The Welsh city of Newport lies to the east of Cardiff. As the gateway to Wales, Newport welcomes visitors from around the globe. With a large choice of guest houses, comfy B&Bs, and luxury hotels, Newport makes an ideal base for exploring South Wales, but also offers plenty of family-friendly attractions of its own.
1. RSPB Newport Wetlands Reserve
On the edge of Newport and covering an area of around 100km, the Newport Wetlands Nature Reserve is home to a wide variety of animals, birds and plant life. Visited by approximately 100,000 people every year, the reserve encompasses wetland, estuary and reedbed habitats, and with plenty of well-situated hides and the opportunity to hire binoculars makes a great day out for nature lovers.
A fantastic place to watch the murmuration’s of over 50,000 starlings, you’ll also see bearded tits, egrets and grebes, and the rare Cetti's warbler. Swans, owls and hobbies call the reserve home, and it’s the only Welsh breeding site of the striking pied avocet.
The facilities include wheelchair-friendly nature trails, guided walks and a restaurant serving delicious home-cooked meals - very welcome after a few hours watching the wildlife.
2. Tredegar House
Arguably one of the finest 17th century Charles II houses in Britain, Tredegar House, looked after by the National Trust, can be found on the outskirts of Newport.
Sir William Morgan and his wife built the mansion in the 1670s and it was home for many generations of the Morgan family. However, the oldest part of the house dates back to the 15th century and had played host to King Charles I. The status bestowed by Tredegar continued with the already affluent Morgans, and it remained in their hands until the death of the heirless 6th Baron Tredegar in 1962.
Now, Tredegar House is home to a range of activities, all set within the glorious house, gardens and vast expanse of parkland. Covering almost 100 acres, the grounds are home to swans, grebes, badgers and giant Sequoia redwoods. With dogs welcome, this makes a great day out for all the family.
- Stunning National Trust Property and Gardens
- Tickets from £6.10
- Tredegar House Website
3. Newport Transporter Bridge
Spanning the River Usk, the Grade I listed Newport’s Transporter Bridge is one of only a few that survive worldwide. Built in 1906, and opened the same year by Godfrey Morgan, 1st Viscount Tredegar, it is still operational today - a testament to its designer, Frenchman Ferdinand Arnodin.
Built to carry industrial goods across the river, whilst still allowing tall ships to use the waterway, the design uses suspended platforms, akin to an ‘aerial ferry’, that are hauled from one riverbank to the other.
The transporter bridge is a much-loved reminder of Newport’s important role in Britain’s industrial past.
- Location: Just 2.0 miles from Newport station
- Dates back to early 1900s
- Newport Transporter Bridge Website
4. Belle Vue Park
The land that Belle Vue Park was built on was a gift to the people of Newport by Godfrey Morgan, 1st Viscount Tredegar in 1891 - yes, the same man who opened the Transporter Bridge and lived in the stunning Tredegar House.
Typical of a Victorian design, the park features pavilions, bandstands and large rockeries, and to celebrate hosting the National Eisteddfod in 1897, the Gorsedd Stone Circle was created. A popular bowling green, waterfall cascades and charming tearooms have been added since.
The park is home to a number of rare plant specimens, including several ginkgo biloba trees, beautiful Himalayan magnolias, and the star gum tree, a native of North America, and is a wonderfully peaceful place for visitors and locals alike.
5. Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths
A hop on a bus or quick train ride takes you to the Roman city of Caerleon, or Isca Siluram, which translates as “Fortress of the Legion”. As just one of three permanent legionary fortresses in Britain, you can explore the remains of the immense natatio, or open-air swimming pool, that once held more than 80,000 gallons of water. The only Roman legionary barracks still on view in Europe will be a highlight of your visit along with the Roman amphitheatre.
- Historical site
- Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths
- Explore Ancient Roman remains