Andrew Walker, of Abbey Dore, sent us a letter saying that he prefers to shop in Abergavenny rather than Hereford. The Welsh town is easier to get to, parking is cheaper and well located, there are more independent shops and very few closed ones. Overall, he said, it was a more inviting atmosphere. 

As someone who has lived and worked in Hereford for most of my life, I fully appreciate some of the negative comments that the city has started to attract. 


Traffic and extortionate parking prices are, of course, two of the biggest bugbears. Why, if like Mr Walker you live on the outskirts of the county in a place such as Ewyas Harold, would you go to Hereford when you go to Abergavenny in half the time? 

But in my opinion Hereford still has plenty to offer, with an array of fantastic independent shops. Name me a prettier street than Church Street? And lots of high streets are suffering, so seeing empty shops in Hereford is nothing unusual. 

You also have the beautiful cathedral and Wye. 

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That being said, I was intrigued to find out if Abergavenny was better than Hereford, especially as I can't remember the last time I went there. 

So I recently visited the town on a Sunday with my family. 

Thankfully, Belmont Road wasn't busy so I was soon out of the city. I live northside and like every driver in Hereford hate having to navigate rush-hour traffic. 

My first task was to find somewhere to park in Abergavenny. Castle Street, just a short walk away from the town centre, offered two hours free on a Sunday, with just £1.20 for the rest of the day.

Hereford Times:

Weekly prices are £1.80 for two hours up for £5.60 all day. In comparison, four hours for a central car park in Hereford is £7.20 so I was already quids in.

We then had a drink at the Somerset Arms, a cosy pub that offers live screenings of sports matches and affordable drinks. 

After enjoying some time there, we decided to have a look around the town centre.

Hereford Times: People enjoying the sun in Abergavenny

Some of the shops were closed because it was a Sunday, which was a shame, but I liked the look of the town, especially the square where you can enjoy a chat and have a chat.

There are also some lovely independent businesses, especially in Cibi Walk.

Hereford Times: Cupcakes at La Creme PatisserieCupcakes at La Creme Patisserie (Image: Paul Rogers/Hereford Times)

One we popped into was La Creme Patisserie, which serves a wide range of delicious cupcakes. We definitely enjoyed eating ours!

Hereford Times: Paul Rogers enjoying a cupcake in AbergavennyPaul Rogers enjoying a cupcake in Abergavenny (Image: Paul Rogers/Hereford Times)

Overall, it was a good few hours spent and I can understand why many people have told me that Abergavenny is a lovely town. That's not to say that Hereford isn't lovely too, which of course it is!