The ABP Newport Wales Marathon route touches the county of Monmouthshire, which is also superbly located if you’re looking for overnight accommodation on marathon weekend.
This historic border county was once fiercely contested. Thankfully it’s more peaceful today, although reminders of those castles remain with nine castles dotted across the stunningly beautiful landscape. There are plenty of other notable buildings. Not least the romantic ruins of Tintern Abbey in the Picturesque Wye Valley or the restored Shire Hall at Monmouth, scene of the infamous Chartist trial of 1839.
You can’t visit the area without tasting some of Wales’ best food and drink. Monmouthshire boasts four award-winning vineyards, several micro-breweries and cider mills as well as a wide range of high quality eating places, including country pubs and cafes, a hotel offering award-winning afternoon teas and two Michelin starred restaurants.
Chepstow’s position at the gateway to the Wye Valley makes it an ideal base for walking, with several long distance walking routes starting in the town. These include the Wales Coast Path – the World’s first complete coastal path – the Wye Valley Walk and the Offa’s Dyke National Trail. This Walkers are Welcome accredited town is home to the Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow Racecourse. It is also the start of two of the long-distance National Cycle Network routes: the Celtic Trail (220 miles traversing the southern edge of Wales heading west across the Newport Transporter Bridge), and Lon Las Cymru (185 miles heading north through the Brecon Beacons to Snowdonia).
Magor is the first town you come to when entering Wales on the M4, close to Junction 23a. Perfect for a quick stop or longer stay, its village square (filled with pubs, bakeries, shops and more) retains a rural charm.
Magor is the ideal base for the ecologically teeming Gwent Levels at Magor Marsh, and the Wales Coast Path. The sizeable remains of the 14th century Procurator’s House still stands proudly in the town and is the only one of its kind in Wales.
In the west of the county you’ll find the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, a reminder of the area’s industrial heritage, and the River Usk winding its way through the Britain in Bloom gold award winning town of Usk, and Abergavenny, home of the internationally renowned Abergavenny Food Festival and prestigious Abergavenny Festival of Cycling.
In 2018, supporters lined the streets of Magor to create a carnival-like atmosphere around the 9.5 mile mark, providing the noise and welcome musical encouragement from The Hot Dogs. A cheer station from Lead Charity Partner the NSPCC was a welcome sight for the many running for a good cause.
It’s set to be a highlight for marathon runners year-on-year!