Why the Wye Valley & Vale of Usk

History

If you want to catch up on a dose of Welsh heritage then you won’t be disappointed when visiting the Wye Valley and Vale of Usk. The region is itself and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is steeped in history. 

Highlights include Chepstow Castle, Tintern Abbey, The Kymin and Shire Hall. Sitting above the River Wye, Chepstow is one of the only castles in the whole of Britain that showcases the evolution of medieval military architecture from start to finish.

The remains of Tintern Abbey, a Cistern Abbey, are a must visit too. Tintern is the best preserved medieval abbey in Wales and the 400 year old remains showcase one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in Britain.
The Kymin is another fascinating piece of history set in the magnificent setting of The Wye Valley and Vale of Usk. This 18th Century Round House and Naval Temple has incredible views, and the Naval Temple celebrates Britain’s greatest admirals and naval victories.

Other heritage sites in the Wye Valley and Vale of Usk include Shire Hall, Goodrich Castle, Wilton Castle and Langston Court.


Outdoor Activities

The Wye Valley and Vale of Usk offers visitors a wealth of outdoor activities from walking to canoeing. If you want to explore the area by foot, the region has several long distance walks including The Wye Valley Walk, Offa’s Dyke National Path and the start of the Wales Coast Path.

For those who fancy a bit more of a thrill and want to experience the views higher up then there are plenty of climbing opportunities such as the Wye Gorge, Symonds Yat and Wintours Leap. Make sure you are fully prepared when climbing and have the proper equipment. If you aren’t experienced then speak to one of the local climbing groups.

Of course no trip to the Wye Valley and Vale of Usk would be complete without visiting the River Wye. The river offers the chance for all the family to get out onto the water with a range of gentler areas to canoe or kayak. If you’re an experienced canoeist then head to the rapids. Please remember to take care out on the water and be aware of tide.

If water’s not your element then how about heading underground and exploring some of the mighty caves the Wye Valley and Vale of Usk have to offer? There are plenty of clubs and firms offering tours of the fascinating caves on offer.

Or if you’d prefer to be on the ground then head out on two wheels and discover the Wye Valley by bike. There are plenty of cycle paths and routes going through the area including Sustrans and Pedal Bike Away.


Arts & Culture

The Wye Valley and Vale of Usk is a region rich in culture and for the past 250 years has been celebrated in literature and art. There are a number of art galleries, museums and visitor centres showcasing the region in all its magnificent glory: The Dennis Yapp Contemporary Art Gallery exhibits the work of leading British contemporary artists and sculpture; Monnow Valley Arts Centre promotes sculpture, painting and carved letting through workshops, lectures and exhibitions; Gallery 54 situated in Ross-on-Wye showcases abstract art.




(Photo: ©VisitBritain / Adrian Houston)  

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The King's Head

Monmouth, Monmouthshire

The King's Head, situated in the centre of Monmouth is a grade II listed 17th century coaching inn boasting...

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24
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New Inn Hotel

Langstone, Gwent

A great family-friendly hotel on the rural outskirts of Newport in the affluent village of Langstone, The New...

From £32 per room per night
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35
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The Saracens Head Hotel

Beddgelert, Gwynedd

The Saracens Head is a beautiful country inn set in the heart of the picturesque Snowdonia village of...

3 * rating
From £79 per room per night
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11
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Castle Inn

Usk, Sir Fynwy

The Castle Inn is a traditional family owned inn, situated in the centre of Usk. The inn offers comfortable...

Visit Wales 4 * rating
From £40 per room per night
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7
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White Lion Royal Hotel

Bala, Gwynedd

Built in 1752, the White Lion Royal Hotel is a 4 star coaching inn right in the heart of Bala with a warm...

£25 -£100 per room per night
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26
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The Royal Oak Inn

Llandovery, Carmarthenshire

This former hunting lodge offers a warm welcome and a friendly place to drink, dine and sleep.

£33 -£105 per room per night
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Rooms :
5
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The Lamb & Flag

Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

A recently refurbished traditional inn set near Sugar Loaf Mountain, the Brecon Beacons & the bustling market...

From £65 per room per night
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Rooms :
5
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The Punch House

Monmouth, Monmouthshire

Situated in the heart of Monmouth, we're your friendly neighbourhood pub, perfect for a leisurely stay,...

From £55 per room per night
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11
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The Half Moon Hotel

Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

Whether touring this beautiful part of the Brecon Beacons by car or bike, walking Offa's Dyke, or just...

£30 -£50 per room per night
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Rooms :
11
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The Inn at Penallt

Monmouth, Monmouthshire

Located in the beautiful Wye Valley with spectacular views of the Forest of Dean, The Inn is an award winning...

AA Visit Wales 4 * rating
From £85 per room per night
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Rooms :
4
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