Goose & Cuckoo

South Wales Monmouthshire Abergavenny

  • From £100 a night

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In the 19th century, there was a major pub cull in this part of Wales, brought about by the Temperance Movement and, locally, a teetotal aristocrat by the name of Baroness Llanover. How the Goose & Cuckoo survived is anyone’s guess, but probably had lots to do with its back-of-beyond location and the fact that, at first glance, it looks more pretty middle-of-nowhere farmhouse than it does tavern. But this whitewashed place is one atmospheric boozer. It has an inglenook fireplace at one end, just a few wooden tables positioned on the flagstones, a bar serving a legendary array of local ales like Wye Valley and Untapped, an old piano in one corner, a darts board in another and an ambience more akin to someone’s living room – except of course that there are any number of colourful characters (and their dogs) bantering and drinking within this one. The whole scene is quirkily bedaubed in photographs of the area in yesteryear – again, much like someone’s living room might be.

There is one double room that can be rented out on a bed and breakfast basis and one self-catering annex with a sitting room and kitchen enjoying glorious views of the valley below. Food is mainly gourmet doorstep sandwiches, mighty cheeseboards, salads, cakes and other hunger-busting fare for the hikers and locals that stop by.

Doing a walk hereabouts is an interesting proposition: the pub is on the cusp between the gentle green slopes of the Usk Valley and the starker moorland of Blaenavon. Narrow-boaters also walk up from the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal near the valley bottom. The close-by market town of Abergavenny provides more cosmopolitan diversions.



Doubles from £100

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