Visit Southern Wales

Visit Southern Wales Blog

Archive for tag: Museums

Newport 360

Roman CaerleonStanding on the banks of the River Usk, the city of Newport and the surrounding area is packed with things to see and do.

And now to help you find your way about, a new tourism guide has been launched.  Called Newport 360, the guide hears from local people about what visitors can expect to find on a visit to the city and the wider region.

Amongst the highlights you can expect to find on a visit is the iconic Transporter Bridge.  It is one of only eight such bridges remaining in the world.  Built in 1906, the elaborate design was needed in order to allow tall ships to pass up the river to Newport Docks.  Today visitors can cross the river on the suspended gondola or the brave can climb the stairs and cross the high level walkway, a mere 177 feet above the ground.  Enjoy the view.

From the top of the Transporter Bridge, you should be able to spot Tredegar House on the outskirts of the city.  Standing in 90 acres of glorious parkland, the estate was once the home of the aristocratic and somewhat eccentric Morgan family.  Visitors can explore this National Trust property and discover how both the masters and their servants lived and worked.

Newport's history goes back even further.  All the way back to Roman times in fact.  The small town of Caerleon to the north of the city was once the furthest outpost of the Roman Empire and home to hundreds of soldiers.  Today, visitors can explore the remains of the legion's amphitheatre, barracks and baths whilst the National Roman Legion Museum tells the town's story.

Head from Roman times up to the 21st century, and 2010 in particular.  The  eyes of the sporting world focused on Newport when Golf's Ryder Cup was staged at the Celtic Manor Resort.  The tournament put this world class resort firmly in the spotlight and it now boasts 3 world class golf courses including the famous 2010 course which saw Europe triumph in dramatic circumstances.

It's not only the golf that makes a visit to the Celtic Manor worthwhile.  The resort boasts a luxurious 400 room hotel together with fine dining restaurants and spa facilities. 

There's plenty of other accommodation available in the area with high quality accommodation available from the like of Hilton and Holiday Inn whilst for something a little bit different you can stay in a lighthouse overlooking the Severn Estuary.

To download your copy of the Newport 360 visitor guide, please click here

Discover Merthyr Tydfil

Take a look at this video of Merthyr Tydfil.  It might not be the obvious choice when thinking of a holiday in Wales, but as the video proves there's so much to do and some stunning scenery.  Enjoy!

History Comes Alive

Wales makes no secret of the fact that it is a country full of history and heritage.  And where better to find out all about it than at the superb National History Museum.

Situated just 4 miles from the centre of Cardiff, in the pretty grounds of St Fagans Castle, a 16th century manor house, the museum's collections comprise over 40 historic buildings from every corner of Wales.  Moved from their original location, they were then transported to the site before being re-built brick by brick by skilled craftsmen.

Buildings on site include farm buildings, a school, a workingman's institute and a row of 5 Ironworkers' cottages originally from Merthyr Tydfil where each cottage is decorated in a style from different eras, from 1805 to 1985.

Undoubtedly, the most impressive building on the site is the 12th century St Teilo's Church.  Originally standing on the banks of the Lougher estuary near Swansea, the church was carefully dismantled before being transported to St Fagans where it was restored both inside and out in a 16th century style.  The whole relocation project took an incredible 20 years to complete before the church was opened to the public in 2007.

As well as the buildings, visitors to the museum can see skilled craftsmen and women at work in their various workshops.  A blacksmith, Welsh clog maker, potter, saddler, miller and backer can all be seen making their wares using traditional techniques.

Entry is free.  For more information visit their website

A Blog from the Past

Llancaiach FawrToday's guest blog has been written by Steffan Matthias, Agent and Surveyor at Llancaiach Fawr Manor near Caerphilly.

You'll have to excuse the writing style. After all, Steffan is almost 400 years old.

"My Master Edward Prichard owns the capital Manor House of Llancaiach Fawr in the parish of Gelligaer in this year of our Lord 1645. He is one of the most powerful men in Glamorgan, being a landowner, a lawyer and a Justice of the Peace, and a Commissioner of Array for his Majesty King Charles.

You shall be afforded a most gracious welcome to my Master his house. Edward Prichard is the direct descendant of Cedrych ap Gwaithfoed, the olden Lord of Ystrad Twyi. My Master still follows the ancient traditions of Perchentyaeth, the obligations brought by the office and privilege of Landowner.

The Master will offer protection and hospitality via his servants, who will attend gentle visitors and provide guidance about his fair house and speak of their experiences and their lives in the house during this most horrid Civil War. Fortunately Llancaiach is far removed from the distractions of War, and all of my Master's visitors will be assured of a safe haven and pleasant discourse during their visit."

Llancaiach Fawr is a Grade One listed Manor House that has been restored and furnished according to its appearance during 1645. Visitors will now encounter live role-playing interpreters portraying the household staff during the time of the Civil War.

For more information please visit the Llancaiach Fawr website