Newport, Gwent, Usk, Wales, sculpture, Steel Wave

What to see
You’ll find an account of how you might spend a day in Newport in Towns of Two Halves (and of 91 other places: order the book now for £8 from For additional information plus shopping, eating out etc there’s Visit Newport. For events coming up go to Visit Newport’s Events page.

Newport, Gwent, Chartists, Westgate Hotel
‘A monument to the Chartists, whose attempt to improve the lot of the working man and to extend democracy came to a bloody and disastrous end in Newport, outside the Westgate Hotel’

Newport links:
Caerleon on Usk
National Roman Legion Museum
Newport Castle
Newport Museum & Art Gallery
Newport Rising
Newport Transporter Bridge
Old Green Mural
Public Art Trail
Riverfront Theatre

Towns of Two Halves extracts
“Materialising abruptly out of the darkness, like Coleridge’s stately pleasure dome, an international hotel appears where not long ago there would have been crumbling stone walls and a rude shepherd’s hut. This Hyde Park Corner hallucination persists and, as I get closer, resolves itself into the Celtic Manor Luxury Hotel.”
“It was a short walk into the city centre across the City Footbridge, which appears on the Visitor Map with a dolphin leaping beneath it. Storm Brian was blowing a gale up the Usk and there were no dolphins. Down the Usk the Transporter Bridge would surely have been closed to pedestrians, I reasoned. I doubt I would have gathered the nerve to climb 60 metres of open ladders to a perilous gantry on a calm day, but with the wind gusting at 70mph and occasional squalls sweeping through the city horizontally it was out of the question. I set out to enjoy Newport indoors.”
“At the Riverfront Theatre a community policing event was in progress and a drum band was warming up for a parade somewhere. I ordered the day’s special, borshch, for its exotic appeal: the colour suggested beetroot or red cabbage.”
“Storm Brian swept down Rodney Parade like a drill sergeant. The hardy Welsh in rows A to K sat stoically through the storm. The owner of a ticket for row G, I retreated discreetly to the two rearmost rows, which were reserved for occupants of the hospitality boxes behind. The boxes being empty, the only demand for their seats came from our side. Mysteriously, hardly anybody else encroached. The teams fought out a fretful draw. Football was not the winner.”
These are taken from the Newport chapter of Towns of Two Halves, published in 2018. To buy a copy, email