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Visit Abergavenny in Winter
Visit Abergavenny in Winter

Take a look at Abergavenny

Even though Covid restrictions are limiting the places to which we can travel, Monmouthshire businesses are still offering a huge range of products and services, on the high street and online, with many providing UK delivery, too. Take the Abergavenny Christmas in 10 challenge and see how much of your Christmas shopping you can do within 10 miles of Abergavenny.

Check out these ideas in and around Abergavenny, and, when guidance allows, why not take a trip there? 

Christmas Lights

Christmas lights in Abergavenny

The new Christmas Lights in Abergavenny are lighting up the town centre from 20th November. This year crowds can’t gather to see the lights being switched on, but people are encouraged to enjoy the new lights when they visit Abergavenny town centre from 20th November onwards. In the lead up to that date, short videos are being posted, showing how local retailers are helping to get Abergavenny ready for the festive season.

With many town centre businesses decorating their windows for Christmas, it’s time to select your favourite by casting your vote between 7th and 13th December. There are two ways to do this: either fill in the form which will be in the Abergavenny Chronicle on 25th November and drop it into the newly-relocated Tourist Information Centre in the Town Hall, or head for the Town Council’s Facebook page. The winning business will be announced in the Abergavenny Chronicle on 16th December.

Wall2Wall Jazz

Wall2Wall Jazz Festival

Abergavenny’s annual Jazz Festival has gone virtual this year, with nine gigs available online until 28th November. Top jazz musicians performed live at the Melville Centre in Abergavenny back in August, and were filmed by Abergavenny Camera Club – all in a socially distanced setting. There was no audience at the time of filming, of course, but these films capture the excitement and joy of the musicians playing together for the first time for many months. Watch these live jazz sessions here.

Award for Abergavenny Market

Shop Local Abergavenny Market

A long-established favourite with visitors to the town, Abergavenny Market has recently gained another accolade; it won a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award 2020. Based on visitors’ reviews, this annual award recognises the very best tourism establishments in terms of service, quality, customer satisfaction and more, across a range of categories. Fantastic news for the huge variety of retailers who continue to trade in and around the Market Hall each week.

Festivities at The Angel Hotel

Festivities at the Angel, Abergavenny

The Angel Hotel’s reopening on 2nd December will brighten up the town for many visitors. The hotel’s festive ‘tree’ and decorations are, like last year, designed by Bettina Reeves, who has created the Abergavenny Food Festival decorations in the Market Hall for many years. Festive Dining and High Tea (in line with Government guidelines) is available at the hotel throughout December.

Go online to arrange your festive celebrations or order Christmas gift vouchers.

New, larger Angel Bakery

On 25th November, The Angel Bakery, led by head bakers Sophie Kumar and Polly Hunter, will open a new, larger shop at 50-51 Cross Street. They will be selling their own sourdough bread, baguettes, focaccia and pastries, as well as a range of items from other producers.

There will be locally-reared meat from Wild by Nature, British cheeses from Neal’s Yard Dairy and the local Neal’s Yard Creamery, natural and biodynamic wines selected by Chesters Wine Merchants, and specialist second-hand food and drink books from Broadleaf Books. Expect plenty of delicious festive treats, too.

Angel Bakery

Awards for The Bell at Skenfrith

Interior of the Bell at Skenfrith

A short drive outside Abergavenny, The Bell at Skenfrith has not one, but two, reasons to celebrate. Shortlisted by Condé Nast Johansens for excellence in the recently Renovated Hotel category, it has also achieved The Good Hotel Guide’s accolade of 2021 Editor’s Choice Walking Award. Very popular with walkers, The Bell has produced six circular routes which explore the Monmouthshire countryside from the hotel’s front door. It’s great news for this former 17th century coaching inn, which was flooded in 2019 and 2020, and has recently reopened after extensive restoration. Plans for the festive seasons include 2-night and 3-night Christmas packages.

Go outside, feel better

Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal
We are regularly reminded that spending time outdoors in nature is beneficial to our mental wellbeing – even more so during Covid-19. With Abergavenny being on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, it’s the ideal destination to get your dose of green space and a spot of walking.

Even the least enthusiastic walker will enjoy Castle Meadows & Linda Vista Gardens. This easy, level 1.6-mile walk from a town centre car park has the added attraction of delicious snacks and drinks from Ambika Social – a converted horsebox café in Linda Vista Gardens on selected dates.

Another interesting walk around the town takes in Swan Meadows & the river Gavenny. It’s a 2.7-mile long route that goes up and down hill, following the course of the river.

The 2.8-mile Llanfoist Canal West Walk is a delight right now, with magnificent autumn colours along the former railway line and canal towpath, and occasional benches for you to rest and enjoy your flask of coffee.

Abergavenny is surrounded by three main peaks – the Skirrid Fawr, the Blorenge and – highest of the lot at 596m – the Sugarloaf. For a day-long challenge, park in the town centre and follow this challenging 7.5 mile route to the summit of the Sugarloaf.

If you fancy getting up high without too much effort, pick a fine day and drive to Keepers Pond car park on the Blorenge mountain. There are magnificent views from the 4-mile Blorenge High Level Walk.

For more walks near Abergavenny, check out our full list of routes.

Visit Safely

When you visit Abergavenny, please follow social distancing and government guidance, in order to help keep everyone safe. Look out for the 'We're Good to Go' tourism and hospitality industry kite mark for reassurance that the businesses you're planning to visit are following government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, ensuring processes are in place to maintain cleanliness and physical distancing. Please have a look at our Plan Your Visit page before you set off and check that the things you want to see and do are open and where facilities like toilets are available. For many places, advance booking may also be required. Please note that it's mandatory to wear a mask in shops and inside public spaces. Click here for up to date advice on current restrictions in place in Wales.

Welsh Dragon