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Things to do in Newport (Gwent), South Wales

On the banks of the River Usk with its own Cathedral and Castle, Newport has a long and colourful history going back over 2000 years, when Romans from nearby Caerleon put it on the map. This once thriving port is also renowned for its part in the Chartist movement, largely responsible for democracy, as we know it today. Many lost their lives in the uprising in Westgate Square in 1839, fighting for the right to vote.

Today Westgate Street and the rest of Newport centre are enjoyable to wander round, as many parts are free from traffic and there are excellent shopping facilities. For a glimpse of the past, the indoor Victorian Market offers a range of goods from local produce to antiques. There are also 400 acres of parkland in which to relax.

Newport Public Art & Sites of Interest

  • St. Woolos Cathedral - Site of worship since the early 6th century. St Woolos Cathedral is a building of considerable antiquity.
  • Newport Castle - 14th century Grade II Listed Building, constructed here to guard the river crossing.'Murenger' Public House - 16th century, Grade II Listed Building, possibly the town house of the first High Sheriff of Monmouthshire, Sir Charles Herbert.
  • Westgate Hotel - Stormed during the Chartist uprising in 1839, the bullet holes are still visible in the entrance pillars.
  • Chartist Statues - Commissioned for the 150th anniversary of the Chartist uprising of 1839.
  • Chartist Murals - Mosaic mural off John Frost Square which commemorate the Chartist uprising.
  • Civic Centre Murals - Hans Feibusch - Sequence of painted murals tell the story of Newport from the Celtic era to 1964.
  • 'In the Nick of Time' - A cross between a cuckoo clock and an expresso machine - the only white knuckle clock in the world.
  • The Forester Locomotive - Refurbished by British Steel, this is a reminder of the age of steam and iron in Newport.Steel Wave - This major riverside sculpture by Peter Fink is one of Newport's most controversial pieces of public Art.

Newport Museum and Art Gallery are in one building in John Frost Square making it a focal point for the visitor. Newport Museum contains a wealth of material from Roman archaeology to natural history. The Art Gallery has fascinating collections of historic and contemporary British paintings, and a changing exhibition programme.

The Transporter Bridge - Opened in 1906 to provide a crossing between the west and east banks of the river Usk, there are believed to be only five other bridges like this in the world. This aerial ferry allowed people to cross the river without obstructing shipping. An unusual sight, the Transporter Bridge, is a fascinating piece of engineering which won the 'Europa Nostra' Heritage award.

Newport has one of the finest leisure and entertainment centres in the country, which holds world class concerts and hosts a wide range of events, as well as having popular sports facilities. Newport is home to one of the largest complexes of championship golf courses in Europe, The Celtic Manor Resort.

Newport is surrounded by beautiful landscapes; The Wye Valley, an area of Outstanding Beauty; the undulating Vale of Usk, famous for its salmon fishing; and the Brecon Beacons National Park and Forest of Dean both of which are less than an hour's drive.

Caerleon - 3 miles north-east of Newport is Caerleon 'the fortress of the Legion' was one of the most important military sites in Britain under the Roman Empire. Today you can see it brought to life at the Fortress Baths. Visit The Roman Legionary Museum where there is a hands on section for children.

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