The Official Version
(from the Discover Carmarthenshire website) :
"A walkers' paradise."
"Carmarthenshire has become a hiking hot-spot and is fast gaining a reputation for some of the finest walking terrain around."
The 'Discover Carmarthenshire' website describes the county as 'A Walker's Paradise', and states that it is 'gaining a reputation for some of the finest walking terrain around'. Neither of these statements is even remotely true. Carmarthenshire is almost certainly the most walker-unfriendly county in the whole of England and Wales and is notorious for the terrible state of its Rights-of-Way.
Vale of Glamorgan 71%
Isle of Anglesey 51%
Figures obtained 2015/16
The table shows the figures I've been able to obtain from other welsh counties, showing the percentage of rights-of-way which are classed as easy-to-use. The figure of 41% for Carmarthenshire (even if it were true - which I doubt) is averaged out over the whole county. Paths in the south and east of the county (and obviously the coast path) are generally in a better condition. To the north and west, the figure is probably below 20%.
In most parts of Britain, it's possible to select a route from an Ordnanace Survey map, and have a good chance of being able to walk that route. The chances of completing a walk of your own choosing in Carmarthenshire are negligible, and in many parts of the county even finding a single path which is fit-for-purpose, is extremely low. Paths are frequently overgrown, signposting and waymarking are rare, barbed wire fences across footpaths are common - almost standard, footbridges are often missing or in a dangerous condition, landowners tell you there is no path anymore or you won't get through. I even had to call the police recently to deal with a problem farmer. IT REALLY IS THAT BAD. The council's favoured excuse is that they have enough footpaths to reach Aberdeen and back, but a glance at an Ordnance Survey map reveals that the density of rights-of-way in Carmarthenshire is no greater than in other Welsh counties, who are able to keep the majority of their footpaths in reasonable condition. The official website also states "There are many different walks in Carmarthenshire" (note the vagueness)! Think about this. If there are enough paths in Carmarthenshire to reach Scotland and back, there should be an almost unlimited number of walks. What the council have done, as a sop to walkers, is to create some recommended routes for which they issue walks leaflets, and attempts are made to keep these routes usable. The leaflets include a good map of the area showing the local paths and the route they want you to take, but should you try to short-cut onto any of the other footpaths, you're likely to find the same problems - overgrown paths, barbed wire fences and no waymarking.
My advice to any intending walker therefore, is simple :
Don't come to Carmarthenshire
You will regret it.
Neighbouring Gower, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion look after their footpaths and are far better choices for walking.
If you do (foolishly) try to walk Carmarthenshire's footpaths, you'll need a map of at least 1:25000 scale (and be extremely good at map-reading), but be warned; many paths are not open due to unresolved legal issues. Some others have been diverted from the line shown on OS maps, but the council rarely waymark the new route or remove old signage!
You'll also need a pair of secateurs to cut overgrowth around stiles and preferably a stick to thrash nettles and brambles - you'll meet plenty of these.