Millennium Coastal Park
Thousands of visitors a year are now making their way to south west Wales to discover the breathtaking Millennium Coastal Park. Everyone who comes to the award-winning park leaves with a lasting memory of its scale and beauty. In just over 15 years, the 22 kilometres of coastline along the Loughor estuary has been transformed into a unique array of tourist attractions, wildlife habitats and leisure facilities.
The Discovery Centre
At the heart of the Coastal Park stands the iconic Discovery Centre, where visitors can find out all about the leisure attractions of Carmarthenshire in one of the county's most spectacular settings. Overlooking Llanelli beach and offering panoramic views of the Loughor estuary and the Gower peninsula, the Discovery Centre is both the first port of call for visitors and an ideal stop-off point for people travelling through the park (01554 777744 ).
Flanagans Coastline Café
Flanagans brings a flavour of the Riviera to the Millennium Coastal Park with its selection of continental coffees and pastries. The cafés menu also offers a range of light lunches, snacks and other drinks to cater for all visitor tastes and preferences. Flanagans is now attracting over 100,000 visitors a year and has become the premier meeting point for local people and the ideal place for park visitors to rest, relax and take in the wonderful views from the first floor of the Discovery Centre.
Ice cream lovers are spoilt for choice at the Discovery Centre's Millennium Kiosk. The huge selection of ice cream and ices means there's something to tempt the taste buds of all the park visitors, young or old. Customers are given the choice of purchasing their refreshments whilst on the move or relaxing on the patio furniture overlooking Llanelli beach. On a fine day the Millennium Kiosk really can take people to ice cream heaven!
A Parkland Paradise
One of the biggest successes of the Millennium Coastal Park has been the creation of wildlife habitats. So why not spend the day discovering some of the many fascinating plants and animals found within the park? There are many different habitats including sand dune, lake, salt marsh, fen, woodland, stream and semi-natural grasssland. Each habitat is home to a unique assemblage of plants and animals.
North Dock Dunes Local Nature Reserve, next to the Discovery Centre, is home to many specialist plants and animals that are adapted to withstand the dry sandy conditions. Look out for plants like sea holly, sea campion, sea spurge and grasses such as marram and sand couch grass. The rare marbled white and small blue butterfly also occur here.
From the cycle path on the Machynys peninsula there are good views over the mud flats of the Burry Inlet, which is internationally important for its bird life. The estuary is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is within the Carmarthen Bay Special Area of Conservation. Look out for small flocks of dunlin, ringed plover, sanderling and redshank along the coast whilst shelduck, oystercatcher and curlew can be seen further out on the mudflats.
In the peace and quite of Pwll Lagoon Local Nature Reserve many rare plants can be found in this fenland habitat such as southern marsh orchid, common sundew and lesser centaury. In the more wooded areas royal fern and lemon-scented fern grow.
The semi-natural grassland is full of meadow flowers in summer along with the accompanying buzz of bees and other nectar feeding insects. Skylark and linnet both nest here along with numerous butterflies such as ringlet, meadow brown, gatekeeper, large skipper, peacock and red admiral.
At Ashpits Pond Local Nature Reserve there are high numbers of breeding birds such as swan, mallard, coot, moorhen, little grebe, great crested grebe and tufted duck. In the summer sand martin are found over the pond hawking for insects. Overwintering ducks include gadwall, shoveler, teal, pochard, wigeon and goldeneye.
Burry Port Harbour
Situated in the heart of the award winning Millennium Coastal Park, we are the newest marina in Wales with a 450 berth facility. On the north coast of the Loughor estuary, Burry Port Marina offers boat owners the perfect mix of leisure facilities in 14 miles of landscaped parkland. The marina makes an ideal base for exploring the south and West Wales coastline and lies at the gateway to Carmarthen Bay. It enjoys stunning views of the Gower and is within easy reach of the glorious Pembrokeshire coastline.
Coastal Park Beaches
Llanelli Beach - The Millennium Coastal Park is blessed with several stretches of golden shoreline including the Llanelli Beach. For many years the beach was a well kept secret known only to people living in the locality but the creation of the Coastal Park has made it a popular destination with visitors from near and far. Llanelli Beach is adjacent to the Park Centre and stretches approximately a mile along the northern shore of the Loughor Estuary. It is overlooked by the Discovery Centre and the stunning Seaside Promenade.
Burry Port Beach - A brand new beach at Burry Port Harbour is proving a big draw for surfers and sea canoeists. A stretch of shoreline east of the harbour entrance, which was once an expanse of open mudflats, has been covered in deep golden sand in just three years. As a result, when conditions are right, the beach now boasts some of the best surf in the county. On a number of occasions during the past summer over 40 surfers and the same number of sea canoeists were spotted taking advantage of the 4-6ft waves which produce a superb beach break.
Refreshments & Public Toilets:
National Wetlands Centre, Discovery Centre, Pwll Pavillion and Burry Port Harbour.
Long Stay Car Parks (Pay & Display):
Bynea Gateway, Festival Fields, Burry Port Harbour.
Short Stay Car Parks (Pay & Display):
Discovery Centre, Sandy Water Park, Burry Port Harbour, Pembrey Harbour.
X11, X12, 111, 112 and 173 between Burry Port, Pwll and Llanelli.
181 from Llanelli to Seaside (near North Dock)
Mainline railway stations:
Llanelli and Burry Port.
Most areas of the Coastal Park have hard, tarmac surfaces (some minor routes have a gravel or grassy surface). The Discovery Centre has a disabled lift, toilets and parking, phone 01554 774444 for more information. The National Wetlands Centre Wales has disabled parking, toilets, etc. Visit National Wetlands Centre for more information. Burry Port Harbour & Pwll Pavilion both have disabled toilets.
The Park offers a choice of four self-sustaining lakes for both course and game fishing, telephone 01554 774444. Charter boats are available for sea fishing out of Burry Port Harbour.
Millennium Coastal Park:
Discovery Centre, North Dock, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire SA15 2LF.