Abergavenny: heritage, views and a vineyard
Start your day with a visit to Abergavenny's Museum set in the ground of a ruined Normal Castle. In 1818 the present museum building was constructed on top of the motte as a hunting lodge fro the Marquess of Abergavenny. Entrance is free as are the stunning views from the Castle over the Usk Valley and the Blorenge Mountain.
Enjoy a picnic in the grounds or walk to the town centre to find some lunch from one of the many cafes and restaurants via the tranquil Linda Vista Gardens, open to the public since 1963. The Gardens boast quite a number of rare and splendid trees, like the Foxglove tree. They include the 19th century formal gardens of Linda Vista House with their terraces of box hedging. There is also a lovely children’s play bed with living willow tunnel. Another perfect picnic spot.
After lunch take the five minute drive out of town to the Sugarloaf Mountain car park. At 596 metres, the Sugarloaf is a baby compared to some of the peaks in the Brecon Beacons but its distinctive conical shape, makes it a prominent and much loved local landmark. The walk up to the summit is relatively easy, within the scope of people with average fitness – but the summit is very exposed – so don’t be fooled by its gentle appearance and make sure you take suitable footwear and clothing. Although not tricky to find your way, you can choose a number of different routes so a map is a good idea.
If, after the exertion, lunch is but a distant memory – you could stop off at the Sugarloaf Vineyard on the way back to town for refreshments at their coffee shop. To complete the day you will be able to take a self guided tour through the vineyard and buy some excellent Welsh wine as a souvenir of your visit. Opening times and days vary with the seasons.
11.00 Arrive at Castle Street car park and spend the morning in the Castle and museum.
13.00 - 14.00 Enjoy a picnic in the Castle grounds or the Linda Vista gardens or walk through the gardens to have lunch in Abergavenny.
14.00 -16.00 Drive to the Sugarloaf car park and enjoy a walk up to the summit.
16.00 - 16.30 Finally stop off at the Sugarloaf vineyards for tea and a self guided tour.
Where is it?
Abergavenny Museum and Castle
Castle St Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP7 5EE
www.abergavennymuseum.co.uk Tel:(01873) 854 282
are situated on the south side of the town and are accessed from the roundabout where the A4042 Pontypool road meets the A465 Heads of the Valleys road.
From the roundabout follow the signs for the town centre along Monmouth Road. Just after the Visitor Information centre and bus station on the right hand side, turn left into West Castle Street and then right into Castle street car park.
Linda Vista Gardens
The Gardens are found by turning left out of the Castle Street car park and continuing into Tudor Street where the gardens will be found on the left hand side.
To find the car park go past Neville Hall hospital on the A40, take first turn on right, signed sugarloaf vineyard, once onto the lane take two left turns, go past the vineyard and when road forks, take the fork with the little black arrow to car park.
The Sugarloaf Vineyards
Dummar Farm, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 7LA www.sugarloafvineyard.co.uk Tel: (01873) 853066
Leave Abergavenny on the A40 to Brecon road. Past the Neville Hall Hospital, first turn on right, signed Sugarloaf Vineyard, once onto the lane take two left turns, then immediately right into the Vineyard.
Facilities & Access
Abergavenny Castle and Museum
March - October
Mon - Sat: 11.00 - 13.00 and 14.00 – 17.00
Sun: 14.00 – 5.00pm
November – February
Mon - Sat: 11.00am – 13.00 closed 14.00 – 16.00
As with many historic buildingsaccess is difficult in some areas and it is recommended that there is at least one able bodied person to assist.
The grounds of the castle are uneven but there is a ramp leading up to the museum.
In the museum there are varying degrees of access to different parts within but museum staff will assist on request.
Linda Vista Gardens.
The gardens are usually open 7.00 to 18.00 in winter and 7.00 to 20.00 in summer. Entrance is free. There are a number of accessible paths in the gardens.
The Sugarloaf Vineyards
Easter – October 31st
Tues – Sat 10.30 – 17.00 Sun 12.00 – 5.00
Open Bank Holiday Mondays
November – December 24th
Wed – Sun 12.00pm – dusk
Outside these times please
call and they will be happy to see you.
The coffee shop and shop area are on the ground floor with an accessible toilet. Cars can pull up outside the shop entrance if wheelchair access is required. The vineyards themselves are sloping with grass underfoot.
By Train the nearest station is Abergavenny – the Visitor Information centre is just less than 1km to walk.
By bus: Stagecoach (www.stagecoachbus.com). Beacons bus service on Sundays and bank holidays throughout the summer.