Visit Southern Wales

Visit Southern Wales Blog

Archive for tag: Raglan

Wonders of Wye

Tintern AbbeyThe Wye Valley and Vale of Usk is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it's not difficult to see why. 

The rolling countryside is a magnet for walkers with some well-known and popular trails including the Offa's Dyke Path.  It is also where the Wales Coast Path begins (or ends, depending on which way around you're going).  In fact, Offa's Dyke and the coast path join up so that you can complete a whole circuit of Wales if you really want to!

The plenty of historic attractions too.  There are castles galore including the first one to be built at Chepstow and the last one too at Raglan.  One of the most impressive monuments is Tintern Abbey standing proudly on the banks of the River Wye. 

Why not combine walking with history by doing the Three Castles Walk which is a 20 mile triangular walk taking in White Castle, Skenfirth Castle and Grosmont Castle.

The area also has a reputation for excellent food.  There are plenty of top class restaurants or cosy country pubs to choose from whilst Abergavenny's Angel Hotel is renowned for its Afternoon Teas - well worth indulging.  Don't miss the Abergavenny Food Festival each September which is an excellent chance to see (and of course taste) the best of the area's produce.

For more information on the area please visit the website

Welsh Castles Come Out on Top

Ogmore CastleGreat news this morning from the BBC that, according to a Visit Britain survey, what overseas visitors to the UK want to see more than anything are Welsh castles.

10,000 people from all over the world were surveyed and 34% said their must do activity was a visit to one of our castles.  The castles beat Buckingham Palace, a shopping trip to Harrods and watching a Premier League football match to come out on top.  A visit to our castles was particularly popular agmonst Russian and Polish holiday makers.

Of course it comes as no surprise to those that know out castles that it came out on top.  There are 641 castles in Wales and in Southern Wales we have the biggest, oldest, newest, grandest and most picturesque.

Caerphilly Castles is amongst the biggest in Europe.  It dominates the town of the same name and its impressive moat system would have been formidable to attacking forces in the middle ages.

If Caerphilly is the biggest then one of the oldest is Chepstow.  Standing on the banks of the River Wye, which marks the border between Wales and England, and was one of the first to be built by the invading Norman forces.  Nearby Raglan castle was one of the last to be built and was intended more of a grand stately home than as a fort.

If it's a grand stately home you want, then nothing beats Cardiff Castle.  Transformed from a Norman fort into a palatial residence by the Marquess of Bute, the apartments interiors have to be seen to be believed.

Finally Ogmore Castle has to be one of the most picturesque.  Sitting on the banks of the River Ewenny near the tiny village of Merthyr Mawr the castle is accessed via a set of stepping stones across the river.  The setting could not be more idyllic.