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Wye Valley & Vale of Usk


200 years on the Mon & Brec canal Supper club: the secrets out The Art and Craft of gardening An alternative Olympic-sized challenge 21st century land girls shape the future of farming
Visitor Guide 2012 Monmouthshire & Newport

What a wonderful thing: to walk the entire length of a countrys coastline, to trace its every nook, cranny, cliff-face, indent and estuary. How better to truly appreciate the shape and soul of a nation?

Left to right: Countryside Volunteer Derek Shottin passes the iconic landmark of the Severn Bridge linking Wales and England Installing the Wales Coast Path marker discs The path passes through Newport Wetlands A beautiful walk year-round

Lets start at the very beginning

Chepstow the entrance to Wales is now the starting point for a walking route that runs along the countrys entire coastline. The Wales Coast Path, which officially opens in May, stretches some 870 miles from Chepstow to Queensferry in North Wales.
Lonely Planet one of the worlds leading travel publishers has described the Welsh coastline as the greatest region on Earth to visit in 2012, ahead of some of the worlds most iconic destinations. Lonely Planet author Sarah Baxter wrote of Wales selection in first place: What a wonderful thing: to walk the entire length of a countrys coastline, to trace its every nook, cranny, cliff-face, indent and estuary. How better to truly appreciate the shape and soul of a nation? Well, in 2012 Wales will become the only country in the world where you can do just that. The Path links a pre-existing network to new stretches that have been built over the past five years, with significant input from enthusiastic walkers. Derek Shottin is one of the Countryside Volunteers who, for many years, has supported the work of the local council by keeping an eye on several footpaths near his home. New to his care is a 3-mile stretch of the Wales Coast Path between Portskewett and Mathern, and one of his recent jobs was to install the first Wales Coast Path marker disks on the route. What will this new walking route mean to the area and Chepstow in particular?

The official starting point will inevitably be a popular place to begin walking. Even if people arent intending to cover the entire Wales Coast Path they may like the feeling of having begun at the beginning. And for many walkers, itll be an entirely new stretch as several miles of new footpath have been created along the Severn Estuary. Chepstow already sees large numbers of walkers on the Offas Dyke Path or the Wye Valley Walk, and the town is working hard to improve its offer to walkers. Soon Chepstow hopes to be part of the Walkers are Welcome network of towns across the UK, says Derek. Unlike some of the high mountain walks in this region, the Wales Coast Path should attract a steady number of walkers throughout the entire year. Whenever visitors come, they may be surprised by the wealth of wildlife in this area. Up to 90,000 wading birds and wildfowl visit the Severn Estuary because, with one of the highest tidal ranges in the world, it has ideal over-wintering conditions. And with the path passing through the RSPBs excellent reserve at Newport Wetlands, the route has year-round wildlife interest, Derek says. The initial 5-mile stretch of the Wales

Coast Path was opened last autumn with the unveiling of two stones at its starting point near the Old Town Bridge in Chepstow. A similar pair of stones one of pennant sandstone from the Forest of Dean and one of halkyn marble from Flintshire will eventually stand at the other end of the Wales Coast Path at Queensferry. To enhance the monoliths in Chepstow a piece of artwork has been commissioned from a local ceramicist. This work will celebrate the Wales Coast Path and its link with the Offas Dyke Path. Derek wonders how long it will be before the first person walks along the entire border of Wales, not just the 870 miles of the Coast Path but also the 177 miles of Offas Dyke Footpath which runs along the border with England. Its a brand new challenge. I bet someone will conquer it before too long! says Derek. Simon Calder, the Travel Editor at the Independent, agrees, pointing out that the completion of the Wales Coast Path, particularly added to the Offas Dyke path, means this is one country that you can walk all the way around and I think thats a tremendous offering to put to the world.

Points of interest
Bridges The Wales Coast Path offers spectacular views of the Severn Bridge (opened in 1966) and the Second Severn Crossing (opened in 1996), iconic landmarks linking Wales and England. Black Rock A popular picnic site next to a long-gone railway line that used to take passengers out on a wooden pier, to where ferries crossed the estuary to Bristol. Its the place to spot the lave net fishermen who are passionate about keeping alive one of Wales less well-known traditions. They wade out into the fast flowing Severn to catch salmon using handmade willow lave nets. Chepstow Castle You cant really miss it, nor should you. Begun in 1067, its the first stone-built castle in Britain and boasts the oldest surviving castle doors in Europe! Scene of some spectacular re-enactment events. Lighthouses East Usk Lighthouse, as its name suggests, is located on the eastern side of the entrance to the River Usk. Its an active lighthouse about a mile walk from the main building at Newport Wetlands. On the other hand, West Usk Lighthouse is a quirky B&B. Geocaches There are plenty dotted along the path or within half a mile of it. Gwent Levels The name for the low-lying land adjoining the Severn Estuary between Chepstow and Newport which has been reclaimed from the sea since Roman times. Evidence suggests that this area was the site of one of the UKs worst natural disasters, when a tsunami hit on 20 January 1607.
Left to right: East Usk Lighthouse / Chepstow Castle (top) / Newport Transporter Bridge / Blackrock Lave Net Fishermen

Mathern The local 7th century king Tewdrig died here after being wounded at Tintern in a battle against the invading Saxons around the year 630. His wounds were washed at a spring, known as St. Tewdrics Well, a church was erected here by his son Meurig and Mathern Palace became the official home of the Bishops of Llandaff until the early 18th century. Newport Wetlands A haven for wildlife on the edge of the city of Newport. It has a delightful childrens play area, offers a programme of events throughout the year and has a well-stocked gift shop and caf serving fair trade produce. Severn Bore One of Britains few truly spectacular natural phenomena, this large surge wave occurs in the estuary of the River Severn. It cant be seen directly from the Coast Path but its worth making a trip to a viewing point if youre in the area when the bore is predicted. Severn Estuary Has the second highest tidal range in the world, as great as 50 ft. St Pierre, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club Perfectly placed for a break during your walk on the Wales Coast Path; set in 400 acres of beautiful parkland with 2 golf courses that have hosted 14 European Championships, this 14th century manor house offers lunch and afternoon tea. Sudbrook This village was built in the 1870s to house workers who were constructing the Severn Tunnel, the longest rail tunnel in the UK. Its huge Victorian pumping station still works around the clock to pump water out of the Severn Tunnel. Most of the water comes from a fast-flowing underground spring which is diverted and fed to the nearby brewery.

Transporter Bridge Built in 1906, this Grade 1 listed structure offers an unusual way of crossing the river Usk; passengers and vehicles are carried on a gondola suspended from a high structure which was built to allow tall ships to sail up to the main dock in Newport. It is one of only 8 surviving bridges of this type in the world and is still in daily operation.

Many more miles

The Chepstow area is the hub of several long, themed routes:

Cistercian Way 602 miles Offas Dyke 177 miles following the route of the 8th century earthwork built by King Offa Wye Valley Walk 136 miles to the source of the river. Guide available as a printed book or an e-book King Arthurs Trail 36 miles Tewdrigs Trail 11 miles
Also suitable for cyclists:

Celtic Trail 220 miles to the west coast of Wales Ln Las Cymru 250 miles to Anglesey

Dont Miss
Crickhowell Walking Festival February/March Monmouthshire Walking Festival October

Trails for Townies

Small enough to walk around with ease. Big enough to hold your attention for a day. Here are seven places with designated visitor trails, to make sure you see all the sights.
FInd detaIls Of all the traIls at

castles exhibitions cafs



Not one but seven trails to choose from. Its true that some of them take you outside the town and require transport but all of them start in this market town. The most popular is the walking Trails and Tales for Families which is equally informative for adults.

Theres a Heritage Trail around this tiny town which, believe it or not, was one of the most important military sites in Britain under the Roman Empire. Channel 4s Time Team made some amazing finds during their dig here last summer. Caerleon is also home to the legend of King Arthur and theres an online quest that takes you to five important sites in the town.

Main attractions
Castle and museum, St. Marys Priory church, tithe barn exhibition, market hall, castle meadows.

Main attractions
Roman baths, barracks, amphitheatre and museum.

Independent businesses
Loads to look out for including Abergavenny Music, Alison Tod Milliner, Cooks Galley, Gateway Cycles, Homes of Elegance, Love Lily, Martins Jewellers, Straker Chadwick Auctioneers, The Art Shop, The Celtic Warehouse, The Wool Croft and two superb butchers, Edwards and Rawlings.

Independent businesses
Dont miss the traditional Caerleon Hardware, Sourcd Greengrocers, The Lodge Coffee and Deli, The Giftbox, The Village Bakery and the Ffwrwm, an eclectic array of shops and places to eat in a courtyard setting full of Arthurian-inspired artworks.

Visitor information
The Tourist Information Centre at the bus station is open all year and theres a touch-screen kiosk outside providing essential information 24 hours a day.

Visitor information
The Tourist Information Centre is located in High Street and is open all year.

Left to right: The Market Hall clock tower and The Angel Hotel in the centre of Abergavenny Remains of the Roman amphitheatre in Caerleon

pubs walks golf shopping ind

Two circular walks encompass Caldicot Castle, which sits in a 55-acre country park and is the prominent feature in this small town. For something a little longer try the Severnside Heritage Trail around Caldicot.

churches culture eat&drink ependent usinesses

There are two trails to follow a flat one along the riverside and another within the town walls both with direction markers and illustrated plaques along the way. They start at the Tourist Information Centre next to the impressive castle on the banks of the river Wye.

City of Newport
Take the Public Art Trail to see 10 large artworks dotted around Newport, each with a significant link to the city. Alternatively follow the Chartist Walk and discover the hard-hitting story surrounding the Chartists struggle to improve their living and working conditions.

Main attractions
Castle which hosts re-enactments and medieval banquets, country park, Dewstow golf club and gardens nearby.

Main attractions
Castle, museum, St Marys church, port wall, town gate, road and rail bridges over the Wye.

Main attractions
Belle Vue Park, Fourteen Locks, Transporter Bridge, St Woolos cathedral, Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre, castle, museum, Tredegar House and Newport Wetlands (just outside the city).

Independent businesses
Several pubs to quench your thirst Cross Inn, The Castle Inn, The Haywain and McBrides @ The White Hart.

Independent businesses
A superb selection including 559 Bikes, Artists Corner, Chepstow Bookshop, Country Clutter, Dragonheart Jewellery, Eden Rose, Kinaree, Kreations, Runway, Scandia, Sherbet and Lemon, The One, The Tulip Tree and Herbert Lewis department store.

Independent businesses
The city centre is largely occupied by national chains but dont miss the impressive Indoor Market which houses an eclectic range of traders. Theres the oldest record shop in Newport and the only place in the city where you can get Welshcakes freshly-baked while you wait!

Visitor information
Best place to go is the castle; staff are knowledgeable about the area.

Visitor information
The Tourist Information Centre is open all year and theres a touch-screen kiosk outside providing essential information 24 hours a day.

Visitor information
The Tourist Information Centre, housed in the same building as the museum, is open all year.

Left to right: Caldicot Castle, scene of many re-enactments Colourful Chepstow in the summer

arts bridges bookshops gardens

Choose the Blue Plaque trail which takes you to 24 significant sites in the town or follow the Chartist Trail that highlights Monmouths role in this mid-19th century uprising. Other trails to be published include a Childrens Town Trail and a Crime and Punishment Town Trail. Printed trail leaflets are available from Shire Hall.

Trails for Townies

Usk Town Trail, which can be purchased at Usk Rural Life Museum and Lindwalls Newsagents, takes you to 28 sites of historic interest, each with a Blue Plaque, in this small, picturesque town.

Main attractions
Rural Life Museum, Sessions House, river Usk, clock tower in Twyn Square and the privately-owned castle.

Main attractions
Castle (where Henry V was born), regimental museum, 13th century Monnow bridge, Shire Hall, Nelson museum, St Marys church.

Independent businesses
A lovely selection including Extons, Gallery in the Square, Mandalay Books, Manon Interiors, Penhowe Antiques, Quails cabinet makers, Sweets Fishing Tackle and Upmarket Flowers.

Independent businesses
Exceptional choice including Artico, Bees for Development, Emma Webster Flowers. Fingal Rock, Gallery Gilmar, Mark Elliot furniture, New Leaf Gallery, Salt and Pepper and The Cotton Angel.

Visitor information
Call at Usk Rural Life Museum for advice and leaflets.

Visitor information
At Shire Hall in Agincourt Square you can pick up leaflets and speak to helpful staff. There are two touch-screen kiosks in Monmouth one inside Shire Hall and one at the Cattle Market Car Park - providing essential information 24 hours a day.

Left to right: Public art at the Riverfront, Newport Usk in spring Fortified Monnow bridge at Monmouth

Chef Mark Coulton comes up with some surprising venues for his supper club

Look whos coming to supper!

Theres a growing trend amongst diners to give high street restaurants a miss and opt instead for a supper club. Its a kind of dinner party with new friends at an unusual venue, prepared by someone who enjoys cooking.

While Wales cant claim to have started this phenomenon, we are catching up quickly. One of the first Welsh supper clubs to emerge is based in Abergavenny, food capital of Wales and home to the famous Food Festival (15-16 September 2012). A variation on the secretive supper clubs found in Londoners dining rooms, Foodworkshop Supper Club is not organised by a talented amateur cook but rather by a professional chef, Mark Coulton. The owner of a successful event catering company, Marks credentials couldnt be better he worked for Franco Taruschio at The Walnut Tree in the 1990s and has won Great Taste Awards for his Chef in the Freezer range. So whys he getting involved in supper clubs? I enjoy being with diners, connecting with them, finding out what they think; thats how I get inspired to develop new dishes from the very best local produce. As a chef who spends a great deal of time providing

catering for large corporate and private events, its exciting to get intimate again. To spend time creating a great meal for twenty to thirty people, says Mark. Unlike some supper clubs, Mark is keen that he uses different venues each time. It all adds to the event being distinctive and gets me thinking creatively about the theme for the evening which is reflected in the food and drink we serve. So, for example, in summer we may go to a vineyard and have a barbeque with a great selection of wines. In winter, when the game shooting season is in full swing, were more likely to serve pheasant on a country estate. One of the most interesting was a Murder Mystery supper club held on a wintry night in Sessions House in Usk, complete with Victorian court room, Mark adds. Word has spread quickly about Marks supper club and he is regularly approached by people with ideas for future venues an historic building, a village hall, a farmhouse.

While Mark likes to keep people guessing about what hell do next, hes consistent about one thing: At our supper club youll always get great, local, seasonal food, he says. So if you dont fancy cooking on holiday or want a change from the hotel restaurant, try Foodworkshop Supper Club the new eating out.


Cookery courses The Chefs Room, Blaenavon

Led by Franco Taruschio & Lindy Wildsmith, with masterclasses by other eminent chefs from time to time.

Festivals for Foodies Abergavenny Food Festival is a major

player on the food scene with its weekend festival attracting around 30,000 people each September. Two years ago it started a Christmas Food and Drink Fair and is looking to launch a spring event in 2013. Check for the very latest. After a successful inaugural event last year, Newport Food Festival will take place in the city centre this autumn And The Celtic Manor Resort will hold its first Savour Food Festival on 14 & 15 July, showcasing the very best in local produce and featuring live cookery demonstrations from top celebrity chefs.

The Culinary Cottage, Pandy

Courses include Cooking on an Aga, Thai cuisine and courses for men only.

Castle Fayre to Dragons Lair

Indulge in some merriment with this special family package which takes you back in time. Stay at the luxurious Celtic Manor Resort, try out historic pastimes including archery and enjoy a medieval banquet at Caldicot Castle complete with strolling minstrels. Available 1213 April and 9 10 August.

The Golden Lion

Crown Hotels & Restaurants, owner of the Michelin-starred Crown at Whitebrook restaurant, has acquired a 17th century Welsh pub. Its plans for The Golden Lion in Magor include a new-look restaurant while retaining the charm of this historic setting.

Get Up and Grow

Thats the name of an innovative project run by Monmouthshire County Council which engages people between the ages of 11 and 25 to get involved in growing herbs, fruit and vegetables. Winner of the Kerrygold Community Award for Wales, they now proudly supply some of their produce to The Angel Hotel in Abergavenny.

And the winner is....

The Brockweir and Hewelsfield Village Shop in the Wye Valley won the Best Local Food Retailer category in the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards. As well as being an outlet for local food producers and suppliers, this community-run shop hosts a caf offering free WiFi and an exhibition space for local artists.

The Secrets Out The Secret Supper Clwb is secret

no longer. Officially launching on 25 February in Newport, chef Emma Evans promises an exciting line-up of entertaining suppers throughout the year.

Top to bottom: Franco Taruschio at The Chefs Room, Blaenavon A summer supper from Mark Coulton Medieval banquet at Caldicot Castle

The power of the flame

For many people 2012 means one thing the Olympics What challenge have you set yourself for this Olympic year? In the Wye Valley & Vale of Usk youll find an alternative pentathlon. Five disciplines. Star-studded. Energy-sapping. Downright silly. Each ones different. You can go it alone in some of the events. For others youll need a team. For the real champions amongst you, the entire pentathlon can be completed during 2012. But, if you miss a few events, dont worry you wont have to wait another four years for glory.

Matt Tebbutts restaurant The Foxhunter near Abergavenny is named after Sir Harry Llewellyns legendary horse on which he won an Olympic gold medal in Helsinki in 1952. Foxhunter is buried on the Blorenge mountain, overlooking Abergavenny Sir Harrys home town; several walking routes in Blaenavon World Heritage Site pass Foxhunters grave.


The Ryder Cup Experience All year Take on the challenge set for the European and American teams in The 2010 Ryder Cup, with 18 holes of championship golf on The Twenty Ten course at Celtic Manor, near Newport. Use one of the Ryder Cup stars luxury lockers and take home a commemorative Ryder Cup gift.

Three Peaks Trial 31 March A choice of four walking routes linked to the three main peaks surrounding Abergavenny which the organisers say test endurance and map reading skills. They range from 20 miles with 5,000 of ascent to a mere 10-mile jaunt up and down the Sugarloaf. Attracts some 500 walkers and raises funds for, among others, Longtown Mountain Rescue Team.

Abergavenny Festival of Cycling 13 15 July A selection of events to choose from, including a 20-mile family ride and an extremely hilly 120-mile ride! Theres a chance to watch the professional riders make it look easy, and opportunities for children and teenagers to test their cycling skills in the towns park.


Black Mountains 3 Day 29 June 1 July When a few hours mountain biking is not enough, try this incredible 72-hour cross-country endurance event in the beautiful and remote Black Mountains. Your body will probably complain for several days afterwards but youll remember the experience for a lifetime.

Monmouth Raft Race 2 September Cajole at least three other people into building a raft and paddling six miles down the river Wye with the aim of raising money for St. Davids Foundation Hospice Care. Most of the 50 or so teams make it, eventually. Complete the course in under an hour and youre likely to win!

The Olympic Torch Relay arrives in Wales on 25 May, crossing the border at Monmouth and travelling through Raglan, Abergavenny, Blaenavon and Newport before ending that day in Cardiff. The 70-day journey begins on 19 May at Lands End and covers 8,000 miles across the UK before reaching the Olympic Stadium in London for the Opening Ceremony on 27 July.


Our champion: Rebecca James

Right on track for a place in the GB Olympic team is Abergavenny-girl Becky James. While the final decision is not made until early June, cyclist Beckys doing her utmost to earn a coveted place in the womens track sprint team by following a rigorous training regime at her base in Manchester. In 2008, aged just 16, Becky watched her idols on television as the GB cycling team brought home 14 Olympic medals. Four years on, she dreams of contributing to the GB medal tally.


For culture vultures

Check out the Cultural Olympiad programme Olympiad programme includes:

Top to bottom: Following the Flame exhibition Inspiration for the Elemental show at Blaenavon Ironworks

Following the Flame exhibitions at Langstone, near Newport 19 March 28 April, Newport Museum & Art Gallery 30 March 16 June and Shire Hall in Monmouth 729 May. This exhibition explores the history of often-forgotten Welsh Olympians and Paralympians through their own words and images. See an inspiring collection of photographs and sporting memorabilia. Elemental at Blaenavon Ironworks 29 30 June Twilight performances combining music, words, dance and drama which celebrate Wales metalworking heritage. The Pilgrimage 2012 A 22-day pilgrimage takes place between Llanthony Abbey in the Black Mountains and St Davids in Pembrokeshire, along the ancient pilgrimage route. In the 12th century Pope Calixtus II declared that two pilgrimages to St Davids equalled one to Rome and as a result many followed the path.Storyteller and guide Andrew Dugmore will be setting out from Llanthony on 16 June to walk the route, following in the steps of kings, saints, madmen and paupers.Visitors can join him by booking a place on the pilgrimage. At key points along the route, such as castles and holy wells, there will be events, performances and workshops. The journey asks can there be meaning for a modern day pilgrim?

Fast Facts
Olympic medal winners from this area include : Sir Harry Llewellyn show jumping (1952), David Broome show jumping (1960 & 1968), Jamie Baulch athletics (1996) and Tom Lucy rowing (2008). The inaugural World Alternative Games takes place on 1 & 2 September with some events, including underwater hockey known as Octopush being held in Newport. The city of Newport held its very first marathon in 2011. Put 28 October in your diary if you fancy taking part this year.

Golf The Celtic Manor Wales Open 31 May 3 June Horse Racing Chepstow Rugby Newport Gwent Dragons

For armchair athletes



Left to right: Double herbaceous borders at High Glanau Helena Gerrish, author of Edwardian Country Life: The Story of H. Avray Tipping High Glanau from the octagonal pool High Glanaus ribbon parterre looking towards the pergola

Well probably never know why he chose the Wye Valley. Perhaps hed fallen in love with its natural beauty on earlier visits. Maybe the splendid historic buildings mingled with mountains, valleys and rivers was, for him, a heady mix that provided an essential source of inspiration.

or whatever reasons, Henry Avray Tipping a wealthy 39-year old architectural historian with a passion for plants, and a friend of Gertrude Jekyll and Harold Peto set up home in the Wye Valley in 1894. And it was in this part of Wales that he refined his skill as a garden and house designer over the next 30 or so years, reaching a pinnacle with High Glanau Manor, near Monmouth. He combined practical projects with his role as Architectural Editor of Country Life, which he transformed into essential reading about Britains country houses. But his real love was plants, and his love of plants led him to designing gardens, and gardens led to houses, says Helena Gerrish, present day owner of High Glanau Manor. Regarded in the early 20th century as a leading authority on British country houses, Tipping is less well known for his skills as a garden designer, though he notably designed Chequers and Dartington Hall. A fine gardener herself, Helena Gerrish is perhaps Tippings greatest fan. Not only has she restored the house and its gardens to what Tipping originally created, but she has undertaken extensive research on the life of this rather eccentric man the focus for her Masters degree and the subject of her first book Edwardian Country Life: The Story of H. Avray Tipping (2011). Each of the small estates which Tipping developed in this area was carefully chosen, with regard to historical associations, aspect, soil, rocks and water.

Improve your garden

One of the UKs most talented garden designers, Arne Maynard, runs courses at his home, Allt y Bela, a medieval towerhouse near Usk. Look out for him this year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show as he designs the garden for Laurent-Perrier. Specialist plantsmen and garden writers are invited to lead courses at Llanover Garden School set in a 15-acre listed garden complete with arboretum. Abergavenny-born Anna Pavord, gardening correspondent for the Independent, returns to her roots in March to talk about growing food. Or take the easier option and let RHS Chelsea medal winner Cheryl Cummings from Monmouth design your garden for you.


Left to right: Arne Maynard leading a course at Allt y Bela Lower west terrace at High Glanau in June H.A. Tipping in the loggia at Mathern Palace

The gardens always came first. His typical design was to have a formal layout around the house, gradually merging into a natural-looking, though carefully-planned, garden and woodland. His gardens are characterised by divided compartments with sculpted yew hedging, topiary birds and animals, long grass bowling greens and lush planting. Water was a trademark too; if there was no stream, he would create one, pumping water from some distance if necessary, adds Helena Gerrish. First Tipping restored the dilapidated Mathern Palace, near Chepstow, which had been the official residence of the Bishops of Llandaff from 15th to 17th century. This was his main residence for nearly 20 years before he chose a site just a couple of miles away to build Mounton House, an ambitious half-timbered Jacobean-style mansion with extensive formal gardens. One of the last important country houses to be built in Britain, Mounton House was where Tipping entertained the great and the good of the Edwardian era. His next project was Wyndcliffe Court, near Chepstow, for the Clay family, owners of the Cardiff shipping company. Finally, he created his perfect home and garden at High Glanau Manor, which thankfully, visitors can still experience today. On 13 May the garden opens as part of the National Gardens Scheme and on 10 June a Rare Plant Fair will take place in the grounds. In fact Helena Gerrish opens High Glanau Manor by appointment throughout the year, offering lectures and cream teas as well as a tour of the gardens; contact her on 01600 860005 or Sounds like the perfect Edwardian afternoon.

Wales in Bloom
Our towns and villages are keen to show off their gardens, too. Both Chepstow and Usk won gold medals (again!) in the recent Wales in Bloom competition. Each has a thriving army of gardeners on a mission to make their patch the prettiest.

Three score and ten

Thats the number of gardens in the Wye Valley & Vale of Usk that will open to visitors as part of the National Gardens Scheme in 2012. From the co-ordinated openings of Coed y Paen, Llanfoist, Llanthony and Usk to one-offs like Ochran Mill (its pinball and arcade collection is very popular with non-gardeners and children) and Dewstow Gardens (5-acre Grade 1-listed garden with underground grottoes created around 1895 by James Pulham & Son which was buried after World War 11 and rediscovered in 2000).

. .his love of plants led him to designing gardens, and gardens led to houses..

Stop Press
Details of the very first Monmouthshire Garden Festival are emerging as this visitor guide goes to print. Keep up-to-date with developments about this autumn event at

Left to right: Old Station, Tintern Twyn Square, Usk Industrial heritage in the Wye Valley George V Gold Freedom Casket

Bite-size news
UKs favourite park: Tintern
The Old Station in Tintern has been voted the UKs favourite park in the annual Peoples Choice Award public poll. Chosen from 1,290 green spaces that have the Green Flag Award, this former railway station, not far from the iconic Tintern Abbey, is cherished by locals and visitors. A grassy 10-acre site on the banks of the river Wye, The Old Stations highlights include restored carriages housing a Wye Valley exhibition, childrens play area, Circle of Legends sculptures, miniature railway and a tea room that features in the AA guide to Perfect Places for Afternoon Tea. oldstationtintern

Golden casket comes home

The George V Gold Freedom Casket is back home in Newport thanks to the generous support of the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Art Fund. Given to controversial James Henry Thomas MP in 1924 when he was made a freeman of Newport, the casket has enamel panels depicting scenes from Newports landscape almost 90 years ago. Other significant social history collections at the museum are the Transporter Bridge archive and the Chartist archive including weapons used during the 1839 protest in Newport.

Miss January
Drum roll, please. Our very own, beautiful Twyn Square in Usk is now a pin-up star. Because it has colourful historic buildings bedecked with floral arrangements and an elegant clock tower erected in 1887 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria? No. Simply because it has a roundabout. Well, a noteworthy roundabout. Its one of just twelve chosen to feature in this years (and the first ever) Roundabouts of Wales calendar, produced by the Roundabout Appreciation Society.

No sweat
We all know Wales is hilly its part of its attraction. But it can also make you think twice about hiring a bike here. So the thoughtful people at Drover Holidays Luke and Anna - have added some stylish Spencer Ivy electric bikes to their fleet. Hire one for half a day or more, or use it to get around on a guided or self-guided cycling holiday. Theyll deliver and collect the bike, transfer your luggage and even provide you with a packed lunch and a bottle of local mineral water. So you can face those hills and see the wonderful views from the top without getting too sweaty!

Hidden industry revealed in the Wye Valley

Known primarily for its beauty and Picturesque viewpoints, the Wye Valley was the crucible of a technologically advanced metalworking industry from the 16th century up to the Industrial Revolution. Visitors can now discover some important industrial sites for themselves, following the completion of the 3-year Overlooking the Wye project, financed in part by the Heritage Lottery Fund. A series of walk leaflets help visitors explore the fascinating industrial sites around Tintern, including Abbey Furnace, the Limekilns and Lower Wireworks; they can be downloaded from or

On location
These days you never know who youll bump into in Newport; its becoming a very popular location for filming. Recent productions include Time Team, Great British Railway Journeys, Being Human, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Who.

Bees for Development

The international development organisation which offers training courses to UK beekeepers and works to alleviate poverty in the developing world through the promotion of sustainable beekeeping, has a new shop near Shire Hall in Monmouth. Opening in the spring, it has organic beeswax-based cosmetics, beekeeping equipment and an amazing selection of local honeys as well as exotic African honeys that raise incomes in Ethiopia and Zambia.


Ring the bells

The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal is celebrating its 200th anniversary with a year-long programme of activities and events on and alongside the canal.

Top to bottom: Goytre Wharf c. 1850 with its busy limekilns (illustrated by Michael Blackmore) Cruising on the Mon & Brec

Now known affectionately as the Mon & Brec, it is considered by many to be Britains most picturesque canal, and, for much of its length, it lies within the Brecon Beacons National Park. This waterway is also a great testimony to the skill of the 19th century engineer Thomas Dadford, Junior who designed the canal to hug the mountainside high above the Usk valley. In doing so, he created one of the longest lock-free stretches in the UKs waterway network; for 25 miles the canal remains at 361 ft above sea level, a marvel of contour canal engineering. Unlike many canals the Monmouthshire & Brecon has trees along much of its length and an array of wildflowers on its bank. A colourful nature trail in every season, the canal is a diverse wildlife habitat, home to an impressive array of historic industrial

architecture, a long distance path for walkers and cyclists, a pleasant route for exploring in a day boat or kayak and a narrowboat holiday destination passing through pretty villages with canalside pubs. Managed by British Waterways (which becomes the Canal & River Trust in April) and Local Authorities, the Mon & Brec attracts more than 3 million people annually. In its bicentennial year there are even more reasons to visit: guided walks, history talks, crazy competitions, cycle rides and family fun days. Check out whats planned at facebook/monmouthshireandbreconcanal,, and

The Mon & Brec 200 celebrations are launched on 10 February with peals of bells sounding out from over 70 churches along the route of the canal. This Ringing of the Bells recreates exactly what happened when the canal opened 200 years ago.

Left to right: Blaenavon World Heritage Site includes Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway Llanfoist Wharf c. 1850, a hive of activity Llanfoist Wharf 2012, a tranquil setting

1790s Two separate canals were being planned for this part of Wales to improve the transportation of coal, lime, iron ore and agricultural produce. For commercial reasons, the companies building the canals decided to link them at Pontymoile Basin, near Pontypool. 1799 The Monmouthshire Canal opened; it had two arms Newport to Pontnewynydd, near Pontypool and Newport to Crumlin. 1812 The Brecknock & Abergavenny Canal, from Brecon, reached Pontymoile Basin, joining the two canals together. It linked with over 200 miles of horse-drawn tramroads to convey goods to the busy port of Newport and to other towns in South Wales and the Midlands. 1820s The heyday of the two canals; every few miles there were busy wharves and lime kilns, full of the noises of men and horses at work. 1865 The Monmouthshire Canal
Company bought the Brecknock & Abergavenny Canal Company.

1970 The stretch from Brecon to Pontymoile Basin reopened to navigation. 1985 Monmouthshire, Brecon &
Abergavenny Canals Trust was formed to fight the closure of the canal through Cwmbran.

Launching in this bicentennial year is the Mon & Brecs only floating caf-restaurant boat. Its name, Puddlers, draws inspiration from the men who built the canal (puddling the clay to make a watertight lining to the canal) and the men who worked in the local ironworks (puddling the molten metal to produce a better quality iron). Moored at Llanfoist Wharf, just outside Abergavenny, this Edwardian-style boat has a luxury oak interior, brass light fittings and elegant seating. Delicious breakfasts, pastries, light lunches and scrumptious tea and cakes are served every day from 10am to 4pm sit inside or take-away. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings it slips its mooring and guests enjoy an evening cruise as they dine; dinner reservations are essential.

1990s A further 2 miles was

restored, from Pontymoile Basin to Five Locks, Cwmbran. Since 21st century Enthusiastic volunteers continue working towards their dream of full navigation. Recent successes include restoration work on the impressive Fourteen Locks Flight on the Crumlin arm, which originally raised the canal 155ft in just mile.

2012 Another chapter in the canals history begins as British Waterways becomes a charity the Canal & River Trust.
Blaenavon World Heritage Site
The canal forms part of Blaenavon World Heritage Site, which also boasts Big Pit National Coal Museum, Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway, Blaenavon World Heritage Visitor Centre, Blaenavon Ironworks and themed walking routes.

1880 The Great Western Railway purchased the canal and changed its name to the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. 1920s Trade on the canal had virtually
ceased as railways came to the fore. Over the next 30 years the Monmouthshire canal stretch was adversely affected by road and bridge building but the Brecknock & Abergavenny canal survived as a water feeder, although it was no longer navigable.

1950s The Inland Waterways Association campaigned to restore the canal.

To mark this bicentennary, artist Michael Blackmore and Alasdair Kirkpatrick from Beacon Park Boats have produced a commemorative book 200 Years of The Monmouthshire and Brecknock & Abergavenny Canals: an illustrated history. For a chance to win one of five copies of this beautiful coffee table book, please answer this question: Which author included Llanfoist Wharf and the Mon & Brec Canal in his 1959 novel? Email your answer, together with your name and address to Closing date is 30 September. See for terms and conditions. Visit for more information.


New Mon & Brec Book

On the digital trail

You may already follow us and benefit from the constant updates about whats happening in the Wye Valley & Vale of Usk. Were on @visitwyevalley. If this is news to you, why not start following us. Email us ( if you want to know how to get started.



Now you can access a wealth of essential information about our castles and other historic sites with the latest mobile phone app from Cadw. Pronounced kad-oo (meaning to protect or keep in Welsh), this is the Welsh Governments service that conserves Wales heritage. Download the app for free at the iTunes App Store or the Android Market, then use it to: locate your nearest site with the Google map f  ind out admission prices and site opening times search for forthcoming events learn about our historic buildings.

Castles to go

As more and more visitors access information whenever they want, wherever they are, exciting digital developments are happening, not least the use of QR (quick response) code technology - a weirdlooking black and white barcode that can be read by a smartphones camera. Youll need to download a free QR-code app onto your smartphone. Launch the app and your phones camera is activated. Line up the camera on your device with the QR code you want to scan and hold the device steady until the app can read the code in front of it. When the app has recognized the QR code it will display the info the code contains, or launch your web browser to take you to a designated website. Fancy a go? Just point your smart phone at the QR code above and see where it takes you.

QR codes

Tread and Trot Trails

Three new waymarked countryside trails are the first in the area to be launched with mobile phone apps, in addition to the more traditional printed leaflets. The apps include animated and audio interpretation, and let you log the wildlife you spot and the time you take to complete the route! Set in some of the regions most inspiring locations, Whitestone, Whitebrook and the Wye, Dingestow Discoveries and Tinterns Hidden History are suitable for horse-riders, cyclists and walkers. Go to to download a PDF of the printed leaflet or the app for your smart phone. Then youre ready to set off........

Six interactive visitor information kiosks have been installed at key locations to provide information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They complement the face-to-face service provided by our Tourist Information Centres. Two of the kiosks are located inside buildings, at Magor Services (M4 junction 23A) and Shire Hall in Monmouth; the other four are external kiosks at Abergavenny TIC, Chepstow TIC, Monmouths Cattle Market car park and Old Station, Tintern. With a 46-inch touch screen interface, each kiosk uses QR code technology (a barcode that can be read by a phones camera) to help you build bespoke itineraries which you can then take away with you on your mobile phone. Smart, eh?

Touch screen kiosks






Raglan Under Siege 1646

Visit before you visit Raglan, and youll see this village in an entirely new light. Famous for its castle in which Royalist Cavaliers were besieged for weeks by Parliamentary Roundhead forces in the summer of 1646, the village now has an engaging heritage trail with a difference. Explore nine locations on foot with Professor Ray Howell from the University of Wales Newport as your personal tour guide. At each location simply use a smart phone to scan the relevant QR code (see adjacent image) on the trail leaflet. Youll be whisked back in time with a video clip revealing Raglans Civil War history.


The border town of Monmouth is to be the focus of a groundbreaking Wikipedia project. The online encyclopaedia is inviting historians and local residents to contribute photographs and articles to document the life and history of the entire town. The project will see QR codes placed at points of interest around the town; visitors will scan a QR code with their smart phones to get information about that landmark in their own language. A world first, apparently!



We had so much correspondence from viewers asking for advice and showing interest in various aspects of country life that we decided to set up Kates Country School, said Kate Beavan, whose farm near Abergavenny was the location for the first Lambing Live television series presented by Kate Humble and Adam Henson. Its an idea that had been at the back of my mind for years; the chance to share our knowledge of animal husbandry and land management to people who are keen to learn but perhaps dont want to enrol on a formal course. A lecturer at the local agricultural college and married to a third-generation farmer, optimistic Kate has all the necessary attributes to make a success of her new venture at Great Trerhew farm. To begin with were offering day courses on topics that are simply part of our routine: lambing, sheep shearing, butchery, animal husbandry, wildlife conservation, drystone walling and cider-making. We made 150 gallons of cider last autumn from apples grown elsewhere, and enjoyed it so much that weve decided to reinstate the farms cider orchard. Future plans also include courses in wood-turning and bee-keeping. All the activities will take place on the farm or in my brother-in-laws butchers shop, said Kate, whos keen to ensure that everyone gets a glimpse of real life in the countryside, not just theoretical learning in a classroom. For a day, theyll be part of our family on the farm, getting stuck in and sharing lunch around our kitchen table. Kate Beavan already has one satisfied student - Kate Humble. Good friends since the Lambing Live series, they are also fairly close neighbours, with the television presenter having moved to a smallholding in the Wye Valley about five years ago. Kate Humble said, I fully support Kate Beavans plans for her Country School. Our shared experience on Lambing Live showed us that theres a huge interest in how good food is produced, and people want to know how to do it for themselves. The Wye Valley and Vale of Usk have a fine tradition of farming, and its just the place to rekindle the publics interest in food production. Kate Humble and her husband recently purchased a former council farm near their home, where they plan to set up a rural skills centre in 2012. Ruth Tudor, farmer, educator and psychotherapist, who farms 2000 acres and co-owns award-winning Trealy Farm Charcuterie with her husband, is trying to help people connect with the realities of farming animals for meat. Her on-farm courses explore farming practices, slaughter, butchery and cooking with the aim of recovering something largely lost today proper understanding of, and respect for, how food reaches our plates.

For a day, theyll be part of our family on the farm... sharing lunch around our kitchen table.

All activities at Llananant Farm.. aim to support the growth of vibrant, connected, sustainable communities.

Sue Pritchard is another visionary. On her 52-acre holding near Raglan, Llananant Farm, shes developing The Permaculture Project which has the same roots as the theories and methods that guide her management consulting practice. Sue believes many of the pressing problems faced by families, organisations and indeed the entire planet can be tackled by living and working in more sustainable ways. All activities at Llananant Farm, including short courses on choosing and using renewable energy, restoring orchards, coppicing woodlands and strawbale building, aim to support the growth of vibrant, connected, sustainable communities. One farm where visitors have already made a huge difference is Llwyn Ffranc on the slopes of the Skirrid Fawr mountain near Abergavenny. Many of our volunteers come via World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms and the Bristol-based community enterprise Open Platform, explained Liz Court, one of the directors of this community-owned farm. Theyre helping us progress towards our aim of becoming a biodynamic farm and, in turn, were giving them a chance to connect with the land, food and forest. Hopefully, theyll take away some of what they discover here and apply it at home, added Liz. Visit Llwyn Ffranc on 14 15 April for their second Wild Garlic Festival and you can forage in the woodland and enjoy a fine wild garlic soup.

Back at Great Trerhew, Kate Beavan sums up the passion found in each of these women. Were keen to show how relevant farming and food issues are to everyone, wherever they live. Who knows perhaps coming here will inspire someone to live the good life, and that may have a beneficial impact on their friends and family or even an entire communit y, said Kate.
Left to right: Sue Pritchard at Llananant Farm Early morning mist in the Vale of Usk Ruth Tudor helps people connect with the realities of farming animals for meat Local resident Kate Humble

Lend a hand on the land There are year-round opportunities to learn a traditional skill AND help conserve the rural way of life in the Wye Valley & Vale of Usk... everything from a days taster to a working holiday. Open Farm Sunday 17 June Several local farms open their doors to visitors.


Left to right: Arthur, Tewdric and Offa, depicted in lifesize wooden sculptures at the Old Station, Tintern.

Rubbing shoulders with royalty

In this Diamond Jubilee year, the events of 1952 are inevitably big news. Like the rest of Great Britain, local events to celebrate the Queens 60 years on the throne are centred on the special bank holiday weekend in June. But our royal connections are visible all year round. It might surprise you to learn that the Wye Valley & Vale of Usk has significant links to many regal characters some fairly recent, others shrouded in the mists of time. There are some pretty interesting stories to be uncovered at sites across the region. Heres a selection, including some you probably wont find in the guide books.


5th 6th century

Caerleon has long been associated with the legend of King Arthur. In the 12th century Gerald of Wales confirmed that it was here that Roman Legates came for an audience at the great Arthurs famous court. But it was Geoffrey of Monmouths recently written fanciful history, Historia Regum Britanniae, which sparked the creation of the powerful legend. Others have further embellished the tale, including Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who has almost become part of the story itself. He visited Caerleon for inspiration to write his masterpiece Idylls of the King, staying at the Hanbury Arms; the window overlooking the Usk valley is still known as Tennysons window.


c.580 c.630
Tewdric (or Tewdrig) was a King of Gwent who was fatally wounded while defeating the invading Saxons at Pont y Saeson, near Tintern. On his final journey, springs arose to bathe his wounds wherever he stopped. He died at a place now called Tewdrigs Well in Mathern. Kingstone Brewery in Tintern has created an ale named Tewdrics Tipple.


8th century
This King of Mercia was one of the leading figures in Saxon history, extending his influence to include most of England south of the Humber. After devastating invasions by the Welsh, Offa built a massive linear earthwork to define the boundary and defend his territory. Known as Offas Dyke, and still traceable for much of its length, it was originally about 27 metres wide and 8 metres high.


Eleanor of Provence
Younger sister of the Queen of France, she married Henry III of England and had nine children including Edward I, the great castle builder. Her influence, and that of French architects, can be seen at Grosmont Castle (with Eleanors chimney) and St Nicholas Church (with its Eleanor chapel).

Henry V

1386 1422
Born in Monmouth castle long before his father became king (Henry IV), Henry V reigned for just nine years (1413-1422). But his military successes in the Hundred Years War culminating with Agincourt in 1415, are legendary, inspiring three of Shakespeares plays. In 1792, a statue of Henry V was erected in a niche above the entrance to the Shire Hall overlooking the appropriately-named Agincourt Square in his home town. Built in 1724, the Grade 1-listed Shire Hall underwent a 4.5m refurbishment a few years ago before being officially reopened to visitors by the Princess Royal. It contains the courtroom where the Chartists were tried in 1839/40, a recently-embroidered Henry V wall hanging and is home to a weekly market.

Henry VII
Henry Tudor spent his childhood at Raglan Castle, in the custody of William Herbert, a leading Yorkist who was trying to curb the influence of the Lancastrian Tudor family.

Charles I
1600 1649
Charles reputedly used 15th century Llanvihangel Court, near Abergavenny, as a hideaway during the Civil War. After the battle of Naseby in 1645 he visited Raglan Castle, and during a trip the following year he reputedly played bowls on the castles green. In 1645 he also spent time at the stone-built Tredegar House in Newport, an indication of this propertys importance and the influence of the Morgan family who lived there. Rebuilt on a palatial scale after the Civil War, the red brick mansion that is now managed by The National Trust is one of most important late 17th century buildings in Britain.


Agatha Christies play The Mousetrap starts its run at the New Ambassadors Theatre in London, where it is still showing. Only 10% of the adult population had a telephone. After 13 years, tea rationing ended on 5 October. Summer Olympics in Helsinki and Winter Olympics in Oslo. Sir Harry Llewellyn won an Olympic Gold Medal with his horse Foxhunter at the Olympics in Helsinki. Last tram ride in London.


The Riverfront in Newport hosts, on average, 26 different events, workshops and performances each week! Less than 10% of the adult population does not own a mobile phone. Diamond Jubilee Afternoon Tea at The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny 110 June Some events in the inaugural World Alternative Games take place in Newport. Foxhunters grave, near Keepers Pond on the Blorenge mountain above Abergavenny, is a well visited spot. Sir Harrys ashes were scattered at this location after his death in 1999. Miniature trains still run at Old Station, Tintern and restored full-size locomotives pull passenger services in Blaenavon.

Top left to right: Brewed in Tintern A Monmouth pub frequented by Oliver Cromwell Detail on the Town Gate, Chepstow Shire Hall, Monmouth Raglan castle Grosmont castle with Eleanors chimney Stately Tredegar House, Newport

1952 2012


I like the sound of that

Sound is often the key that unlocks memories and evokes special locations. A melody on the radio. A rarely heard accent. In an instant youre in another world. So listen carefully to these great-sounding ideas for weekends away.

an enthusiastic crowd
What? Optimistic racegoers crescendo as the runners reach the finishing straight in front of the grandstand. Where? Chepstow Racecourse When? All year; there are 28 National Hunt and Flat race meetings planned for this year, including weekday, weekend and evening fixtures. Alternatives A free live gig in the buzzing Agincourt Square, Monmouth during Monmouth Festival. A full-blooded rugby match at Rodney Parade, home of Newport Gwent Dragons, one of the four professional rugby teams in Wales.

golden silence
What? Unadulterated peace and quiet, interrupted by only the sounds of nature wind in the trees, water on rocks, lambs bleating, birdsong. Refreshment virtually guaranteed. Where? Secluded Llanthony valley, reached by a narrow, winding road. From Offas Dyke Path high up on the eastern ridge the 12th century Cistercian Priory on the valley floor is but a dot. When? All year. OK, so therell be others with the same idea on bank holidays but even then youll find plenty of space to yourself just a few minutes walk from the Priory car park. Alternatives Wander through the Victorian Belle Vue Park and take a seat in St. Woolos Cathedral in Newport city centre. One of the former bishops of this diocese is Dr. Rowan Williams, now Archbishop of Canterbury. Or fill your senses at New Grove Meadows Reserve, near Monmouth, some of the very best wildflower meadows in Britain. Bursting with colour (and natural sounds) from April to July.

a distant whistle
What? Take a trip back in time on restored steam and diesel locomotives at Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway, which recently opened a branch line to Big Pit National Coal Museum. Adults can even take the controls of a locomotive on a Steam Driver Experience Day. Where? Blaenavon World Heritage Site When? Easter to October half-term, plus Christmas specials in December. Alternatives Re-enactments and theatre productions at Caldicot castle, Chepstow castle & Raglan castle.


happy children playing

What? Croissant Neuf Summer Party. Winner of the Greener Festival Award, this is a solar-powered festival with a super line-up of live music and dance and an emphasis on family. Everyone can join in the not-too-serious games of rounders, cricket & football, and theres a treasure hunt for children of all ages, including grandparents! Where? A beautiful countryside setting near Usk. When? August Alternatives Old Station, Tintern (officially the UKs favourite park, see page 17) for themed childrens activities from Easter to October half-term. For indoor play, try Whirlikidz in Chepstow.

Left to right: Chepstow Racecourse Croissant Neuf Summer Party great for families Llanthony Priory Live music at Croissant Neuf Summer Party St. Woolos Cathedral, Newport 1940s event at Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway


Sources of information
Tourist Information Centres (TICs) For the very best advice on where to stay, what to do, how to get about and whats on, you should contact the staff at our friendly TICs. If, prior to your visit, you require information not contained within this guide, the TICs listed below will be able to help you. They also offer a local accommodation booking service and a Book-A-Bed-Ahead service for anywhere in the UK. Please call to check opening hours.

Abergavenny Tourist Information & National Park Centre (open all year) Monmouth Road, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 5HL Tel: +44 (0)1873 853254 Fax: +44 (0)1873 853254 Email: Caerleon TIC (open all year) 5 High Street, Caerleon, Newport, NP18 1AE Tel: +44 (0)1633 422656 Email: Chepstow TIC (open all year) Castle Car Park, Bridge Street, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, NP16 5EY Tel: +44 (0)1291 623772 Fax: +44 (0)1291 628004 Email: Newport TIC (open all year) Museum & Art Gallery, John Frost Square, Newport, NP20 1PA Tel: +44 (0)1633 842962 Fax: +44 (0)1633 222615 Email:

Other Sources of Information

Monmouth Visitor Information (open all year) The Shire Hall, Agincourt Square, Monmouth, Monmouthshire, NP25 3DY Tel: +44 (0)1600 775257 Email: Caldicot Tourist Information Outlet (open from April November) Caldicot Castle, Church Road, Caldicot, Monmouthshire, NP26 4HU Tel: +44 (0)1291 420241 Fax: +44 (0)1291 435094 Email: The Old Station, Tintern (open from April November) Tintern, Monmouthshire, NP16 7NX Tel: +44 (0)1291 689566 Email: Usk Tourist Information Outlet (open Easter October) Usk Rural Life Museum, The Malt Barn, New Market Street, Usk, Monmouthshire, NP15 1AU Tel: +44 (0)1291 673777 Email:

Visitor information kiosks

Quickly and easily discover what to see and do in the area Plan your itinerary Take advantage of exclusive offers and discounts Make transport enquiries Have the information sent to your mobile phone

Visitor information kiosks are available in the following locations: Abergavenny Bus Station Car Park Chepstow Castle Car Park Monmouth Cattle Market Car Park & Shire Hall Tintern Old Station Car Park Magor Roadchef Motorway Services

Local Tourism Groups

Abergavenny & District Tourist Association Produces a comprehensive guide which includes details of accommodation, businesses, restaurants and services for visitors to the Abergavenny area. Tel: +44 (0)1873 853254 Email: Abergavenny Farm Holiday Group For B & B and self catering on farms and smallholdings situated on the hills surrounding the bustling market town of Abergavenny. Brochure available. Tel: +44 (0)1873 890359 Caerleon Tourism Forum Local traders and professional organisations working together to promote Caerleon, and the annual art and sculpture festival. Trail leaflets available. Tel: +44 (0)1633 422656 Email:

For the very latest information about the region, including events:

Like more information?

If you want to find out more about something that interests you, visit or contact one of the TICs.


Newport Tourism Association Tel: +44 (0)1633 414514 Email: Stay Down Our Lane Rural self catering and bed & breakfast properties in Monmouthshire offering quality and a friendly stay. For information and availability Freephone +44 (0)8000 935156 or visit Wye Valley & Forest of Dean Tourism Association Over 300 places to stay, things to do and places to eat. Full details on the website and in two guides Attractions, Activities & Speciality Shopping and Eating Out. The Association also publishes 12 Easy Walks aimed specifically at the less able walker. Tel: +44 (0)845 053 1173 Email:

Gordon Hill, Caldicot Tel: +44 (0)1291 424143 Mobile: 07836 203295 Email: Margaret McIntyre, Monmouth (German speaker) Tel: +44 (0)1600 712799 Mobile: 07801 286098 Email: Central Enquiry Service for Wales Tel: +44 (0)2920 401430 Email:

The region is an outstanding golf destination that will appeal to golfers who require pre-set or tailor made golf breaks. For information, advice and options please call our dedicated Golf Sales Team. Tel: +44 (0)870 600 6088 Fax: +44 (0)2920 611334 Email:

If youre planning to bring a group to the Wye Valley & Vale of Usk we offer help to organise tours and short breaks and to develop itineraries. Tel: +44 (0)845 6002639 Email:

Heads of the Valleys Green Badge Guides

Details of those qualified to guide throughout the Heads of the Valleys region including Blaenavon World Heritage Site.

Cordell Country Official Guides

Let a tour guide introduce you to the landscapes and places which so inspired Alexander Cordell, author of Rape of the Fair Country. They are your ideal partners for bringing the sites and his writing to life.

Conferences and Meeting Venues

For help finding venues and ideas for conferences, meetings, incentives & team building. Tel: +44 (0)1633 233327 Email:

Blue Badge Guides

If youd like a guided tour of the area why not contact a qualified member of the Wales Official Tourist Guides Association. These freelance Guides will undertake various types of tours, ranging from hourly tours by car or coach, to extended tours of longer duration throughout Wales. The following Guides are resident in the Wye Valley & Vale of Usk: Phil Coates, Newport Tel: +44 (0)1633 774796 Mobile: 07867 786368 Email: Sandi Gosden, near Abergavenny Tel: +44 (0)1495 785356 Mobile: 07748 007291 Email:

Overseas Visitors
If youre travelling from outside the UK you may wish to visit the website below with information on the southern Wales region in English, French, Dutch & German. Email:

Chartism Heritage Official Guides

Guides qualified to interpret the heritage of the Chartism movement, particularly relating to sites within southeast Wales and the 1839 Newport Uprising.

Weather Forecast
For the latest forecast contact the Met. Office. Tel: 0870 9000 100 (UK) 441392 885680 (outside UK)


Making the Grade

A Guide to Quality Assurance

All the accommodation featured in this publication has been independently assessed so you can make your choice in confidence, knowing that each place to stay has been given a rating according to the quality and facilities on offer. These ratings mean that you can be sure of standards and choose the accommodation thats just right for you. Visit Wales/AA are the only checking agents in Wales, checking out over 5,000 places. STARS are your guide to quality. The Star Quality Grading Schemes apply to all types of accommodation: serviced hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfast, farm accommodation, hostel/hostel type accommodation, self-catering cottages and apartments and caravan holiday home and touring/camping parks. All accommodation grades are based on a set of common quality standards agreed by Visit Wales, Visit England, Visit Scotland and the AA. The star ratings reflect the facilities and overall quality of the experience.

The advice is to always check with an establishment before booking to check that the accommodation offers the services and facilities that meet your needs they will only be too pleased to help. Also look out for that extraspecial property that has been awarded Visit Wales Gold Award, given for exceptional standards of hospitality, comfort and food in serviced accommodation. Occasionally, it has not been possible to visit the accommodation prior to publication. In these instances, the property is marked as Awaiting Grading. Some accommodation operators have chosen not to be star rated, but they have been checked out to ensure that they provide an acceptable level of services and facilities appropriate to their type of business. They are identified as either Verified or Listed

Look out for these symbols: Access improved for mobility impaired people Access improved for visually impaired people Access improved for hearing impaired people Please note: All gradings and awards were correct at the time of going to press. Occasionally, it may not have been possible to undertake a grading. This situation is clearly identified by Awaiting Grading appearing within the advertisement/entry. Grading assessments are on-going and improvements made by establishments may have resulted in a revision since publication. Please check when booking. Further information on gradings and awards is available from Visit Wales, Welsh Government, Rhodfa Padarn, Llanbadarn Fawr, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3UR Tel: 0845 010 8020 email:

What do our star ratings mean?

Accommodation operators are graded between one and five stars based on the overall quality of the experience and the facilities available. Simple, practical, no frills Well presented and well run Good level of quality and comfort Very Good Excellent Does a lower star rating equal less quality? Many lower star rated accommodations may still offer high quality but do not meet all of the facility and service expectations for the higher star ratings. It is particularly important not to compare Guest Accommodation ratings against Hotel ratings as different criteria are used when assessing.

A Warm Welsh Welcome

Watch out for this sign as these places have achieved a Croeso Award in recognition of their exceptional Warm Welsh Welcome.

Any problems?
In the unfortunate event that you do encounter problems with your chosen accommodation, please refer to contactus/complaints/concomplaints/ for further guidance.

Accommodating visitors with disabilities

All Visit Wales graded properties have an Access Statement. This statement tells visitors in a clear, accurate and honest way how the property can meet their particular needs. Three symbols have been introduced to help visitors with physical impairments find the Access Statements of most relevance to them. Accommodation providers have selected the one symbol which best describes the improvements that they have made to their properties.


Key to advertisements
Each establishment heading carries a map reference (which refers to a square e.g. A1) which can be located on the large map included with this guide. We hope that this will help you to select a holiday base close to those places of particular interest.

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The Angel Hotel

Establishment Photograph

Abergavenny B4

15 Cross Street, Abergavenny, NP7 5EN T: 01873 857121 F: 01873 858059 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 35 / En-suite: 35 Historic coaching inn and serviced cottages close to Abergavenny castle, market and independent shops. Stylish restaurant and courtyard. Tea Guilds Top City and Country Hotel Award for afternoon teas. Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Near Shaun Hills Michelin-starred Walnut Tree. Short Room Rate: Single from 89 Breaks Double from 111


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Tourism Symbols
. B v P b s z 5 O S m l
Bookable through TICs Bus stop nearby (0.5 miles) Caf/Restaurant Charge for fuel Close to long distance walks Close to short walking routes Coach parties welcome Cots available Disabled facilities Electric hook-up (caravan/camping site) Evening entertainment Evening meals by arrangement Facilities for visitors with hearing difficulties Facilities for visitors with sight difficulties Garden (for guests use) Golf course within 20 mins drive Ground floor bedrooms available Gym/Health Club Laundry facilities Licensed Lift Linen provided free of charge Major credit cards accepted Parking/private car park Pets welcome by arrangement Railway station nearby (3 miles) Showers (caravan/camping site) Smoking area provided Special diets catered for Swimming pool Tea/coffee facilities in bedrooms Television Toilets on site (caravan/camping site or attraction/activity) Totally non-smoking Use of organic produce Welsh spoken Wireless broadband

Quality Grading
Inspected & graded by Visit Wales Inspected and graded by the AA Visit Britain Silver Award Inspected & graded by Visit Britain Visit Wales Gold Award 2012

Accommodation Awards
Green Dragon Environmental Standard

Cyclists Welcome Award Visit Britain Breakfast Award Heart of England Excellence Awards

Walkers Welcome Award AA Breakfast Award

General Awards

Croeso (Welcome) Award Savour The Wye Green Tourism Business Scheme Green Flag Award Winner of Golf Resort of the Year Europe 2011 Campaign for Real Ale Welsh Rarebits

AA Restaurant Rating Welcome Host Disability Access Statement Available Online Les Routiers Listed Restaurant AA Notable Wine List Award 20112012 Cask Marque Award

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M&IT Gold Award

Attraction & Activity Awards

Visit Wales Accredited Attraction Museums, Libraries & Archives Council British Horse Society RYA Training Centre Visit Wales Accredited Activity Wales Trekking & Riding Association AALA Accredited

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Local Tourist Associations

Abergavenny & District Tourist Association Stay Downourlane Abergavenny Farm Holiday Group Wye Valley & Forest of Dean Tourism Association Brecon Beacons Tourism


Serviced Accommodation
The Angel Hotel
Abergavenny B4

Rose Cottage
43 Sandy Lane, Caldicot, NP26 4NA T: 01291 420030 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 4 / En-suite: 3 Peacefully located, Rose Cottage is close to many shops, pubs and good food. Chepstow Racecourse and the prestigious St Pierre Golf Course within easy distance, as are historic attractions and the Wye Valley area of outstanding natural beauty. Ground floor bedrooms and full Welsh breakfast. Room Rate: Single from 40 Double from 60

Caldicot C7

15 Cross Street, Abergavenny, NP7 5EN T: 01873 857121 F: 01873 858059 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 35 / En-suite: 35 Historic coaching inn and serviced cottages close to Abergavenny castle, market and independent shops. Stylish restaurant and courtyard. Tea Guilds Top City and Country Hotel Award for afternoon teas. Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Near Shaun Hills Michelin-starred Walnut Tree. Room Rate: Single from 89 Short Double from 111 Breaks

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Abergavenny B3

Brynhonddu Country House B&B

Pandy, Abergavenny, NP7 7PD T: 01873 890535 F: 01873 890792 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 4 / En-suite: 4 Our friendly family-run B&B, voted Best B&B in Wales 2003 by overseas visitors, offers picturesque views over the Black Mountains and an historic country house setting with some of the best walking areas in the country and extensive biodiversity of flora and fauna.

St Pierre, A Marriott Hotel and Country Club

Chepstow D6

St Pierre Park, Chepstow NP16 6YA T: 01291 635260 F: 01291 627977 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 148 / En-suite: 148 Nestled in 400 acres of Welsh countryside the hotel was once a 14th Century Manor House and retains much of its charm and character. Ideally located in Chepstow the hotel is perfectly placed for exploring the Wye & Usk Valleys, the Forest of Dean and the rest of South Wales. Room Rate: Single from 79-169 Double from 79-169 Special Offer Short Break Rate: 132-241

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Room Rate: Single 35-45 Double 65-70

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Monmouth C3

Abergavenny B4

Hardwick Farm

The Bell at Skenfrith

Abergavenny, NP7 9BT T: 01873 853513 / 07773 775179 E: W: Open: All Year (Except Christmas) Rooms: 3 / En-suite: 2 Warm welcome and homely atmosphere awaits you on our dairy farm. Situated on the edge of the Brecon Beacons, surrounded by mountain views and rolling countryside, bordered by River Usk. Ideal centre for walking, exploring castles, pony-trekking.

Skenfrith, Monmouthshire, NP7 8UH T: 01600 750235 F: 01600 750525 E: W: Open: 10 Feb 2012 27 Jan 2013 Rooms: 11 / En-suite: 11 Award-winning inn with eleven fabulous en-suite bedrooms. Delicious food from our organic garden and local suppliers. Extensive wine list (AA 2012 UK Winner), real ales and local cider. Wonderful walks in Monnow Valley. Closed Tuesdays November to March. Room Rate: Single 75-120 Double 110-220 Short Break Rates: 340 - 470

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Room Rate: Single From 45 Double 60-70

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The Celtic Manor Resort

Caerleon B7

Monmouth C4

Church Farm Guest House

Guest House

Venue of The 2010 Ryder Cup

Mitchel Troy, Monmouth, NP25 4HZ T: 01600 712176 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 9 / En-suite: 7 A spacious and homely 16th century former farmhouse (Grade II listed) with oak beams and inglenook fireplaces. Set in large garden with stream. Easy access to A40. Two miles from historic Monmouth. All types of room so suitable for families/groups.

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Room Rate: Single 33-35 Double 66-70 Short Break Rates: 204 - 212

Monmouth D5
Coldra Woods, Newport, NP18 1HQ T: 01633 413000 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 400 / En-suite: 400 Situated in the beautiful Usk Valley The Celtic Manor Resort offers luxury on a grand scale with three hotels - the five star Resort Hotel, a four star 19th century Manor House Hotel and a country inn, the Newbridge on Usk. There are a wealth of facilities including two health spas and fitness clubs, six restaurants, and 3 championship golf courses, including the Twenty Ten course, home of the 2010 Ryder Cup, along with a Golf Academy. All manner of outdoor pursuits can be enjoyed including Adventure Golf, the Forest Jump treetop adventure, tennis, mountain biking, woodland walks and fishing.

The Inn at Penallt

Penallt, Monmouth, NP25 4S T: 01600 772765 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 4 / En-suite: 4 Jackie and Andrew offer a warm welcome at their 4 star Country Inn and Restaurant. From freshly baked bread to their own ice-cream, the Inn serves the very best in Welsh and local produce, along with award winning ales/ciders.

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Room Rate: Single 99-1,500 Double 99-1,500

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Room Rate: Single From 57.50 Double From 75 Short Break Rates: Yes, see website for offers.



Monmouth D5

Llandogo, Monmouth, NP25 4TL T: 01594 530496 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 2 / En-suite: 2 Luxury accommodation set in pleasant landscaped gardens just off main A466, halfway between Monmouth and Chepstow, in the picturesque village of Llandogo. Close to Tintern and Forest of Dean. Ideal touring centre. Walkers paradise. Access at all times. Brochure available. Room Rate: Single from 35 Double from 60

Abergavenny & District Tourist Association

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Portland House

Monmouth D4

Guest Accommodation

To request a free brochure call

Whitchurch, Ross on Wye, HR9 6DB T: 01600 890757 E: W: Open: Feb - Dec / Rooms: 6 / En-suite: 6 Elegant, grade 11 listed, Georgian house in AONB, 5 minutes from the River Wye, adjacent Forest of Dean and Symonds Yat. Highly commended by AA. Cosy relaxing lounge. Spacious ensuite bedrooms with divine beds. Ground floor Lloyd Suite overlooks award winning garden. Ross Suite, two bedroomed with countryside views, can accommodate family of 5/6. Monmouth Suite, gorgeous 4 poster bed Victorian bathroom. 3 course breakfasts, AGA cooked, have justly earned the AA Breakfast Award. Lots to do nearby.

01873 853254

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Room Rate: Single From 60 Double From 70

Whitehill Farm B&B

Wonastow, Monmouth, NP25 4DW T: 01600 740253 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 2 / En-suite: 2 18th century spacious farmhouse on working farm with stunning rural views: A warm reception for quiet stressfree breaks: Large garden and patio, freeview TVs, wifi, magazines etc. Explore the farm, woodland walks and see wild deer and badgers. Only 2.5 miles to historic Monmouth. Room Rate: Single from 50 Double from 70

Monmouth C4

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The Beaufort Arms Coaching Inn & Brasserie

Raglan C5

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High Street, Raglan, NP15 2DY T: 01291 690412 F: 01291 690935 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 17 / En-suite: 17 16th century inn historically linked to Raglan Castle, halfway M4/M50 at A40/A449 junction. Great food, ales, wines & AA rosette brasserie. Relaxed modern elegance & traditional features. Ideal for tourists & business with comprehensive meeting facilities & south-facing terrace. Room Rate: Single From 60 Room Rate: Single Double 75-120 From 75 Short Break Double Rates: 110-220 110 - 140 Short Break Rates: 340 - 470


Serviced Accommodation
The Chase Hotel
Ross on Wye E3

Greyhound Inn/Hotel

Usk B6

Gloucester Road, Ross on Wye, HR9 5LH T: 01989 763161 F: 01989 768330 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 36 / En-suite: 36 Set in 11 acres of grounds only a two minute walk into the old Market Town. All 36 en-suite bedrooms have been upgraded, many have commanding views over the gardens and surrounding countryside. The executive and four poster rooms incorporate en-suite jacuzzi or feature baths. The public areas are furnished in a contemporary design whilst still retaining the original features of this period manor house. Harrys Restaurant has a varied menu featuring British and European influences focusing on local fresh produce.

Llantrissant, nr Usk, NP15 1LE T: 01291 672505 / 673447 F: 01291 673255 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 10 / En-suite: 10 The Greyhound Inn/Hotel maintains a tradition of excellent country hospitality. We have owned the Greyhound for 28 years and offer real ales, good wines to complement our interesting and varied menu. Fine country accommodation is situated in our converted stone barns and offers all modern day comforts. Our gardens have won Wales in Bloom Awards. The Greyhound is 2 miles from Usk in open countryside towards Wentwood Forest and 15 minutes from The 2010 Ryder Cup venue, Celtic Manor.

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Room Rate: Single 55-190 Double 65-210 Short Break Rates: 310 - 480

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Room Rate: Single 59-66 Double 77-86

Saracens Head Inn

Ross on Wye D4


Newbridge on Usk

Usk B6

Symonds Yat East, Ross on Wye, HR9 6JL T: 01600 890435 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 10 / En-suite: 10 Ideally situated on the banks of the Wye. Perfect for exploring the Wye Valley, Herefordshire, South Wales and the Forest of Dean; by car, cycle or foot. Real ales, fine food and relaxing ambience. Most rooms overlook the river.

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Room Rate: Single 59-75 Double 89-138

Tintern D5

Parva Farmhouse Riverside Guesthouse

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Tintern, Monmouthshire, NP16 6SQ T: 01291 689411 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 8 / En-suite: 8 Relax in informal comfort at this 17thC guest house near Tintern Abbey. Beamed ceilings, log burner, Honesty Bar. Delicious homemade food served in cosy Inglenook restaurant. 8 comfy bedrooms, most with superb river views. Many walking/cycling trails & attractions nearby. Room Rate: Single 50-60 Room Rate: Double Single 65-90 75-120 Double 190-245 110-220 Short Break Rates: Short Break Rates: 340 - 470

Tredunnock, Usk, NP15 1LY T: 01633 451000 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 6 / En-suite: 6 Owned and run by Celtic Manor, the Newbridge on Usk - an award-winning five star, two AA Rosette restaurant with rooms - is a quaint country inn located in a picturesque rural location on the banks of the River Usk. This 200 year old inn is the perfect location for a stylish country escape, offering six beautifully decorated en-suite bedrooms. The two AA Rosette award-winning inn features rustic wooden floors and fireplaces and the wholesome country fare is freshly prepared using locally sourced ingredients.

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Room Rate: Single From 85 Double From 85

Usk B5

Glen-yr-Afon House Hotel


Pontypool Road, Usk, NP15 1SY T: 01291 672302 F: 01291 672597 E: W: Open: All Year / Rooms: 27 / En-suite: 27 Overlooking the River Usk, this elegant country house hotel offers relaxed stays while walking, fishing, golfing or visiting beautiful Monmouthshire. Delicious menus provided in Clarkes restaurant and various function venue rooms. Our care and attention to detail ensures a truly memorable visit. Room Room Rate: Rate: Single Single Double Double Short Break Rates: 75-120 From 99 110-220 From 136 340 - 470

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Self-Catering Accommodation
Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages Tredilion Holiday Cottages
Main Farm House, Llantilio Pertholey, Abergavenny, NP7 8BG T: 01873 852528 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 5 / Sleeps: 2 each Cosy south-facing cottages on an arable and fruit farm 2 miles east of Abergavenny. Beautiful views of all mountains and valleys. Excellent base for walking Brecon Beacons, Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, plus many other walks and castles. Weekly: 132-192 3 nights: 86-125

Abergavenny B4

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Trevyr Barn
Brynoyre, Talybont-on-Usk, Brecon, Powys, LD3 7YS T: 01874 676446 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 300+ / Sleeps: 2-40 Wide selection of interesting properties sleeping between 2 and 40, throughout the Wye Valley, Brecon Beacons, Black Mountains and the Golden Valley. Riverside cottages with fishing, isolated mountain farmhouses and cottages on working farms. Ideal for groups and family reunions. Breathtaking scenery. Perfect situations for walking, trekking, rough and clay-pigeon shooting, mountain-biking and climbing, bird-watching and touring. Superb mountains, rivers, valleys and waterfalls. Excellent pubs with real ales and open fires. Trout and salmon fishing tuition available. Short breaks available.

Abergavenny C3

Grosmont, Abergavenny, NP7 8HS T: 07786 243355 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 1 / Sleeps: 6-7 Trevyr Barn is a lovely converted stone barn, sleeping up to 7, in Grosmont, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons. Fabulous walking and cycling and beautiful views; the perfect setting for a relaxed holiday with family and friends.

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Weekly: 210-2,200 3 nights: 184-1,500

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Weekly: 450-800 3 nights: 285-560

Abergavenny B5

Swanmeadow Holiday Cottages


Werngochlyn Farm
Llantilio Pertholey, Abergavenny, NP7 8BH T: 01873 857357 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 4 / Sleeps: 4-6 4 well-equipped, cosy cottages converted from 18th Century stone farm buildings beautifully set in rolling farmland beneath the Skirrid mountain, yet only 2.5 miles from Abergavenny. Indoor swimming-pool, games room, BHS Approved Riding School on site - with many friendly farm animals. Weekly: 200-550 3 nights: 150-240

Abergavenny B4

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Wharfingers Cottage
Pantygoitre Farm, Llanfair Kilgeddin, Abergavenny, NP7 9BE T/F: 01873 840207 M: 07866 601310 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 3 / Sleeps: 3-5 Freshly baked bara brith on arrival a warm welcome awaits with tastefully furnished cottages on our farm in Monmouthshire. Swanmeadow offers all of this together with Brecon Beacons and Vale of Usk scenery. Situated conveniently between charming towns of Abergavenny, Usk and Monmouth. Sample the wealth of excellent eating places or try the variety of outdoor activities or even our one mile beat of the River Usk for salmon and trout fishing. Llanfoist Wharf, Abergavenny, NP7 9NG T: 01873 858277 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 1 / Sleeps: 2-6 Lovingly renovated historic cottage in an idyllic location with gardens fronting the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. A beautiful kitchen with Aga, smart contemporary bathrooms, CH, two log burners, and superb furnishings combine to make this the perfect holiday home.

Abergavenny B4

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Weekly: 320-500 3 nights: From 220

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Little Coed Lliffos

Little Coed Lliffos Farm, Usk Road, Chepstow, NP16 6SA T: 01291 641215 E: Open: All Year Units: 1 / Sleeps: 4 Warm friendly welcome awaits you at this farm cottage. Set in a tranquil valley, perfect holiday base to explore surrounding towns and villages, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Cotswolds. Also accessible for day outings, country pubs. 2 miles into village. Brochure available. Weekly: 280-300 3 nights: 140-160

Chepstow D6

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Self-Catering Accommodation
Oakgrove Cottage
Brockweir Common, Chepstow, NP16 7NT T: 01291 689241 E: W: Open: All Year Units: 1 / Sleeps: 2 Idyllic rural cottage bordering Wye Valley and Forest of Dean boasting wonderful walks, spectacular views and accessible to Offas Dyke. Badgers and wildlife in abundance. A peaceful retreat close to Tintern, Monmouth, Cardiff and Bristol. Once visited, always remembered.

Chepstow D5

Quality rural Self Catering and Bed and Breakfast properties in Monmouthshire.

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Weekly: 290-400 3 nights: From 210

Pen-y-Parc Cottage
Pen-y-Parc House, St Arvans, Chepstow, NP16 6EZ T: 01291 625517 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 1 / Sleeps: 5 Area of Natural Beauty setting near Chepstow, Tintern and Monmouth. Spectacular views across Wye Valley and Severn. Spacious single floor layout. Lounge/diner. TV/DVD/stereo. Kitchen/ breakfast bar. Full size bath/shower. Two twin bedrooms, one single. Heated throughout. Private garden/patio/barbecue. Own parking. Weekly: 300-400 3 nights: 150-180

Chepstow D6

However long you stay with us, youll wish it could be longer!

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Ashe Holiday Cottages

Bridstow, Ross on Wye, HR9 6QA T: 01989 563336 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 2 / Sleeps: 3 & 6 Beautiful locality for exploring the Wye Valley, Herefordshire, Forest of Dean and Monmouthshire. Stable and Orchard Cottages are 18th century converted barns in sandstone with beams. Onsite are a hard tennis court and coarse fishing lakes. Ideal for cycling or walking the Wye Valley. Weekly: 180-620 3 nights: 140-220

Monmouth D3

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Bluebell & Daisy

Lower Pen-y-Clawdd Farm, Dingestow, nr Monmouth, NP25 4BG T: 01600 740223 / 07729 417144 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 2 / Sleeps: 6 each Unique 5-star 17th century listed barn conversion on a working farm using geothermal heating, original exposed crux beams with oak and slate flooring. Enclosed gardens and parking with coarse fishing on-site. Centrally located with easy access to A449 between Monmouth and Raglan. Weekly: 350-700 3 nights: 250-350

Monmouth C4

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Cowshed Cottage
Gage Farm, Newland, nr Coleford, GL16 8NR T: 01594 833259 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 1 / Sleeps: Up to 4 Rural, fully equipped, single storey cottage overlooking historic courtyard. Two bedrooms, both en-suite. Central heating, off-road parking. Beautiful views/ walks from front door, conveniently located for Wye Valley/ Forest of Dean. Easy access M4/M50/M5. Welcome tea tray too! Weekly: 275-475 3 nights: 200-300

Monmouth D5

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The Garden Annex

Glenview, Dingestow, Monmouth, NP25 4DZ T: 01600 740650 E: W: Open: Mar-Oct / Units: 1 / Sleeps: 2 Superbly furnished and comprehensively equipped. Quiet countryside location. 6 miles Monmouth, 2 miles Raglan. Ideally situated to explore the many castles, Wye Valley, Forest of Dean, Brecon Beacons, Offas Dyke, nearby. Excellent walking, fishing, golf, cycling. Full colour brochure. Weekly: 220-350 3 nights: 150-180

Monmouth C4

Bed & Breakfast

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The Old Bakery

Redbrook, Monmouth, NP25 4LZ T: 01600 713675 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 1 / Sleeps: 2 Spacious self-contained ground floor flat, set in the picturesque village of Redbrook, overlooking the beautiful River Wye. Fully-equipped kitchen, lounge/dining room, bath and shower, separate W.C., gas central heating. Pubs, shop. Ideal walking/touring centre, or even a car-free break. Weekly: from 320 3 nights: from 165

Monmouth D4

Abergavenny Farm Holiday Group

Farm Holiday Cottages


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Monmouth C4

Penylan Farm
Hendre, Monmouth, NP25 5NL T: 01600 716435 F: 01600 719391 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 3 / Sleeps: 2-6


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Enviable location between Wye Valley and Black Mountains 5 miles from historic Monmouth. Exposed beams, natural stone floors, underfloor heating and wonderful views will make your stay here extra special. Close to The Three Castles and Offas Dyke. Weekly: 225 - 730 3 nights: 157 - 510

Robins Barn
Tregagle, Penallt, Monmouth, NP25 4RY T: 01600 860058 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 1 / Sleeps: 3 Attractive converted stone barn set amidst 12 acres of beautiful, unspoilt, countryside with spectacular views over the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. Close to Offas Dyke and Wye Valley Walk. Spiral staircase, woodburner, tennis court, pretty patio, pub nearby. Dogs welcome. Brochure. Weekly: 200-410 3 nights: 175-250

Monmouth D5

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Local Wildlife Site (Gwent Wildlife Trust)

Steppes Farm Cottages

Rockfield, Monmouth, NP25 5SW T: 01600 775424 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 6 / Sleeps: 3-6 per unit A hamlet of 6 luxury self-catering cottages, perfect for a short break or family holiday, set in 5 acres of landscaped gardens overlooking the Wye Valley. There is an on-site restaurant & bar which has 2 AA rosettes and is listed in all major eating out guides. Steppes Farm offers FREE golf to all guests. Weekly: 180-590 3 nights: 140-320

Monmouth C4

Stay on our farms in the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons National Park

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Telephone 01873 890359


Self-Catering Accommodation
Whitehill Farm Cottage
Whitehill Farm, Wonastow, Monmouth, NP25 4DW T: 01600 740253 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 1 / Sleeps: 6/7 Spacious well equipped luxury cottage panoramic views, oak beams, easy access M50/M5/M4. Twin ensuite bedroom on ground floor, two bedrooms/shower rooms on first floor. Large private south terrace, garden, parking. Explore the farm and woodland and see wild deer and badgers. Weekly: 300-850 3 nights: 250-500

Monmouth C4

Usk B5


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Berllanderi Coach House

Usk Road, Raglan, Monmouthshire, NP15 2HR T: 01291 690268 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 1 / Sleeps: 6 Luxury 17th century coach house conversion by artist and architect, set in the Vale of Usk; incorporating traditional and contemporary design. Complete comfort with under floor heating, slate and oak floors, two en-suite bedrooms. Large oak-beamed living room. Spacious landscaped grounds with scenic views. Weekly: 425-875 3 nights: 285-390 Wainfield Lane, Gwehelog, Usk, Monmouthshire, NP15 1RG T: 01291 672976 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 1 / Sleeps: 2 Beautifully furnished self-contained wing of country home in two acre garden (NGS) described as outstanding by WTB. Tranquil, rural setting yet easy access to main roads, M4, M50. Single storey, spacious, light and airy, comprehensively equipped for luxury stays. Fine bed linen, bathrobes, fluffy towels, toiletries. Welcome pack of organic milk, orange juice, mineral water, teas, coffees, cakes, flowers. Freeview TV. French doors to private patio, suntrap garden areas. Excellent pub food mile. Celtic Manor spa/golf (Ryder Cup 2010) 15 minutes.

Raglan C5

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Weekly: 280-400 3 nights: 210-240

Foxes Reach
Catbrook, nr Chepstow, NP16 6NA T: 01600 860341 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 1 / Sleeps: 6 Whitewashed stone character, blissful hot tub, charming garden. Tradition with contemporary comfort. Comprehensively equipped. Flatscreen Satellite TVs. WiFi. Ipod dock. Flagged floors. Two sparkling bathrooms. Romantic bedsteads, lavendered linens, towels. CH, woodburner. Pet welcome. Walking from doorstep. Parking. Convenient. Idyllic. Immaculate. Short breaks. Credit cards. Weekly: 350-950 3 nights: 250-500

Tintern D5

Vanilla Cottage
1 The Steppes, Kemeys Commander, Usk, NP15 1JZ T: 01600 860341 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 1 / Sleeps: 3 Warmly romantic comfort. Fully refurbished 2011. Perfect for honeymoons, birthdays, golf, sleeping, eating, walking, castles. Whirlpool bath, Satellite TVs, iPod, Woodburner, full CH. Rural, yet easy M4/M50/M5 access. Fenced delightful cottage garden, suntrap terrace, Parking. Visiting pamper therapies. Short breaks. Immaculate. Convenient. Weekly: 200-650 3 nights: 200-450

Usk B5

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Tintern Abbey Cottage

Chapel Hill, Tintern, Chepstow, NP16 6SF T: 01600 860341 E: W: Open: All Year / Units: 1 / Sleeps: 6 Magnificent location unsurpassed Abbey views. Fully refurbished smartly contemporary warm 18C character cottage. Comprehensively equipped. Flatscreen TVs. DVD, Ipod. Two sparkling bathrooms. Whirlpool bath, crisp linens, towels. CH, woodburner. Bike/golf club store. Wye Valley Walk adjoins. Stroll to pubs wedding venues. Convenient. Idyllic. Immaculate. Weekly: 350-950 3 nights: 250-500

Tintern D5

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Caravan & Camping / Eating Out

Abergavenny A4

Pyscodlyn Caravan & Camping Site

Llanwenarth Citra, Abergavenny, NP7 7ER T: 01873 853271 E: W: Open: Apr-Oct Pitches: Touring/Tent 60 Statics: 1 Static Sleeps: 6 In picturesque Usk Valley, 2 miles from Abergavenny. Ideal base for exploring Brecon Beacons National Park. Excellent walking and cycling area, superb golf courses nearby. River Usk fishing permits available. A peaceful park with superb views of the surrounding mountains. Level pitches. Touring: 14-16 per night Tent: 10-15 per night Static: Weekly 300-350

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Bridge Caravan Park

Dingestow NP25 4DY T: 01600 740241 F: 01600 740241 E: W: Open: Apr-Oct This riverside site offers facilities of a high standard and is ideally positioned for touring the whole of the Vale of Usk and Wye Valley. Hot water at all times, launderette, Calor gas and fishing on site.

Monmouth C4

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Touring: 100 / 15-18 per night Tent: Tent: 20 / 15-18 per night Statics: 3 Static Sleeps: 1-4 Weekly 160-245. 3 Nights: 99-120

Pont Kemys Caravan Park

Chainbridge, Abergavenny, NP7 9DS T: 01873 880688 F: 01873 880270 E: W: Open: Mar-Oct Peaceful rural park between Usk and Abergavenny on the B4598. Immaculate facilities, some fully serviced pitches. Easily accessible from the M4 and Cardiff. Ideal location for the Usk Valley Walk, Cycle Route 42, Brecon Beacons, Big Pit and Raglan Castle. Pitches: Touring: 65 / Tent: 8 Touring: 16-20 per night Tent: 10-18 per night

Usk B5

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Misbah Tandoori
9 Priory Street, Monmouth, NP25 3BR T: 01600 714940 E: W: Open: Daily, 12pm-2pm and 6pm-11pm Awarded Top 100 curry restaurants in UK. Voted Best in Wales in the Good Curry Guide 2007-8. The Misbah is a family-run Restaurant offering authentic Bangladeshi cuisine, and is located in a Grade II listed building in the heart of Monmouth, within the Picturesque Wye Valley.

Monmouth D4

Come and enjoy the experience - Great places to stay, lots to do, great local food in the


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0845 053 1173


Attractions & Activities

Abergavenny Museum
Castle Street, Abergavenny, NP7 5EE T: 01873 854282 F: 01873 736004 E: W: Open: All Year / Free Admission Set in the picturesque grounds of a ruined castle. Objects in permanent galleries illustrate life in this historic market town. Victorian kitchen, 1940s grocers shop and air raid shelter. Refurbished gallery hosts regular temporary exhibitions. Shop. Free entry. Parking. Opening Times: Mar-Oct, Mon-Sat 11am-1pm & 2pm-5pm. Sun: 2-5 Nov-Feb, Mon-Sat 11am-1pm 01/11/2011 12:16 Page 2 & 2pm-4pm

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Abergavenny B4

Amgueddfa Lleng Rufeinig Cymru National Roman Legion Museum

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Cyfle i ddysgu sut fyddair Rhufeiniaid yn byw, yn ymladd ac yn marw ar gyrion pellennig yr Ymerodraeth Rufeinig.
Ar agor: dydd Llun-dydd Sadwrn, 10am-5pm; dydd Sul 2pm-5pm MYNEDIAD AM DDIM Ffn: (01633) 423134

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Big Pit:

Blaenavon World Heritage Site

Church Road, Caldicot, NP26 4HU T: 01291 420241 F: 01291 435094 E: W: Open: Apr-Nov. Country park open all year. Admission Charge / Group Rates The castle was founded by the Normans, developed as a royal stronghold in the Middle Ages and restored as a Victorian home. The castle offers the visitor an insight into its colourful history. Relax in the garden or wander around the 50 acre country park. The castle stages many events and banquets, has a small tea room and a gift shop. There are activities available most days for children. Free parking on site.

Blaenavon A4/A5

Blaenavon World Heritage Centre, Church Road, Blaenavon, Torfaen, NP4 9AE T: 01495 742333 E: W: Open: All Year Discover the wide variety of attractions in the Blaenavon World Heritage Site, many of which are FREE to visit! Start your day at the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre & use interactive displays to find out about the importance of the area & why it is now a World Heritage Site. The Tourist Information Centre staff can help you plan your visit to the attractions and activities in the area, which can all be reached by walking, or by a short car journey. Enjoy a trip on Blaenavon Heritage Railway, with a new line linking it with Big Pit: National Coal Museum. Then take a walk around Garn Lakes Local Nature Reserve & visit Blaenavon Ironworks, where the BBC Coalhouse series was located. A day in the area isnt complete until youve had a wander around Blaenavon Heritage Town & picked out that perfect gift! Look out for a wide variety of events that take place across the World Heritage Site throughout the year!


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Amgueddfa Lofaol Cymru National Coal Museum

Dewch i ddarganfod treftadaeth lofaol gyfoethog ein gwlad mewn amgueddfa ryngweithiol anhygoel o fri, syn cynnwys taith danddaearol.
Ar agor bob dydd: 9.30am-5pm. Teithiau cyson danddaear: 10am-3.30pm. MYNEDIAD AM DDIM
(01495) 790311

Live the life of a Roman for a day

Learn how the Romans lived, fought and died at the furthest outpost of the Roman Empire.
Open: Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday 2pm-5pm FREE ENTRY Tel: (01633) 423134
Caldicot C7

Discover Waless rich mining heritage in this amazing, award-winning interactive museum complete with underground tour.
Open daily: 9.30am-5pm. Underground tours run frequently: 10am-3.30pm. FREE ENTRY
(01495) 790311

Caldicot Castle & Country Park

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Opening Times: April - Nov Daily, 11am-5pm

Chepstow Museum
Gwy House, Bridge Street, Chepstow, NP16 5EZ T: 01291 625981 F: 01291 635005 E: Open: All Year / Free Admission Discover the history of this ancient town, once an important port and market centre. Situated in an elegant 18th century house, atmospheric displays on wine trade, shipbuilding, salmon fishing. Paintings/prints of Wye Valley. Childrens activities, special exhibitions, shop.

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Opening Times: Daily inc B/H, Mon-Sat 11am-5pm, Sun 2pm-5pm; Jul-Sep 10.30am-5.30pm (Sun 2pm-5.30pm); Nov-Feb close 4pm

Dean Forest Railway

Forest Road, Lydney, GL15 4ET T: 01594 845840 E: W: Open: Feb-Nov (& Christmas/New Year) Free Admission to site (charge for train service) Group Rates Steam through the forest canopy from Lydney to Norchard, Whitecroft and Parkend. Large free car park, Museum, Gift Shop and Buffet at Norchard. Special events throughout the season. Regular Sunday lunches on Royal Forester Dining train. For operating days and times see website or telephone 11am 4pm daily. Opening Times: Stations open every day in daylight, (trains on selected days 10am-5pm)

Chepstow E5

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Clearwell Caves: Ancient Iron Mines

Coleford D5

Abbey Mill

Tintern D5

Nr Coleford, Gloucestershire GL16 8JR T: 01594 832535 E: W: Open: Feb-Oct 31st Follow generations of miners into these spectacular caves and discover the secret world of Free Mining. Explore nine impressive caverns, with displays throughout, and see why Dr Who and Merlin are among the many programmes filmed in these atmospheric mine workings. Museum, Blacksmith Shop, excellent gift shop and caf. Free car and coach parking. Picnic/play area. Deep Level caving trips are run during most school holidays. See our website for more details. Experience the history, mystery and fun.

Wye Valley Centre, Tintern, NP16 6SE T: 01291 689228 F: 01291 689220 E: W: Open: All Year / Free Admission / Group Rates Award winning Abbey Mill, original Mill site of Tintern Abbey, is set amidst breathtaking scenery on the banks of the River Wye. Offering riverside shopping and dining in a relaxed setting for you to enjoy. 10% discount on our large selection of hand-carved Lovespoons on production of advert.
Arts, Craft & Gift Centre Licensed Coffee Shop & Restaurant Coaches Welcome Events Unique Shopping Experience Group Bookings Welcome Wye Valley Craft Association Historic Old Mill Buildings Turning Old Water Wheel Function Room Demonstrations Trout Pond


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Opening Times: Daily, 10am-5pm


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Opening Times: Daily, from 10.30am (closed Christmas Day & Boxing Day)

Monmouth Canoe Centre

Castle Yard, Old Dixton Road, Monmouth, NP25 3DP T: 01600 716083 E: W: Open: Mar-Oct Canoe hire Qualified Centre hiring canoes on the River Wye. Canoes/singles/double kayaks with transportation provided. Guided tours, BCU courses (see website for dates). Corporate/ team-building, problem-solving/raft-building, rock-climbing/caving for all groups including stag and hen parties.

Monmouth D4

The Old Station

Tintern D5


Opening Times: Daily, 9am-6pm

The Nelson Museum & Local History Centre

Priory Street, Monmouth, NP25 3XA T: 01600 710630 F: 01600 710631 E: Open: All Year / Free Admission Horatio Nelson was born in Norfolk, died at sea and is buried in London, yet Monmouth has one of the worlds best collections of Nelson material. Learn about the life, loves, death and commemoration of the famous Admiral, the origins of the collection and Monmouths history. Opening Times: Mar-Oct, Mon-Sat 11am-1pm & 2pm-5pm, Sun 2pm-5pm; Nov-Feb, Mon-Sat 11am-1pm & 2pm-4pm, Sun 2pm-4pm Tintern, Monmouth, NP16 7NX T: 01291 689566 E: W: Open: Apr-Nov / Free Admission Built as a Victorian country railway station, this Green Flag award winning site was voted Best Site in the UK in 2011/12. The tea room serves breakfasts from 9.30, light snacks and home baked cakes.Two refurbished railway carriages house the Destination Wye Valley exhibition, shop and reception.Also wooden sculptures of historical characters, signal box exhibitions, toilets, local tourist information, and play area, childrens activities always available. New for 2012 miniature train rides. Nominal parking charge. Coaches by appointment.

Monmouth D4



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Opening Times: Daily, 10.30am-5.30pm


Attractions & Activities

Craft Renaissance Art & Craft Gallery
Kemeys Commander, Usk, NP15 1JU T: 01873 880879 E: W: Open: All Year / Free Admission An independent centre for Art and Crafts with makers onsite. Situated between Usk and Abergavenny. Stunning oak-framed gallery with shop presenting high quality work by local artists and makers. Exciting programme of exhibitions, events and classes. Caf with delicious cakes.

Usk B5

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Opening Times: Daily, 10.30am-5pm

Gwent Adventures CIC

Usk B6

The City of Newport is surprisingly rural, and nature lovers and twitchers from all over the country flock to the Newport Wetlands Reserve to see the wildlife and rare bird species. The Canal Centre at Fourteen Locks and the Victorian Transporter Bridge, which is one of only three working in the world, are great examples of Newports industrial heritage. The Mediaeval Ship, discovered in the banks of the River Usk, is the finest of its type ever found in the UK and its remains can be seen on open days throughout the year, and the nearby Roman fortress town of Caerleon is the most varied and fascinating Roman site in Britain. The architectural wonder of Wales is Tredegar House, a magnificent Restoration mansion, and the seat of the Morgan family right up until the 1950s.

Llandegfedd Reservoir, nr New Inn, Pontypool, NP4 0TA T: 01291 673002 E: W: Open: Mar-Oct / Admission Charge (for activities) Based at Llandegfedd Reservoir, the largest inland water in South Wales, Gwent Adventures is an accredited activity and training centre for many watersports. Dinghy sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding and raftbuilding. Stag/hen, family parties, multi-activity days, team-building/corporate events all welcome.

Smart and Connected City

Newport Tourist Information Centre, John Frost Square, Newport, NP20 2PA T: +44 (0)1633 842962 F: +44 (0)1633 222615 E: W: For golfers and sports fans, there are over thirty golf courses in the area, including the Twenty Ten Ryder Cup course, and the Wales National Velodrome, which will host training for the 2012 Olympics.


Opening Times: Variable according to time of year (please call)

Caerleon is an attractive riverside town with pubs, restaurants, tearooms and the Ffwrwm Arts and Crafts Centre. It was one of the most important military sites in Roman Britain and visitors today can see at the National Roman Legion Museum how the garrison lived; the remains of the Fortress Baths, a giant Roman leisure centre; and the Amphitheatre, linked to the legends of King Arthurs Round Table. Why not complete the three quests of the Trail of the Legend of King Arthur? See for details, or follow the sculpture trail around the town the legacy of the International Sculpture and Arts Festival held every summer see

Roman Legion Fortress Town

Looking for a day out? Have fun with everyone


Caerleon Tourist Information Centre, 5 High Street, Caerleon, NP18 1AE T/F: +44(0)1633 422656 E: W:

Wye Valley Buttery Zoo aMazing Hedge puzzle Wye Valley Miniature Golf
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Whether you are on foot, horseback or on a bicycle, why not try one of the new Tread and Trot routes. Fun for all the family. Pun ai ydych ar droed, ar gefn ceffyl neu ar feic, beth am rhoi cynnig ar un o lwybrau Troedio a Throtian newydd. Hwyl ir teulu oll.
Exploring the beautiful Monmouthshire countryside and learning about the rich heritage that can be found around every corner has never been so fun and easy! Download our phone app for iPhone and Android and join us in a wildlife spotting game as well as audio and animated interpretation of the industrial and natural landscape along the routes.You can even compete in time trails! Ni fu archwilio cefn gwlad odidog Sir Fynwy a dysgu am y dreftadaeth gyfoethog sydd ym mhob twll chornel, yn gymaint o hwyl ac mor hawdd iw wneud! Beth am lawr lwytho ein ap ar gyfer i-phone ac Android ac ymuno ni mewn gm i ddarganfod bywyd gwyllt, yn ogystal dehonglir dirwedd naturiol a diwydiannol ar hyd y llwybrau ar ffurf glywedol a thrwy animeiddiad; gallwch hyd yn oed gystadlu mewn llwybrau amser! If youre heading out on the Dingestow Discoveries route, dont forget to try out our family Explorer Backpacks.They're packed with ideas to entertain the family along the way. Ac os ydych yn anelu am un o lwybrau Darganfod Llanddingad, peidiwch anghofio rhoi cynnig ar ein Gwarbac Archwilio ir teulu. Maent yn llawn syniadau i ddiddanur teulu ar hyd y ffordd.
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Find out whats happening in Monmouthshire at

Markets are held Every Tuesday Friday and Saturday Flea Market Every Wednesday Antique and Collectors Fairs 3rd Sunday of the Month Arts and Craft Fairs 2nd Thursday of the month from the 12th April Craft Fairs 2nd Saturday of the month from the 10th March Farmers Markets 4th Thursday of the month Bank Holiday Gift Fairs Monday 9th April Sunday and Monday 3rd & 4th June Monday 27th August The Toy and Train Collectors Fair Monday 7th May

Market Days Every Tuesday and Saturday

Monmouth Market
Every Friday by Monmouth Bridge Every Saturday by the Shire Hall and by Monmouth Bridge.

Dewch o hyd i'r hyn syn digwydd yn Sir Fynwy ar

For additional information on Monmouthshire Markets please phone:

01873 735811

Wye Valley & Vale of Usk

In the world of high quality food and drink, Monmouthshire punches way above its weight.
Michelin stars * AA Restaurant of the Year **  Britains Top City and Country Hotel for Afternoon Tea *** But we dont need to shout about our food and drink. The rest of the worlds doing it for us. Real, traceable food, packed with flavour and perfectly presented.

From top: James Sommerin, The Crown at Whitebrook Shaun Hill, The Walnut Tree Stephen Terry, The Hardwick Afternoon Tea at The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny

* James Sommerin at The Crown at Whitebrook, near Monmouth *S  haun Hill at The Walnut Tree, near Abergavenny **S  tephen Terry at The Hardwick, near Abergavenny ***  The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny

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Chance to win a 2-night stay for 2 people at St Pierre, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Tell us what you think

Were always looking for ways to improve our visitors experience of the Wye Valley & Vale of Usk and to do that we need to know what you think. Sign up to our online visitor survey, and youll have the chance to win a 2 night short break for 2 people, including dinner on one night (subject to availability) at St Pierre, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club.

St Pierre, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club, is a 14th Century manor set amid 400 acres of picturesque parkland in the rolling hills of the Wye Valley. King Henry V stored the Crown Jewels here while he defeated the French at Agincourt. These days the resort offers modern 4 star comfort and luxury perfectly blended with times gone by. Relax in one of our 148 guest rooms including 16 suites. Each room benefits from Marriotts world famous bedding product, flat screen televisions, entertainment on demand, 24-hour room service and high-speed internet access so you can stay connected. Many of our guest rooms also offer views across the hotel grounds and golf courses. There are three tempting dining options at the resort, including Morgans Restaurant

with its 2 AA Rosettes, and an inspiring menu developed by our Executive Chef, focused on locally sourced, Welsh produce. The stunning surroundings are perfect to hold your wedding or special event, with 11 function rooms to choose from, catering for up to 300. The resort also offers a choice of two 18-hole golf courses; the Championship Old Course has played host to 11 European tour events as well as the Solheim Cup and is a world favorite among professional and amateur golfers. De-stress during your stay in our extensive complimentary leisure facilities or for a small additional fee indulge in a cleansing facial, soothing massage or luxurious body treatment in our Spa.

If youve recently visited the Wye Valley & Vale of Usk and wish to enter the prize draw please send an email to with Prize Draw in the subject line. Well then send you a link to the online survey where you can tell us about your visit to the area.


So accessible
The Wye Valley & Vale of Usk area is remarkably accessible however you decide to travel.
By rail
Mainline railway stations are located at Newport, Severn Tunnel Junction, Caldicot, Chepstow and Abergavenny with regular services to and from London (in under 2 hours), Cardiff, Plymouth, Birmingham and Manchester Piccadilly. For travel information contact National Rail Enquiries Tel: +44 (0)8457 484950 (24 hours, local call rates apply). If phoning from overseas Tel: +44 207278 5240 (International rates apply) To book train tickets visit Visitors with specific needs or cyclists wishing to use trains should contact the individual train operators: First Great Western Tel: +44 (0)845 700 0125 Cross Country Trains Tel: +44 (0)844 811 0124 Arriva Trains Wales Tel: +44 (0)845 6061 660

By coach & bus

National Express operates a national network of coach services to Abergavenny, Chepstow, Monmouth and Newport. Book your ticket through Chepstow Tourist Information Centre on +44 (0)1291 623772 or visit Local and national information on timetables and fares is available from Traveline (All Wales Public Transport Information) Tel: (0)871 200 2233 (0700 2200 hours daily, national call rates apply) The Monmouthshire Bus Guide is a free annual publication that lists local bus services. Contact the Tourist Information Centres for your copy or visit

River Crossing plc, Tel: +44 (0)1454 635000 or visit the website Unlike the Second Severn Crossing (M4), the original Severn Road Bridge (M48) has a path specifically for cyclists and pedestrians, for whom there is no toll.

By air
The international airports of Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham are all within easy travelling distance of the Wye Valley & Vale of Usk. London Heathrow is a two hour drive along the M4 whilst all airports named here have direct public transport links to the national rail and coach networks. Contact the airports for flight information: Cardiff International Airport Tel: +44 (0)1446 711111 Bristol International Airport Tel: +44 (0)871 3344344 Birmingham International Airport Tel: +44 (0)844 5766000 London Heathrow and London Gatwick are less than three hours away via Flightlink, luxury coach travel. Tel: +44 (0)8717 818181 (0800 2200 daily, national call rates apply)

By bicycle
The Wye Valley & Vale of Usk can be reached via several National Cycle Routes. Routes 4, 42, 46, 47, 49 and 88 all enter and explore parts of the destination. Many accommodation operators in the area offer luggage transfers from railway and bus stations, enabling you to arrive and explore the area without the need for a car. For more information on road-free cycling and cycling safety visit which includes detailed maps of each National Cycle Route.

The Explore Wales Pass

This pass offers four days train and eight days bus travel on all mainline rail services and most scheduled bus services in Wales, plus discounted rates at many of Wales largest tourist attractions. The pass is available in three options, all Wales, north Wales or south Wales. For further information or to buy tickets visit Tel: +44 (0)870 9000 773

By road
The Wye Valley & Vale of Usk is served by an excellent road system which provides fast, easy access. The M4 and M48 skirt the southern edge while the A40 runs through the middle of the area. From London and the south of England use the M4 and the Second Severn Crossing or for Chepstow, Tintern & the Wye Valley branch off just past Bristol onto the M48 and cross the original Severn Bridge. From south west England use the M5, then M4/M48. From the Midlands and northern England use the M6, M5, M50 and A40. For the latest traffic information on trunk roads and motorways in Wales, visit A toll is payable when travelling west-bound across either the Severn Bridge (M48) or the Second Severn Crossing (M4). Charges for 2012 are cars and motor caravans 6.00, small goods vehicles and small buses 12.10, heavy goods vehicles and buses 18.10. For up to date information contact Severn

By sea
There are ferry connections from mainland Europe to the UKs south and east coasts and from Ireland to ports in Wales. Brittany Ferries Tel: +44 (0)871 2441400 Irish Ferries Tel: +44 (0)871 7300400 P&O Tel: +44 (0)8716 646464 DFDS Seaways Tel: +44 (0)871 5229955 Stena Line Tel: +44 (0)844 7707070

Cymru Connect
Through a partnership between Arriva Trains Wales and bus operators in Wales, Cymru Connect allows you to book a ticket at a UK rail station and travel in Wales using a combination of rail and bus in one single transaction. You can plan your journey by calling Traveline on 0871 200 2233 or online at

Via the Channel Tunnel

Eurotunnel carrying vehicles and passengers Tel: +44 (0)8705 353535 Eurostar passenger train service Tel: +44 (0)8432 186186

Car Hire
Abergavenny AGS Fleet Rentals Tel: +44 (0)1873 855900 Birmingham (Airport) Europcar Tel: +44 (0)121 782 6507 Hertz Tel: +44 (0)843 3093005 Bristol (Airport) Europcar Tel: +44 (0)1275 474623 Hertz Tel: +44 (0)0843 3093011 Cardiff (Airport) Europcar Tel: +44 (0)1446 711924 Hertz Tel: +44 (0)1446 711722 Chepstow WK Vehicle Rentals Tel: +44 (0)1291 621122 Monmouth Singleton Fleet Hire Tel: +44 (0)1600 712200 Newport Days Tel: +44 (0)1633 244666

Pet Travel Scheme (PETS)

This scheme enables pet cats, dogs and ferrets to be brought into the UK without quarantine as long as they meet certain conditions. Preparations for travelling with your pet must be made well in advance. For further information contact Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Tel: +44 (0)870 241 1710 (0800 1800 Mon-Fri, national call rates apply).


Take your pick...

Introducing Wales Holiday Areas

The Isle of Anglesey

A place like no other, Anglesey offers unparalleled beauty, amazing adventures, serious solitude and warm welcome. Easily accessible; this unique Island, with its coastline, varied beaches and historical towns make it a superb base for all the family. Those that have visited need not be told. They just return Tel +44 (0)1248 713177 or (0)1407 762622 email:

Snowdonia Mountains and Coast/ Eryri Mynyddoedd a Mr

An exciting destination that includes the Snowdonia National Park, Ll^ yn Peninsula and Cambrian Coastline. A wide choice of quality accommodation, attractions and activities castles, narrow-gauge railways, golf, cycling, walking, award winning beaches, country parks, coastal path, World Heritage Site, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Heritage Coast. Tel: +44 (0)1341 281485 email:

Pembrokeshire Britains Only Coastal National Park

Rated by National Geographic magazine experts as the second best coastline in the World. With 186 miles of magnificent and varied coastline and over 50 beaches, theres plenty of space for everyone. Choose between lively Tenby and Saundersfoot or peaceful St Davids and Newport. Perfect for outdoor activities or just relaxing. Tel +44 (0)844 888 5115 email:

Llandudno, Colwyn Bay

Vibrant Llandudno, the Victorian seaside gem with a history that goes back to the Bronze Age. World Heritage Conwy with its rich maritime past. The National Zoo of Wales at Colwyn Bay. Year round breaks, filled with family fun, good food, great walking, world class theatre and a full calendar of exciting events. All within easy reach of Snowdonia. Tel: +44 (0)1492 577577 Email:

Carmarthenshire Carmarthen Bay

Stretching from Carmarthen Bay in the South to the Western Brecon Beacons in the North, discover Wales longest beaches, the Botanic Gardens of Wales, the home of Merlin the magician plus Laugharne, Llandeilo, Carmarthen, Kidwelly, Pendine, Llandovery & the Teifi & Towy valleys. Perfect fishing, cycling & walking. Tel: +44 (0)1267 231557 Email:

Mid Wales and the Brecon Beacons

Step into fabulous walking country, right on your doorstep. Two National Trails and a National Park, charming spa and market towns, outdoor pursuits in outstanding scenery. Home to Hay Literary Festival and Brecon Jazz, events throughout the year make this a destination for all seasons. Tel: +44 (0)1874 622485 Email:

Rhyl and Prestatyn

Among the best recognised British seaside resorts. Fabulous award-winning beaches with a range of family friendly attractions, events and activities. Walk the Offas Dyke path in Prestatyn. An hours drive from Merseyside and the West Midlands. Tel +44 (0)1745 344515 / 355068 email:

Swansea Bay Mumbles, Gower, Afan and the Vale of Neath

Unwind in the UKs first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, relax on award-winning beaches, and explore unspoilt countryside. Visit some of the UKs best locations for walking, cycling, watersports and golf, together with Swansea, Wales Waterfront City, home to the countrys first premiership football team. Tel +44 (0)1792 468321 email:

Ceredigion Cardigan Bay & the Cambrian Mountains

Some of the UKs finest coast and countryside. Holiday areas include Aberporth, Tresaith, Llangrannog, New Quay, Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Borth, Cardigan, the Teifi Estuary and Valley, Devils Bridge and the Cambrian Mountains. Popular pursuits include mountain biking, cycling, walking, sailing and angling and, of course, wildlife watching. Tel +44 (0)1970 612125 email:

The North Wales Borderlands

Short journey: very different place. At less than 20 minutes from Chester, were just a hop and a skip away from the North West and the West Midlands. From the bustling shops and nightlife of Wrexham to the culinary delights of the Mold food and drink festival to the world-famous Llangollen International Eisteddfod. 100% Wales on your doorstep! Tel: +44 (0)1978 292015 Email:

Activities for all

Wales is the UKs activity capital. Find out more with the help of these FREE action-packed guides and take a look at the websites. Fishing With endless coastline and countless rivers and lakes its no wonder Wales is an anglers paradise. Golf Wales The secrets out! More and more players are discovering - and thoroughly enjoying - Golf as it should be in Wales.

For FREE copies of any THREE Holiday Area brochures please tick the appropriate boxes and send to: Visit Wales, Dept L16, PO Box 1, Cardiff CF24 2XN

The Valleys Heart and Soul of Wales

A stunning landscape perfect for walking, cycling and many other outdoor activities. The Valleys has a unique history, including a World Heritage Site, Wales largest Castle and Big Pit, the real coal mine attraction. For a true Welsh experience, visit The Valleys, the heart and soul of Wales. Tel +44 (0) 29 2088 0011 email:

The Isle of Anglesey Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Rhyl & Prestatyn The North Wales Borderlands Snowdonia Mountains & Coast/Eryri Mynyddoedd a Mr Mid Wales & the Brecon Beacons Ceredigion Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains Pembrokeshire Carmarthenshire the Garden of Wales Swansea Bay, Mumbles, Gower, Afan & the Vale of Neath The Valleys Heart and Soul of Wales Cardiff The Glamorgan Heritage Coast & Countryside
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Cardiff, capital of Wales

The capital of Wales has unique attractions, top-class entertainment and quality shopping with a difference. Cardiff Castle, the Millennium Stadium, National Museum Cardiff and Wales Millennium Centre combined with Cardiff Bay offer indoor and outdoor entertainment for everyone. Tel +44 (0)29 2087 3573 email:

For FREE copies of any of the activity guides please tick the appropriate boxes and send to: Visit Wales, Dept M16, PO Box 1, Cardiff CF24 2XN

Fishing Wales
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Golf Wales

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The Glamorgan Heritage Coast and Countryside

The dramatic Heritage Coast and popular resorts of Barry Island and Porthcawl are fringed by lovely Vale and Bridgend countryside and green hills. Discover the special character of an area steeped in history and its close to Cardiff, Wales cosmopolitan capital. Tel +44 (0)1446 704868 or +44 (0)1656 815332 emails:

Cover image: Black Rock on the Wales Coast Path, situated between the Second Severn Crossing and the Severn Bridge Acknowledgements This guide has been produced by Monmouthshire County Council with support from Newport City Council. Details of accommodation and other businesses included in this guide are based on information received from the relevant advertisers at the time of going to press. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in this guide, Monmouthshire County Council can accept no liability whatsoever for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions or for any matter in any way connected with, or arising out of, the publication of this information. Monmouthshire County Council gratefully acknowledges photography and illustrations by/from: Adventa, Alistair Grieve, Beacon Park Boats, Black Rock Lave Net Fishermen, British Cycling, Chepstow Racecourse, Country Life Picture Library, Croissant Neuf, Crown copyright (2012) Visit Wales, David Williams Photography, Forever Fotos, Harry Williams, Helena Gerrish, Kate Humble, Keith Davies, Kiran Ridley, Kingstone Brewery, Mark Coulton, Michael Blackmore, Molyneux Associates, Monmouth Rotary Club, Newport City Council, Phil Cope, Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway, Sports Pages UK Ltd, The Celtic Manor Resort, The Marriott St Pierre, Tim Sheerman-Chase, Val Corbett and all other organisations, advertisers and individuals who contributed to this guide. Published by: Monmouthshire County Council Tel: +44 (0)1633 644847 Copywriting, management of photography and guide development: Deborah Haylock, Haylock Consultancy Tel: +44 (0)1873 858187 Design and production: Tel: +44 (0)7850 329 792 Printed by: WEBMART Ltd


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