Where in Wales is Abergavenny?
Abergavenny is a quaint market town surrounded by the Brecon Beacons. Nestled between seven hills close to the Welsh/English border, Abergavenny is nicknamed the ‘Gateway to Wales’.
Abergavenny has much to offer tourists – a blend of old and new, with activities and things to do to suit young and old alike. From prehistory to Roman remains, medieval castles and industrial heritage, there’s loads to see and do for all the family. A visit to Abergavenny can really feel like a break away from it all – you can almost feel time slowing down as you take in the beautiful scenery of the Usk valley and explore the shadow of the Sugar Loaf mountain.
What to do in Abergavenny
If there’s one thing market towns are good for, it’s browsing independent shops and market stalls. There are a number of weekly markets in the Victorian Market Hall, selling everything from locally produced food and drink to antiques and bric-a-brac.
Sample a bit of real local flavour at Sugar Loaf Vineyard, set on the lower slopes of the Sugar Loaf mountain overlooking the town. Drop in for a tasting of some award-winning Welsh wines, take a tour of the vineyards and enjoy the views over the Usk Valley. There’s also an onsite café and shop!
Make the most of the countryside with a visit to Goytre Wharf and Canal Visitor Centre. It’s a great starting point for walks and bike rides along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal and through the fields and woodlands that surround it. Or you can hire a canoe or canal boat to travel on the water. There’s also a cosy café for post exploration refreshments.
For two days every September, the Abergavenny Food Festival transforms the town’s streets into an enormous buffet of food stalls, chef demonstrations and entertainment. It’s the biggest event on the UK foodie calendar! It’s an inclusive and welcoming event, delivering a delicious opportunity for people from all walks of life to explore and learn about food. The Festival prides itself on transforming the way people think about food; challenging and promoting new ideas, pushing the boundaries of current thinking and encouraging people to look differently at where their food comes from.
Where to stay?
Just a few miles down the road is the small market town Crickhowell. Winner of the Great British High Street Award 2018, its bustling main street is packed with independent shops and boutiques. A settlement has existed here at least since iron-age settlers built a fort on the top of Crug Hywel, also called Table Mountain after its flat top. In the town a motte and bailey castle, remains of which still exist, was built by the Normans.
The Bear Hotel is a convivial, characterful old coaching inn and is the social hub of Crickhowell, allowing visitors and locals to mix. A hotel famous for its welcoming atmosphere, historic character, convivial surroundings and good food. Its many accolades for hospitality include a prestigious Good Pub Guide ‘Inn of the Year’ award in 2010. The low-beamed bar, filled with antiques and shabby-chic furnishings and warmed by a roaring log fire in winter, sets the style for a place to stay that is warm and characterful rather than a hotel in the grand manner. The Bear Hotel is the perfect place to get stuck into the local culture.