The monastic ruins of Tintern Abbey are nestled in the heart of the Wye Valley area of outstanding natural beauty and can boast 900 years of history in their walls. This was the first Cistercian abbey built in Wales and only the second in Britain, and despite now being exposed to the elements, it remains one of the most stunning surviving examples of gothic architecture in the country.
Tintern Abbey was founded by Walter de Clare, lord of Chepstow, in 1131. Monks lived, worked and prayed here for 400 years until the abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1536, along with all other monasteries in England, Wales and Ireland.
The buildings were left to ruin until the 18th Century, when interest was revived thanks to the beauty of the surrounding area. Tintern Abbey became famous as a subject of various songs, poems and works of art, with William Wordsworth among the figures to wax lyrical about this medieval landmark and its rural setting.
Today visitors can explore the ruins at their own leisure, perhaps during a longer day trip through the Wye Valley's incredible natural landscape. Tintern Abbey is open all year round with modern facilities on site for tourists, making it an easy place to access and enjoy.
Tintern Abbey is adjacent to, and can even be viewed from, the A466. There is a regular bus service to Chepstow.
A recent conservation programme on the abbey's most iconic features should ensure it remains a popular visitor attraction for decades - and even centuries - to come.