Let’s move to

Aber­gavenny, Mon­mouthshire

The Guardian - Weekend - - Contents -

What’s go­ing for it? Just back from the Aber­gavenny Food Fes­ti­val, where I fell in love with a tomato. As you do. It’s that kind of place. Food fes­ti­vals are 10 a penny these days, but this one ben­e­fits from a dis­tinct scarcity of any­one who once ap­peared on MasterChef. It’s more like an over­grown vil­lage fete, full of peo­ple ply­ing their prize mar­rows or my tomato woman, peo­ple who love things and just want to spread the love. I tell you, it was the tomato-ey-est tomato I’ve ever tasted north of Mar­seille. Aber­gavenny is a neat and tidy town, seem­ingly do­ing quite all right for it­self, shop­ping streets qui­etly bustling with wool shops and op­ti­cians, its cot­tages and houses freshly white­washed or grey with stone against a back­drop of green from the three hills that loom over the streets. Some will say Aber­gavenny is turn­ing into a f*** ie des­ti­na­tion (I refuse to use the F-word) on ac­count of the fes­ti­val, and the lo­cal cul­tures of cheese­mak­ers and moun­tain-lamb sup­pli­ers, bak­ers and yo­ghurt. Not quite. They are not yet sell­ing yuzu at the Spar (you have to go to Waitrose), and the town has more than enough un­pre­ten­sion to burst any in­flated egos. The case against Pre­cious lit­tle. I’m think­ing hard and scratch­ing my head. Nope. Noth­ing.

Well con­nected? Trains: hourly or more of­ten to New­port (25 mins) and Cardiff (40 mins) for the main­line, and half-hourly to Here­ford

(24 mins) the other way. Driv­ing: 30 min­utes to Mon­mouth, 40 to Here­ford, Hay-on-Wye or New­port, 50 to Cardiff.

Schools Pri­maries: Gym­raeg Y Fenni, Cantref and Llan­foist Fawr are all “good”, says Estyn. Sec­on­daries: the town’s King Henry VIII is “ad­e­quate”.

Hang out at… You won’t want for sus­te­nance. The Hard­wick and 1861 are lo­cal stars. But the vet­eran Wal­nut Tree, just out­side, and now run by Shaun Hill, is the cherry on the cake.

Where to buy The town has a nice com­pact cen­tre of town­houses and cot­tages (many of them built of stone), but the real draw here is its beau­ti­ful col­lec­tion of lateVic­to­rian and Ed­war­dian homes. Hunt on and around Here­ford Road, and the av­enues around Western Road, north of Bre­con Road. Large de­tacheds and town­houses, £450,000-£750,000. De­tacheds and smaller town­houses, £225,000-£450,000. Semis, £225,000-£500,000. Ter­races and cot­tages, £150,000-£425,000. Flats, £110,000-£175,000. Rentals: a one-bed­room flat, £420-£575pcm; a three-bed­room house, £650-£900pcm.

Bar­gain of the week Large, five-bed­room Vic­to­rian ter­raced house, with scope for im­prove­ment and within walk­ing dis­tance of the town cen­tre, £335,000 with christieres­i­den­tial.co.uk

Tom Dy­ck­hoff

Do you live in Por­to­bello, Ed­in­burgh? Do you have a favourite haunt or a pet hate? If so, email lets.move@the­guardian.com by next Tues­day.

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