Even though the rain slashed through every window frame, the terrible weather couldn’t dampen the majesty of Tintern Abbey.

Whether rain or shine, this 900 year old abbey stands as regal as the time of its prime, transporting visitors right into the heart of the middle ages of the Wye Valley.

A short drive over the river Severn in Gloucestershire, Tintern Abbey lies 10 miles within Wales.

Why Is Tintern Abbey is Worth Visiting?

  • Brilliant example of British Gothic Architecture.
  • Ruins of once magnificent abbey exposed to elements in current day.
  • Visitors are allowed to wander inside, not just view from a far.
  • Short trip over from England (Bristol Area).
  • Affordable entrance fee.
  • Placards sharing more information about the site (no overkill).
  • Located in beautiful, tree dense valley.
  • A real taste of what life would have been like during “Game of Thrones”.
  • Time capsule of Dark Ages architecture.

Life at Tintern Abbey

Because visitors are allowed to wander inside the cathedral itself, it’s easy to imagine monks shuffling around by candle light in the middle of the night, making their way downstairs for midnight prayers.

The grade 1 listed building continues to reveal the lifestyle of its inhabitants from nearly 1000 years ago, with secret walkways still in tact, plaques explaining what each room was used for and high archways clinging on for centuries.

Unfortunately, the abbey fell into disrepair after monasteries were formally ended between 1536 and 1541. Lead from the roof was sold off, assets were sent to the royal treasury and the abbey granted to the local lord. This ended the way of life for those in the monastery and decay of the abbey began.

Tintern Abbey Architecture

Tintern Abbey is a perfect time capsule of British Gothic architecture. Marked by pointed arches, vaulted roofs, and enlarged windows, even in ruins it is an exceptionally beautiful building rich with atmosphere.

TRAVEL TIP: Note how the pillars are being eroded by the rain on one side more than the other. 

What to Wear to Tintern Abbey

While Tintern Abbey was once an abbey, there is no required dress code (unlike the vatican). However, I recommend sneakers for your exploration as the ground is not level with the odd stone protruding here and there. The grass can be slippery when wet, which makes trainers a better choice.

While some parts of the roof is kept together by wood, the rain pushes in at an angle and it can be very wet. Bring an umbrella as well as a camera cover if you intend on taking photographs or vlogs in wet conditions.

Tintern Abbey Ticket Prices for Visitors 2020

Adult: £7.30
Family: £21.20 (2 adults & 3 children)
Under 17’s: £4.40
Over 65’s: £5.80
Under 5’s: Free

What To Do in Tintern Abbey

Visit the abbey in the morning or afternoon and enjoy a light lunch at the Anchor Inn. I recommend the Welsh Rarebit, yum!
Please note that dogs ARE allowed on the ground floor level of Tintern Abbey, but they must be on a lead.
Drones are not allowed to fly within the abbey.
Smoking is not allowed within the abbey.
For more detailed information such as seasonal opening times and irregular events, visit the official Tintern Abbey website.

Last Impression

Tintern Abbey is the perfect example as to why I love travelling to Europe. This building is a beautiful, practical example of the evolution of architecture in Europe and are so important to us preserving “where we’ve come from” in order to know “where we’re going”. Beautiful buildings like the Shard wouldn’t exist today if we didn’t have the time pieces from the past. Exquisite.

Watch the Vlog


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