”Twas a bit overcast first thing, but the sun soon shone through and though not as warm a lovely day was upon us. Yesterday that is, as I didn’t get to write this on the day! We set off the short distance to Usk, about 15 miles and were soon parked up (all free!) and ready with our town guide to explore. What a pretty town, although there were some fairly serious roadworks being undertaken in the centre, they did not detract from our visit.
First we encountered the Sessions House which from 1877 – 1995 served as the town Courtroom but now since restoration serves the community for function and events and next door quite fittingly is the prettiest prison I have ever seen, with the perimeter walls lined with just blooming wysteria – if I ever foul up – well you know!
Next we happened upon the beautiful Priory Church of St Mary – in my opinion considerably more impressive and loved than Newport Cathedral!
Then a wander around the town brought us to the local Police Station, a fabulous shop which almost certainly sells everything that you most probably don’t need, if you can find it!
The High Street is full of useful little shops and galleries and around every corner are rows of pretty, well kept cottages.
How cute is this?
The town square, with its clock tower and pretty floral displays, is a great place to sit and people watch for a while.
From the town we wandered up to the Castle, which actually sits in the garden of this charming house and is opened by the owners for people to wander around for a donation and is indeed well worth one!
The Castle was started by a Norman Frenchman in the 12th Century and gradually evolved over 300 years. Though barely more than ruins, it was a beautiful place to be, with some lovely far reaching views.
From the Castle we took a woodland route, past the Pwll Melyn battle site 1405, through Cockshoot and Lady Hill woods before descending back to the River Usk, which we followed back to the town.
Just beyond the bridge, Poppydog was able to enjoy a cooling swim in the shallows of the river.
Two thoughts of the day:
I’ve seen all kinds of fly tipping, whilst wandering around Newport but this is a whole different league, outside a farm in the Usk Valley!
Why are welsh place names not just welsh?instead of in English and Welsh as it makes for some rather longwinded and confusing road signs!!