Top 10 things to do in Newport
Newport is a lively city that has something on offer for everyone, from music fans, sports lovers, and foodies to film, TV, and videogame buffs. Friendly and down-to-earth, Newport is home to Comic Con Wales, music legends like Skindred and Goldie Lookin’ Chain and a whole host of sports stars such as defender Chris Gunter on Wales’s national football team and Welsh rugby stars Cerys Hale, Sisilia Tuipulotu, and Rio Dyer.
The city is packed full of rich history ranging from the legendary moment in which Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain allegedly proposed to Courtney Love at historic music venue TJ’s on Clarence Place all the way to Roman occupation centuries ago. Its history is also evident from items such as the famous Transporter Bridge, the Chartist Commemorative sculpture, and the Chartist Mural – a reminder of Newport’s political and working-class roots.
Here are our top 10 picks of what to experience in this historical city.
1. Find unusual treasures in a modern market
If you’re planning on visiting Newport, make sure you take a gander around the Indoor Market. While the site has been home to the market for around 150 years, the newly renovated site opened its doors to the community early in 2022.
The Victorian Grade II listed building boasts a modern interior along with an incredible range of traders and places to eat. From cakes, fudge, and bread to make up and supplies for your pets, Newport Market is a great place to socialise with friends, share tasty treats, and have a few drinks, with options to suit all tastebuds and lifestyles
2. Shop until you drop at Friars Walk
Newport has plenty of options for anybody looking to plan a shopping spree. From the latest fashion trends and merchandise from your favourite bands to cookware and unique food shops, there is something for all interests and budgets.
Head to the High Street, Commercial Street and shopping centre Friars Walk to buy your favourite items or just to enjoy browsing what’s on offer. Friars Walk opened in 2015 with an array of places to shop, eat as well as activities such as bowling. It even features the UK’s first skatepark inside a shopping centre.
Some of the shops you will find inside include:
- New Look
- Holland & Barrett
- M&S Food Court
- River Island
- Sin City Comics & Gaming
3. Go bird spotting and enjoy the fresh air at RSPB Newport Wetlands Reserve
The Newport Wetlands are a fantastic way of enjoying what nature has to offer while forgetting you’re on the edge of the city. A haven for wildlife, the wetlands are home to various species of wild bird as well as other wildlife.
Sitting between the Severn Estuary and the River Usk, the wetlands are a site of scientific significance where members of the public can enjoy viewing points, guided walks, nature trails, education facilities and even binocular hire.
4. Take in the beautiful scenery at Bell Vue Park
If you’re looking for a green and peaceful area to go in the sun which is closer to the centre of Newport, Bell Vue Park is the place to go. Originally opened in 1894, this public park offers stunning scenery with its Victorian buildings, conservatories, pavilion, bandstand, and rockeries.
A Green Flag status holder for 11 years, and a CADW Heritage Status holder, this park is guaranteed to wow you and help you feel relaxed in the middle of city life.
5. Bounce into action at Jump Adventure
Looking to jump on something fun and challenging? Jump Adventure is perfect for groups of friends or individuals who want to try out the many indoor trampoline-based activities and assault causes.
Jump Adventure has more than 50 trampolines as well a foam pit and interactive dodgeball, not to mention the daring Last Man Standing wipeout machine, the incredible Ninja Warrior course, and other features like the jump tower.
6. Learn about the city's history at Tredegar House
Sat on the edges of Newport is the impressive 17th Century mansion, Tredegar House. Surrounded by 90 acres of beautiful parkland, explore the incredibly rich history of the old country estate while enjoying the views.
The National Trust owned red-brick country mansion, which costs £11 to enter, also features a second-hand bookshop and a café to enjoy during your visit.
7. See how the Romans lived at Caerleon
Visit the National Roman Legion Museum on the outskirts of Newport if you’re looking to continue your history fix. Newport is rich in Roman history, including the incredible remains of a Roman Amphitheatre, the beautiful Fortress Baths, and the remains of the Roman Legionary Barracks in Europe.
Only half an hour from city centre on the bus, step back in time in Caerleon as you learn about the mighty Roman Empire and its outpost in South Wales which was guarded for more than two centuries.
8. Investigate a medieval shipwreck from the river Usk
If you’re still looking to further your history fix, have a look at the Newport Ship. The 15th Century merchant vessel was discovered in the banks of the river Usk in 2002.
Since its discovery, there has been a lengthy conservation process to preserve and save the remains of the medieval ship. Based near the centre of the city, the ship centre is free to enter, however it is only open between April and November.
9. Sink your teeth into a variety of tasty and photogenic food
When you’re ready to refuel after a busy day in the city, Newport has plenty of food and drink options to offer everyone – regardless of budget or dietary requirements. The Indoor Market is home to some fantastic eats from delicious gnocchi to Bahn Mi’s and delicious cheesecakes.
Based on the High Street is Tiny Rebel, Welsh beer legends who started in the city and supply their own craft ales. You can also visit Newport’s favourite spot for a toastie, Holy Cheesus, which offers oozing cheese and a variety of fillings. It even has vegan toasties on offer.
10. Gigs, theatres, clubs, and pubs – keep it social in the city
While you’re in Newport, why not enjoy one of the many events it has to offer? Catch a play at the Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre or The Dolman Theatre. Alternatively, explore the multitudes of pubs and clubs which often host local concerts with bands from across the UK.
If you’re looking to attend larger music or sports events, it is also very easy to travel from Newport to Cardiff, Swansea, and Bristol on the train, the bus or by coach.