Fish, Chips, Castles, and Magic In Carmarthen

After only a week in the United Kingdom, Ed and I knew we needed to go for a traditionally ‘British’ meal. Our workaway hosts recommended a place in Carmarthen, where they were bringing us the following day. Our hosts were spectacular at bringing us to various cities around the area, which we were quite grateful about!

Once we got to Carmarthen, we headed to the recommended place, Morgan’s Chippy.  On arrival, we were not disappointed! We got the most British combo on the menu – fish, chips, mushy peas, bread and butter, and tea. The chips (fries) were absolutely stellar, and the fish was even better. We loved it, and it gets a thumbs up on our part!

After eating to our hearts’ content, we headed uphill to the castle ruins of Carmarthen. Our hosts informed us it was quite a boring castle, but coming from a country with a grand total of zero real castles (Casa Loma does not count), we thought that the partial ruins of Carmarthen Castle were amazing.

Carmarthen Castle has been standing since at least 1094, and went through an incredible number of transitions since then, mostly to make it bigger, stronger, and make more living quarters. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was used as a prison until it eventually became a tourist destination. It is free to enter and walk around, and there is a small tourist centre in the middle of the castle where you can see the old prison cells and watch a video about the history of the castle.

Carmarthen, although small, also has a very magical connection. The legendary wizard Merlin was said to have lived just outside of the city in the cave, and there are signs of Merlin everywhere in the town. A pedestrian shopping district is named “Merlin’s Walk”. Merlin’s Oak once stood in town, with the prophecy that once it fell, so too should Carmarthen – but when it died and was taken down bit by bit, luckily, nothing bad happened to the city!

We loved Carmarthen – it was quite small, but as the main city in the area, and the oldest surviving town in Wales, it is certainly interesting. We were told by our hosts that Carmarthen was once voted the third most boring city in Britain, but we didn’t find that at all!