Newport is the third largest city in Wales and is situated on the River Usk approximately twelve miles from Cardiff. As a port near iron and coal fields, its population boomed during the industrial revolution. It is known as the cathedral and university city and is an area of unitary authority in South East Wales with a population of approximately 140,000. The average temperature in this part of the UK is 7 degrees Celcius in January and 21 degrees in July. Languages spoken are Welsh and English and the currency is Pound Sterling GBP.
The history of people from this area can be traced back to 250,000 years ago, throughout the 20th Century, with evidence of the Romans, the Silures, the Vikings, the Normans, and the Beaker people. The gallery collection in the Newport Museum contains collections of paintings, decorative ceramics, craft, and contemporary prints related to the history of the city.
Ringland Wood is situated on a calcerous rock deposit and has a large rookery. The flora in the wood includes early purple orchids. The Wetlands on the edge of the city is a haven for wildlife and at Cwmcarn you can hire bikes to explore the area closer and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Cwmcarn Forest lies just one mile out of town on a previously mined area which has been turned into peaceful forests with a play area and barbeque facilities for the enjoyment of family time under mature pine trees.
The South Wales 2000 shooting ground offers great facilities and caters for beginners and experienced clay target shooters of any age. The Greenmeadow Community Farm is a 150-acre working farm with a nature trail, a wildfowl area, livestock, and several ponds that create a haven for rare overwintering birds. There is an adventure playground for children and a sandpit for toddlers to have fun with the water spraying dragon, Rex.
Central Newport has retained much of its Victorian character with elegant architecture from that era such as the Transporter Bridge with its sky-blue structure and unusual style. The bridge is more than one hundred years old and still transports vehicles in a cradle-like contraption across the River Usk.
After the demise of the coal and iron mining industries, the city turned its attention more towards tourism. The Tourist Information Centre in the Newport Museum on John Frost Square will offer information on the main districts of the city and interesting places to visit such as Pillgwenlly, Caerleon, Rogerstone, and Stow Hill. During the summer months, the shops around John Frost Square can become quite busy and the restaurants have improved their cuisine with a more cosmopolitan approach.
The city’s outstanding Open Air Museum exhibits a sculpture trail with many prominent artworks on display around the city. A notable venue is the Riverfront Art Gallery that features many exhibitions with workshops and lectures. Situated in the suburban Caerleon village, the Ffwrrwm Arts and Crafts Centre has a well-known sculpture garden that is worth a visit.