It’s been a perfect picnic spot since Georgian times in the 18th century. And where’s this ideal place? Why, The Kymin, of course.
On a steep hill overlooking the town on Monmouth in the Wye valley on the English-Welsh border, The Kymin has a number of features that you wouldn’t associate with an inland site (although it’s not that far from the Severn Estuary).
There are two buildings at the top of the hill: the Round House (which is open only on certain days, and not when we visited) and the Naval Temple, constructed in 1800 to commemorate the British naval victory at the Battle of the Nile, but also British admirals who had played major roles in confronting the French leading up to that date.
Admiral Lord Nelson and his mistress Emma, Lady Hamilton visited The Kymin in 1802.
On a clear day the views from the top must be spectacular to the south and west, towards the Brecon Beacons and the Welsh valleys. On the day we visited it had been overcast in the morning, and the cloud was beginning to burn away only by early afternoon when we arrived. But it was still very hazy and we couldn’t see many miles beyond Monmouth itself.
It’s a very narrow and winding road (but with passing places) from the main road A4136 up to The Kymin. But the climb is certainly worth the effort – if you can find the exit from the A4136 (traveling east to west towards Monmouth would be much easier, since the road leading up to The Kymin is on a sharp bend).