Stage 4

Llanthony Priory to Abergavenny: 12 miles.

Stage 4 of The Monmouthshire Way starts with a valley walk along the 'U' shaped Vale of Eywas along well maintained paths. Having been above the valley on the previous stage, to walk along the valley floor provides a completely different perspective whilst still maintaining fabulous views. The twisted church of St Martin is visited at Cwmyoy. The church was built on moraine left behind by the retreating glacier, and it is this morain that has shifted through the centuries causing the church to take its distinctive shape. Inside the church the 11th-12th century Wayfarer Cross will be found. This is a rare example of a stone carved cross with Christ depicted within the carving.

The Monmouthshire Way leaves the Vale of Eywas by climbing through woodland to reach the northern slopes of Twyn y Gaer, an ancient hillfort. A descent follows to Forest Coal Pit before the hard work to the summit of Sugar Loaf commences. Walkers who don't have the energy to climb to the summit can reach Abergavenny via either Rholben or Deri ridges, but it would be a real shame to miss out on the summit. Sugar Loaf is a conical shaped mountain and provides wonderful views over the Usk Valley towards the central Brecon Beacons of Pen y Fan and Corn Du as well as a good view of Crug Hywel commonly known as Table Mountain.

A straightforward descent along Rholben on short sheep cropped grass takes the Monmouthshire Way to Abergavenny.