Tintern Abbey -- The famous Wye Valley winds north from Chepstow, passing by the Lancaut Peninsula at the foot of the Windcliffe, a 243m (800-ft.) hill with striking views over the Severn estuary and the English border as far as the south part of the Cotswolds. About 1.6km (1 mile) or so farther north, you come to the little village of Tintern.

Now in magnificent ruins, Tintern Abbey (tel. 01291/689251; www.cadw.wales.gov.uk) is in the exact center of this riverside village and is the focal point of the town. The Cistercian abbey is one of the greatest monastic ruins of Wales, and it was only the second Cistercian foundation in Britain and the first in Wales. The abbey was founded in 1131 and was active until the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII. Most of the standing structure dates from the 13th century, when the abbey was almost entirely rebuilt. It became one of the richest and most important monastic houses in Wales. Wordsworth was one of the first to appreciate the serene beauty of the abbey remains, as his poetry attests. There is ample parking quite near the entrance, and refreshments are available nearby.

Admission is £3.60 for adults and £3.20 for students, seniors, and children 5 to 16; it's £10 for a family ticket. The abbey is open April to May and October daily 9:30am to 5pm; June to September daily 9:30am to 6pm; and November to March 18 Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 4pm, and Sunday 11am to 4pm.

To get here from Abergavenny, take the A40 east to Monmouth, from which you can connect with the A466 south along the trail of Offa's Dyke to Tintern.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.