VILLAGES, TOWNS AND CITIES AROUND GROSMONT
ABERGAVENNY – 12.4 miles, about 20 mins.
Nestled between seven hills close to the border between England and Wales, Abergavenny is considered a “Gateway To Wales”. Abergavenny castle (1087) is one of the best examples of a motte and bailey castle in Britain. With a restored keep set on top of a man made mound, there are also enough walls remaining to show that this must have been an impressive castle when in full repair. The castle meadows, stretching out alongside the River Usk provide a picturesque scene at all times of the year, and the brick path makes for an idyllic walk. Abergavenny Market on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday is located right in the heart of the town and has long been the focus of trade.
BRECON – 32 miles, about 50 mins.
Historic Cathedral Town. Brecon is a traditional Mid Wales market town nestling in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons National Park that has always been a popular destination offering visitors spectacular scenery and leisure activities. However it remains first and foremost a market town – as you will see on any Tuesday or Friday. Narrow streets and passageways lined with Georgian and Jacobean shop fronts. Annual Jazz Festival in August.
BRISTOL – 60 miles, about an hour.
Bristol’s prosperity has been linked with the sea since its earliest days. At the turn of the 15th and 16th century, it was the base for voyages of exploration to the New World. The Port of Bristol was originally in the city centre before commercial shipping moved from Bristol Harbour to the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth. See Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Bristol Cathedral, Clifton Suspension Bridge, City Docks etc.
CARDIFF – 53 miles, about an hour.
Cardiff is a port city on the south coast of Wales, where the River Taff meets the Severn Estuary. It was proclaimed the country’s capital in 1955. The revitalised waterfront at Cardiff Bay includes the Wales Millennium Centre complex, home of the national opera, orchestra, theatre and dance companies. Architect Richard Rogers’ modern Senedd building here houses the Welsh National Assembly. Good shopping centre. Cardiff Castle is one of Wales’ leading heritage attractions and a site of international significance. Located within beautiful parklands at the heart of the capital, Cardiff Castle’s walls and fairytale towers conceal 2,000 years of history.
CHELTENHAM – 50 miles, about an hour.
Cheltenham is the most complete Regency town in Britain and one of the few English towns in which traditional and contemporary architecture complement each other. This edge-of-the Cotswolds spa town is hard to beat for refined elegance and Regency terraces, annual festivals, Ladies’ College and racecourse. Also fortnightly farmers markets, classy shops and restaurants, all surrounded by nice countryside.
CRICKHOWELL – 18 miles, about 25 mins.
On the way to Brecon, Crickhowell is a picturesque town nestling in the beautiful Usk Valley and lying to the south of the Black Mountains, the eastern range of the Brecon Beacons National Park. It is a small market town with many individual shops, ancient inns and plenty to do for visitors and residents.
CHEPSTOW – 35 miles, about 45 mins.
Chepstow is located on the River Wye, about 2 miles above its confluence with the River Severn, and adjoining the western end of the Severn Bridge. Chepstow Castle, situated on a clifftop above the Wye and its bridge, is often cited as the oldest surviving stone castle in Britain. A Benedictine priory was also established within the walled town. The port of Chepstow became noted in the Middle Ages for its imports of wine, and also became a major centre for the export of timber and bark, from nearby woodland in the Wye valley and Forest of Dean. In the late eighteenth century the town was a focus of early tourism as part of the “Wye Tour”, and the tourist industry remains important. Chepstow is also well known for its racecourse, which has hosted the Welsh National each year since 1949.
HAY-ON-WYE – 21 miles, about an hour via Llanthony and over the Gospel Pass (the highest road in Wales – narrow, but fantastic scenery) or 40 mins via a main road. World renowned for books, bookshops and festivals. Its unique position on the border between England and Wales makes Hay ideal for visitors to explore and enjoy the beautiful border country.
HEREFORD – 14 miles, about 22 mins (depending on the traffic!).
Hereford is a Cathedral City with the relaxed atmosphere of a country market town. It’s origin dates back to Saxon times. A historic centre of international importance, the magnificent Hereford Cathedral hosts Europe’s oldest Music Festival every three years – The Three Choirs Festival.
The award winning Mappa Mundi Centre houses the world famous map itself plus the two most extensive Chained Libraries in existence. The Old House is an impressive museum in the centre of Hereford, and there is a Cider museum with tastings on offer.
LUDLOW – 37 miles, about 55 mins (depending on the traffic in Hereford!).
Ludlow is a thriving medieval market town and an architectural gem with a lively community feel, busy with events and festivals throughout the year. The historic town centre is situated on a cliff above the River Teme and is surrounded by the beautiful countryside of south Shropshire and the Welsh Marches. Ludlow has a reputation for the quality of its food and drink with many excellent restaurants and cafes encouraged by the areas abundance of quality food and drink producers. The showcase for this is the Ludlow Food and Drink Festival, when every September the town is filled with food lovers from all over the UK, and beyond. Ludlow Castle was started in 1086 and has been an important part of Ludlow for the many centuries since.
MONMOUTH – 14 miles, about 25 mins.
Monmouth is a Welsh border market town situated at the confluence of the Rivers Wye, Monnow and Trothy. With its bustling main street it makes a good destination for a day out. Perhaps best known as the birthplace of Henry V, Monmouth boasts a whole host of historical sites, people and buildings from the Nelson Garden to The Town Hall. It has a medieval 13th-century bridge over the river Monnow, unique in Britain as it is the only preserved bridge of its design remaining.
ROSS ON WYE – 17 miles, about 30mins.
There’s no mistaking Ross-on-Wye in south Herefordshire as a market town. St Mary’s Church spire has shaped the skyline of Ross-on-Wye for over 700 years. Perched dramatically above the River Wye, Ross is the southern gateway to Herefordshire, the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean and the dramatic Symonds Yat. Maybe visit Baileys Home on the way, or on the return journey, a fascinating interiors store.