a museum and art gallery, while Stradey Park - famous as the home of the town's rugby union team, The Scarlets - has been replaced by a new ground, Parc-y-Scarlet. Five miles away is Ffos Las where flat and steeplechase horse races take place. On race days a dedicated bus shuttle runs from Llanelli to the course, returning after the day's racing.
Pembrey and Burry Port
is close to Pembrey Country Park which has an eight mile coast-line, a falconry, forest walks and a ski and toboggan run. In the nineteenth century, Burry Port was prominent in the coal-exporting trade, but, like Llanelli, its harbour is now put to leisure use.
Kidwelly
station is on the edge of the town which is dominated by its 12th century castle. With a ditch on one side and the Gwendraeth River on the other, such was its strength and strategic position, that in 1403, a handful of archers and townspeople were able to repulse the might of Welsh prince Owen Glyndwr's army. The castle featured strongly in the battles of the Welsh Uprising of 1257. St Mary's Church also dates from the 13th century, while close to the town is the harbour and Tinplate museum. Nor far away is the Welsh Motor Sports Centre which includes a Formula Three racing circuit.
Ferryside
no longer has a ferry across the River Towy, but with the sailing club close at hand, a crossing to Llanstephan is not impossible. Set in beautiful surroundings, the village is encircled by hills, with the river estuary winding to the north, and sand dunes to the south. Also to the south, is the 13th century church of St Ishmael with its unusual mix of architecture. Some cockle-gathering still takes place, but nothing like the intensity of the early part of the twentieth century when the economy of the village depended on the industry.
Carmarthen
stands on the Towy River and is founded on the Roman town of Moridunum, but is also steeped in Arthurian legend. One legend states that when the Carmarthen Oak falls, the town will fall with it. All that is left of the oak (in Priory Street) is the stump, but what remains is guarded with meticulous care!
Of the Norman Priory no trace remains, but it is famed for the Black Book of Carmarthen: a collection of Welsh poetry, and the oldest manuscript book in the Welsh language (now at the Museum of Wales in Aberystwyth).
For how long the Church of St Peter has stood is uncertain, but parts of the building have been dated to the 13th century, and there are references to the church during the reign of Henry I. Parts of the 11th century castle remains, but has been encroached upon by more modern structures.
The Boathouse at Laugharne, and the Towy EstuaryNear the Guild-hall, a statue to General Sir William Nott - a hero of the Afghan Wars - stands on the spot where, in 1555, Bishop Ferrar was martyred at the stake for his Protestant beliefs.
Three miles north, the Gwili Railway is a two-mile long, preserved railway operating through a wooded valley.
South of the town, on the west of the Towy estuary is Llanstephan Castle, and the village of Laugharne, briefly the home - and finally the resting place - of Welsh poet and dramatist Dylan Thomas, and said to be the model for Llareggub in Under Milk Wood, though this he always denied (perhaps wisely, considering what the cod-Welsh name reads in reverse). The picture (left) shows the Towy estuary and the boathouse where Dylan lived.
Whitland
is, today, a market town which thrives on agriculture and the dairy industry, but its place in history is assured thanks to the 10th century ruler of the district, Hywel Dda (in English, Howell the Good). During his reign Hywel succeeded in uniting the warring kingdoms of Wales, and, in the year 930 at an assembly of clergy and laymen held at Whitland, he codified the laws on which present-day democratic government is based. The town's memorial to Hywel takes the form of six small gardens which symbolise the six principles embodied in those laws.
The parish Church of St Mary dates from the early 18th century, but the site goes back to medieval times.
Whitland marks the eastern boundary of the Landsker: an imaginary border which historically separates the English-speaking south from the Welsh speaking north of Pembrokeshire.

This is an extract from the Arriva Trains Wales pages.
To access the main site select either the North Wales, The Marches, and Chepstow-Swansea section, the Heart of Wales, Swansea and West Wales section, or the full version which combines the two.
Select one of these links to return to the Gazetteer of Stations or Route Sections page.

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Copyright 1998/9/2000/1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11 /12/13/14 by Deryck Lewis. All rights reserved.
Page created January 28 1998; Redesigned March 29 1999; Updated
May 18 2014
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