'Capability' Brown walk, Carmarthenshire
Dinefwr Park, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, SA19 6RTRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
There are nearly 300 ancient trees at Dinefwr, half of them in the deer park. The path you'll follow on this walk was designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown when he visited Dinefwr in 1775. As well as seeing views of the park and house framed by specimen trees, you might catch sight of some of the fallow deer that live here. Autumn is the rutting season, when the males (bucks) have very impressive antlers that they use to fight for the females.
- Bus stop
Start: Welcome Centre car park at Dinefwr Park, grid ref: SN615224
From the Welcome Centre follow the driveway up past the front gates of Newton House. Go through the metal gate across the drive. To the right, back towards the town of Llandeilo, you'll see the outer park where the White Park cattle graze for much of the year. The clumps of trees and tree-lined avenues were laid out in about 1770 by George and Cecil Rice. On your left is the deer park, which was much admired by followers of the Picturesque Movement, which was fashionable in the 1790s.
Some of the oldest trees in Wales are in the deer park. This type of parkland, called pasture woodland, is home to an amazing variety of plants, birds and insects.
Carry on up the drive and through the wooden gate, then turn left. Instead of following the sign to the ice house, head straight on and go through the gate into the deer park. Follow the brown path through the woods, stopping at the breaks in the trees below you to admire the different views of the park. Lancelot 'Capability' Brown suggested this walk, and the specimen trees to be planted along it as markers, when he visited Dinefwr in 1775.
Ravens and Red Kites nest in the trees in the deer park each year. Ravens have been linked to the Dinefwr family for centuries.
Follow the path through the woods down to the mill pond. Look out for the herd of fallow deer that roam the park. In summer their coats are spotted, and the males grow large, shovel-like antlers for the autumn rut. These are shed in spring, and you might find a set on your walk.
There's a second herd of deer that lives outside the deer park. You might catch a glimpse of the herd if you visit in autumn or winter, when food becomes harder to find.
Go out of the metal gate and turn across the bridge between the mill pond and the pump house below. The waterwheel in the pump house was used to send drinking water from a spring on the flood plain up to Newton House.
On a still day the mill pond - in section 4 of the walk - reflects a fantastic view of Cae Lan, the hill above the pond.
Follow the track around the mill pond and out onto Castle Field. We're managing the field as a flower-rich hay meadow. The abundance of the flowering plant Yellow Rattle in the grass is a good indication of biodiversity.
The views from Dinefwr Castle on a clear day make it well worth the climb.
The walk suggested by 'Capability' Brown went along the ridge above the field, passing the castle. You can take a detour here to go up to the castle and admire the views over the Tywi Valley. Otherwise, follow the track round to the left, through two gates, and back up to the car park.
End: Welcome Centre car park at Dinefwr Park, grid ref: SN615224
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 1.5 miles (2.4km)
- Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- OS Map: Explorer 186
The walk is along wooded banks on differing slopes. Access is through several gates. Return leg is uphill on a wide track. Dogs aren't allowed in the deer park due to the closeness of the deer, which often nestle down close to the paths.
- How to get here:
On foot: Permissive paths throughout the estate with main drive access from Llandeilo town, opposite the fire and ambulance stations
By bike: NCN Route 47 Celtic Trail passes within a few miles of Dinefwr Park. See Sustrans website for details
By bus: Various services from surrounding towns and villages. Bus stops 0.5 miles (0.8km) from Welcome Centre. See Traveline-Cymru website for details
By train: Llandeilo Station (Heart of Wales line) is 2 miles (3.2km) away, 30 minutes walk. See Traveline-Cymu website for details
By car: On western outskirts of Llandeilo A40(T); from Swansea take M4 to Pont Abraham, then A48(T) to Cross Hands and A476 to Llandeilo. Entrance on Carmarthen Road opposite fire and ambulance stations. Post code for Sat Navs: SA19 6RT
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