Cottages for selfcatering holidays in South Wales - Wye and Usk Valley

The River Wye enters the Bristol Channel at Chepstow, the first town in south Wales, and the home of the only horseracing course in the principality. This medieval border town, with its superb riverside castle, is at the start/finish point of both the Wye Valley Walk and the Offa's Dyke Path, and is a lovely place to stay to explore this part of Wales. Chepstow Castle is one of the oldest in Britain and one of the first to have been built entirely of stone, and as it was in military service for 500 years shows the development of military architecture over this period. Renting a holiday cottage near Chepstow gives you a great place to stay in Wales and explore this fascinating town.

Following the Wye valley north, you come to one of the most beautiful ruins in Wales, Tintern Abbey, which is the most compete of Britain's ruined monasteries. The remains of colonnades, soaring walls, and gaping windows, have been reproduced by Turner, and praised by Wordsworth, and are extremely well-kept and a calming place to relax and reflect on the world.

The most English of Welsh towns is Monmouth, a Georgian town that sits at the head of the Lower Wye Valley and is the obvious place to stay to explore this area either on foot or by canoe. Monmouth was the birthplace of Henry V, a fact celebrated by Agincourt Square in the centre of the town, and has been both English and Welsh over the centuries. Outside the town, on top of a hill, are two interesting Georgian buildings called the Kymin, comprising a circular banqueting house and a monument dedicated to the glories of the British Navy. The 9 acres of pleasure gardens in Monmouth have lovely views out across the surrounding countryside. Self-catering cottages near Monmouth are plentiful and many offer luxury holiday accommodation for a Welsh holiday.

Large holiday houses for rent in Wye Valley and Vale of Usk

Ty-canol, sleeps 15 in Kidwelly.

Big house to rent in Carmarthenshire near Kidwelly with 6 bedrooms, sleeps 15, Pet friendly, Barbecue, Pub within 1 mile, Cot Available, Swimming Pool, All En-suite, Gym.

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St Albans Church - 28165, sleeps 10 in Swansea.

A unique large holiday home in Glamorgan near Swansea with 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10, Pet friendly, Golf nearby, Pub within 1 mile, Cot Available.

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Blackmoor Farmhouse, sleeps 12 in Saundersfoot.

Large country houses to rent in Pembrokeshire near Saundersfoot with 6 bedrooms, sleeps 12, No pets, Barbecue, Ground Floor Facilities, Golf nearby, Cot Available.

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Ford Farmhouse, sleeps 10 in Tenby.

Group accommodation in Pembrokeshire near Tenby with 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10, Pet friendly, Golf nearby, Pub within 1 mile, Cot Available.

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Ysgubor Wen, sleeps 10 in Llanelli.

Vacation retreat in Carmarthenshire near Llanelli with 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10, Pet friendly, Barbecue, Ground Floor Facilities, Golf nearby, Pub within 1 mile, Baby and Toddler Friendly, Cot Available.

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Dan-y-glo, sleeps 10 in Swansea.

Self-catering accommodation in Glamorgan near Swansea with 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10, Pet friendly, Golf nearby, Pub within 1 mile, Baby and Toddler Friendly, Cot Available.

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The Wye leaves Wales here and returns at the literary town of Hay-on-Wye. This small town is known throughout the world of book collectors, as this is where they come to browse amongst the forty or so second-hand shops, with their hundreds of thousands of volumes. There is a title for every size of pocket and every age, and the highlight of the year is the Hay on Wye Literary Festival every May/June. If you want to rent a holiday cottage in Hay-on-Wye then there is a great selection of cottages to chose from - luxury cottages near Hay on Wye and lovely farm houses to rent near Hay.

The Usk valley centres on the two towns of Abergavenny and Newport. Abergavenny is a useful base for walking in the Black Mountains and the Brecon Becons and as such offers the visitor a wide range of accommodation from guesthouses to sumptuous bed and breakfast establishments, whilst the surrounding countryside is popular with those looking for self-catering cottages. This northern part of the valley is reknowned for its fine local produce, and several excellent restaurants have taken this to a high degree. Locally produced venison, lamb, beef, cheese, honey, and wine are all to be found in local markets, which makes the self-catering option a lot more attractive. The cottages in the Brecon Beacons, holiday houses near Abergavenny or accommodation for a holiday near the Black Mountains are options for a self-catering holiday in the Usk Valley.

The town of Usk, now much depleted, was once one of the largest in Wales and this is shown in the size of the castle ruins. Usk holds a regular, and very popular, farmers market every two weeks, and is a very busy place for fisherman - if you want a fishing holiday cottage near Usk then this is a great part of Wales for fishing. On the edge of Newport is the Roman town of Caerleon, at one time the largest Roman garrison town in Wales. Archaeologists have uncovered a wide range of artefacts and buildings and these are shown off in an interesting museum. Newport, on the other hand, is much more modern having expanded from a humble fishing village to its present size during the industrial revolution, with goods coming down to the port from Cwmbran and Pontypool to be shipped around the world. There is an ancient cathedral and a town museum, but the town ticks over on the pride of its Rugby team, which reaches religious proportions in this part of Wales.

There are some luxury holiday cottages to rent in the Wye valley and Usk valley - fabulous remote cottages near Abergaveny, isolated cottages in the Breacon Beacons, Black Mountain accommodation for a self-catering holiday, Chepstow cottages to rent for the races, luxury cottage to hire near Hay-on-Wye for the book festival, self-catering cottages near Monmouth - whatever kind of holiday home you are looking for in this idyllic part of Wales you will be able to find it at great prices.

Large holiday houses for rent in Monmouthshire

Granary Cottage, sleeps 6 in Abergavenny.

Large family holiday rental in Monmouthshire near Abergavenny with 3 bedrooms, sleeps 6, Pet friendly, Cot Available, Swimming Pool.

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Foxes Reach - Hw7421, sleeps 6 in Monmouth.

Large country houses to rent in Monmouthshire near Monmouth with 4 bedrooms, sleeps 6, Pet friendly, Barbecue, Golf nearby, Baby and Toddler Friendly, Cot Available.

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Brambles - Hw7658, sleeps 6 in Monmouth.

Large holiday house to rent in Monmouthshire near Monmouth with 3 bedrooms, sleeps 6, Pet friendly, Pub within 1 mile, Cot Available.

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Green Dyffryn Barn - Hw7659, sleeps 13 in Monmouth.

Weekend and weekly rentals in Monmouthshire near Monmouth with 5 bedrooms, sleeps 13, No pets, Barbecue, Pub within 1 mile, Cot Available.

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The Wye Valley and Vale of Usk is well-known for being one of the loveliest regions where Wales and England meet. It has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - according to definition, 'an area of the countryside that is considered to have significant landscape value in the UK'. It also has a fine industrial heritage.

The area is perhaps most famous for the ruins of Tinern Abbey, on the Welsh banks of the River Wye and perhaps the most impressive in the country, leading to the inspiration for 'Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey' by William Wordsworth and the poem 'Tears, Idle Tears' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

The impressive Black Mountains form the northern boundary of the Wye Valley and Vale of Usk with the bustling market towns of Monmouth and Abergavenny. The towns of Chepstow and Newport on the banks of the famous River Severn are to the south.

The unique Blaenavon Industrial Landscape World Heritage Site, with its underground tours, is located near Abergavenny, and is a museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the hard work undertaken by generations of miners in the region.

Monmouth is world-famous for its incredible collection detailing the life and times of Admiral Horatio Nelson. They say he literally keeps an eye on things, as his glass eye forms part of this impressive collection.

Aside from the many castles and ruins you may come across, from Abergavenny's White Castle, with its regular medieval pageants to Chepstow Castle, with its life-sized models of the castle lords though the ages, the first to be build entirely from stone, Tredegar House near Newport is said to be one of the greatest 17th Century mansions in the entire UK. You can also enjoy a visit to remember at Caldicot where they hold staged banquets and civil war battles.

If it's the outdoor life you are seeking then the Vale of Usk and Wye Valley have over 1,000 miles of public footpaths between them, allowing for some fabulous walks in the great outdoors. You can either plan your own route and go as you please or pick up one of the many walking guides.

The rivers Wye and Usk as well as the beautiful Llandegfedd reservoir are great for fishing and the Wye is well-known as one of the great rivers for canoeists. You will also find great sea fishing off the coast throughout the year.

Pony trekking in the stunning Black Mountains is also another great day out, or if you prefer, why not hire a bike for the day to explore the magnificent countryside. And if you are feeling very adventurous, you can go hang gliding at Abergavenny.