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Kevin's Insider Guide to Monmouthshire

Hello all. I'm Kevin and I've been working for Visit Monmouthshire for 7 years now. This has allowed me ample chances to get out and about and explore all the nooks and crannies of this county. I've been lucky enough to have offices in a Georgian Shire Hall, a Medieval castle, a Victorian railway station and a 2000s office block overlooking the M4 (it's not all glamorous).

To celebrate the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019 I've decided to write down some of my own personal favourite parts of Monmouthshire. I hope you enjoy!

Top 10 Attractions

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Seasonal treats at The Angel, Abergavenny

The Angel Hotel

Four years ago I decided to go international and marry a Californian. This is great for the airmiles and trips to slightly...warmer...destinations, but does mean we have to go on an annual hunt for Thanksgiving Dinner in Wales. Luckily, we have somewhere that provides this right on our doorstep as The Angel in Abergavenny pull out all the stops for a Thanksgiving Feast every third Thursday in November. With 4 courses, plus bread from their bakery, you'll be lucky to finish it all. Which is how Thanksgiving should be.

But it's not just Thanksgiving that the Angel puts their effort into. For all the major (and some minor!) holidays throughout the year, they have an event, a menu, or an offer to celebrate.

Also Try : Their Bakery next door. Worth a trip to Abergavenny to get some of this bread!


Castles galore

As a history lover there are very few better places to work than Monmouthshire. There are castles around every corner and you can easily spend days exploring all of them. Whenever I have visitors I always make sure to go on a castle tour, taking in Caldicot Castle, Chepstow Castle, Tintern Abbey & Raglan Castle. A 3 Day Cadw pass certainly helps with this (and we usually pop outside Monmouthshire another day to take in Caerphilly Castle & Castell Coch!). 

Make sure not to miss:

It's a bit off-piste but Llanthony Priory in the Black Mountains is a must visit. Tucked away in the Vale of Ewyas it feels miles away from civilisation and has a pub on site. Drinking in the priory ruins really is the best beer garden...

Llanthony Priory Hotel

A little bit of California in Wales...

White Castle Vineyard

Growing up in wine country means my wife had been a bit spoilt for the quality of her wine before coming to Wales (no £4 Tesco wine for us...), but there are actually 4 award-winning vineyards here in Monmouthshire. On a warm summers evening you can almost imagine yourself to be in Napa (I have an active imagination).

2000 year old stone walls at Caerwent

Now I admit. Not everyone gets as excited as I do by walls, but I spent 4 years studying Classics so occasionally I like to feel it was worth more than just a mountain of student debt. For this, I travel to the village of Caerwent which still stands amongst the stone walls of an original Roman town. There is something about passing through the same gateway that Romans would have used in 100AD that always gets me excited. 

Caerwent has free parking, and a well signposted walk around the village taking in the 17ft walls, the remains of the temple, workshops, houses and streets of the Roman Town, and some great archaeological finds in their church.

Caerwent in Monmouthshire
Welsh Dragon