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St Dwynwen's Day

On the 25th of January each year, people all over Wales celebrate St Dwynwen's Day, the Welsh patron saint of lovers. It’s our equivalent of St Valentine’s Day. Dwynwen was a 5th Century woman who fell in love with Maelon Daffodril whilst already promised to someone else (scandalous...). To solve her problem she prayed to fall out of love with Maelon. An Angel takes pity on poor Dwynwen and gives her an anti-love potion for this, whilst also turning Maelon into a block of ice for good measure (which seems a bit extreme).

God then plays the role of Genie and grants Dwynwen three wishes. She wishes that Maelon be thawed, that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers, and that she should never marry, which seems like a bit of a waste of a wish. God granted these, and we've celebrated her ever since.

To reflect Dwynwen's status as the patron saint of love, we've put together a top ten list of our most loved places (okay, highly rated according to Tripadvisor). Hopefully this whets your appetite for when we can offer a warm Welsh welcome again.

And if 2020 and the pandemic have somehow strengthened your relationship and you're thinking of taking your commitment to the next level, check out our wedding venues page.

#1 The Sugarloaf Mountain

Towering over Abergavenny, the Sugarloaf is an iconic mountain to climb in the Brecon Beacons with a fantastic walk taking you from the centre of town all the way to summit. Loved by everyone (except Jeremy B on Tripadvisor who feels it is 'too big').

#2 Chepstow Castle

The oldest stone castle in the UK, the almost 1,000 year old Chepstow Castle is a popular site for those wanting a taste of Wales just over the border without actually venturing too far in...

#3 The Kymin

With fantastic views over Monmouth (and even as far as the Brecon Beacons!), the Kymin is worth the climb. 

#4 Tintern

The first of two entries for Tintern on this list, the village is more than just the Abbey! There's a brewery, distillery, vineyard, sculpture garden, craft centre, a host of pubs and plenty of great walks. 

(Thanks to @gemmakatewood on Instagram for the image)

#5 Monnow Bridge & Gate

Monnow Bridge is proud of its claim as 'the only remaining fortified bridge in the UK with its gate tower on the span of the bridge'. Hyper-specific claims to fame aside, it's a truly unique experience in Monmouth to walk through, with weekly tours of the interior every (non Covid impacted) summer. 

#6 The Skirrid

The third mountain on our list is the distinctively shaped Skirrid on the east side of Abergavenny. If the legends are to be believed, it was so annoyed at the crucifixion of Jesus that part of the mountain decided to just fall off. Inanimate geological features can be religious too! There's a great walk up the mountain from the National Trust Car Park at the bottom.

#7 Raglan Castle

The imposing Raglan Castle sits in the heart of Monmouthshire, with impressive remains...remaining.

#8 Tintern Abbey

Possibly Monmouthshire's most famous attraction, it's a bit surprising to see Tintern Abbey down in 8th. Maybe it'd be higher if they put a roof on it?

#9 White Castle

Our favourite castle named for an American burger chain, White Castle is one of the 'three castles' (with Skenfrith & Grosmont) meant to help control the unruly Welsh. Monmouthshire is a bit more peaceful nowadays, except maybe during the 6 Nations...

#10 Raglan Farm Park

The only non-historic monument or mountain in the top 10, Raglan Farm Park is a popular family friendly attraction offering the chance to meet alpacas, sheep & miniature donkeys. 

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