The best things in life are sometimes right on our doorstep, SOUTH WALES LIFE will tour this beautiful region of ours to see how it’s looking post lockdown. Perhaps you’ll get a few ideas of new places to visit.
We’ll be dropping in on our beaches, mountains, towns, villages and City Centres. If there’s anywhere you think we should visit, just let us know.
In the next few weeks our team will be visiting….
- CARDIFF & THE BAY
The first was the MONMOUTHSHIRE & BRECON CANAL, at least a small, but nevertheless stunning stretch of it. While we were there, we paid a visit to Abergavenny.
In these short post lockdown features, we want to give you a snapshot of what you can see if you turn a different corner. For example, Abergavenny has BAILEY PARK, which is perfect for a picnic, dog walk, or somewhere for the kids to have fun.
At the other end of town however, right opposite from Aldi, is another small park, which is not only a great place to have a wander and let the dogs have a splash in the stream, but every Sunday is the meeting place for the friendliest group of bikers you’ll ever meet.
First of all, take a look at our whistle-stop tour of the town, looking at places you may not usually visit on a day trip.
The Oasis Snack Bar is long established and well known in the Abergavenny area. In fact they have been churning out tea and bacon butties since 1985 (they have so much more on the menu too). It’s here where the bikers meet, and if you like the spectacle, and noise of bikes coming and going, this is the place to be, and the atmosphere is really good.
And as you can see from the picture, you never know who will drop in. Yes, that is Chesney from Corrers.
Take a look at their Facebook page here OASIS.
While we were queuing for a cuppa we met some members of the Wye Valley Motorcycle Club, you can take a look at what they are up to HERE.
BAILEY PARK is an urban park with a grand entrance with gates and railings at the south-east side. There’s an ornamental planting of beeches, and evergreens with footpaths. It’s much used by locals, but if you visit the town, it’s definitely a place to spend some time. The views surrounding the park are stunning.
It’s home to Abergavenny Rugby Football Club, one of Wales’ oldest rugby clubs, founded in the 1870s. During the First World War, several football and rugby matches were played here to raise money for refugees who had fled from German-occupied Belgium. A football match in October 1914 raised £6 10s for the Belgian refugees, who were living at 35 Castle Street.
The park pretty much has it all. A children’s play area, playing fields, a bowling green and a bandstand. At the north end is a small formal garden. They also hold regular events here (pandemic allowing) including the Steam Fair, the Shire Horse Show, town fairs, band concerts and the Welsh Warrior Festival.
ST MARY’S PRIORY. It’s amazing how many locals haven’t yet paid a visit to the Priory. You must do, it’s incredible to imagine the history attached to this place of worship.
For over one thousand years, the Priory has served the people of Abergavenny and the surrounding area. It’s often described as the “Westminster Abbey of Wales”, attracting thousands of visitors each year who come to view the fine collection of historic monuments, medieval carvings or simply to seek a quiet place for contemplation and prayer.
The Church actually faces outwards to the community and welcomes a wide range of schools and group activities.
The restored Tithe Barn explains and interprets the history of the Priory Church through interactive exhibitions and activities for both children and adults, whilst the Learning Service workshops enable school children to explore the Tudor life with hands on living history.
The magnificent Abergavenny Tapestry, hand stitched by Abergavenny residents, celebrates the history of the town.
The history, hospitality and incomparable setting of St Mary’s Priory make it an ideal venue for wedding receptions and celebrations and provides a meeting place for groups.
They even hold concerts there. DEAN FRIEDMAN dropped in a while ago, much to the delight of the town’s residents.
To find out more about St Mary’s, go here. PRIORY
ABERGAVENNY CASTLE is a real focal point in town, especially around the time of the Abergavenny Food Festival. You just need to look at the restored keep set on top of a man made mound, to imagine this must have been a pretty impressive place back in the day.
It does have some dark history attached to it as well. In 1089 a Norman lord, William de Braose invited twenty Welsh chieftains to a Christmas meal in the castle. While they were feasting, they were executed. You’ll be pleased to hear there are none of the shenanigans during the Food Festival.
Once again, the views stretching out alongside the River Usk are stunning at any time of the year.
The museum is in the grounds of the castle and you can see what’s going on, and get current Covid opening times, right here. MUSEUM
The town’s annual food festival is a real crowd pleaser, sadly not this year thanks to Covid. The organisers said recently……
‘We have tried very hard to find a way in which we could hold a festival this September, but with great sadness we must announce that because of ongoing uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic, our annual food celebration will not go ahead.’
‘For 23 years our not-for-profit organisation has worked with, and showcased small businesses, producers, farms and growers. In that spirit, we are doing what we can to support those involved in these areas and will continue to explore ways of connecting people during a time that food supply has become more important than ever. We encourage our festival supporters to continue their engagement with those in our extended food family.’
For more details, go here. FOOD
THE ANGEL is the town’s award winning hotel. At the other end of town is NICHOLLS, a proper Department Store, with a fantastic cafe, which is well worth a visit. And of course, it goes without saying, the entire town is surrounded with some of the best scenery you’ll find in South Wales.
We wanted to show another side of the town, and we really enjoyed moving away from the regular routes. There are some fantastic places to visit once you done SUGAR LOAF MOUNTAIN and perhaps the VINEYARD. After you’ve crammed your shopping bags full of goodies from the many shops and MARKET traders around.
Abergavenny is certainly a place to visit anytime, it’s another ideal spot, on our doorstep, which has so much to offer.
The town has plenty of parking. Pay and display Car Parks operates Monday to Sunday 8am to 6pm including Bank Holidays. Disabled bays are available in all off-street car parks and are free in any marked bay if a valid disabled badge is displayed. Parking for motorbikes and bicycles is also free in approved areas.
No vehicles over 2.5 tonnes and no dwelling or trading is allowed in any of our car parks.
For full details of charges and what’s available, go here. PARKING