Literally a stone's throw from the English border, Tintern is one of the region's most romantic monastic ruins. Founded in 1131 and dissolved by Henry VIII in 1536, it has inspired its fair share of poets and painters over the years—most famously J.M.W. Turner, who painted the transept covered in moss and ivy, and William Wordsworth, who idolized the setting in his poem "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey." Come early or late to avoid the crowds. The abbey,
5 miles north of Chepstow and 19 miles southeast of Abergavenny, is on the banks of the River Wye.