50 things to do in Monmouthshire
Summer ‘s here and we want to enjoy all that our neighboring county has to offer . So here are fifty fab things you can get up too…
1.CHECK OUT ROMAN HISTORY AT CAERWENT
If you are keen to delveinto the past , then a trip to Caerwent should be on your list of things to do. If you want a more in depth look at Roman life in Wales, then the National Roman Legion Museum at Caerleon, just outside just outside Newport, is a must.
2.BBQ IN WENTWOOD
There are some fantastic picnic areas in Wentwood Forest, just right for enjoying a sunny afternoon this summer and getting back to nature. The kids will love it to as they have the freedom to explore while knowing you’re there stocked with food and goodies for when they have exhausted themselves. If you are staying at Wilton Court we can arrange a picnic hamper for you.
3. WALK UP THE BLORENGE
Abergavenny is surrounded by three stunning peaks- The Blorenge is one of them. From the top you can enjoy views of the country. If you are feeling really adventurous you could also climb Sugarloaf and the Skirrid.
This is now a designated path which runs from Beachley near Chepstow all the way to North Wales. You could walk the whole length of that path if you desire, or just take in snippets of it as it travels through Monmouthshire. A wonderful way to enjoy the countryside and the peace and quiet.
Ever fancied trying your hand at diving? Well, in Tidenham, near Cheptstow, you can. A former quarry has been transformed into National Diving Centre and here you can learn to dive and even try your hand at bog snorkeling.
6. RACE COURSE
A day, or evening at the races is always great fun. Chepstow is home to a fantastic racecourse with wonderful views over the parkland and across to the River Severn. Check out www.chepstow-racecourse.co.uk for details of race meetings throughout the year.
7. PONY TREKKING
What better way to slow down and enjoy the countryside at the same time by trying your hand at pony trekking. You don’t have to be an expert or have even ridden before. There’s lots of places to check out online which offer you this experience, so get surfing…
Monmouthshire is lucky enough to be home to some of the most magnificent castles in Wales. From Chepstow, the oldest stone built castle in Wales, to Caldicot and from Raglan to white castle, get out there and explore. And along the way you’ll learn about life from times gone by. Check out Goodrich Castle on the borders too.
9. TEA AT THE ANGEL
Afternoon tea is something we should all enjoy at least once. Eating delicate sandwiches, delicious cakes and wonderful warm scones while enjoying a tea of our choice, or even a glass of champagne for a really special treat. There are some fabulous places to enjoy this ritual across Monmouthshire but once of the best is The Angel, in Abergavenny, which has picked up numerous awards for its tea offering.
10. OLD STATION, TINTERN
This is one of our favourite places. It is tranquil, pretty and a great place for a relax and a piece of award winning Lavender cake! The Old Station plan a range of activities for all the family during the summer. Don’t miss the chance for a ride of the replica steam engine- a real hit with all ages.
11. GO FOR A BIKE RIDE
Whether you enjoy a bit of off-road fun or just like to keep fit in the country side, what better place to hop on your bike and get going.
12. STROLL UP SUGAR LOAF
The Sugar Loaf is very popular with walkers and if you’re not feeling too energetic you can cheat and park fairly close to the top. A great place for a picnic, a Sunday morning pre-lunch stroll or something more serious if you prefer. Dont forget if you are staying with us we can arrange a packed lunch for you.
13. OPEN GARDENS
The gardens in Usk are opened to visitors to raise money for local charities and genuine causes. The small picturesque town had achieved phenomenal success in recent years with its Open Gardens Weekend. And grab your RHS Yellow Book to find out which other local gardens are opening this summer.
14. DEVILS PULPIT
This walk around Tintern Abbey, bank of the River Wye and the ancient Offa’s Dkye is considered to be quite an easy and quick walk compared to some buts it’s still great fun and adventurous walk- and the view of Tintern Abbey from the Pulpit is well worth the effort.
15. ABERGAVENNY FOOD FESTIVAL
Over the years this festival has grown and grown. It is now a must for any foodie who wants to sample interesting food, see how top chefs do it and hear chefs and writers discussing the latest trends. For details of this September’s festival visit www.abergavennyfoodfestival.com
16. WALK UP THE SKIRRID
The Skirrid is the third of Abergavenny mountains we’ve featured here. It is also known as the Holy Mountain in Abergavenny. The walk is about three or four miles ling and is described as a gentle stroll- perfect for this magnificent hill.
17.CANOE ON THE WYE
A brilliant day out for the whole family. You feel so far away from everything when you are paddling down the middle of this wonderful river seeing the countryside from a completely different perspective. If this takes your fancy, get online and research various firms offering this experience.
18. VISIT HAROLD’S STONES IN TRELLECHHarold’s Stone
Trellech is an ancient village in the very heart of Monmouthshire. Its imposing church reveals the historic importance of the place- as do Harold’s Stones and St Annes Well ( also known as the virtuous well), plus the Trump Turret.
19. CLEDDON FALLS
High above Llandogo in the Wye Valley are these waterfalls- and they are well worth the visit.
20. FAGGOTS FROM THE NS JAMES, RAGLAN
Pop into NS James & Son in Raglan to sample their faggots, which are so good they’eve even made an appearance on TV. The Hairy Bikers approved when filming on of their TV shows, and they know their food.
21. NARROW BOAT TRIP ON THE CANAL
What better way to enjoy the Monmouthshire and Brecan Canal than on a narrow boat. The 33 miles of the canal shows off the the beautiful countryside and is the ideal place to get away from it all.
22. TRY OUT A YURT
Yes, you really can do this in Monmouthhsire. Hidden valley yourts, near chepstow, is the place to go if you fancy a stay in one of these Mongolian delights. Perfect tent for camping in style, definitely will be something you will never forget.
23. TINTERN ABBEY
Tintern Abbey is one of the greatest monastic ruins in Wales. Built between 1269 and 1301 and destroyed during reformation, it is a lovely place to explore.
24. DISCOVER MONMOUTHPEDIA
If you want to find out the history of Monmouth, the townsfolk have made it nice and easy for you. The town has collaborated with Wikipedia to create Monmouthpedia. All across the town you’ll find QR codes, which you can scan on your smart phone to find out the story behind each one.
25. MONMOUTH RAFT RACE
Whether you are brave enough to build your own raft and take part in this annual event, or just want to pop along to enjoy the action, the raft race is a great day out. This years even on Sunday September the 1st- so pop that in your diary and make sure you get to Monmouth.
26. 365 STEPS
Climb the 365 steps to the Eagles Nest viewpoint on the Wye Valley Walk, which is situated near St Arvans. It is an amazing experience and you will find yourself 700ft above the river. If you don’t like going up the steps, you can always start at the top and come down- but be warned, they are not for the fainthearted which ever way you go.
27. TAKE IN A SHOW AT THE SAVOY
Revel in a bit of history at The Savoy Theatre in Monmouth. it is claimed to be one of the oldest theatres in Wales. With its old fashioned print and design in flamboyant reds and golds, the savoy is a hidden gem. Check out www.monmouthsavoy.co.uk for a full list of whats on.
28. VISIT USK SESSIONS HOUSE
Another building packed with history is Usk Sessions House, which has been returned to its former glory thanks to the hard work of the people of the town. the Victorian court house is perfect for all sorts of events including weddings. And it is well worth a visit- but watch out for the ghosts.
29. TAKE IN HOGGIN’ THE BRIDGE
For the last few years on a Sunday in October chepstow has played host to hundreds of bikers in town for Hoggin’ The Bridge. You can watch them come over the Severn bridge in the morning and this year they will be congregating at chepstow racecourse after their ride through the countryside. A definite must see event.
30. WALES COASTAL PATH
This long distance foot path follows the whole of the coastline of wales. why not start the route and chepstow and go all the way to Queensferry. follow the wales coast path logo and find wonderful landmarks along the way. Visit chepstow’s tourist information office in bridge street for more information
31. VISIT DEWSTOW GARDENS
This is a gem of a place. The gardens near Caerwent contain ponds and rills and interesting underground grottoes, tunnels and sunken ferneries. If you love gardening, and are looking for inspiration, this is the place for you.
32. PLAY A ROUND OF GOLF AT ONE OF THE COURSES
If you’re a golfer why not visit one of many golf clubs in Monmouthshire. With beautiful scenery to admire when playing your hobby this sport is a calming and enjoyable experience.
33. FORAGE FOR FOOD
Monmouthshire is a veritable larder of food, you you know what you are looking for of course. One person who can help you is former mayor of Chepstow, Henry Ashby, who has been foraging for more than 40 years. A walk in the woods with an expert forager really opens your eyes to what is out there.
34. FIND OUT ABOUT LAVE NET FISHING
Leave net fishing is a traditional method of fishing which has been practiced for hundreds if not thousands of years. The lave net fisherman at black rock who come from villages of Sudbrook, Portskewett and Caldicot are the last Lave net fisherman in Wales. The tradition of lave net fishing at Black Rock has been passed down through the generations. Find out when their open days are at www.blackrocklavenets.co.uk
Alison Tod designs and makes the most amazing head wear from the minimalist to flamboyant eye catching designs. Pop along to her shop in Abergavenny for a peak- and if you’ve got a special occassion to go to, she’s the person you need to speak to.
36. PADDLE IN THE USK AT USK
Have a paddle in the river Usk at Usk with a bunch of friends and family. Perfect for a warm sunny day. Just pop along to the Island in Usk, get your picnic out and enjoy yourself.
37. CLIMB WINTOUR’S LEAP IF YOU DARE…
Wintour’s leap is known for being a mecca for rock climbers. You really need to know what you are doing to partake in this activity. But even if you don’t want to climb the sheer rock face, you can always watch.
38. GO PUT HOLING AT OTTER HOLE
Another one not for the fainthearted. Just north of Chepstow is a place most of us will never see- Otter Hole, one of the nest embellished caves in Britain. The cave runs from the bank of the River Wye and underneath the Chepstow racecourse and judging from the pictures we’ve seen it is magnificent. If caving isn’t for you, make sure you fund some pictures of this amazing place.
39. GLIDE OVER THE COUNTRYSIDE FROM USK
South Wales Gliding club is based at Usk, and the lucky gliders can enjoy the country from air in total peace and quiet. A must for any thrill-seekers out there.
40. STAND IN ENGLAND AND WALES AT THE SAME TIME
Why not be in two countries at once? If you stand in the middle of the wye bridge in Chepstow you can be in Wales and England at the same time. Easy!
41. CROSS OVER THE BORDER JUST A FEW MILES AND DINE AT THE 2 ROSETTE AND 5 STAR WILTON COURT RESTAURANT WITH ROOMS
Nestled on the banks of the river wye, the Mulberry two rosette restaurant, is a MUST to visit during your stay.
Goytre Wharf is one of those hidden gems which abound in Monmouthshire. Here you can stay firmly on dry land and enjoy the comings and goings of the canal wharf. Or you can hire a boat for a day- or even a holiday. While there make sure you try the restaurant, cafe and bar or just take along a Wilton Court picnic and sit back and watch the world go by.
43. CLYDACH GORGE/ IRONWORKS
Even though this valley was one of the first locations in the region to be industrialised there is still a natural charm and beauty to the steep-sided valley. It’s an ideal place for an explore and a picnic.
44. VISIT CHEPSTOW
Chepstow is the gateway to Wales.Before the Severn Bridge was built, cars crossed from England via the Aust ferry and then drove across the river Wye into Chepstow. The town is home to historic, must visit castle, a museum, and shops, cafes and pubs galore. It is also the start/end places of Wales coastal path.
45. WYE VALLEY WALK
Take a walk down the wye valley, or if more adventurous cycle or run! You can explore the eye catching greenery and visit places such as Chepstow, Tintern or Monmouth on the way. If you are really adventurous you could do the whole of the Wye Valley walk which stretches for 136 miles and takes you to Hafren Forest.
46. PICNIC ON THE KYMIN
The Kymin, in Monmouth, is a mist when it comes to going for a picnic-. There are nine acres of grounds and woods to enjoy or you can sit next to the monument and take in the outstanding views across Wale. If you are staing at Wilton Court we will be delighted to arrange a picnic.
47. THE AGRICULTURAL SHOWS
Agricultural shows are great fun- even if you don’t work in agriculture! We’re home to Chepstow, Usk and Monmouthshire shows and each offers visitors a great day out including animals, activities, food, drink, equipment and displays. If you’ve never been to an agricultural show, make this year that year to go.
48. TANK SCHOOL
What can we say about tank school apart from it is brilliant fun and something you will never forget. The school is near Usk and you get the chance to take the controls of a former Soviet tank as you drive across farmland. For more details visit www.tankschool.co.uk
49. BLACK MOUNTAINS FALCONRY
Weather its a birthday party, stag or hen doe or even just a day out with friends and family visit the falconry. A fulfilling experience for people who have a love for animals or who have interest in archery and being a falconer!
50. VINEYARDS/WINE TASTING
Discover how wine is made in a vineyard in Monmoutshire, such as the Ancre Hill Vineyard situated in the heart of The Wye Valley. Visit the cellar door where you can enjoy a free wine tasting, experience a guided your and relax in the vineyard, what more could you want!
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