Visit Southern Wales

Visit Southern Wales Blog

Archive for tag: ryder cup

Historic Newport

Don't be fooled by the name.  Whilst it has plenty of modern features, NEWport has an abundance of historic attractions.

In fact, you can trace the area's history all the way back to Roman times.  Just to the north of Newport City Centre lies Caerleon.  A pretty, quiet town today, but 2000 years ago it was one of the furthest outposts of the might Roman Empire. 

And you don't have to look far to find traces of its past.  The remains of the amphitheatre, once the site of blood thirsty "entertainment" and the barracks, once home to 5000 soldiers are prominent, whilst the baths and National Roman Legion Museum are also well worth a visit.

Elsewhere, the area's history encompasses a medieval ship discovered beneath the mud of the River Usk, a 17th century mansion, once home to some rather eccentric aristocrats, and one of only eight Transporter Bridges still operating anywhere in the world.

It's not all about the history though.  The area does contemporary too.  It boasts some of the best and most luxurious hotels and resorts in the Southern Wales region. 

For instance, the Celtic Manor can be found here - you can stay in one of their five star bedrooms, enjoy a sumptuous meal in one of the restaurants, relax and unwind in the spa or enjoy a round of golf on one of their three courses - just like some of the world's best golfers did when the Ryder Cup was hosted here in 2010.

To find out more about visiting Newport, click on the link

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

Great Golf Coming Up this Summer

Wales Open Tournament, Celtic Manor ResortEvent - ISPS Handa Wales Open
Location - Celtic Manor

Date - August 29th - 1st September 2013

With the Speedy Services Welsh Senior Open now only a week away, it's worth remembering that that isn't the only top class golf tournament taking place in Southern Wales this summer.

In August, The Celtic Manor Resort at Newport will once again play host to the ISPS Handa Wales Open. The tournament, which has switched to a new late summer date this year, will be the first to count towards qualification to the European Ryder Cup team 2014.

The ISPS Handa Wales Open has grown into one of the premier events on The European Tour since its inception in 2000. With Ryder Cup stars Graeme McDowell, Robert Karlsson, Miguel Angel Jiménez, Ian Poulter, Paul Lawrie and Paul McGinley among the past champions and of course Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee who claimed the first prize in 2012.

Wales Open Golf

 Following the unequivocal success of last year's Ryder Cup, the Celtic Manor Resort near Newport will find itself back in the golfing spotlight next week as it hosts the 2011 Wales Open.

First held in 2000 the tournament is now firmly established on the European Tour and attracts some of the biggest names in golf.  One of the European heroes of that unforgettable Ryder Cup was Graeme McDowell and he'll be back this year hoping to defend the trophy he won last year. 

As well as all the action out on the course there's plenty of other activities to keep everyone occupied including bars and food outlets, exhibition stands, a big screen to watch the golf and the popular Junior Golf area.

More information is available on the website

Spotlight on Wye Valley

Sugar Loaf MountainTo celebrate the launching of the new Visit Wye Valley website, we are taking a closer look at this picturesque corner of Wales.

The Wye Valley and Vale of Usk is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it's not difficult to see why.  The rolling countryside is a magnet for walkers with some well known and popular trails including the Offa's Dyke Path.

The plenty of historic attractions too.  There are castles galore including the first one to be built at Chepstow and the last one too at Raglan.  One of the most impressive monuments is Tintern Abbey standing proudly on the banks of the River Wye.  There are also significant Roman remains at the nearby towns of Caerwent and Caerleon, including an amphithteatre and barraks for the soldiers.

Why not combine walking with history by doing the Three Castles Walk which is a 20 mile triangular walk taking in White Castle, Skenfirth Castle and Grosmont Castle.

This area was catapulted into the international spotlight last October when the Celtic Manor hosted Golf's Ryder Cup - one of the country's top Golf resorts.  Or if you prefer horse racing then see if you can back a winner at Chepstow Racecourse.

The area also has a reputation for excellent food.  Don't miss the Abergavenny Food Festival each September which is an excellent chance to see (and of course taste) the best of the area's produce.  It's in the Wye Valley that you'll also find two of Wales' Michelin starred restaurants - The Walnut Tree at Abergavenny and The Crown at Whitbrook.

Tee Time

It's finally here.  After 294 years of build up (actually it's only 9 years but it feels much longer) it is at long last Ryder Cup week here in Wales.   The teams arrived this morning and there will be a couple of days practice, a big Millennium Stadium concert before the serious business gets underway on Friday.

It's not surprising that as host of this great competition the Celtic Manor at Newport, is probably our best known golfing venue, but there are plenty of other courses throughout the region waiting to challenge you.

Royal Porthcawl certainly does just that when the wind starts blowing in off the sea.  When first opened in 1895 it was Southern Wales' first 18 hole golf course.

With a back drop of the Severn Estuary and the course following the contours of the Monmouthshire countryside, Dewstow is one of the most picturesque courses in the country.  The 6th hole of the Park Course is believed to be the only par 6 hole in the UK with 690 yards separating the tee from the hole.

If it's golf with stunning views that you're after then it's worth paying a visit to the West Monmouthshire Golf Club.  It is the highest course in the UK looking out onto the Brecon Beacons.  The 14th tee is the most spectacular at 1500 feet above sea level.  I hope you're not scared of heights!