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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

Our visit to Southern Wales

Back in the sMarianne and Loes at the Angel Hotelummer we ran a competition on the ANWB website in the Netherlands.  The prize was a three night stay at the AngelHotel in Abergavenny.

The prize was won by Marianne Pasveer-van Bovene from Hoenderloo.  Last month she travelled to Abergavenny with her daughter Loes and this is their account of the visit.

Sunday 5th September
After a short flight from Amsterdam we arrived at Cardiff Airport where we transferred to the Angel Hotel in Abergavenny.  The weather was good and during the drive we enjoyed the beautiful landscape.

The Lodge at the Angel HotelAfter our check in we were taken to The Lodge. This was a great surprise for us, a lovely house in front of the Castle grounds. The house was very comfortable with two small sitting-rooms with a fireplace on remote-control, kitchen, bathroom and toilet and upstairs two bed-rooms. The view out of the windows to the castle grounds was beautiful.

The weather was good and the sun was shining so we took a very nice and interesting walk around the town of Abergavenny and took in the views towards the Skirrid Fawr, Blorenge and Sugar Loaf mountains.

After that it was time for our diner back in the hotel. The menu offered a great assortment of courses and we selected the local food of black mountain smoked salmon, roast rump of Welsh lamb and warm traditional treacle tart with clotted cream. It was really delicious.

Monday 6th September
We opened the curtains to see the sun, shining on the castle ruins and tops of the mountains.

First we started with breakfast. The menu was enormous.  After finishing we went for a short stroll through the town.

At 10.30 am we were welcomed by Deborah Haylock, the Marketing Manager of the Angel Hotel and Huw Davies from Southern Wales Tourism.  

Deborah provided us information about suggested walking routes and places of interest in Abergavenny.  We decided to visit St. Mary's Priory Church where we spent a lot of time because the history was very interesting.  

Later in the day we headed back to the hotel for afternoon tea. This was a special experience and we enjoyed a selection of little sandwiches and freshly baked cakes and pastries.

We then went back to The Lodge to relax near the fireplace before returning to the hotel for diner.

Tuesday 7th September
Sugar Loaf MountainWe woke at 8.00 am and the weather was beautiful. After breakfast we once again met with Deborah.  We said that we would like to walk to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain so she arranged a map for us and kindly drove us to the car park at foot of the mountain to begin our walk.

As we walked higher the clouds drew in and it was getting colder before we reached the summit.  After looking around at the top we went down quickly because of the cold wind.  We followed a sheep path and the sun started to shine again. We enjoyed the beautiful view of the mountains with the cloudy sky.  We walked between very high ferns and lots of sheep.

At 7.30pm we were picked up by a taxi to take us to "The Walnut Tree", a well known Michelin-starred restaurant. It was very cosy and the menu was delicious.

Wednesday 8th September
At 9.30 am we checked out of the hotel and we were taken by taxi back to the airport.

We had an excellent stay in Abergavenny and enjoyed all the things that were arranged for us including the good care of Deborah Haylock and the kindness of the Angel Hotel staff.

We would like to thank Southern Wales Tourism and the Angel Hotel very much for this unforgettable stay.

Loes Pasveer
Marianne Pasveer-van Bovene