Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Tintern Abbey

If I should be, where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from they wild eyes these gleams
Of past existence, wilt thou then forget
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together
From Lines Written A Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, William Wordsworth

Not the Sunday just gone, but the one before, J and I went out on a little explore. We spent most of that day exploring Monmouth, which I'll tell you more about another day- but I decided that on our way back to Cardiff, we would detour via Tintern for a peek at the Abbey and the village, as my aunt is getting married there in the autumn.

As we drove through the village along the banks of the river, we turned a corner and both gasped. The Abbey is huge, and unbelievably beautiful. I can completely and utterly see why monks would have spent 400 years here- the setting is almost as beautiful as the Abbey itself. In case your history is a little rusty, like J's ("Why was the Abbey destroyed?". The one question that makes any former history student shake their head in disbelief)- in very simplified terms, when Henry VIII split with the Roman Catholic church in order to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn (and we all know how well that turned out), monasteries were also dissolved to raise revenue for the king. And that's what happened here.

As we'd spent so long pottering in Monmouth, we decided against paying to go in to the ruins of the Abbey, and instead sat outside The Anchor, the pub/ restaurant/ tearoom in the grounds of the Abbey. And it turns out, my aunt's fiance was sat inside the restaurant at the same time- we just didn't see him. Small world, eh!?

I treated the two of us to tea and cake- mine is the chocolate monstrosity (which was incredible- which is a big thing, considering how often chocolate cake in cafes is disappointing), while J went for the caramel pecan cake. I stole a bite, it was also delicious.

I'm planning to head back here for a picnic at some point soon. It was just idyllic, and I'd love to go and explore inside the ruins. And apparently at Christmas, they do carols by candlelight here too- wouldn't that be amazing?!


  1. I live next to Monmouth. It's such a pretty town and I always enjoy going there and popping to Coffee #1. I've shockingly never visited Tintern despite living so close. I've driven past it but never stopped. Maybe this summer :)


    1. I love Coffee #1! There's a branch right around the corner from me in Cardiff, and one that's just about reachable in my lunchbreak from work. You should definitely take a visit to Tintern- it's so beautiful, well worth a stop! :)

  2. This is beautiful! You went on a really sunny day which must have made it so much better as well.

    Saskia / girlinbrogues.com

    1. Thanks lovely! I did, it made it GLORIOUS. So nice to sit outside with tea and cake!

  3. Turner did some lovely watercolours of Tintern Abbey that I was reminded of when I looked at your photos! I bet the carols by candlelight would be so lovely in the winter :)

    Tamsin xx | A Certain Adventure

    1. I've just looked them up- they're so beautiful! I know, I'm definitely thinking about it for this Christmas :)

  4. There is a very tiny, very sweet little village just 2 minutes down the road from here across a bridge called Brockweir - there's a little website I believe called Wye valley holiday cottages (google it!) which rents some of the cottages there out. I've stayed in one of the little ones and my parents have travelled down and stayed there in other cottages twice now on my recommendation. They're not the cheapest but they're unbelievably sweet (you must google if only to admire them!) but they're a great little spot to stay in for exploring the area around Tintern Abbey for anyone down that way soon x


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