The City of Newport sits on the banks of the River Usk in South Wales, UK. Once a thriving port, these days it is more people and less coal that passes through Newport.
2010 was one of the most exciting in the long history of Newport, with the world's major golfing tournament the 2010 Ryder Cup being held at Celtic Manor Resort. The whole of the Welsh golfing community and indeed the tourist trade were excited about the prospect of the world's best golfers competing in South Wales. The success of the tournament established Newport as a Mecca for golfing holidays and indeed established Wales's reputation for golfing holidays.
In January 2008 Newport was awarded 'Fairtrade City' status, and currently has 28 retail outlets and 14 cafes, all offering fair-trade products. Being a city, it has everything you could expect of high street shopping. Well known stores include Primark, HMV, W H Smith, Marks & Spencer, MK One, Game, Boots and BHS.
The two storey covered market is a popular shopping venue, with a wide selection of stalls selling everything you could possibly need, from fruit and veg to batteries and screwdrivers.
Newport Gallery is definitely a place worth visiting if you have a passion for art. It incorporates paintings, decorative ceramics, watercolours, and contemporary prints into its three different collections, the Hildred Collection, Fox Collection and Wait Collection, all displaying works by artists such as L S Lowry, Stephen Conroy and Newport's own 19th century artist James Flewitt Mullock.
The City Cinema situated on Bridge Street, shows the latest blockbuster films.
Newport Wetlands Reserve: Newport Wetlands Reserve is a huge wildlife reserve located at the edge of Newport, attracting a diversity of wildlife such as orchids, butterflies, dragonflies and otters. Footpaths and cycle paths make it easy for you spot them and the recently opened Environmental Education and Visitor Centre gives you a place to relax whilst watching the birds in their natural environment. Visitors can also enjoy a coffee at the café also housed in the Visitor Centre or buy a gift from the reserve's shop, whilst children can participate in the activities and events held here annually.
Tredegar House: Tredegar House is a splendid 17th century Charles II mansion. Sitting in 90 acres of parkland, there is much to explore both in and around Tredegar House. Take a tour of the incredible staterooms and servants' quarters, whilst appreciating the earliest surviving part of the building, dating back to the early 1500s. The House holds many events throughout the year, such as themed tours of the building, the gardens, exhibitions, not to mention Halloween and Christmas celebrations.
Fourteen Locks: Alongside the Monmouth and Brecon Canal, just outside of Newport, you can find the Fourteen Locks Canal Visitor Centre. Take a 'virtual' journey along the canal; work a lock without stepping foot out of the Centre. Trace the growth and decline of the canal and discover its role transporting products such as limestone, coal, iron, and bricks from South Wales's valleys to Newport Docks. A tearoom with an outside patio, offers refreshments. Boat trips along the canal are organised from time to time, giving a unique opportunity to experience the canal and locks first hand.
Cefn Mably Farm Park: This farm park is a huge hit with young children, who can't wait to explore the farm and discover the number of rare animals living here. They can take pony rides, touch and feed the small animals, and view the larger animals in an impressive undercover animal viewing area.
Cwm Hedd Fishing Lakes: Cwm Hedd is an 8 acre lake, 10 minutes from Newport city centre, and a perfect place for fishing. The lake is regularly stocked with rainbow, blue trout, brownies, and tigers. The area surrounding the lake is also an ideal place for an enjoyable walk.
Get Out—Go Country: Get Out—Go Country! is the perfect place to head to if you love outdoor activities. The team arrange challenging but enjoyable outdoor adventure activities, usually at Cwm Hedd Lakes. Take part in any activities from canoeing, kayaking and rafting, to team building and archery.
Castles and Forts
The original castle would have been a motte and bailey settlement constructed opposite the St Woolos cathedral. If the legend is anything to go by, the cathedral was built as a church in the 5th century by St Gwynllyw, but by the 9th century had become known as St Woolos cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of Monmouth. However, it was between 1327 and 1386 that the stone castle, of which the ruins remain today, was built by the Norman Hugh d'Audle or his son-in-law Ralph who was the Earl of Stafford.
The castle had an active life for 200 years; it was seldom occupied by its lord and for a short time in the 16th century, it was the home of Jasper Tudor, Henry VIII's uncle. After 1521 when the third Duke of Buckingham was executed, the castle was neglected and sadly in the 18th century, most of it had been destroyed and only its ruins remained. Still, it is these same romantic ruins which still stand and which we can still appreciate today.
The name 'Newport' derives from the fact that Caerleon, also in South Wales, would have once been the old port. However, when the cargo and porting ships became too big to fit into Caerleon's port, a new port was built at Newport, and so the city was born. The name in Welsh, 'Casnewydd yn Wysg', translates as 'New Castle in Usk', referring to the old motte and bailey settlement in existence before the stone castle.
Newport also played a vital role during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. With many pits and mines in the area, South Wales became key suppliers of coal and iron, which was transported down the rivers and new canals towards the ever-growing Newport Docks. As a result of the Industrial Revolution, Newport became one of Wales's largest cities and a focal point for the mining communities of South Wales.
In June 2002, a medieval ship was discovered on the banks of the river Usk during construction of the Riverfront Theatre. The ship was excavated by a team of archaeologists and lifted from the banks timber by timber.