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Tintern ain't too tatty for me
Tintern Abbey (Tintern Village, Wales)
Member Name: catsholiday
Tintern Abbey (Tintern Village, Wales)
Date: 04/08/13, updated on 04/08/13 (51 review reads)
Advantages: A beautiful ruin with interesting history
Disadvantages: Can be wet if the weather isn't good
On our recent short break to South Wales we had a list of places we would like to visit and explore. On looking through our many books on Places to see before you die this came up as one of the 501 must see places.
This Abbey ruins were built way back beginning in 1131but they were not finished for another four hundred years, This was a Cistercian abbey with farm, hospital and accommodation for the monks who lived and worked there. It was the first Cistercian abbey in Wales.
Sadly Henry VIII 's destructive official took it over in 1536 and destroyed most of it. Despite the fact that it is a ruin today it is still awe inspiring in its beauty and sheer size.
The day we visited was a sunny (yes you did read that correctly) Sunday in June and the car parks were packed. The car parks are pay and display and cost £3 but you can get a refund back on that for anything you buy in the Abbey souvenir shop. All these car park were full and we had to park in an overflow car park behind the Anchor pub. This also cost £3 and we could get that back in the form of a drink in the pub or spend it in the café attached to the pub which is what we did.
OPENING HOURS AND PRICES
The Abbey is managed and maintained by Cadw which is the Welsh equivalent of the English heritage or National trust and a very fine job they have done too.
The Abbey is open 29 March - 30 June - 9.30 - 5pm
1 July - 31 August - 9.30 - 6pm
1 Sept - 31 Oct - 9.30 - 5.pm
1 November - 28 Feb- Mon - Sat 10 am - 4 pm Sun 11 am - 4 pm
Closed 24,25, 26 Dec and Jan 1
Family ticket - 2 adults and all children under 16 costs £13.50
Seniors, students and under 16s £3.40
Children under 5 FREE
Disable visitor plus companion FREE
Despite the fact the car parks were full to overflowing somehow the actual Abbey and grounds were fairly sparsely peopled which was lucky as I hate visiting places that are packed. My husband hates strangers in his photo and when we visit crowded places we have to stand for ages waiting for no one to be in the photo. Photoshop get rid of the ones that manage to sneak in!
You pay for the entrance in the main shop and then after that you can wander as you feel throughout the abbey and grounds.
The kitchen, laundry, accommodation and hospital are pretty much just low stone walls now but you can sort of see the layout where they stood. The information signs explain what was there and have artist drawings of what it must have looked like when it was all still standing.
The abbey or church is the main attraction as the walls are still standing with all the window arches and columns inside. The' carpet' is now grass but when you are in the church it is easy to see how magnificent it must have once been. It I easily as big as some of the larger Cathedrals in the country and somehow even more romantic and Gothic being a ruin than it might have been in its full glory.
It was one of those places which appeals to artist and photographer as there were so many really attractive parts. Somehow ruins have their own special attractiveness. It did help that we had beautiful blue sky for our visit as a visit in the rain would not have been nearly as appealing.
There is disabled parking on site and there are also cycle stands. Public toilets are near the car park but I am not sure what they are like as I used the one in the pub café. They do have baby changing facilities. The entire site is all on ground level and accessible to all though pushing a wheel chair could be a bit of a challenge.You can even take your dog provided it is on a lead. There is no smoking on the site and if you want more information then you can buy a guide book; I think they were about £4.50 each.
The gift shop sold the usual souvenirs, postcards, welsh woolen clothing and books, mug etc. I have to admit we didn't spend too long looking around a we never buy souvenirs as we have enough clutter in our house without adding any more.
On the day we went there were families with children walking along the walls and generally running around, couples and singles sitting in sunny spots just looking or reading, a couple of artists sitting and drawing and many more of us with cameras trying to get the perfect shop.
I would certainly recommend Tintern Abbey for a visit as it is a beautiful, very atmospheric ruin. We were very lucky as we had a beautiful sunny day and I would imagine on a cold and wet day the appeal might be slightly less as it is all out in the open with no shelter at all.
This is the kind of place where you can learn as much about the history as you want or just look around and been awe truck by the sheer beauty of the place. It is hard to imagine that almost 1000 years ago people built this place using very simple tools. Even today it would take years and many skilled craftsmen to build it and we have modern technology to help. It is quite breath taking and makes you appreciate what incredible talent our ancestor had.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same username.
Summary: A ruined Abbey in South Wales
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