The Dragon’s Garden Bookshop Llandovery

When was the last time you experienced that unexpected sense of relief? That first ice cold sip on a blazing summers day? Maybe a steamy soak after a stressful week? For those of us in Llandovery, that comfort came with the recent opening of a book shop: The Dragon’s Garden/Gardd y Ddraig.

A Sleeping Dragon Wakes

Our photogenic home of Llandovery, was once a bustling market town; a key terminal for Drovers transporting cattle to London. In its pomp, Llandovery boasted more pubs than houses and was even the site of Wales’ very first bank: the Black Ox. Yet despite its storied past, over a decade of austerity bewitched the region into a period of slumber. What any lover of books will no doubt know, however, is a dragon does not sleep forever.

Any visitors who have seen the breathtaking monument overlooking the town, will know, Llandovery is the home of Llewellyn ap Gruffydd Fychan. Our martyr of the Welsh rebellion, Llewellyn, was an ordinary man who refused to be intimidated by English oppression. Like the river Towy flows through Llandovery, so too does Llewellyn’s spirit, and not content to allow Westminster’s hubris to threaten the town anew, local entrepreneurs are leading the resurgence.

Creative Spark

Starting a business during a cost of living crisis is no mean feat. It takes bravery, dedication, luck, and more than a little imagination but the benefits seem to be life changing. This could be seen the moment The Dragon’s Garden opened. Queues snaked down the street and it quickly became apparent the shop was more than a spot for bookworms, or those looking to pick up a quick gift.

Instantly, the Dragon’s Garden carved itself into a valuable hub for all walks of the community. Aside from the diverse array of literature on offer, Dragon’s Garden is helping to curb isolation with its weekly coffee and cake drop-ins. The wonderful owner Mandy, curates an endless supply of events for all tastes and ages, including gigs, readings, talks and classes.

The Dragon’s Garden is also a fantastic pivot point for anyone looking to immerse themselves in local culture. Mandy is extremely passionate about promoting regional authors and the Welsh language, and has also dedicated a section of the store to artists from in and around Llandovery. There is a feeling of equitability as you browse the treasures on offer, and you can’t help get a sense of Mandy’s activist roots.

Dragons Garden Books Llandovery

‘I sell Fair Trade goods, as I have strong ethical concerns and feel that by buying and selling Fair Trade goods, we can all do our little bit in redressing the poverty and inequality in our very unequal world.’ – Mandy- The Dragon’s Garden Bookshop Llandovery

Books that Money Can’t Buy

With World Book Day on the horizon, it’s worth mentioning that The Dragon’s Garden is an avid supporter of the scheme, in which children can exchange tokens they collect at school, for new books. Something many people may be unaware of is participating stores are actually liable for the costs of the scheme.

The Mandys of the world simply know that through such an initiative they could be giving a child their first opportunity to own a book. Eagerly clutching their voucher, it may very well be someone’s first time in a book store. Opening someones eyes to the magic of stories, is a priceless gift and is just one of so many reasons why the Charcoal Hut is extremely proud to have Mandy close by.

If we have the pleasure of you staying with us, we would highly recommend you pay Mandy a visit in her Dragon’s Garden. It’s an adventure you may have never realised you needed.

9 High Street, Llandovery

Mandy’s Picks for the Charcoal Hut

To celebrate World Book Day, Mandy has given the Charcoal Hut her exclusive recommendations for a weekend read. Perfect for a short getaway or unwinding in our outdoor, hot-tub.

Drift by Caryl Lewis

Drift is the English Language debut from three time winner of Wales’ Book of the Year, Caryl Lewis. A story love, magic and the irresistible lure of the sea.

The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Stefan Ros

A symbiosis of nature and Welsh folklore, The Blue Book of Nebo is the English translation of the Welsh book Llyfr Glad Nebo. This powerful dystopian novel was the Winner of the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing 2023.

The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living by Mark Boyle

Former business man Mark Boyle conducts this heartwarming and witty social experiment which asks the question: how would you live an entire year without money? Full of money-saving tips, The Moneyless Man will inspire you to ask what really matters in life.

Where to find The Dragon’s Garden and Books


Facebook: gardd y ddraig/the dragon’s garden

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