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Wild Monmouthshire

Autumn is a great time to be outside and close to nature in Monmouthshire. Take in the spectacular autumn colours in the Wye Valley and along the Mon & Brec canal, or keep an eye out for otters on the Usk and Wye rivers at dawn and dusk.

Wildlife Spotting


With a babbling trout stream running alongside the hotel and beer garden, and a live stream otter-cam showing on a TV screen in the bar, the Olway Inn is the perfect place to observe these elusive nocturnal animals in their natural environment. The Usk and Wye river catchments kept their otter populations throughout the twentieth century when most of England lost theirs due to persecution and pollution. Both rivers are designated as Special Areas of Conservation for the species, so it’s well worth keeping an eye out if you’re near our rivers or canals, or on the Gwent levels, particularly at dawn or dusk.


Magor Marsh is the last relatively natural area of fenland on the Gwent Levels. From the fleeting glimpse of a kingfisher, to the sight of colourful dragonflies darting over the reens, this is an inspiring place to visit. In autumn and winter the reserve is particularly attractive to birdwatchers, as the pond provides a sanctuary for wintering wildfowl and passing migrants. Once a common sight on the levels, European water voles have been reintroduced to Magor Marsh where populations are now increasing.

Dog Friendly


Autumn Colours

Wye Valley

The Wye Valley offers some of the most beautiful scenery in Wales along the course of one of Britain's cleanest rivers, alive with salmon and trout. Travellers have been flocking to this riverbank in the Wye Valley for hundreds of years to admire the romantic ruins of Tintern Abbey. The surrounding wooded slopes are particularly lovely in autumn. The best views of seasonal colour are from a limestone outcrop high above the river.

Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

A popular attraction in the Brecon Beacons National Park, this is a beautiful and peaceful waterway. The navigable section of the canal runs for 35 miles from Brecon to the Pontymoile basin and it’s a haven for wildlife and a favourite with nature-lovers, walkers and cyclists. Beech is one of the most spectacular species of tree for autumn colour and travelling west towards Brecon, a whole wooded bank of them provide a fiery backdrop to huge landscape views of the Usk Valley.
Welsh Dragon