South West Wales

Carreg Cennen and Llansteffan castles on romance list

Carreg Cennen Castle and Llansteffan Castle
Image caption The two castles in Carmarthenshire - Carreg Cennen [L] and Llansteffan - are on a shortlist of the UK's 10 most romantic ruins

Two Carmarthenshire castles, Carreg Cennen and Llansteffan, are vying to be crowned the UK's most romantic ruin.

They are on a shortlist of 10 drawn up for Countryfile magazine.

Alex Jones, presenter of the BBC's One Show, has given her support to Carreg Cennen, and the public are being asked to vote for the winner.

The ruins of Carreg Cennen stand on the edge of a 325 ft (100m) cliff near Llandeilo, while Llansteffan overlooks the mouth of the Towy estuary.

The shortlist was compiled from an original list of 50 by a panel including BBC Countryfile presenters John Craven and Jules Hudson.

The other ruins on the list are Corfe Castle, Dunluce Castle, Dunstanburgh Castle, Fountains Abbey, Kenilworth Castle, Kilchurn Castle, Sweetheart Abbey and Whitby Abbey.

Both Welsh castles are looked after by the heritage body Cadw.

Alex Jones, who is originally from nearby Ammanford, said of Carreg Cennen: "Much of the castle, of course, has been lost but it's a wonderful place.

"The last time I visited Carreg Cennen was about five years ago, with my boyfriend at the time. I wanted to show him where I used to go when I was a child and, of course, it's a very romantic place.

"When I go there now, all the memories come flooding back and I'm like a child again. I have very clear recollections of everything we used to do."

Meanwhile, Cadw describes Llansteffan as "an impressive, dramatically sited stronghold crowning a hilltop".

Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones said: "It's great to see the castles of Carreg Cennen and Llansteffan, which surely rank amongst the most photogenic of Welsh historic sites, getting the recognition they deserve.

"I urge as many people as possible to vote for these Welsh wonders as it would be great to see them crowned as the UK's most romantic ruins."

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