Laugharne, in Carmarthenshire, is the seaside town that inspired many of Dylan Thomas’ best-known works and the Boathouse is where he spent his final four years. Thomas’ long-term affinity with the town began when he visited the poet Glyn Jones in 1934. But though he moved to Laugharne in 1938, mounting debts forced him and his pregnant wife Caitlin to move away in 1940.
They didn’t return until 1949, when one of Dylan’s patrons bought the Boathouse for them. Dylan loved the place, particularly its cliff-top shed which he found the perfect place to work in. This is where he penned Under Milk Wood, among many other pieces.
The Boathouse is now a heritage centre where you can see the writing shed, parlour and the bedrooms upstairs, which are used for displays. There is also a themed bookshop, viewing platform and terrace. It’s the shed, perched high above the water that most powerfully evokes Dylan’s spirit, offering views over the surrounding hills that have barely changed since he described them in Over Sir John’s Hill, the first poem he wrote there.
When Dylan Thomas died in New York in 1953, his body was brought back to Wales and buried in the grounds of St Martin’s Church in Laugharne. Caitlin was also buried in the same plot following her death in 1994.