The Wye Valley and Vale of Usk is
an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it's not difficult to see
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
In May this year, Wales became the only country in the
World to have a dedicated footpath running right
around its coast.
At over 800 miles long, theWales Coastal Path runs all
the way from Chepstow in the South East, through Cardiff and the
traditional seaside resort of Porthcawl and onwards to the
beautiful Gower and Pembrokeshire coasts. From there it heads North
towards Ceredigion and Snowdonia before finally heading along the
North Wales coast to Llandudno before coming to an end in the North
In the seven months since the path opened many writers and
bloggers have ventured out and have given their opinion on the path
or certain sections of it.
One of the most comprehensive I've found is Charles Hawes' blog, who seems
to have covered most of the South Wales section of the path.
Also worth reading is the Bald Hiker's (Paul Steele)
account of his walk along the path from Merthyr Mawr through
Porthcawl and to Kenfig National Nature Reserve. Look
out too for some fantastic images.
He describes the pretty hamlet of Merthyr Mawr as "a
beautiful small quiet place with historic church and thatched
cottages" and Kenfig National Nature Reserve as
"a calm, surreal beautiful remnant of what was a huge sand dune
Have you walked part of the path? What did you think? Let me know
which was your favourite part and any tips you have for other
walkers setting out.
Well, after much build up and
anticipation, Wales last week became the first country in the world
to have a walking route going right around the coast.
The path runs for 870 from the outskirts of Chester in the North,
through the Snowdonia National Park, down the West coast, around
the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and through South Wales taking in
the cities of Swansea and Cardiff before finally ending in the
border town of Chepstow.
Well I say ending, but if you haven't had enough you can
take the Offa's Dyke Trail North from here along the Wales/England
border for another 160 miles back to your starting point.
There's been lots of coverage of the path in the press with the
Guardian saying "Wales has surely set
a standard in coastal path designation" and Lonely Planet said that Coastal Wales
was the best place in the world to visit in 2012.
Leave a comment to tell us what you think of the path and which
section is your favourite and don't forget to share the beauty of
the coast with us by adding an image to our flickr
You might remember that last year the Lonely
Planet named the Welsh coast is the "best region on Earth" to visit
in 2012. To those of us familiar with the coast
it was just confirmation of something we had known all along. To
others it may have come as a bit of a surprise.
Now for the doubters there's a chance to see what all the fuss was
about as the brand new All Wales Coastal Path gets ready to open on
The path will cover a distance of 1377km and takes in every inch
of Wales' coast including the famous Pembrokeshire coast, the
beautiful Gower peninsula and traditional seaside resorts such as
Porthcawl before finishing at Chepstow on the banks of the Severn
There was a lively debate last year when we asked suggestions for what was the best part of the
Welsh coastline. Needles to say the answers were
varied with lots of different suggestions. I suppose that
just goes to show the coast is indeed the "best region on
Don't forget to share the beauty of the coast with us by
adding an image to our flickr