Abergavenny today is perhaps most famous for its markets. Each Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, the retail market is held in the centre of town. The spacious 19th century Market Hall is used for a variety of markets, craft fairs and antique and collector's markets.
Blackwood (Coed Dduon) is a busy shopping centre, with a population of 23,300. It has an outdoor market, which opens three days a week. As the town has grown, it has almost merged with the neighbouring villages of Pontllanfraith, Cefn Fforest and Ynysddu.
USK, an attractive town to visit at any time of the year, is at its very best in summer, when the streets are radiant with colourful flower arrangements in window boxes, flower beds and hanging baskets.
Tredegar is a town rich in history and prides itself on many things including its famous son Aneurin Bevan, the founder of the National Health Service. Its most prominent feature is the town clock, built in 1858, which stands in what was the Market Square, now known as The Circle.
Oakdale was built in the early 1900s to a radical new design. All homes were built with unheard-of luxuries like hot and cold running water, gardens and bathrooms as standard,and the village was equipped with its own hospital, hotel, shops, school and churches and chapels.
Newbridge, as its name implies, was the name given by the people to land around the "new bridge" built across the Ebbw (Afon Ebwy) towards the end of the eighteenth century. At this time Newbridge was a predominantly Welsh agrarian community. In the valley, the chief farms were Ty-Llydd, where the new vicarage now stands, Tynewydd, where Newbridge Hotel stands, Ty-hir, the house which stands next to the Beaufort Arms, and the Newbridge Corn mill which stood near the South Celynen Colliery.
MAGOR is Gwent's boom village, but it's a description not well liked by established villagers. Nevertheless, the village is growing at such a rate it could well outpace the services it requires. But make no mistake, it's a desirable and friendly place to live.
FIVE MILES south west of Chepstow is the pleasant country town of Caldicot, mentioned in the Doomsday Book in the 11th century. It sits on the coastal plain of the River Severn at the centre of an area rich in Roman history.
Pontypool (Pontypwl) is one of the major towns in Torfaen County Borough, with 36,064 people. Although in the valleys, it was never a coal-mining town. Instead, Pontypool owes much of its position to iron, and to the Hanbury family, who bought land there in 1588 for ironmaking.
Ebbw Vale (Glyn Ebwy) stands at the head of the valley of the Ebbw Fawr river and is the administrative centre of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council. With a population of 24,422, it is also the largest town in the County Borough.
Cwmbran, Wales' first new town, has grown into 'a Welsh new town success story'. Over 50 years it has developed into one of the largest pedestrianised shopping centres in South Wales. With a population in excess of 47,000, it is the biggest centre of population and commerce in Torfaen.
Brynmawr (Big Hill), was originally known as Gwaen Helygen (Marsh of the Willow). A mere village in 1800, it was a market town in the county of Brecknock and was formed into an ecclesiastical parish in 1875.