12 of the Best Courses and Experiences in Monmouthshire, Wales

Man with full bee keeping protection outfit on holding a comb of honey with bees on it

Monmouthshire is a hop, skip and jump across the Severn bridge from England into Wales. Covering towns like Chepstow, Monmouth, Usk and Abergavenny Not not only is it a beautiful area to visit, but there is plenty to see and do. Castles, hills to climb, the Brecon Beacons, the Usk Valley and the Wye Valley are all there to be experienced. You can also take the opportunity to expand your knowledge and take a course or enjoy a tasting session. Below are 12 of the best courses and experiences for you to try on your trip to Monmouthshire.

Food and Drink Courses and Experiences in Monmouthshire

Abergavenny Baker

Brown loaf, fougasse bread with holes in it and focaccia with loives, tomatoes, salt and rosemary sitting on wire cooling racks
Delicious Artisan Breads at the Abergavenny Baker

If you are looking to take your bread baking up a notch or try your hand at making some delicious bread from around the world, then sign up for one of the Abergavenny Baker’s Artisan Bread Making Courses.

Each course is designed to take you through the ins and outs of making your selected breads under the direction of Rachael Watson, and you leave with a lovely bag of bread to enjoy when you get home. On offer are courses in making French, British, Italian, Nordic, Middle Eastern Breads and many more. Rachael also offers seasonal bread making at Christmas, Easter and even Father’s Day.

Address: Abergavenny Baker, No. 1 The Courtyard, Lion Street, Abergavenny, NP7 5PE
Website: https://www.abergavennybaker.co.uk

The Preservation Society

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Jam, Marmalade and Perserves making with The Preservation Society (photo courtesy of The Preservation Society)

Once you have made your bread, what better than making your one jams, curds and pickles? Join Angharad on one of her courses. Impress your friends with jams, marmalades and chutneys on her Jam Making – Learn to Preserve course; spice things up with the Hot Chilli Sauce Course or maybe try the Afternoon Tea Making Class is more your thing for cake and preserve making.

If you want are thinking of starting your own Artisan business, try Angharad’s Become an Artisan Producer Masterclass which will go through all you need to know to set yourself up.

Address: The Preservation Society, 26 Victoria Road, Chepstow, NP16 5QW
Website: www.thepreservationsociety.co.uk/ 

Humble By Nature

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Go Foraging with Humble by Nature (photo courtesy of Humble by Nature)

Humble by Nature offer a great range of courses at the Upper Meend Farm. Try a Cider Making course where you will learn about the best apples for cider, wash, mill and press the apples into apple juice which you will take home to ferment.

Maybe you would prefer to learn about wild food foraging, courses run in Spring, Summer and Autumn with different wild produce on offer each season. After your foraging session, it is back to the Barn to use your foraging to make up some delicious recipes.

Other courses on offer include Bread Making, Cooking on a Wood-Fired Overn, Spanish & Italian Charcuterie, Bilton Making, Ham, Bacon and Sausages Courses. See the full list on the Food & Cookery page on the website.

Address: Humble By Nature, Upper Meend Farm, Penallt, Nr Monmouth, NP25 4RP
Website: https://www.humblebynature.com/

White Castle Vineyard

VInes in the Sun at White Caste Vineyard
Taste delicious Welsh wines at White Castle Vineyard

For a relaxing afternoon, take a tour around White Castle Vineyard and learn about wine growing in Wales from Robb and Nicola Merchant who run the vineyard.

Just outside Abergavenny, White Castle Vineyard was started in 2008 and has been producing red, white, rosé and a sparkling white ever since.

After the tour, sample some of the wines including the Siegerrebe, the Pinot Noir Précoce and the Rondo. If you haven’t tried Welsh wine, you will be in for a surprise, the wines are delicious, fruity and well rounded.

All the wines are available to buy form the vineyard or the website.

Address: White Castle Vineyard, Llanvetherine, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 8RA
Website: https://www.whitecastlevineyard.com/

Wye Valley Meadery

Silver brewing tanks with one tank open and one man testing it and the other holding the lid
Kit and Matt from Wye Valley Meadery (photo courtesy of Wye Valley Meadery)

Run by brothers Matt and Kit, the Wye Valley Meadery use the honey from their own bees to brew their delicious mead.

Join them for an afternoon of mead making where you will learn the history of mead and how it is brewed, the different types of mead that you get around the world and the actual process of making it.

You get to choose your ingredients to make your own which will be ready to collect or delivered two weeks later. There is also sampling of mead and some of the honey.

Address: Wye Valley Meadery, Unit 4, Station Road Ind Est, Chepstow, NP16 5PF
Website: https://www.wyevalleymeadery.co.uk/

Silver Circle Distillery

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weighing out the ingredients (photo courtesy of Silver Circle Distillery)

If you would like to try your hand at making your own gin, visit Silver Circle Distillery in Catbrook. You will learn how gin is made, the botanicals used and create your own gin recipe. Then you will get to distil your gin in one of the copper stills, bottle it and take it home with you. During your gin making session, you will also get to sample several craft gins during your session.

Distillery tours are also available where you can see how the Wye Valley Gin is distilled, sample some of the gins and learn about the botanicals that are foraged locally.

Address: Silver Circle Distillery, Pleasant View Barn, Catbrook, Monmouthshire, NP16 6UL
Website: https//www.silvercircledistillery.com/

White Hare Distillery

The White Hare Distillery offers a Tasting Masterclass where you can taste 5 different gins and learn more about White Hare gin, and the botanicals used. There is a gift bag to take home with you.

Using single botanicals distillations, you can blend your own bottle of gin in the Blending Masterclass, which also includes everything offered in the Tasting Masterclass.

To take your gin journey further, try the “Be The Distiller” Masterclass, where you can distill your gin recipe.

Details of all the Masterclasses are on the website.

Address: 1 Bridge Street, Usk, Monmouthsire, NP15 1BQ
Website: https://www.whiteharedistillery.co.uk

Arts & Crafts Experiences

Monmouth Botanicals

Woman in lab coat measuring out fragrances into a jar on scale from a brown bottle with a row of brown bottles in front of her and botanical prints on the wall
create your own unique fragrance with Wales Perfumery (photo courtesy of Wales Perfumery)

If you have ever wanted to create your own unique perfume or scented candle? Join Louise at Wales Perfumery for a perfume course to learn about the history of perfume and choose from thirty-five raw ingredients to create your own bespoke blend. The candle making course is also two hours long and after finding out about candle making and how scent work when blended with wax, you will select the ones to perfume your own amber apothecary candle.

If you need accommodation, there are also two delightful cabins, choose from the Stargazer Cabin or the Apple Tree cabin.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monmouthbotanicals/
Website: https://www.walesperfumery.com/

Craft Renaissance

Near to the town of Usk, Craft Renaissance occupies converted barns and is a centre of workshops for working artists and makers. There is also a beautiful oak-framed gallery and the Craft Renaissance Farm Shop and Kitchen for coffee, lunch, afternoon tea or to pick up some fresh local produce. Free parking is available on site.

Special events, concerts in the summer and arts and crafts fairs are held in the outdoor stone amphitheatre.

There are classes for children and adults including

  • making your own wire animal sculpture with Lynne Littler
  • silver clay and traditional silversmithing with Annamarie
  • Stained glass workshops with Gill Rogers

Address: Craft Renaissance, The Parsonage, Kemeys Commander, Nr Usk, NP15 1JU
Website: https://www.craftrenaissance.co.uk/

Humble By Nature

a man and a woman shaping clay on a cob over outside
Shaping a door onto a cob over (photo courtesy of Humble by Nature)

There is a great range of arts and crafts courses on offer at Humble By Nature, on the farm owned by TV presenter Kate Humble and her husband Ludo Graham.

You can choose from an introduction to Raku Pottery, Lino Printing, Spinning Sheep Wool, Plant dying yarn,  making an outdoor oven, a variety of basket weaving courses from hearts, trugs or baskets or improve your photography on the Natural World Photography Course or the Dark Skies Course.

For these and other courses, have a look at the Craft Skills page on the website.

Address: Humble By Nature, Upper Meend Farm, Penallt, Nr Monmouth, NP25 4RP
Website: https://www.humblebynature.com/

Animal Husbandry Experiences and Courses

Wye Valley Meadery – Bee Keeping

Man with full bee keeping protection outfit on holding a comb of honey with bees on it
Bee Keeping course at the Wye Valley Meadery (photo courtesy of Wye Valley Meadery)

Learn the ins and outs of bee-keeping with Matt from Wye Valley Meadery. Matt will take you through all you need to know from safety, setting up a hive to preventing and treating diseases that might affect bees all the way through to extracting and processing the honey.

Courses are available in groups or on a one-to-one basis and tailored to your level of experience.

Address: Unit 4, Station Road Ind Est, Chepstow, NP16 5PF
Website: https://www.wyevalleymeadery.co.uk/

Humble By Nature

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From shearing sheep, goats or pigs for beginners or a full small holding beginners’ course, Humble By Nature will take you through all you need to know. You can also join them for A Day in the Lambing Shed or Lambing 24 hours in the Shed Courses.

The courses are perfect if you want to have some hands-on experience before embarking on having your own smallholding or keeping animals. Full details of all the animal husbandry courses on offer with dates and prices are on the website.

Address: Humble By Nature, Upper Meend Farm, Penallt, Nr Monmouth, NP25 4RP
Website: https://www.humblebynature.com/

If you are looking for an amazing place to stay in the area, try the Angel Hotel or check out Airbnb for a range of accommodation in Monmouthshire area

Map of the Courses and Experiences in Monmouthshire

I hope you enjoyed this guide to some of the courses and experiences on offer in Monmouthshire. Let me know in the comments which ones you would like to try.

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