Head from Caerleon to Newport before dropping down to Tredegar House. Wind up country to Cyfarthfa Castle. Head to Merthyr Tydfil before crossing to Blaenavon and the National Coal Pit Museum. Call at Llanover House before arriving in the bustling market town of Abergavenny.
On the banks of the River Usk Caerleon is a site of archaeological importance, being the location of a notable Roman legionary fortress, Isca, and an Iron Age hillfort. The Wales National Roman Legion Museum and Roman Baths Museum are in Caerleon along with ruins of an amphitheatre, castle and barracks.
At the mouth of the river Usk the tower skyline is dominated by the Transporter Bridge. Nearby castle ruins include Newport Castle itself, Pencoed Castle a ruined Tudor mansion, largely dating from the 16th century and Penhow Castle a fortified manor house. The town’s Belle Vue Gardens have benefitted from a major renovation project.
A 17th-century Charles II-era red brick country house mansion near Newport, managed by the National Trust. For over five hundred years it was home to the Morgan family, later Lords Tredegar. Described as one of the "outstanding houses of the Restoration period in the whole of Britain", the mansion stands in a landscaped garden of 90 acres.
Cyfarthfa Castle, designed in 1824, is a castellated mansion that was the home of the Crawshay family, ironmasters of Cyfarthfa Ironworks in Park, Merthyr Tydfil. The house commanded a view of the valley and the works. The castle stands in 158 acres of parkland, now called Cyfarthfa Park.
Red House is an arts and creative centre in the old Town Hall. Nearby Parc Taf Bargoed formerly the site of three collieries, covers an area of 50 hectares situated in the beautiful Taff Bargoed Valley and is a hidden gem of Merthyr Tydfil with its panoramic views and natural beauty. For thrill seekers Bike Park Wales is an exhilarating way to spend your day in the Welsh mountains.
Where the long valleys of South Wales reach the high ground of the Brecon Beacons, the industrial landscape suddenly gives way to breath-taking scenery and wide open spaces. Running east-west across the top of those valleys is the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road.
The Blaenavon area is a World Heritage site featuring moorland scenery over which red kite soar, Garn Lakes reclaimed from spoil tips and mine workings, the Ironworks, a steam railway and the town has some impressive civic buildings including the Workmen’s Hall paid for by public subscription at one half penny per week
Close to Blaenavon you can descend 90 metres underground into a real coalmine with a former miner to find out about the dangers, working conditions and global significance of the Welsh mining industry. If you don’t want to go underground, there is plenty to see and do on the surface too.
A 15-acre listed garden and arboretum with lakes, streams and cascades, created by the Rhyd y Meirch stream as it flows through the garden. Unusual trees, shrubs and flowers have been planted since 1790. The deep herbaceous borders in the unusual circular walled garden, with a dovecote topped by a Pike, have been designed to complement the autumnal hues. The garden is only open at certain times.
Just across the county border in Monmouthshire and originally the site of a Roman fort it became a medieval walled town within the Welsh Marches. The town contains the remains of a medieval stone castle built soon after the Norman conquest and situated at the confluence of the River Usk and a tributary stream, the Gavenny. It is almost entirely surrounded by mountains and hills.