If you are spending some time in south Wales and are interested in archaeology, then the ancient Roman town and fortress at Caerleon, on the banks of the river Usk is well worth a visit. Caerleon has a range of restaurants and pubs, with The Priory being one of the oldest and best in the town.
The Hanbury Arms in Caerleon, Monmouthshire, is an old, whitewashed Brains pub situated on the banks of the Usk. In summer you can sit outside and drink or eat. The pub’s claim to fame is that it has been visited by such notable English poets as Wordsworth, who wrote his lines on Tintern Abbey while in the area, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The inside is whitewashed with a black wooden bar and original wooden beams. It retains a lot of its original character. The food is good and reasonably priced if you choose the 2 for £10.99 options, which include Welsh beef burgers and battered cod and chips. The salmon fillet and steaks are more expensive with the salmon being a little over the £9 mark with steaks and other dishes being around £16. However, the food is good and worth the price. There are Brains beers (from the Welsh brewery in Cardiff) and the Reverend James bitter, as well as a monthly guest ale. There is a good choice of lagers (beer in European terms) and some wines to choose from, although the wine list is not extensive.
The pub is a few metres away from the Welsh arts and crafts centre, the Fwrrwm where you can find a café/restaurant which serves traditional food such as cawl (lamb stew) and other Welsh dishes, and as you would expect there are many items to buy as souvenirs. Some of these are the Welsh love spoons which were carved by a man to give to his intended bride. Some of the larger items are Welsh dressers which are truly handsome pieces of furniture.
Caerleon is close to the Celtic Manor and the international golf course, but is, nevertheless a quiet village, with the old stone pub, “The Bull” at the top of the village, some hundreds of yards from the Hanbury. There is an art gallery and post office in the village, and just outside is a university faculty of education.
The surrounding countryside affords scenic walks and in summer you can find a good spot to have a picnic, weather permitting. Caerleon is much more picturesque than the neighbouring city of Newport, and worth a visit – whether or not you are interested in golf.