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General in Newport (Offshore)

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      03.11.2006 11:17
      Very helpful



      Might be worth a visit, you might just be surprised

      Newport Past and Present.

      The History.

      In the early 1800's the bells of St Woolos Cathedral would ring out to summon the community of this small village based at the bottom of the hill., this hill would later become known as Stow Hill which is now more famed for its Nightclubs and Bars. Although with the development with Steam engines, the demand for the coal from the valley communities would boom and bring along with it a boom to Newport. Newport was chosen due to its prime location at the mouth of the river seven and close access to the valley communities. It would lead to a great canal system from the valleys reaching down to Newport and the soon booming docklands. Due to this boom, the small village of about 1000 in the 1800's increased to a massive 67,000 and a bustling community by the 1900's.

      Another famous point in Newport’s great history is Tredegar House; part of the Morgan Family history plays a great part in the 1800's to 1900's during the industrial revolution of Newport. The family held great power and standing in Newport during these years although the earliest records for the Tredegar house estate stem all the way back to 1402.
      However we are able to go a lot further back than that in the History of Newport and this is because of the Castle which still just about stands on the riverbank of the river Usk. This castle dates back a massive 2000 years to the Celtic era. The reason for this location by the Celts is due to the close proximity of the Roman settlement in Caerleon, which lies on the very boundaries of Newport. Newport received its first Charter in 1385 and although little evidence remained of the importance of Newport in the middle-ages in 2002 a sea vessel was found buried in the bank of the river Usk confirming Newport's importance.

      One of Newport's most famous points in history after these dates was the Chartist Uprising in 1839 when demands made by the Chartists included a vote for all men over 21 years, secret ballots, wages for Members of Parliament and the abolition of the property qualifications for MPs. All these demands were incorporated within the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
      Newport has since gone on to develop and grow and tried for many years to obtain a City status, which was sadly refused repeatedly until in 2002 the Queen granted Newport the City status it deserved in Celebration of her Golden Jubilee. Since the granting of the City Status Newport City has continued to grow and thrive and is currently under major development on its waterfront by Newport Unlimited. This company is spending in excess of £175 million to regenerate Newport over the next few years into a city offering great industrial and recreational area to live in for the 21st century.

      Newport offers much accommodation for visitors and residents within its City Limits. The current estimated population of Newport in 2005 was 139,600 and increasing all the time with Newport's growth. The main city is separated into 20 community area's which are all growing and expanding all the time but Newport has plenty to offer tourists as well. There are several major hotels situated throughout Newport including The Celtic Manor who is the host of the 2010 Ryder Cup, The Holiday Inn, Premier Travel Inn, The Hilton Hotel, Express by Holiday Inn, which are the major Hotel destinations in Newport. On saying that though, Newport has many smaller Hotels situated nearer the City Centre offering a friendly welcome as well as many Guesthouses to choose from as well.

      I have chosen Bridges for the letter be as Newport current boasts 3 transport bridges and now has a new Pedestrian Footbridge link which was opened in August 2006 and has yet to Boast a chosen name. One of the most famous bridges Newport has to offer is of course the Transporter Bridge, which was first opened in 1906 by Viscount Tredegar. The location was chosen due to the location having the ideal width of the banks at the location and the close distance to Newport docklands. The towers stand a massive 74 meters tall and the bridge is 181 meters at the longest span points. The gondola, which carries the vehicles from one side of the river to the other, holds six cars and costs 50p per journey. The gondola travels at three meters per second along the 181-meter span and is suspended from large metal cables. The bridge received a £3 million refurbishment in 1995, continues to operate today, and is a very popular tourist attraction in Newport. The bridge is one of only eight in the world and has made many television and film appearances in its history.

      I say Castle but I really should say what is left of the castle, built between 1327 and 1386 by Hugh d'Audele or his son-in-law Ralph, Earl of Stafford it was to replace an earlier motte and bailey castle situated on Stow Hill near St Woolos Cathedral. The Castle was for the Norman lordship of Wentloog, which up until 1314 had been under the reign of the lordship of Glamorgan, but when it separated, the Castle was commissioned in celebration. The Castle only had an active life for about 200 years and during that time Jasper Tudor, Henry VIII's uncle lived within it walls but its main purpose was the administration of the lordship of Wentloog. Due to Newport’s development, sadly most of the Castle has been destroyed to make way for a Railway Station and main roundabout, but hopes are as the roundabout is to be removed that at some point the castle may undergo some restoration.

      Development in Newport is currently on a high thanks to the Welsh Assembly setting up a company Newport unlimited. Newport unlimited are changing the whole look of Newport’s City Centre as well as developing the River Usk Waterfront to host two new Mariners and many new Waterfront Apartments and Attractions. Pillgwenlly also known as Pill in Newport has taken a major downturn over the last 30 years and is targeted for a 75 million-face lift to develop not only the waterfront community but also all the rundown and damaged properties which currently reside within its community.

      There are many great entertainment features on offer to you in Newport and not all within the City Centre. The City Centre hosts the location for the Newport Arts Centre and jus down the road is the Newport Leisure Centre, which hosts a pool and sports facility as well as promoting many appearances of famous artist’s concerts. If you travel further a field in Newport, you can find several smaller leisure centres as well as the Newport Velodrome. This is located in the Spytty Area of Newport and near to this location are the Ten Cinema Screen Complex and Mega Bowl as well as many Retail Parks for all your retail therapy needs. There are many historical attractions in Newport to visit as well and information for all these are available in the Newport Tourist Board and Museum and include the Transporter Bridge, Tredegar House and country park, The Castle, and the Canal link which is currently being redeveloped and is due to be open for use again within the next five years and will provide a link from the River Usk all the way up the valleys and more.

      Newport is located on the South Eastern Coastline of Wales and is on the Cardiff borderline. It has easy access to the Two Severn bridge crossings and easy motorway access to Bristol, London and more. There are five motorway exits in Newport from the M4 motorway and span from junction 24 to junction 28 inclusive; however, the access has restrictions on junction 25.

      The majority of nightlife in Newport is the clubs, which are all located in the City Centre; however, there are plans to change this with several new clubs being placed in different locations under the new development scheme. These clubs will be situated on the Riverfront scheme and are making use of the numerous listed buildings, which can be found in the area.

      Parking has been a major problem in Newport for many years now, although the council have many plans, which are currently underway to tackle this issue. Two of the older multi-storey car parks have recently finishes undergoing major refurbishment and Newport has had a large NCP car park build in the City Centre area. The numerous retail parks and supermarkets have there own large personal car parks and new plans for a park and ride scheme are planned to be implemented within 12 months. This is all planned to try and remove some of the traffic problems that also blight Newport City Centre, but I will say if you plan a visit in the near future be warned there are many roadwork’s in place at present that are causing a great deal of problems.

      Recreational activities have taken a great boost in Newport over the last few years with new features still to be added. Current activities include the City Centre Leisure Centre, which offers a large pool with slides and a wave machine, fitness classes of all varieties, squash courts, sauna's, and an excellent gym and is the location for many of Newport’s live music events. Newport also has some beautiful parks with features such as botanical gardens, bandstands, outdoor pools, bowling greens and more. The Welsh National Cycling Arena also known as the Velodrome is located in Newport as is a ten-cinema screen complex, two major golf courses and much more for you to enjoy and discover.

      For all you shoppers out there who love to browse then Newport is the place for you. Our City Centre currently holds many of the leading high street retailers as well as a lovely indoor market and many bargain stores as well. Debenhams have also now signed to join the many other stores currently developing in Newport with building already started and plans for it to be open within the next four years.

      If you do not have a car or do not want to take it out whilst in Newport, there are great alternative transports available in Newport for you. Newport offers a great bus service with many buses running as regular as every ten to twenty minutes. There are free bus services also available for the major supermarkets from the main bus station and certain areas which is also great as many of the supermarkets are located in large retail parks with lots of other major retail stores for you to visit whilst there. Five minutes walk from the bus station is Newport’s train station, which offers a very regular service to all the major cities and towns. Located within the car park of the train station is one of Newport’s largest taxi firms for convenience and Newport bus station has a major taxi rank with its ground as well. All these features make all of Newport easy accessible and with the planned park and ride service this will soon be even better again.

      Although for many years Newport had a bad name and not much to offer tourists, this has all changed since it has gained City status and crime is on the decrease. So when you are next looking for somewhere different to visit that has plenty to offer then why not come and visit us in Newport, we are a friendly bunch and you will be offered a warm welcome.

      Welshwickedone ©


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