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Tintern

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Tintern and the Abbey from the Devil's Pulpit

Tintern [1] is situated just in South Wales in the beautiful Wye Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), six miles north of Chepstow on the lower road to Monmouth. Its main tourist attraction is the ruined 12th century Cistercian Abbey. Two long distance paths can be accessed from it: Offa's Dyke Path, on the east bank of the Wye, and The Wye Valley Walk, on the west bank.

Get in[edit]

In the absence of a local airport, with the river no longer used by commercial craft, and the railway having closed to passengers in 1959, the main methods of entry are by car or bus along the A466 which runs between Chepstow and Monmouth. If you arrive from London, the South and the South West of England, or South Wales, you will probably enter Tintern from the south via Chepstow. Vehicles from the Midlands and the North will probably come in from Monmouth. There is a height limit (of around 12 ft) on the A466 from Monmouth enforced by several miles of overhanging tree branches further up the road near Redbrook, and a weight limit imposed by a weak bridge across the Wye at Bigsweir. The valley is narrow and winding, with the result that the road is also narrow and winding.

There are also a number of footpaths in the area and a very minor ("unclassified") road from the west. It is therefore easy to enter and exit Tintern without using a motorised vehicle at all.

Get around[edit]

There are several bus stops along the A466 as it passes through Tintern (which is built along the road). If you bring a car, Tintern Abbey has a large free car park. The village is small enough for all exploration to be done on foot - indeed, this is preferable, as most of the side roads are very narrow and the A466 is unsuited to roadside parking.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Tintern Abbey, [2] the 12C Cistercian abbey has been in ruins since King Henry the 8th (the one with all those wives) dissolved the monasteries but it is still impressive after nearly 500 years. A poem by the same (Tintern Abbey) name was written by Wordsworth, English Romantic Poet.
  • The Old Station [3] is a former station on the Wye Valley Railway from Monmouth to Chepstow, now a countryside visitor site. The station itself aptly demonstrates one reason why the railway closed by being one mile away from the centre of Tintern. The railway to the south of Tintern can be followed by crossing the river near the Abbey and following a wide and generally level (although muddy) path along the side of the hill for a few miles.
  • The Wireworks Bridge, which was built to carry an industrial railway into Tintern to serve a small wireworks. The railway closed in 1935 and was dismantled in 1941. The bridge remains intact as a footpath and it is the only bridge across the Wye at Tintern. The wireworks themselves closed long before 1935 and little evidence remains.
  • Wireworks 'I have heard tell that the Tintern wireworks, long since demolished, was a source of the wire used in the first transatlantic submarine communications cable
  • The Devil's Pulpit, a 2 hour climb to a viewpoint on the east bank of the Wye with magnificent views over Tintern and the Abbey.
  • Brockweir - Cross over the old railway bridge and walk to the old port of Brockweir. Cross over the bridge at Brockweir back to the west bank of the Wye and then follow the river bank back to Tintern. A pleasant hour-long ramble. Stop at the Old Railway Station picnic site for refreshment.
  • 365 Steps and The Wyndcliffe, accessible from a car park on the road between Tintern and Chepstow, but also accessible from The Wye Valley Walk, are the 365 Steps for climbing up to The Wyndcliffe viewpoint which gives a magnificent view [4] of a bend in the river Wye and distant views of Chepstow Racecourse and beyond to the Severn Estuary.
  • Abbey Mill - Wye Valley Centre [5]. Well-established independent family business which has been trading for the past 60 years. Set amidst breathtaking scenery on the banks of the River Wye in the original mill site of Tintern Abbey, founded in 1131. See the waterfall, watch the trout and shop and browse through the five shops. Crafts are demonstrated. Also has a coffee shop and restaurant.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Tintern offers a range of souvenirs, including various videos, books, and soft toys. Tintern Abbey is owned by Cadw (who own various Welsh historic monuments) and they have provided their own giftshop on site including various booklets on other Cadw attractions.

  • Green Man and the Gatekeeper, Now at Taurus Crafts, The Old Park, Lydney GL15 6BU (Follow the picturesque A466 to Chepstow, then take the A48, Gloucester road to Taurus Crafts - Tintern to Taurus Crafts is about 15 miles.), 01594843860, [6]. 11.0 to 5.00 daily. Inspired by History, Tradition and Heritage - Original, unique designs in leather, ceramics and pewter.
    Green Man Plaques • Bags • Belts • Masks • Jewellery • Brooches • Badges • Miniatures • Greetings Cards and more.
     edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • The Moon and Sixpence - great ale and home cooked meals ranging from baguettes and jacket potatoes through to Hungarian specials, Steaks and a large range of fish dishes.
  • Parva Farmhouse Hotel & Restaurant - A la carte evening menu available in our cosy, intimate Inglenook Restaurant. Open to non-residents all year. Please Book. +44 1291 689411
  • The Old Station Tea Room, The Old Station, Tintern (off the A466 north of the village), +44 1291 689566, [7]. Situated in the original railway waiting room you can enjoy a range of freshly prepared meals and delicious home baked cakes (including lavender cake), traditional bread pudding and strawberry cream teas as featured in the AA afternoon tea guide.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

  • The Old Station Campsite, The Old Station, Tintern (off the A466 north of the village), +44 1291 689566, [8]. Set in a secluded meadow the other side of a hedge from the A466. There are no showers but there is access to toilets and fresh water. Booking is essential. Camper vans and caravans are not permitted.  edit

Mid range[edit]

  • Abbey Hotel [9]
  • Royal George Hotel [10]
  • Wye Valley Hotel
  • Fairfield B&B (Llandogo) [11]
  • Holmleigh (Gerry and Myrna Mark, adjacent to The Moon & Sixpence) tel. +44 1291 689521
  • Lion Inn (Trellech) [12]
  • Parva Farmhouse Hotel & Restaurant [14]

Get out[edit]

The A466 offers easy egress to Chepstow and Monmouth. Alternatively you can depart from the village along one of the local public footpaths.

To the North of Tintern, and on the other bank of the river, is the attractive little village of Brockweir, which has riding stables and a Moravian Church. The bridge over the river, which opened in 1906 and replaced a ferry (which promptly went bankrupt owing to an inevitable loss of custom), is particularly fine. It was built by the Wye Valley Railway, who also built the Wireworks bridge across the Wye in Tintern (although that is 30 years older); consequently they are both built in the same style.



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