Flanking the Brecon Beacons National Park, the lively market town of ABERGAVENNY (Y Fenni) is a slick and confident town with an ever-growing reputation for its fine cuisine, which reaches something of a zenith during the town's September Food Festival. It also makes a great base, with a fine range of places to eat, drink and sleep, and the town is a magnet to walkers bound for the local mountains: Sugar Loaf, the Blorenge, and the legend-infused Skirrid Mountain (Ysgyryd Fawr).
Although only a couple of miles and a few hills away from the iron and coal towns of the Valleys, Abergavenny grew on the basis of its weaving and tanning trades, giving it an entirely different feel. These industries prospered alongside a flourishing market, which is still the focal point for a wide area, drawing many people up from the Valleys every Tuesday.
From the train station, Monmouth Road rises gently, eventually becoming High Street, off which you'll find the fragmented remains of the medieval castle, whose ugly Victorian keep houses the town museum (Easter– Sept daily 11am–5pm, closed 1–2pm outside school summer hols; Oct– Easter Mon– Sat 11am–1pm & 2–4pm; free), which displays ephemera from the town's history and a reconstruction of Basil Jones' grocery shop, once on Main Street. Abergavenny's parish church of St Mary, on Monk Street, contains some superb tombs that span the entire medieval period.