If any village has been shaped by its natural environment, it's Tintern.
Twelfth century Cistercians recognised the beauty of the Wye Valley then they founded an abbey here in 1131. Only for Henry VIII to destroy it 400 years later, creating one of the most iconic ruins in the whole of Britain. Which, in turn, became a must-see on the Picturesque Wye Tour, made popular by the Rev. William Gilpin's 1782 book "Observations on the River Wye".
But Tintern hasn't always been a place of refuge and tranquility. It's river links and natural resources contributed in the 16th-18th centuries to the growth of industry on a scale that's hard to believe today. Britain's first brass was produced at Tintern. And the valley filled with wireworks while flat-bottomed barges navigated the river upstream from nearby Brockweir.
A surprising amount of Tintern's industrial and monastic heritage remains, if you look beyond the beautiful wooded valley setting. A working water wheel is in situ at the Abbey Mill shops complex. An ancient vineyard has been replanted and now produces award-winning wines.
And the former railway station, which brought Victorian visitors to Tintern, is now a popular countryside attraction with a tearoom, shop, woodland walks and a Wye Valley exhibition, telling the complete story of the Wye Tour.
See the village website for more on visiting Tintern.