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Car-free MonmouthMonmouthshire

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Award-winning vineyards, traditional bakeries, canoeing on the River Wye and wandering into the hills: there’s plenty to enjoy car-free around Monmouth. Birthplace of Henry V, the little market town on two rivers has a host of historical sites including a ruined castle and a unique thirteenth-century bridge over the river Monnow. Buses to Monmouth leave from Chepstow every hour on weekdays, along the beautiful Wye Valley, passing famous Tintern Abbey. Monmouth is an ideal base for staycations, surrounded by great countryside. We've added a few tips at the end for holidays in the area.

  • County: Monmouthshire
  • Great for: good cafés and pubs | history | local food | vineyard | walking |
  • Refreshments: lots of choice in town including ice cream shop and friendly cafes; lunches at vineyard.
  • Please note: researched/updated September 2019. If anything’s changed or you have tips to share, do get in touch: features@goodjourney.org.uk
  1. 3. Bus from Newport

    Bus 69 from Chepstow runs to Monmouth every hour on weekdays (less on Saturdays), passing lovely Tintern Abbey. See number 6 in this autumnal round-up for more info. Alternatively, every couple of hours, bus 60 winds its way from Newport bus station through the Monmouthshire hills past castles, churches and fabulous rolling countryside to reach the little market town.

    • Crossing a stone bridge across the River Usk, the bus from Newport enters Caerleon, passing the ancient priory and the Roman legion museum; flower-decked Usk, with its whitewashed square comes soon after.
    • Approaching Monmouth, look out for the remains of Raglan Castle, the site of another at Dingestow, a grassy mound beyond the winding River Trothy and the hilltop church at Wonastow, all on the left hand side of the bus, followed by the riverside church at Mitchel Troy.
  1. Buses and places to stay and eat.

    Here are a couple more suggestions if you’re going on holiday in the area.

    • If you’re planning a lot of travel by trains and buses, there is a rover ticket for South Wales, which gives you unlimited travel on four out of eight days.
    • There’s a modern Premier Inn in the middle of Monmouth.
    • You could also stay in Chepstow, for instance at Greenman, a characterful Chepstow hostel with private rooms and a big lounge (doubles £65, B&B). It’s an easy walk from the bus and train stations and a spear’s-throw from Chepstow’s huge, impressively ancient castle.
    • The village of Redbrook, on the 69 bus route, makes a good base with Offa’s Dyke climbing straight from the bus stop by the Bell Inn, through a bracken and bluebell hillside into clifftop woods. Eat Pan Haggerty (cheese-topped onion, potato and garlic £10.45) by the roaring log fire of the Boat Inn in Penallt just over the impressive footbridge from Redbrook. Then stop off on the way back to Chepstow at the Parva Farm vineyard for a self-guided tour (£2) and wine-tasting.