In the “olden days,” people travelled around Britain largely by coach and horses. Whilst the well-worn dirt tracks have now been turned into motorways and horses are now largely kept as pets, many of those ancient coaching inns, where people would stop to give themselves and their steeds a night’s rest, remain, albeit in a somewhat superior guise. The Angel Hotel in the pretty Welsh village of Abergavenny, close to the English border, is particularly special.
Behind the Georgian frontage of The Angel Hotel, lies a lively and inviting bar, an elegant restaurant serving tasty British inspired fayre created from locally-sourced ingredients and a cosy breakfast room, where the hotel’s award-winning afternoon tea is also served. There is a well-thought out and healthy children’s menu available too.
Past these public areas, a series of higgledy piggeldy corridors lead you around the central courtyard, where those coaches and horses would once have pulled up, through to a range of classically decorated ensuite rooms within the main hotel building and in the adjacent mews building.
The most exciting place to stay, however, is in the self-contained Victorian Lodge just a few steps from the grounds of the hotel in the gardens of Abergavenny Castle. It’s not quite as luxurious as other rooms in the hotel, but it is fun. You’re even given your own key to the castle grounds so that you can let yourself in after they close to the public. My girls had great fun running around the ancient castle walls, rolling down the grassy hill that they sat atop and playing amongst the willow boughs.
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Abergavenny is a pretty market town, with a growing number of one-off boutiques, restaurants and coffee shops, just a few miles from the English border. It’s situated on the edge of the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park. You can take a Beacon Park Day Boat along the Brecon Canal, canoe along the River Wye, check out Abergavenny Castle and Museum or enter the Big Pit at the National Coal Museum, amongst a host of other activities. It’s also a short drive from the Forest of Dean where outdoor adventurers can go caving, cycling or learn bushcraft.
The Angel Hotel staff will be more than happy to arrange all this and more for you, they go out of their way to welcome families.
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Anna Tobin received a media rate for her stay at The Angel Hotel, but, as usual, all opinions are our own. Unless otherwise stated, photos provided by Anna Tobin.
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