In a Nutshell
Monmouth is a market town right on the Welsh border in Monmouthshire. It has a long history dating back to the Normans and consequently the town boasts a wealth of styles in its architecture with notable Tudar and Georgian buildings. It's a working town that serves the local community so expect supermarkets and banks etc along the main street, but it combines these with local independent shops, cafes and galleries.
On the A40, the town lies on the main route from Ross on Wye down to Newport and South Wales, so for years we zoomed passed the town without stopping, but it is definitely worth turning off and spending hour or two to explore.
Parking and Pooping
Turning in from the main junction on the A40, the road signs take you right and around the north of the town and then down Monnow St but this seems a long way around. We find it easier to turn left and follow the road round to bring you out on Monnow St about half way down, turning left towards the car parks.
The bulk of the parking lies at the southern end of Monnow Street. Follow the road to where it bends left in front of the Monnow Bridge and you have parking to the right where the market sets up. There is also parking slightly further on to the left behind the shops. Both car parks give you lots of grass, whether it be the river bank or the extensive playing fields and there are public toilets by the Monnow Bridge. There is plenty of on-street parking on Monnow St too.
Although Monmouth has a busy main shopping road, traffic levels are not too bad and in general pavements are wide enough for easy walking. Pavement widths vary though, with some wider sections in the southern section of the street (handily where the bulk of the cafes and coffee shops are) and some narrow sections at the northern end as you near the Shire Hall.
There is no grass verges or greens in the centre, but you're never far away from the river banks either side of the shops if needs be. There are only a couple of benches by the Shire Hall and a number of the coffee shops has pavement seating.
Past the Shire Hall you'll find the pedestrianised Church St with its collection of independent shops.
Keeping the Humans Amused
Monmouth has a good selection of shops, although less in the way of obvious gift or tourist shops. Alongside the usual high st supermarkets and brands, there are local craft and antique shops. Church St offers a very traditional greengrocer and the oldest working theatre in the UK, the Savoy and of course at the southern end of Mannow St is the medieval bridge.
Monmouth is situated at the junction of three rivers, so river walks abound, and being in the Wye Valley you have the Forest of Dean on your doorstep. A few miles south lies Tintern Abbey which is dog friendly and set in a beautiful position on alongside the River Wye. Raglan Castle is another ruin worth visiting and again is just a few miles south west.
Along Monnow St there are a number of branded and independent coffee shops and cafes, most with pavement seating where pup can sit and people watch. Further up by the Shire Hall, there is a small mews with a couple of cafes and a bakery with plenty of outdoor seating in a quiet spot.
For hot food try the Gatehouse pub by Monnow Bridge, which is dog friendly.