I love traveling in the Autumn and Winter not only because these tend to be low tourist seasons (which means better prices, fewer people, and whole slew of other benefits), but also because it gives me a chance to see places in a different light. Weekend mini-vacations are a great way to travel without using up too many of your holidays, and there’s plenty of amazing places near London that are perfect for a 2-3 day break. Wales, is one of these and I’ve got a guide to helping you take a break from London and take in some fresh air and beautiful scenery to boot.
London – Abergavenny
If you’ve only got a couple days to spare, Abergavenny is a great choice for your weekend away. It’s just a 2-hour train ride from London, and right on the border of the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park. Catch the train at Paddington Station, change at Newport, and you’ll be in Abergavenny in under 3 hours!
Where to stay
Abergavenny is a good place to stay as it’s a pretty big town with an array of shops, restaurants, and grocery stores (not to mention hotels and B&Bs). But there’s also quite a few charming small villages around Abergavenny, most of which are just a short car ride or walk away. We opted to stay in Llanfoist, which was about a 30-minute walk away. As long as you’re bundled up, this walk isn’t difficult to make, and the surroundings are quite charming.
What to do
Since you’re surrounded by so much wonderful nature, it’d be a little ridiculous if you didn’t get out and experience it! There are many great walks that connect Abergavenny, Llanfoist, and other villages. We actually hiked to Gilwern one day and had the best Sunday lunch in a quaint little pub. The best part is we got to soak up the local life as we were obviously the only non-locals in the place! There’s a canal hike around Llanfoist, which I highly recommend, as well as many other paths—all made for easy walking so you don’t have to worry about not being a good hiker.
If you make it as far as Gilwern, you absolutely have to stop in at The Beaufort Arms. It’s a family run B&B and if you’re there on the weekend you’re bound to run into the owners and their two daughters. Keith and Andrea are amazing hosts and Keith was kind enough to accommodate his menu to our vegetarian diet requirements. They definitely made us feel right at home, and it was one of the most memorable parts of our trip!
Have you spent a weekend in Wales? What are some of your favorite parts of your trip?