This section of the page features an image gallery, so if you're using a screen reader you may wish to jump to the main content.

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

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

Top things to do in the Sugarloaf and Usk Valley

  • Fly a kite on the Sugarloaf where there's always a breeze
  • Go bird watching in St. Mary's Vale and the Rholben. Can you spot any endangered species?
  • Climb a tree at Coed-y-Bwnydd. There are lots to choose from, all different shapes and sizes
  • Pick blackberries growing in the wild in Pant Skirrid Wood
  • Make a trail with sticks at Clytha. There are plenty of twigs lying around in the autumn

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.

Useful information