STRIDE OUT : A great area for walking with the Usk Valley in one direction, and the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean in the other. Stride out from the door on a lovely circular walk around Craig-Y-Dorth hill, location of a famous battle when Owain Glyndwr beat the English forces out of Wales back to the gates of Monmouth. For those who love a more dramatic hill, then the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons are in easy enough reach....plenty of trails for the most adventurous of travellers.
RESTAURANTS AND PUBS : Monmouthshire is famous for being the mecca for food in Wales, boasting the most amount of Michelin starred restaurants in the Country. These include the Walnut Tree Inn in Abergavenny and The Whitebrook, just 5 minutes’ drive away in the Wye Valley. Worthy of note are The Hardwick, The Raglan Arms, The Bell at Skenfrith and The Inn at Penallt, with The Lion and Carpenter’s Arms. Friday night also brings a small street food market to Monmouth, perfect pre-check in!
CASTLES & CULTURE : Being a border county the area had a vast array of wonderful and famous Castles and is also home to the magnificent Tintern Abbey. Raglan, Chepstow, White, Goodrich Castles are all worth a look whilst Monmouth boasts being the birthplace of Henry V.
FISHING : Fantastic fishing nearby on the River Usk and famous River Wye, some of Wales’ best Salmon and Brown Trout rivers. Day permits available from the local shop, Sweets in Usk, Gene will offer you a lovely cup of tea along with any fishing flies you wish to purchase. The Usk & Wye Fishing Foundation also offer day rods on some of the best beats of both rivers, usually unavailable to the public. Certainly worth a look!
KAYAKING & CANOEING : The River Wye meanders through stunning Welsh countryside. In Monmouth companies will take you up to Symonds Yat and let you canoe back down to Monmouth. Along the way you can stop at lovely waterside pubs such as The Saracens Head, ensuring you are always well fed and watered along the way.
FOREST OF DEAN : The Forest of Dean is within easy reach, with Go Ape, offering tree top adventures for the brave and Segway hire for those preferring to explore on wheels! Historic Clearwell Caves are within the Forest as is Clearwell Castle. The Forest is also fantastic for bike riding, there are a number of bike hire shops. Just make sure you are able to out-peddle the local wild boar population!
FESTIVALS : There are a number of great local festivals in the area, as well as regular events at Chepstow Racecourse. The Hay Festival is of global repute and a haven for book lovers each May. September brings the Abergavenny Food Festival to town, one of the best in the country. For music lovers, Brecon Jazz and the Green Man Festival come to the hills in August. •