You will be surprised how much you can pack into 48 hours in Monmouthshire. Take some inspiration from our weekend guide.
All good days in Abergavenny should involve food, so start your day right with breakfast at the Kitchen at the Chapel, off Market Street. Breakfast is served between 10am and 11.45am, Tuesday to Saturday, and the food is devilishly good. Walk it off with a stroll around Abergavenny’s historical market. We dare you to keep your hands in your pocket and out of your wallet as you pass stalls filled with local produce and hand-crafted items.
If the market has put you in the mood to shop, spend an hour wandering the town’s central shopping area to discover its independent boutiques. After a good shop, you can rebalance at the Linda Vista Gardens, just off Tudor Street. Once the private gardens of the Linda Vista villa, built in 1875, it passed between wealthy families before being sold for use as a public garden. Today, it offers a serene space in the centre of town that is filled with rare plants, trees and flowers.
If you visit during the summer festival, you may catch one of the open-air music concerts that take place there. After a hand-stretched, wood-fired pizza at Pizzorante for lunch, there’s just time to discover Abergavenny’s history at the town’s museum, which is set in the grounds of a ruined Norman castle.
End your cultured afternoon with a visit to the gallery of artist Daniel Williams – Seventeen Traitors’ Lane. Dinner plans don’t come much better than Abergavenny’s Michelin-starred The Walnut Tree Inn. If you fancy a cocktail, Auberge on Frogmore Street claims to have the best cocktail menu in town. Get there between 5pm and 9pm to take advantage of its two-for-one deal.
If the market has put you in the mood to shop, spend an hour wandering the town’s central shopping area to discover its independent boutiques
There are few better places in the country to be out and about than Monmouthshire. With so much to explore, if you have the energy and ability then why not try part of the Wye Valley Walk? You’ll start on the Wales Coastal Path at Chepstow.
Your first stop should be the stunningly-preserved Chepstow Castle, home to Europe’s oldest castle doors (they’re 800 years old and wooden) and with plenty to explore. The views are remarkable over the Wye River. If the weather is fine, a picnic in the grounds would be a great idea.
Alternatively, grab a spot of lunch and something cold to drink at The Three Tuns on nearby Bridge Street. Re-energised, you can walk off your lunch with a two-hour stretch to Tintern Abbey. It is the best-preserved medieval abbey in Wales. The remains you will see are a mix of buildings established between 1131 and 1536. Look out for the statue of Our Lady of Tintern, which you’ll find in the abbey’s south aisle.
If you don’t fancy walking, then driving to and between these two historical monuments is straightforward. After a busy day of sightseeing, and possibly walking, it’s time to refuel and relax. For a dinner to remember in breathtaking surroundings, visit The Whitebrook, a Michelin-starred restaurant just a few miles’ drive away.
Alternatively, enjoy award-winning fare at The Inn at Penallt before catching the live broadcast of a major West End or Broadway production at Monmouth’s Blake Theatre.
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