Interesting Things to do in Newport

Rebecca Arkell | January 16, 2013

As one of our branches is based in Newport, we thought it might be a good idea to put together a list of interesting places to visit here as well, just in case you find yourself at a loose end. Although Newport is a relatively small town there is still lots to do here, especially on a sunny day! If you have any other suggestions then feel free to contact us and we’ll add them to the list.

1. Tredegar House

Tredegar House is located just outside Newport and was home to the Morgans for over 500 years, one of Wale’s greatest (and most eccentric) families. The house itself is a mixture of 16th and 18th century grandeur, and after being fully restored in the 1970s is in beautiful condition. It contains everything you would expect from a stately home – fantastic paintings and tapestries, original wood carvings and exquisite furniture, all surrounded by stunning grounds. However, the most interesting part of the houses long history is the family who lived there. During the hour long tour you will discover all the eccentricities of the Morgans and be told stories of the man who was saved from death by his horse, the woman who thought she was a bird and the pet alligator that used to live in the bath! Tredegar House also played host to the filming of the 2008 Christmas episode of Doctor Who.

To learn more about Tredegar House, including prices and how to find it, have a look at the National Trust website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tredegar-house/.

2. RSPB Wetlands Reserve

The wetlands reserve is located just outside Newport next to the Severn Estuary and should not simply be overlooked as a place for bird watching. Although this area has been labelled as a ‘site of special scientific interest’ and does offer the chance to see a variety of wildlife, it is also very picturesque. With walking and cycle trails throughout the area and well positioned picnic areas, the wetlands are the ideal place to take the family on a summer’s day. There is also a very nice café at the centre of the park which offers panoramic views over the lakes. However, I would still say this was only a summer attraction unless you are a keen bird watcher and want to brave the cold!

You can find out more about the reserve on the RSPB website: http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/n/newportwetlands/

3. Newport Cathedral

Thought by some to be more impressive that Llandaff Cathedral, St Woolos Cathedral just outside Newport city centre is well worth a visit. There has been a place of worship on Stow Hill since the 500AD and since then the church has been added to several times, although a lot of the structure dates back to the 15th century. An interesting face about St Woolos is that in 1050 the building was attacked by pirates and had to be completely rebuilt.

This is still a fully functioning place of worship and you are welcome to join in any of the events that take place here. http://www.churchinwales.org.uk/monmouth/people/cathedral/.

4. Newport Museum and Art Gallery

Although the museum is housed in quite a dowdy 1970s building looks can be deceiving, as it actually has quite a lot to offer. Here you can learn about the historical importance of Newport and the impact industry had on this previously sleepy town, as well as a very interesting exhibition about the recent archaeological discoveries in the Roman town of Caerwent (10 miles away).

The museum is free to get into and it’s a nice way to while away an hour or two in Newport city centre. http://www.newport.gov.uk/_ dc/index.cfm?fuseaction= thingstosee.museum

5. Riverfront Arts Centre

The arts centred opened in 2004 and sees a variety of different theatre productions come through its doors all year round. With a nice open café and a small art gallery this theatre offer a pleasant evening out. There are also dance and drama classes available for children at the weekend. You can find out more at their website: http://www.newport.gov.uk/theriverfront/.