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Iconic mountains, rich countryside and a sweeping 18th century landscaped park

The Sugarloaf and Usk Valley is a landscape of contrasts.

It’s where the dramatic Black Mountains give way to broader, rich and green open pastures.

The iconic peak of the Sugarloaf mountain watches over the market town of Abergavenny, dominating the surrounding landscape and offering glorious views towards mid-Wales in one direction and south-west England in another.

Meanwhile the distinctive ‘Holy Mountain’ Skirrid Fawr peers in from the north-east, standing on the very edge of the mountain range - the legend of a landslide at the moment of Jesus’s crucifixion coupled with the now-ruined chapel at the summit are likely origins of the mountain’s local nickname.

Ancient woodlands and riverside walks provide the perfect escape from everyday life and each passing season brings something new to discover: Coed-y-Bwnydd’s carpet of bluebells to the rich turning colour of St Mary’s Vale’s woodlands.

The magnificent Clytha Estate brings the Picturesque era into the present. It includes Grade One listed Clytha House, beautiful gardens and sweeping parkland with stately trees.

50 things to do before you're 11 ¾

An outdoor adventure is always around the next tree, hedge or hilltop in the Sugarloaf and Usk Valley. So get outdoors and go wild with your own adventure with our list of 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾ .

Top things to do in the Sugarloaf and Usk Valley

  • Climb a huge hill on the Sugarloaf or Skirrid Fawr
  • Find your way with a map and compass through St Mary's Vale
  • Play conkers at Clytha after a walk to find that winning conker
  • Pick blackberries growing in the wild in Pant Skirrid Wood
  • Roll down a big hill on one of the Sugarloaf's grassy slopes
  • Catch a falling leaf from one of the many big trees at Coed-y-Bwnydd

Our blog

Discover the work we do to keep this beautiful landscape at its best today and for the future. Our woodlands and access teams are responsible for looking after our special outdoor places across mid and south-east Wales and would love to tell you all about it...


For the latest news from our team of rangers, visit us on Facebook. Share your photos or post a comment about your visit to one of our special places in the Sugarloaf and Usk Valley.

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