Eating and drinking
It’s true, the Welsh eat leeks. Not only that, but apparently the Welsh eat more vegetables than any other country in Great Britain, so it’s no surprise to get a bowl of greens with every meal – even with a pub feed of fish and chips. There are loads of places to eat everything from pub grub to posh nosh, so there should be something to keep everyone happy.
SOAKING IT ALL UP
The Sugar Loaf
One of the most popular walks from Abergavenny is up Sugar Loaf Mountain. There are various routes for all levels of fitness. The shortest is an hour and, as it involves starting halfway up the 596m-mountain, it’s kind of cheating. A solid five-hour walk from the centre of Abergavenny takes you to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain (the winds are merciless) and back down the other side into a small river valley. The panoramic views are sweet and well worth the effort if the mist eases.
Between Brecon and Abergavenny lies Crickhowell, a small village with two main streets, a church, a ruined castle and views of the Black Mountains. Overlooking the town is Table Mountain – smaller than Cape Town’s version but majestic in its own right. It’s a hard walk to the top, but the views are great and the pubs awaiting below are good enough reason to hightail it down. The bright pink Dragon Hotel in the town’s centre serves delicious food and is a good place to drink the aches away. A walk at dusk to the castle ruins and medieval mound could be rewarded by the local falcon showing off its hunting skills.
Just outside Abergavenny is Raglan Castle, built around 1435 by the Blue Knight of Gwent, Sir William ap Thomas. It’s still a pretty impressive sight despite having fallen into ruin. It has a unique Great Tower with a moat, which has vertigo views from the crumbling top. Although the upper floors are ruined, the fireplaces in each room are still visible and hint at its previous wealth and splendour.
Additional information supplied by Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com). The fifth edition of Lonely Planet Britain is out now.
Bonus points for: Fresh air, castles and pubs
Loses marks for: The rain