Newport tourist information & travel guide
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Newport tourist guide
Another city that regularly takes the honours for its wonderful summer floral displays is the city of Newport, a regular winner of Wales in Bloom. The city is renowned for having what is considered the best entertainment and leisure centre in the UK. Of course it goes without saying that the city's most famous landmark has to be the Grade 1 listed Transporter Bridge crossing the river Usk, one of only three in the UK and eight in the entire world. The city also has an impressive public art trail of mural mosaics and statues. It is only 12 miles (approximately 19km) from Cardiff, and as the third largest city in Wales is less than a decade old, although it has held its town charted since 1385.
The centre of the city offers a wonderful mix of independent family retailers and of course the usual mix of well-known national names. There are several arcades, noted for their more eclectic independent mix of shops! There is an indoor market hall and continental and farmers' markets are held throughout the year, selling the best in Welsh and international produce. With a great mix of restaurant tastes from across the continents, as well as some enticing pubs and inns, the self-catering holiday maker will never go hungry.
Despite being acknowledged for its fine leisure centre, it has a glorious clash of architecture, where it has a medieval castle and cathedral surrounded by 'cheerful' Victorian buildings, making the city rather unique. The town is also home to a wonderful museum featuring, amongst Roman and wildlife collections, objects from the famous Chartist rebellion, important to the area because it included former mayor of the city John Frost, and ended there, some say, quite unsuccessfully. The art gallery features quite important national works of British sculpture, paintings and ceramics.
There are a couple of attractions in Newport that deserve a mention. Set in a stunning 90 acre park, Tredegar House is not only one the finest country house in South Wales, but also cited as one of the best examples of a Charles II mansion in Britain. Parts of the building actually date back to the 15th Century, and a tour provides a great insight into the upstairs downstairs life of times past.
Just outside the city is the famous Fourteen Locks canal visitor centre, perfect for a picnic and a walk (guided or unguided). The fascinating visitor centre presents a canal journey of growth to decline - and everything in between. You can learn about who used to work the canal, see how a lock works (even try a virtual one yourself without leaving the visitor centre!), and trace the huge impact these mighty waterways once had on the economy of Wales. The 160 foot rise of the 14 locks is still an impressive sight today.