Keeping Faith Fan Trail Part 1 - Carmarthen
If you are thinking of holidaying in Carmarthenshire, and you haven’t yet watched Keeping Faith, then watch the Series One Trailer – You will be hooked, and it's a wonderful window into the natural beauty of this County. Keeping Faith is a big hit BBC/S4C drama set in Carmarthenshire.
With series 2 about to be launched my wife Jackie and I decided to take a break and explore the Keeping Faith Fan Trail ourselves. No guide on this trail, just a great theme and wonderful scenery. Two nights in The Judges Library holiday cottage and our favourite places to wine and dine.
With top tips that Llansteffan, Laugharne, and Pendine will again be featured in much of the new series. Here is how we spent our two days:
We know good places to eat and what’s good to see, so you might want to follow our lead. If you are one of the ‘faithfuls’ then The Keeping Faith Fan Trail Map at Discover Carmarthenshire is a must see for you. Our Trail starts at The Judges Library - it’s such a cosy cottage, and we went by Bus, but if you want to cram more into a day, then you will need to take the car.
Here are our top tips for 3 days on The Keeping Faith Fan Trail:
- Arrival evening – Take a walk around the Historic quarter of Carmarthen, then try one of our recommended restaurants near the Castle.
- Breakfast at Pantri Blakeman, then cross the road to catch the bus.
- Catch Bus no.222 to Laugharne (No Bus on Sunday) - Filming locations at the Castle, Faith’s own house, and also visit Dylan Thomas Boathouse and Writing Shed and his Birthday Walk.
- Afternoon – Bus no.222 will take you to Pendine; Take a dip along this seven mile beach.
- Evening – Back to the Judges Library Carmarthen – for a good night out in the buzzing Nott Square.
- Catch Bus no.227 for Llanstephan Beach and Castle (No Bus on Sunday); Scenes for Keeping faith series two have been filmed here. Combine this with fish and chips on the Beach or a meal and a drink in the Pub, what more could you want – well maybe a short trip across the Bay in the little ferry boat.
- Evening – There is plenty more to see, but that’s the end of our Journey along The Keeping Faith Fan Trail; so its back on the bus and home to The Judges Library for another good night within the old town walls. perhaps a quiet night in; home delivery or just a short walk for a takeaway. With 4K Smart TV and Netflix, who needs the Cinema? If you do, then that’s just a short walk too.
9 Million People (and counting) are following Faith’s Journey on TV
Many who read this will know exactly who Faith is, for those who don’t; The series stars Eve Myles as Solicitor Faith Howells, in her iconic yellow Mac; Working mother of 3, with a cheating husband, entangled in a murder Mystery drama, which Faith tries to unravel whilst holding the family and business together.
the English-language version premiered in February 2018 and became the most popular show on BBC Wales for over 25 years, and within 3 months it had 8.5 million downloads, making it the most downloaded non-network show on BBC iPlayer. So why not watch it at The Judges Library? It may be on BBCiplayer, if not then download on Youtube.
Why was the Judges Library chosen to be the place to stay in Carmarthen for Setjetters on the Keeping Faith Fan trail?
Perhaps because it is the only holiday cottage within the historic Quarter of Carmarthen, and being The Judge’s private Library, it has obvious links to the old courthouse at the top of the street, where so many scenes of Keeping Faith were filmed.
And so, we begin – and as our Keeping Faith Fan Trail will be by foot and bus, we can enjoy a few drinks; so, Jackie starts off with a Prosecco and me with a dark Welsh beer, on the Patio of The Judges Library. If we could travel through time, we would see a few things here:
- Of the criminals deported by way of Quay street; from the Courthouse Dock to the Quayside Dock,
- Of who was watching out of the window when in the 1840’s some of the ring leaders of the 'Rebecca Riots' went that way - Were these men still dressed in women’s clothing?
- And of Judge E P Wallis Jones, who in 1957 was the prosecutor of the last man to be hanged in Wales. This was his Library - Did he sit in this same place, analysing the evidence and contemplating his strategy? I think it likely.
At the top of Quay Street, is the former Guildhall, where Faith graced the Courtroom, and it has become a popular stop on the Keeping Faith Fan Trail. Soon to be given a new lease of life as a trendy restaurant bar.
Just around the corner in Nott Square, there is a curious fellow dressed in Black holding court outside the Castle walls. It is Nick Brunger; enticing people to join him on a spooky adventure, that will take them through the castle gate, and deeper still into the old Gaol house. Its now Carmarthenshire Tourist information Centre , but at night time they are closed, and Nick has the keys and the answers to some darker questions.
As night draws in the area around the castle is a buzzing place; with so many bars and restaurants to visit temptation is great, and it is a great welsh storytelling tradition to spin a yarn in a local pub. We have heard Nick tell a tale or two in our local pub, so tonight we are off to Café at No4. Perhaps tomorrow we will join the Creepy Carmarthen Tour and then stay on theme to Dine at Diablos.