You’ll need transport to get to these places from Abergavennny, however, no trip to this corner of South Wales is complete without a visit to the following places.
Blaenavon Ironworks and Big Pit
The Ironworks at Blaenavon is one of Europe’s best preserved sites of the 18th century. This site was at the forefront of technology in the 1780’s when a steam engine was installed.
Big Pit was a real coal mine which is now open to visitors. An experience not to be missed, it is possible to put yourself in the shoes of the miners who made their living hacking away at the coal face. The buildings associated with the mine are still there, including the blacksmith’s workshop, the engine house and more.
No visit to Abergavenny would be complete without a trip through the majestic landscape of the Brecon Beacons. An area of outstanding beauty, this National Park is not to be missed. Particularly splendid when covered in snow, the sharp rise and falls of these peaks and valleys is breathtaking. For the more adventurous, Pen y Fan at 2906 feet is the highest mountain in South Wales. The view from the top is magnificent.
Visit www.breconbeacons.org for information about the National Park.
If you’re up for a good stroll, then the summits local mountains – the Blorenge, the Skirrid, and the Sugar-Loaf are all reachable from the town centre within 2-3 hours of walking (there are car-parks nearer the top for those who are less keen!). More details on local walks.
Built around the end of the 12th century, the remains of Llanthony Priory are set in a magnificent location just a few miles outside of Abergavenny. Allow an hour or so to wander around the ruins, but you might want to linger longer once you discover the pub that’s built into the cellars! There are also four guestrooms available at Llanthony Priory Hotel.
It’s an ideal starting point for walkers wanting to get onto the Hatterall Ridge, part of Offa’s Dyke footpath.
A fantastic open air museum just outside Cardiff featuring houses, farms and miscellaneous buildings representing the heritage of Wales.
A great day out, you can usually find craftsmen practising their trades somewhere in the grounds. There are also various exhibitions such as Welsh costumes from times past.
For more information, please visit the St Fagan’s website.
It’s difficult to imagine a more picturesque part of Wales. With sweeping views over the River Wye
far below, and peregrine falcons nesting in the cliff face nearby, Symond’s Yat Rock is definitely worth a visit.
If you’ve got some more time on your hands, then there are plenty of day trips that can be made from Abergavenny to make the most of your time in South Wales. How about visiting Dan-yr-ogof Show Caves for an underground spectacle (1hr drive)? Or head for the beach – The Mumbles is your entrance point to the beaches of the Gower pensinsula (1.5hr drive). If you’re feeling historical, then take a trip to the Roman Fortress and Baths at Caerleon (30 min drive), or if you want some even more impressive ruins in stunningly beautiful scenery, head for Tintern Abbey (45 mins).
Check out a medieval map in Hereford
(40 min drive), and if you’ve got time afterwards pop into the Cider Museum. If that’s got you in the mood for a wee dram, you could visit the Penderyn Whisky Distillery (and take somebody else to do the 45 min drive back!). Take your mountain bike up a real mountain at BikeParkWales (30 mins by car, a looooong way on a bike), or head to Llangorse Lake for water-based fun. If you want something at a quieter pace, find yourself something to read at one of the many bookshops in Hay-on-Wye, and stop by one of the cafés for a bite to eat.
Not forgetting Cardiff, the capital of Wales of course, where you could take in a rugby match at the Millenium Stadium,
see a show at the Millenium Arts Centre, see dinosaurs at the National Museum, discover science at Techniquest or do some shopping on the high street.