Many of Monmouthshire County Council’s attractions and services will operate on Good Friday (3rd April), Easter Monday (6th April), Tuesday 7th April, May Day Holiday (May 4th) and Spring Bank Holiday (May 25th) even though its offices will be closed on these dates.
The council’s three museums at Abergavenny, Monmouth and Chepstow will maintain their usual opening hours of 11am to 5pm with free admission. Over the Easter break Chepstow will hold an egg hunt. Meanwhile, the county’s four leisure centres will be closed on bank holidays but open as usual on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th April with limited hours from noon to 8pm on Tuesday 7th April. Monmouthshire’s libraries will open on Tuesday 7th April only – Abergavenny and Caldicot from 9am to 7pm, Chepstow and Monmouth from 10am to 7pm, Gilwern from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6.30pm and Usk from 9am until 5.30pm – and will be closed on Saturday, April 4th.
Caldicot Castle hosts a number of attractive bank holiday events during the spring. On Good Friday through to Easter Monday, the Freemen of Gwent will hark back 700 years to re-enact the period of medieval history during the One Hundred Years War.
Fortress Wales makes a welcome return to the castle and adjoining country park for a fourth year on May 3rd and 4th with a living military history re-enactment encompassing the American Civil War, the Second World War and the Vietnam conflict as well as medieval times.
The Welsh Perry and Cider Festival revisits Caldicot Castle from 22nd to 25th May with its annual celebration of craft ciders and perries made from producers across Wales. Over 100 products will be on offer in the cider bar, complemented by an impressive live music line up, craft and food stalls, workshops and tutored tastings, as well as Medieval Monday – the family fun day.
Tintern’s Old Station, the council’s award winning countryside visitor centre in the heart of the Wye Valley opens its doors on all four bank holidays. The Old Station is noted for its award-winning tea rooms and is particularly popular as a picnic site as well as having a full programme of activities for youngsters.
Monmouth’s Shire Hall and its fascinating historical exhibits will also be available to the public over the bank holidays. The iconic eighteenth century building in the centre of the town is the setting for the court room and the grim holding cells that imprisoned the Chartists before they were transported to Australia, as well as the Henry V tapestry created by residents.
Saturday 4th April features a creative workshop in Shire Hall designed for those who wish to improve their flower-arranging skills and produce something new and exciting – phone 07721 955297 for details.
Also on Saturday 4th April a sponsored walk in aid of the council Chairman’s charities – Macmillan Cancer Support and Welsh Warrior; The Richard Hunt Foundation – sets out from Abergavenny Leisure Centre. For details, to register and obtain a sponsorship form contact email@example.com or the Chairman’s Office on 01633 644020.
For many residents bank holiday weekends are an ideal time to put the garden in order or indulge in a spring clean. The council’s four household waste recycling centres at Caerwent, Llanfoist, Mitchell Troy and Usk will be open from 8am to 6pm so that materials may be recycled or disposed of.
In addition, the council will maintain a rota of staff who will remain on call in case of emergencies during bank holidays.
County Councillor Bob Greenland, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member for Innovation, Enterprise and Leisure said: “This spring is the very time to seek out what Monmouthshire offers. There’s a lot going on the county, not least within the activities run by the council itself. Many people unaware of the attractions offered by such places as our wonderful museums, Caldicot Castle or The Old Station in Tintern could be in for a very pleasant surprise. These are situated in our pleasant market towns or within stunning countryside and contribute to a wonderful day out!”