How to Spend a Weekend in Abergavenny
How to Spend a Weekend in Abergavenny
Abergavenny is sometimes known as ‘the gateway to south Wales‘, but this descriptor doesn’t really do it justice – this thriving little market town is a great holiday destination all by itself!
Set in the shadow of the breathtaking Brecon Beacons National Park, Abergavenny is the perfect place to spend a weekend enjoying beautiful scenery, leisurely strolls and fascinating history.
And the best thing? A trip to Abergavenny doesn’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of ways to while away a little time here that are cheap or even free! Here’s a guide on how to make the most of a weekend in wales on a budget.
The first thing to do is find your accommodation! From boutique hotels to rental apartments, you’ll have your choice of places to stay in Abergavenny. If you fancy the freedom a fully self-catered option, why not look into renting one of the many holiday cottages that dot the town?
Particularly picturesque, a short stay at one bed, two person cottage starts from as a little as £200. Alternatively, hotels in the centre of town start from around £70 a night in the peak summer season. The Great Western, a pretty, Victorian hotel is a popular pick. For something in between, a traditionally B&B offers a cosy and low cost experience.
All that travel will probably have made you hungry, so after checking in, it’s time to head for dinner. The Crown pub offers good value meals and a wide selection of beers and ales, as well as the usual wines, spirits and soft drinks.
Regency 59 is very popular among fans of Indian food, with a number of vegetarian and vegan options all for reasonable prices. Pick a Pizza is popular with locals for its cheap and tasty pizzas, or for more a wider Italian menu you can always plump for Prezzo. Add in a couple of glasses of wine and that’s a pretty successful first day.
Start the day with a visit to what is probably Abergavenny’s most famous attraction – Abergavenny Castle and Musuem. Explore the ruins of the ancient fort, founded by a Norman lord, Hamelin de Balun, in 1087. Once you’ve got a feel for how this imposing structure would once have looked, head inside to the museum, where you can learn all about the history of both the castle and the town, from ancient times to the present day.
Installations in the museum include a recreated Victorian kitchen, traditional green grocers, saddler’s workshop and a World War Two air raid shelter. Admission to the castle and museum is free, so you can save some of your budget for souvenirs in the gift shop.
The grounds of the castle are a popular place picnicking, but if you don’t fancy packing any sandwiches, head to one of Abergavenny’s plethora of cheap and cheerful cafes. Luigi’s Cafe offers lunchtime standards like toasties and paninis, as well as coffees and teas and a range of cakes. Another popular spot is Harry’s, where you can tuck into a hearty carvery roll filled with roasted meats like pork, gammon and beef.
Next, set off towards Goytre Wharf, an area of outstanding natural beauty featuring a historic canal. Here, you can take a stroll along the canal side or take off on one of the many hiking trails through the surrounding forest.
The Wharf is also home to the Blaenavon Big Pit National Coal Museum, once a working mine and now a heritage site and interactive museum. Entrance to the wharf and the Big Pit is free of charge, but if you feel like splashing the cash just a bit, you can also hire a boat or canoe from Redline Boats, based at the wharf. You can hire a boat for the whole day, but if you’re only in the area for the afternoon, a great, cheap way to enjoy a science cruise to hire a boat or canoe by the hour, and only pay for as long as you want.
Have dinner at the Kings Arms Hotel, a 16th Century coaching inn and friendly pub with a wide selection of hot and cold meals. After dinner, head to the Borough Theatre, just a stone’s throw away, to catch one of the professional and community led shows they put on all year round.
If nothing on the theatre programme tickles your fancy, stay on at the pub to sample the craft beers and extensive wine list. You can even liven up your night for free with the live music that the Kings Arms plays host to in its intimate side rooms.
No weekend visit to this particular part of Wales would be complete without spending some time in the famous Brecon Beacons National Park. This huge, beautiful natural landscape offers all sorts of activities for solo travellers, couples and families.
There are endless trails you can follow on foot or by bicycle. Enjoy a peaceful few hours fishing on one of the picturesque rivers, lakes and reservoirs, or try out a more high impact sport like kayaking or paddle-boarding.
You can even go sightseeing – underground! The Dan-yr-Ogof National Showcaves have stunning natural rock formations and well lit caverns to explore. All the natural wonders the park and the caves have to offer are free to enjoy on your own, but you can also book a guided half day tour of the caves for £40 for adults and £35 for children.
Finish your day out with a trip on the Brecon Beacons miniature railway – you can take the weight off your feet, and the kids are guaranteed to love it.