Abergavenny

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You don’t have to venture far into Wales to reach the charming town of Abegavenny, home of the famous food festival and overlooked by Sugar Loaf Mountain.  Known as the Gateway to the Brecon Beacons this makes a great stop on a tour of the area.

It’s Tourist Information centre is housed in an ancient Tythe Barn which also houses a small exhibition on the history of the town as well as their Millenium Tapestry, created for the Millennium by some very good women of the local area over a four year period.

The town has a bustling high street with tea shops galore, restaurants and predominantly independent stores.  I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t awash with delicatessens and artisanal boutiques selling delicious locally produced foods.  I had made that assumption because of the food festival but I was wrong.  It is however home to bookshops, Waterstones, and The Abergavenny Bookshop, a small independent and a delightful second hand store, Broadleaf Books.  I bought my Rough Guide to Wales and the RSPB Bird book from the independent store.

The town is compact and if you meander down a side street you will come to The Linda Vista public park and gardens, neatly manicured and at the time of our visit bursting with summer wild flowers.  It leads down to the meadow and to the River Usk beyond with its shingle beach.

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Wander along the meadow and you will see the ruins of the castle up to your left.  It’s just a short walk up a gentle hill to the castle.  Not much remains of this once hilltop fort but its grounds provide a great view over the town and as my guide book said, it’s a nice place to have a picnic lunch.

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The museum is on the site of the castle too and entrance is free.  Sadly, we arrived at 12.30pm without knowing that it closed for lunch between 1pm and 2pm.  The woman on the door didn’t tell us and so we were turfed out before we’d got  part way round.  It’s a funny little place and worth a visit.

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If you’re in a motorhome or towing a caravan I would avoid the centre as the streets are narrow and meandering but there did seem to be plenty of parking on the edge of town so do stop off if you’re passing.

The Abergavenny Food Festival is on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st September 2014 and you can find out more about it here.

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July 21, 2014 |

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