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Top Ten things to do in Monmouthshire this Bank Holiday / Half term

With the weather set to improve this weekend, and restrictions continuing to ease, it’s the perfect time to get out and about in Monmouthshire. Here are our Top Ten things to do this Bank Holiday weekend and half-term – from visiting one (or more) of our 9 castles, to walks across more than 1,000 miles of public footpath, to cycling through a bat cave, to afternoon tea in a Victorian railway station, to enjoying a tutored tasting at one of our vineyards, to booking a Tuk Tuk Tour, there are many fantastic ways to enjoy Monmouthshire this coming week.

Please plan ahead and check whether you need to book your chosen activity in advance. Look out for the We’re Good to Go Covid-19 secure industry kite mark and have a plan B (in the case of non-booked activities) in the event that your planned destination is too busy when you arrive. And please support our local businesses when you can to ensure our communities benefit as much as possible from your visit.

#1 Visit one (or more) of our 9 castles

Monmouthshire has nine great castles across the county to visit and explore, with all but Chepstow, Raglan & Usk free to enter. Visit one of the '3 castles' of Skenfrith, Grosmont and White Castle which have guarded the Welsh Marches for hundreds of years. Explore the oldest stone castle in the UK at Chepstow, or take in the magnificent Raglan Castle in the heart of the county. 

White Castle (Cadw)

The shape of things to come? An early glimpse of Edward I’s Welsh castle-building project

Chepstow Castle (Cadw)

Beautifully preserved Chepstow Castle stretches out along a limestone cliff above the River Wye like a history lesson in stone.

Raglan Castle (Cadw)

The unmistakable silhouette of Raglan crowning a ridge amid glorious countryside is the grandest castle ever built by Welshmen.

Usk Castle

Usk Castle nestles on a promontory overlooking the lovely town of Usk, just waiting for you to explore. The Castle is open to Usk Castle Friends on set days, those staying at our glamping site, and on special occasions.

Monmouth Castle (Cadw)

Ruined castle with a regal history. It’s a surprise to find this ruin, tucked away as it is in a lane off Monmouth’s main shopping street.

Grosmont Castle (Cadw)

Big on the border. Grosmont is a member of an illustrious trio of strongholds.

Skenfrith Castle (Cadw)

Significant medieval fortress with a substantial central tower

Caldicot Castle and Country Park

Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Castle’s exciting past. Caldicot Castle’s impressive structure is surrounded by an idyllic 55 acre Country Park. The castle grounds are now open every day 11am - 4pm.

#2 Go for a walk (and take a picnic & lots of photos)

May was officially National Walking Month, but with all the known benefits of walking there's no reason not to extend into June. Although we're coming to the end of bluebell season, there's still plenty of beautiful countryside to enjoy. Why not try one of the 70 recommended circular walks across Monmouthshire?

#3 Cycle through a bat cave (1.1km tunnel)

The newly opened 5 mile Wye Valley Greenway links Chepstow with Tintern, and offers a great cycle ride (or walk) along the beautiful Wye Valley. And in the heart of it is a bat cave! Ok, it's not actually a bat cave. It's more of a bat tunnel. The 1km long Tidenham Tunnel. But it is an important local bat roost, so dim lighting is used so as not to disturb them, and the tunnel is closed at night to give them free reign of their habitat.

#4 Visit MonLife attractions & museums

Discover the history of Monmouthshire at Abergavenny & Chepstow Museums (open Tuesday, Friday & Sunday). Enjoy a walk in the country park at Caldicot Castle then relax with a treat inside the walls. Or enjoy an ice cream at the Old Station in Tintern. Your four legged friend can even have one too with doggy ice cream available!

Caldicot Castle and Country Park

Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Castle’s exciting past. Caldicot Castle’s impressive structure is surrounded by an idyllic 55 acre Country Park. The castle grounds are now open every day 11am - 4pm.

Chepstow Museum

Chepstow Museum reveals the rich and varied past of this ancient town, once an important port and market centre.

Old Station Tintern

Built as a Victorian country railway station, the Old Station, Tintern is a charming site to visit for a quiet relaxing day out or to start your walk in the beautiful Wye Valley.

Abergavenny Museum and Castle

Abergavenny Museum, founded in 1959, is set in the grounds of a 'ruined' Norman Castle. The Museum building was formerly a hunting lodge built by the Marquess of Abergavenny. The displays tell the story of this historic market town.

#5 Visit a glorious Monmouthshire garden or create your own

Six Monmouthshire gardens are open to visitors over the next week, including the beautiful Wye Valley Sculpture Garden & Veddw House Garden. Monmouthshire has become a haven for garden designers and horticultural lovers and has more than its fair share of glorious gardens.

If they inspire you to spruce up your own garden, visit one of our fantastic independent garden centres (and maybe pick up some delicious tea & cake at the same time!).

Mione Open Garden

Fri 25 Jun 2021

Beautiful garden with a wide variety of established plants, many rare and unusual. Pergola with climbing roses and clematis. Wildlife pond with many newts, insects and frogs. Numerous containers with diverse range of planting.

Usk Open Gardens 2021

Sat 26 - Sun 27 Jun 2021

Winner of Wales in Bloom for 40 years, Usk's floral colour is a wonderful backdrop to the gardens. Around 10 private gardens will be open, including the private gardens around the ramparts at Usk Castle.

Trengrove House Open Garden

Sun 27 Jun 2021

Garden designer's own 'single-handed' 2½ acre country garden developed over 18 yrs along 'right plant, right place' lines. Informal borders planted for a range of conditions with interesting and some unusual shrubs and trees.

Wye Valley Sculpture Garden Open Days

Sun 27 Jun 2021

The Wye Valley Sculpture Garden is the vision of artist Gemma Kate Wood which is an accumulation of a shared vision stretching over three generations.

Trengrove House Open Garden

Thu 1 Jul 2021

Garden designer's own 'single-handed' 2½ acre country garden developed over 18 yrs along 'right plant, right place' lines. Informal borders planted for a range of conditions with interesting and some unusual shrubs and trees.

Mione Open Garden

Fri 2 Jul 2021

Beautiful garden with a wide variety of established plants, many rare and unusual. Pergola with climbing roses and clematis. Wildlife pond with many newts, insects and frogs. Numerous containers with diverse range of planting.

Mione Open Garden

Sun 4 Jul 2021

Beautiful garden with a wide variety of established plants, many rare and unusual. Pergola with climbing roses and clematis. Wildlife pond with many newts, insects and frogs. Numerous containers with diverse range of planting.

Trengrove House Open Garden

Sun 4 Jul 2021

Garden designer's own 'single-handed' 2½ acre country garden developed over 18 yrs along 'right plant, right place' lines. Informal borders planted for a range of conditions with interesting and some unusual shrubs and trees.

Birch Tree Well

Sun 4 Jul 2021

Situated in the heart of the Lower Wye Valley, amongst the ancient habitat of woodland, rocks and streams. These 3 acres are shared with deer, badgers and foxes.

Veddw Open Days

Sun 4 Jul 2021

Discover two acres of ornamental garden and two acres of woodland. A favourite part with visitors and gardeners wanting a break from looking at weeds is the dramatic reflecting pool.

Wye Valley Sculpture Garden Open Days

Sun 4 Jul 2021

The Wye Valley Sculpture Garden is the vision of artist Gemma Kate Wood which is an accumulation of a shared vision stretching over three generations.

Bryngwyn Manor Open Garden

Sun 11 Jul 2021

3 acres. Bee and wildlife friendly. Winter Snowdrops, Daffodil walk, mature trees, walled parterre garden, mixed borders, lawns, ponds and shrubbery. All areas of the garden can be accessed without steps although the ground is uneven.

Wye Valley Sculpture Garden Open Days

Sun 11 Jul 2021

The Wye Valley Sculpture Garden is the vision of artist Gemma Kate Wood which is an accumulation of a shared vision stretching over three generations.

Highfield Farm Open Day

Sun 18 Jul 2021

This is a garden defined by its plants.There are over 1200 cultivars, with many rarities, densely planted over 2 acres to generate an exuberant display across the seasons.

Clytha Park Open Garden

Sun 18 Jul 2021

Large C18/19 garden around lake with wide lawns and specimen trees, original layout by John Davenport, with C19 arboretum, and H. Avray Tipping influence. Visit the 1790 walled garden and the newly restored greenhouses.

Veddw Open Days

Sun 18 Jul 2021

Discover two acres of ornamental garden and two acres of woodland. A favourite part with visitors and gardeners wanting a break from looking at weeds is the dramatic reflecting pool.

Wye Valley Sculpture Garden Open Days

Sun 18 Jul 2021

The Wye Valley Sculpture Garden is the vision of artist Gemma Kate Wood which is an accumulation of a shared vision stretching over three generations.

Wye Valley Sculpture Garden Open Days

Sun 25 Jul 2021

The Wye Valley Sculpture Garden is the vision of artist Gemma Kate Wood which is an accumulation of a shared vision stretching over three generations.

Veddw Open Days

Sun 1 Aug 2021

Discover two acres of ornamental garden and two acres of woodland. A favourite part with visitors and gardeners wanting a break from looking at weeds is the dramatic reflecting pool.

Wye Valley Sculpture Garden Open Days

Sun 1 Aug 2021

The Wye Valley Sculpture Garden is the vision of artist Gemma Kate Wood which is an accumulation of a shared vision stretching over three generations.

#6 Get active

Whether it's canoeing down the River Wye, mountain biking in the Black Mountains or simply grabbing a round of golf, Monmouthshire will have you covered this half term.

#7 Enjoy a Monmouthshire ice-cream

Is there anything better than an ice cream when the sun is shining? The answer is yes, a Monmouthshire ice cream! Visit Green & Jenks Gelato House for locally made gelato (and more) in Monmouth, or pick up a tub of local Brooke's Wye Valley Dairy ice cream at Chepstow TIC & Tintern Old Station.

#8 Have fun on the Mon & Brec canal

Discover the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal as it winds its way through beautiful countryside in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Go for a stroll, try your hand at fishing, cycle along the towpath or get on the water with a narrowboat or kayak. 

#9 Visit some of our local producers

Monmouthshire is known as the 'Food Capital of Wales' for a reason, and part of that is our fantastic local producers. From vineyards to meaderies, distilleries to breweries, enjoy the flavours of Monmouthshire with tours, tastings and treats to take home.

#10 Book a Tuk Tuk Tour

Discover Monmouthshire in an unconventional way with a Tuk Tuk Tour. BookaTukTuk offers tours of the mountain views around Abergavenny, of Llanthony Priory & Valley, of the Three Castles, and even a wine tasting tour (so you don't have to worry about driving home!).

Welsh Dragon