15 Best Things To Do In Abergavenny, Wales

15 Best Things To Do In Abergavenny, Wales

By will

Abergavenny is a beautiful town located in Wales surrounded by lush hills and meadows. It is full of history and culture, and there are plenty of things to explore here.

From the bustling Market Hall to the tranquil Llangattock Escarpment Nature Reserve, there’s something for everyone.

If you’re looking for an exciting adventure, you can go caving at the Dan yr Ogof Caves, or take a hike up the Sugar Loaf Mountain.

You can also explore the Tintern Abbey or visit the Big Pit National Coal Museum.

In this article, I’ll highlight the 15 best things to do in Abergavenny.

Get ready to explore this stunning town and all it has to offer!

Visit the Market Hall

Abergavenny Market Hall
Photo by Jonathan Billinger

A visit to Abergavenny’s Market Hall is a must for experiencing the town’s unique culture and history. Built in 1724 by the great local benefactor, Thomas Thornhill, the Market Hall is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Abergavenny.

It has been a market since the 1700’s and is the home of the oldest open-air market in Wales. Inside the Market Hall, visitors can find a wide variety of goods, from fresh produce to handmade crafts and souvenirs.

The atmosphere in the Market Hall is warm and welcoming, with friendly stallholders eager to share stories of the town’s past. There’s also a café on the premises, where visitors can enjoy a bite to eat while they explore the Market Hall.

With its unique history and atmosphere, a visit to Abergavenny’s Market Hall is a must for any visitor looking to experience the town’s culture and heritage.

Shop at the Abergavenny Food Festival

Abergavenny Food Festival
Photo by Pauline E

Experience the culinary delights of the Abergavenny Food Festival, where you can savor the flavors of local and international fare. The festival offers something for everyone, from craft beers and ciders to artisan chocolates and farm-fresh produce.

You can also sample regional delicacies like Welsh cakes and laverbread, and even find homemade jams, pickles, and chutneys. As you explore the vendors, you’ll find something new to sample or take home with you.

The Food Festival also offers a variety of activities for kids and adults alike. If you’re looking to learn something new, you can take a cooking class or join in a food-related workshop. For those who like to be entertained, the festival features music and a variety of activities.

You can even take part in a live cooking demonstration or watch a film about food production. If you’re looking for a fun day out, the Abergavenny Food Festival is the perfect place to spend your time.

Explore the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

Bridge 67, Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal
Photo by Philip Halling

Discover the unique charm of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, where you can explore a tranquil waterway that winds through the Welsh countryside.

The canal is a great way to take in the stunning views of the area, and it’s the perfect place to explore the beauty of the countryside.

Stroll along the towpath and take in the sights of the wildlife, the historic stone bridges, and the quaint villages and farms that line the banks.

Stop off at one of the many canal-side pubs for some refreshment and a bite to eat.

Take a boat trip along the canal and pass through the locks and tunnels that have been in place since the 19th century.

Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of this peaceful waterway, and enjoy a tranquil and relaxing day out.

Tour the Abergavenny Castle

Abergavenny Castle
Photo by Colin Smith

Take a tour of Abergavenny Castle, a beautiful 11th-century castle situated in Wales, and marvel at its impressive history and architecture.

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This castle was built by the Normans in 1087, and it has been a witness to many battles, sieges, and transformations over the years.

Today, the castle is open to the public, allowing you to explore its various rooms and towers. The Great Hall, with its stone fireplace and oak ceiling, is one of the highlights. The well-preserved chapel and the circular Norman Keep are also worth visiting.

You can also take a stroll around the castle grounds and admire the view of the River Usk and the surrounding countryside.

The castle houses a museum which displays artifacts from its long history, including weapons, armor, and coins.

It is a fascinating place to visit and will provide you with an unforgettable experience.

Take a Hike on the Sugar Loaf Mountain

Sugar Loaf Mountain from the Duburren Road
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Exploring the peak of the Sugar Loaf Mountain offers a breathtaking glimpse of the beauty of Wales. The Sugar Loaf is one of the highest peaks in the area, standing at 555 meters tall. It is the perfect spot for taking in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

The mountain can be accessed by a number of paths, most of which are easy to traverse. The summit can be reached in a few hours.

The summit of the Sugar Loaf Mountain provides visitors with an incredible 360 degree panorama of the area. Views stretch as far as the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains. It’s a great spot to picnic, with plenty of flat areas to sit and take in the views.

There’s also an old, stone-built wind shelter at the top. This makes it the perfect spot to escape the wind and relax in the sun. For those looking for a longer hike, the Sugar Loaf Mountain is the perfect starting point for a long-distance trek.

Wander through the Abergavenny Museum

After enjoying a trek to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, I decided to take a stroll to the Abergavenny Museum. Situated in the heart of the town, this museum is a great way to get to know the local history.

Stepping inside, I was amazed by the variety of exhibits on show. From artefacts of local industry and agriculture, to displays of the town’s military history, there is something for everyone to explore.

The museum also offers a range of activities for children and adults alike. From dressing up in Victorian costumes to a ‘hands-on’ exploration of the past, there are plenty of ways to engage with the local history.

I was particularly taken by the model of the old town, which offers a great insight into how the town has evolved over the years. The museum also provides a great opportunity to learn about the area’s famous connections, from the great Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, to the renowned writer, G.K. Chesterton.

It was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon in Abergavenny.

Enjoy a Picnic in Bailey Park

With its lush green lawns and colorful flower beds, Bailey Park is the perfect spot to relax with a picnic. Situated in the center of Abergavenny, Bailey Park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and spend quality time with family and friends.

From the park’s central fountain and bandstand, to the well-manicured flower beds, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The park also features plenty of seating areas, making it easy to spread out your picnic blanket and enjoy the view. You can also take a stroll around the park and explore the many pathways that wind through the grounds. There are plenty of benches and benches with tables, so you can take a break and enjoy the scenery.

For a truly memorable picnic experience, make sure to bring a basket filled with your favorite snacks and drinks.

Visit the Celtic Manor Resort

For a truly luxurious experience, visit the Celtic Manor Resort in Abergavenny.

The resort boasts a wide range of activities, from golf courses to spa and beauty treatments.

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It is one of the finest examples of luxury accommodation in the country, with a range of luxurious rooms and suites to choose from.

Whether you’re looking to relax and indulge in some pampering, or you want to enjoy some of the resort’s fantastic outdoor activities, you’ll find something to suit you at the Celtic Manor Resort.

The resort also offers a range of dining options, from fine dining restaurants to casual cafes.

In addition, you can take part in a variety of events, such as wine tasting, cookery classes, and live entertainment.

Whatever you choose to do, you can be sure that you’ll have a memorable and enjoyable stay at the Celtic Manor Resort.

With its luxurious surroundings and top-notch facilities, it’s the perfect place to kick back and relax.

Explore the Blaenavon Heritage Area

Explore the Blaenavon Heritage Area, where you can immerse yourself in the rich history of the area and discover the stories of its past.

This area of South Wales is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s home to several famous landmarks, such as the Big Pit Museum and the Blaenavon Ironworks. Here, you can learn about the Iron Age, the industrial revolution, and how the area has changed over time.

There are also plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy like walking and cycling routes, exploring the local nature reserves, and visiting the historic churches.

At the Big Pit Museum, you can go deep underground and learn about the miners’ way of life, and the Blaenavon Ironworks are a great place to explore the industrial heritage of the area. You can also discover the stories of the people who lived in the area, from the Iron Age dwellers to the miners and their families. It’s a great way to get an insight into the culture and history of the region.

Go on a Brewery Tour

Take a tour of a local brewery to sample some of the area’s best beers and ales!

The area around Abergavenny is full of amazing places to visit and explore, and a brewery tour is no exception.

There are several local micro-breweries in the area that offer tours of their facilities, giving you a unique insight into the brewing process and the opportunity to sample their delicious creations.

You’ll learn about how the beers and ales are made, from milling the grain to fermentation and bottling, and you’ll be able to try some of the brewery’s best drinks.

The tours usually include a guided tasting session, where you can learn more about the flavors and aromas of the beers and ales you’re sampling.

The breweries also often offer snacks to accompany the tasting, as well as a chance to purchase some of the beers and ales to take home.

A brewery tour is a great way to explore the area and sample some of its best drinks, all in one fun afternoon.

Discover the Skirrid Mountain

Climb the Skirrid Mountain for an unforgettable adventure! Located in Abergavenny, Wales, the Skirrid Mountain is a must-visit for any outdoor enthusiast.

It’s a challenging yet rewarding climb, offering stunning views of the countryside and a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the area’s natural beauty. The path is well-marked and easy to follow, with plenty of places to rest and take in the scenery.

Along the way, you’ll find plenty of interesting wildlife, flowers, and foliage. Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

The Skirrid Mountain is a great way to spend an afternoon, and the experience is one you won’t soon forget.

Relax at the Llangattock Escarpment Nature Reserve

After conquering the Skirrid Mountain, reward yourself with a visit to the Llangattock Escarpment Nature Reserve for a peaceful and tranquil experience. This reserve is one of the best-kept secrets in Abergavenny, and it’s the perfect place to relax and take in the stunning views of the beautiful Brecon Beacons.

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Here, you can immerse yourself in nature and take a leisurely stroll along one of the many trails, or simply take in the breathtaking scenery and relax.

The reserve is home to a variety of local wildlife, and it’s the perfect spot to spot some of the area’s most interesting bird species. If you’re lucky, you may even spot an elusive red kite soaring high above the reserve.

Additionally, the reserve is teeming with wildflowers, including the rare snowdrop and bluebells, making it the perfect place to take some stunning photographs.

So, why not take a break from your hectic schedule and enjoy a peaceful day at the Llangattock Escarpment Nature Reserve?

Explore the Tintern Abbey

After taking a stroll through the tranquil Llangattock Escarpment Nature Reserve, my next stop is the historic and majestic Tintern Abbey. Located in the stunning Wye Valley, this abbey is an absolute must-see if you’re visiting Abergavenny.

Tintern Abbey was originally founded in 1131 by Walter de Clare and still stands as an impressive ruin today. It’s a great place to learn about the history of Abergavenny and marvel at the stunning architecture and breathtaking views.

Visiting the abbey is a special experience. There are multiple guided tours available, as well as a great audio guide, which can help you to make the most of your visit. If you have some extra time, be sure to take a wander around the abbey grounds and explore the nature trails. You’ll find some great spots to relax and take in the beautiful scenery.

There’s also a great gift shop and café located onsite, so you can pick up a souvenir or grab a snack before you leave.

Go Caving at the Dan yr Ogof Caves

For an exciting adventure, head to Dan yr Ogof Caves, located just a short drive from Abergavenny. Here you can explore a network of limestone caves, some of which are decorated with ancient prehistoric carvings.

The caves offer plenty of excitement for all ages, with plenty of climbing, crawling and squeezing through tight passages. The cave system is made up of 11 separate show caves, each with its own unique features and formations. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned spelunker, you’ll find plenty of challenges and opportunities for exploration.

The caves are also home to a stunning array of wildlife, including bats, otters, and rare species of fish.

The Dan yr Ogof Caves are open 7 days a week and offer guided tours that will help you get the most out of your caving experience. Be sure to dress appropriately for the conditions, wear sturdy shoes, and bring a flashlight as the caves can be dark and slippery.

A visit to the Dan yr Ogof Caves is sure to be an unforgettable experience!

Visit the Big Pit National Coal Museum

Discover the history of coal mining in Wales at the Big Pit National Coal Museum, located just a few miles from Abergavenny. This museum provides visitors with an in-depth look into the lives of coal miners throughout history and the mining industry as a whole.

Visitors can explore the winding tunnels of the mine, take a tour of the surface buildings, and learn more about the history of coal mining through interactive exhibitions. It’s a great way to learn about the dangers of coal mining and the incredible people who risked their lives to provide energy for the country.

The museum also has a variety of events and activities that make it enjoyable for the whole family. These include arts and crafts activities, interactive displays, and even a miniature railway ride. The museum also offers audio tours for those who wish to hear the stories of the miners’ lives.

For those looking for a more immersive experience, there are underground tours that take you deep into the mines. A visit to the Big Pit National Coal Museum is a great way to gain a better understanding of the history of coal mining in Wales.

Conclusion

I had a great time exploring Abergavenny.
From the bustling Market Hall to the historic Tintern Abbey, there’s something for everyone.
I particularly enjoyed the Sugar Loaf Mountain hike and the caving at the Dan yr Ogof Caves.
The Llangattock Escarpment Nature Reserve was a great way to relax and take in the beautiful scenery.
Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience or a thrilling adventure, Abergavenny has it all.
I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a memorable getaway.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.