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Top Ten Ways to Visit Monmouthshire Safely

We all want to feel safe as we start venturing outside our local areas. Here are our top ten ways to visit Monmouthshire safely now. We're deliberately focusing on simple down to earth experiences because that's what we’ve come to value over the past few months. Please read our Plan your visit page and check before arrival that the things you’d like to see and do are available and whether you need to book in advance. Help us keep Monmouthshire safe by making your promise to Wales before you leave home.

1) Stay somewhere which shows you Monmouthshire from a different perspective

Choose from well-equipped characterful cottages, converted barns, safari tents, yurts, tipis or a narrowboat floating on the Monmouthshire & Brecon canal. Spa hotels for indulgence and luxury. Country house havens of pastoral charm. Elegant townhouses.  Farmhouse B&Bs where the farmyard provides the only alarm clock you’ll need. (And most of the breakfast ingredients.) We can even offer you a restored windmill. We like unusual places to stay. Especially if they show you Monmouthshire from a different perspective, and the perfect holiday in Wales. If you're a local, why not consider a long awaited date night close to home?

All featured accommodation has the Good to Go COVID-19 industry kite mark.

2) Visit one of our Good to Go attractions.

Feel close to nature at one of our country parks. Visit a gin distillery in the Wye Valley or take a tour of one of our award-winning vineyards. If you're a local, why not become a tourist for the day and visit some local attractions. Great to see both Castell Rhaglan / Raglan Castle and Castell Cas-gwent / Chepstow Castle will be opening up at the start of August (6th / 7th) with Abaty Tyndyrn / Tintern Abbey following later in the month. If you can't wait for your castle fix, their unmanned sites at White Castle, Skenfrith & Grosmont are all open now for you to visit.

All featured attractions have the Good to Go COVID-19 industry kite mark.

3) Enjoy the freedom of our wide open spaces

From the Brecon Beacons National Park in the north west of the county to the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the east. We have more than 1,000 miles of public rights of way to explore. From short circular walks to long distance national trails, as well as those best enjoyed with your four legged friend.

4) Admire the view

High above Monmouth stands the Kymin, a wooded landmark hill offering 9 acres in which to stroll and enjoy the view. It was this breathtaking view that inspired the Monmouth Picnic Club to build the Round House on the Kymin in 1794 for a spectacular spot for lunch. (Nelson stopped off here during his visit in 1802). Start in Monmouth and climb to the top of the Kymin and back down again. It's around 750 feet of ascent on footpaths, minor roads and forest tracks. No rush and lovely views.

Or, on a clear day, park in Lower Wyncliffe car park 3 miles north of Chepstow and climb the ‘365 steps’ cut into the rock in 1828 as a tourist attraction. It’s easier than it sounds – there are only 300 steps now. And the panoramic views are worth every step. Buy the ingredients for a local produce picnic from Monmouth or Tintern on your way.

5) Eat and drink at one of our newly reopened bars, restaurants and cafes and enjoy real food from real people

Our food outlets are offering the same great food and drink as they always have, they’re just operating a little differently at the moment to help keep everyone safe. Take advantage of the Eat out to Help Out scheme running Monday - Wednesday throughout August offering 50% off your meals (up to £10). See a full list of participating Monmouthshire eateries here. Many of these businesses are also offering takeaway, click and collect, or delivery services if you’d prefer to eat in the comfort of where you’re staying.

6) Support our independent shops, local markets and high streets.

Some shops sell local products. Some are specialist outlets for products from elsewhere. All offer a personal service. And visitors like you play a hugely important role. Every purchase in an independent shop contributes to the viability of a business and each successful business adds to the vibrancy of our towns. While our high streets may look a little different at the moment, they still feature the same dedicated passionate shopkeepers.

7) Are you ready for adventure?

Take a guided open canoe river trip on the Wye, climb up and beyond with gorge walking, or play a round of golf at one of our local courses.

8) Explore the area on two wheels.

Bring your own bike & stay in cycle friendly ‘Good to Go’ accommodation or hire a bike from a local cycle hire business before you arrive. We have two long-distance National Cycle Network routes starting in Chepstow: the Celtic Trail (220 miles traversing the southern edge of Wales heading west across the Newport Transporter Bridge), and Lon Las Cymru (185 miles heading north through the Brecon Beacons to Snowdonia).

For riders who want a different type of challenge, Monmouthshire is the home of ‘The Tumble’ - a legendary 6 km 10% gradient climb (listed as one of the 100 greatest cycling climbs in Britain). Whatever type of cycling you’re into we’ve a wide range of cycle friendly cafes and accommodation here to make you and your bike feel completely at home.

9) Visit our glorious gardens

We are lucky here in Monmouthshire. There are so many wonderful gardens to visit, excellent opportunities to indulge ourselves buying plants, and beautiful places to stay. Best of all, we have fellow gardeners who share our horticultural passions. People who love gardens, we’ve discovered, are generous with their time, enthusiasm and knowledge.

10) Go back in time 250 years

Experience some of the simple pleasures that the first visitors to the Wye valley in 1770 enjoyed. Take a boat trip down the river, take a walk to purpose built view points and visit some of our romantic ruins. (Our most famous of romantic ruins at Tintern Abbey are due to reopen on 28th August).

Don’t forget your sketch books, watercolour sets and notepads (to write down the poetry you’ll be inspired to create).

Welsh Dragon