Against a background of pastel-painted Georgian prosperity, the compact market town of Monmouth bustles and thrives. It sits at the confluence of the Rivers Wye and Monnow, and has hopped in and out of Wales over the centuries as the border shifted back and forth. Today it feels more English than Welsh.
One of Monmouth's claims to fame is Rockfield Studios, a few miles to the northwest. Established in the 1960s, the studio has produced a string of hit albums, including Queen's A Night at the Opera, Oasis' (What's the Story) Morning Glory? and Super Furry Animals' Rings Around the World, and has been used by artists from Iggy Pop to Coldplay. It's not unknown for rock stars to be spotted in Monmouth's pubs and restaurants.