AFTER a rather miserable May in terms of the weather this month, things are looking up for the bank holiday weekend.

With temperatures threatening to top 20 degrees, it might even be time to dust off the shorts and sunglasses.

As warmer weather is on the horizon, what better time to visit one of the many attractions in Monmouthshire to make the most of it.

Here are a few of our favourites.

Chepstow Castle

South Wales Argus: A view of Chepstow Castle across the river Wye at sunset..

Dating back to 1067, the castle dominates the lower part of the town.

It is the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain.

You can spend a good few hours wandering through the ruined hallways and courtyards.

The ruins were Grade I-listed in 1950.

You can visit the castle with a pre-booked ticket.

Purchased tickets cannot be refunded — please check you’re able to attend on the date you have booked.

Book a ticket for every member of your party for the same time slot.

Face masks must be worn in indoor areas at all times.


Caldicot Castle

South Wales Argus: Spring: Caldicot Castle. Picture: Seran-Charlene Hodges, South Wales Argus Camera Club.

Caldicot Castle. Picture: Seran-Charlene Hodges, South Wales Argus Camera Club

Caldicot Castle is located within a picturesque country park.

Founded by the Normans, developed in the Middle Ages and restored as a Victorian family home, the castle has a colourful history.

Opening hours are 11am to 4pm from Tuesday to Sunday and entry is free.

The castle is closed on Mondays (except bank holidays).

The castle grounds and the toilets in the castle are now open.

Refreshments are available on a take away basis from the cafe.

The main castle buildings remain closed at the present time.


South Wales Argus: Autumn: An orange carpet of leaves at Wentwood. Picture: Catherine Mayo.

An orange carpet of leaves at Wentwood. Picture: Catherine Mayo

Wentwood is the largest ancient woodland in the whole of Wales.

The 353-hectare section of Wentwood owned by the Woodland Trust is part of a much larger area of forest, stretching across 1,000 hectares.

It was once part of the hunting grounds of Chepstow Castle.

These days there are many different paths you can take to enjoy the peace and quiet among the trees.

The car parks are Foresters’ Oaks and Cadira Beeches, on the road to Usk.

There are a number of other entrances too, including Wentworth Gate which is closest to bus routes and the ancient Curley Oak.

A map and appropriate footwear are advised.

Tidenham Tunnel

South Wales Argus: Tidenham Tunnel Picture: DBPR

Tidenham Tunnel. Picture: DBPR

This is a relatively new addition to the tourist map in the area, although it has been an inaccessible feature for many years.

Part of the defunct Chepstow-Monmouth line, the last train to use the section of line did so back in 1992.

The project to turn the derelict railway tunnel into part of the greenway had been ongoing since 2019. With building work taking place from 2020.

The tunnel finally reopened to walkers and cyclists last month and has proven popular since.

Low level lighting will guide you through, although it may take your eyes a minute to adjust.

The tunnel is kept dark to best accommodate the bats living within.

Parking is free at the National Diving and Activity Centre.

The route is approximately five miles to Tintern and is mostly flat.

Spectacular views can be seen once past the tunnel section and cafes in Tintern are serving again after lockdown.

365 steps

South Wales Argus: View from the Eagle's Nest

View from the Eagle's Nest

One for those who have been keeping up with their workouts during lockdown, this walk is at the more strenuous end.

Beginning from the Wyndcliff car park on the A466, the short (yet very steep) walk takes you up the cliff face to the Eagle's Nest.

Views are incredible once at the top, and view points on the way up offer glimpses across to England.

Some sections of the walk are near-vertical and so appropriate footwear is strongly advised.

The effort is worth it for the views, however.

This is this reporter's favourite walk in the Wye Valley.