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Take a look at Monmouth

Even though Covid restrictions are limiting what we can do, Monmouthshire businesses are still offering a huge range of products and services – on the high street and online, with several providing delivery, too.

Check out these ideas in and around Monmouth, and, when guidance allows, why not take a trip there? (See latest Welsh Government guidance).

Festive Anagram Competition

You could win up to £100 in shopping vouchers to be spent in Monmouth, if you join in the Festive Anagram Competition. Stroll around the town, and you’ll notice letters in various shop windows. Make a note of all 34 letters, then rearrange the letters to create a festive anagram.

Organised by Monmouth Chamber of Commerce with the support of Monmouth Town Council, the competition offers the following prizes: First prize £100 of vouchers, Second prize £50 of vouchers, plus ten runners-up prizes.

Email your answer to secretary@monmouthchamber.co.uk or write it on a piece of paper and place it inside the festive postbox in MonTeas in Monnow Street. Remember to include your name and telephone number. Entries must be received by Monday 21 December.

Hill Farm Barn Sourdough

Jonathan Helm, owner of Hill Farm Barn Sourdough, is a professional musician with Welsh National Opera. As his income has been severely impacted by Covid, Jonathan has turned his interest in baking into a thriving business. As a keen cook with an interest in sourdough, he had already sourced organic flour from Shipton Mill, a few miles away in Gloucestershire, and sold some loaves of bread via Square Farm Shop, just outside Mitchel Troy. The Covid restrictions were the catalyst for Jonathan to spend more and more time in the kitchen, and his passion for baking has now turned this percussionist into a professional baker!

He has perfected using a sourdough culture - instead of cultivated yeast - which requires plenty of patience. In fact, each loaf takes up to 36 hours to develop flavour from start to finish; but it’s worth it, as the long, slow fermentation process leads to greater flavour. Buy a loaf from Square Farm Shop, near Mitchel Troy, or order online with Wye Valley Producers.

Click and Collect from Wye Valley Producers

Hill Farm Barn Sourdough is one of the newest members of Wye Valley Producers. As featured on BBC’s Countryfile programme, Wye Valley Producers now offer a Click & Collect service. On their new website www.wyevalleyproducers.co.uk, you can browse through the range of products made by these local artisan businesses, and order by 7pm on a Thursday. Then you collect your box of goodies from the car park of The Drill Hall, Lower Church St, Chepstow between 5pm and 5pm on Friday. You don’t even leave your car – just open your boot, and your order will be placed in your car by the Wye Valley Producers themselves. It’s that simple.

Remember, making a purchase from a Wye Valley Producer not only helps a local business but its means you get to try delicious, award-winning food and drink. Perfect for indulging in this Christmas!

Limited Edition Christmas Scent

Monmouth Botanicals has produced a Limited Edition Christmas Scent for 2020 - featuring Bergamot, Frankincense & Sandalwood. It’s available as a candle and a diffuser, and both are packaged in traditional amber apothecary glass which is recyclable or reusable. This modern apothecary business uses the finest ingredients to create a range of beautiful perfumes and home fragrances.

If you’d like to create your own bespoke fragrance, choose their Lab in a Box for use at home, or book a Perfume Creation Experience for two people to create a fragrance at Monmouth Botanicals in the Wye Valley. Now that’s a unique Christmas present idea!

Monmouth Botanicals

‘A beautifully composed gin’

Monmouth Gin

The husband and wife team behind Monmouth Gin are equally passionate about gin and the stunning Monmouthshire countryside. They’ve combined the two in this hand crafted gin in the traditional London Dry Style. What makes it extra special is the fact that it has been infused with juniper, coriander, orris root, angelica, cassia bark, rosehips, barberries, fresh lemon zest, lime leaves and blackberry leaf. According to the International Wine & Spirit Competition, this is ‘a beautifully composed gin’ – which might make it perfect for your Christmas celebrations.

Gifts galore at Handyman House

Handyman House is a long established family business which offers products for a wide spectrum of home tasks, from maintenance and gardening, to decorating and soft furnishings. You’ll find all the major home and garden names in the store in Monnow Street, including leading brands of small electrical items such as toasters and kettles, and plenty of ideas for Christmas presents. If you’d rather get items delivered to you, instead of visiting the store, you can place an order via email and take advantage of their local delivery service for orders over £40.

Relax at Monmouth Leisure Centre

Monmouth Leisure Centre

When you need to relax, head to Monmouth Leisure Centre and discover the amazing facilities there, following its recent £7.4 million refurbishment. There’s a 25-metre swimming pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi, a large gym, an air-conditioned aerobics studio with virtual capabilities, and a dedicated spin studio. The leisure centre also features a toning suite using power-assisted equipment, a multi-purpose room for parties and meetings, a children’s play area (currently closed due to Government guidelines) and a café. Serenity Treatment Rooms offers a range of beauty therapies including Elemis Deep Tissue Massage using aromatherapy oils, manicures, pedicures, tanning and waxing. Purchase one of their gift vouchers, and you’ll give the gift of relaxation this festive season.

Enjoy a local walk

You might like to combine your visit to Monmouth with a short stroll. There’s a 1-mile walk from the Leisure Centre to Dixton Church and back along the banks of the river Wye, and a 2-mile Two Rivers Meadow Walk which combines the river Wye and the river Monnow. Both routes are ideal for unwinding and escaping the busyness of Christmas preparations.

18 Monmouth King's Wood

A 6.1 mile walk from Monmouth including a section of the Offa’s Dyke Path in King’s Wood.

Health Walk - Dixton Church Walk

1 mile walk along the River Wye to Dixton Church and back.

Health Walk - Two Rivers Meadow Walk

2 mile walk around the land between the River Wye and the River Monnow.

Health Walk - Vauxhall Fields Walk

1.75 mile walk through part of the town and around Vauxhall Fields.

17 Buckholt Wood - ROUTE CLOSED

ROUTE CURRENTLY CLOSED A 6 mile walk to the north of Monmouth

Free weekend parking

Don’t forget - from Saturday 5 December until Boxing Day, all Council-owned car parks in Monmouth (as well as Abergavenny and Chepstow) will be free to use. So it’s even easier to support local businesses in the run up to Christmas.

Welsh Dragon