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Living in Newport, Wales
Newport is Wales’ third largest city, with a rich industrial heritage. It has had a significant face-lift over the last decade and has plenty to offer students.
Despite Cardiff being just a short train ride away there’s a lower living cost in Newport and a less hectic atmosphere. Essentially Newport is Cardiff’s smaller, cheaper, more relaxed younger brother.
The University of Wales in Newport has a campus on the edge of the city in Caerleon, and one in the centre of the city. Both campuses have their perks, but of course the Newport campus is a little closer to the main shopping locations like the Kingsway Centre. There’s a strong music scene in Newport with a good number of places hosting live gigs, and several large concert venues such as the Newport Stadium. There’s also a thriving nightlife, with at least one night a week specifically aimed at students in most clubs.
On the Caerleon campus things are usually a little quieter, and they make up for the lack of bustle with some amazing scenery. South Wales is known for it’s beautiful countryside, and on this campus there’s definitely more of it to see. History fans, or anyone who’s ever wished they were in the movie Gladiator, can go to see the remains of the Roman fortress and amphitheatre and do your best Russell Crowe impression. The nearby National Roman Legion Museum and Roman Baths Museum can give you a bit more detail.
There’s a big culture of sport in Newport too; the city’s reputation for rugby is world class, and Newport contains the International Sports Village. Its spot on the relatively flat coastal part of Wales also makes it a great location for cyclists. The Celtic Trail cycle route and National Cycle route both run through the city, the Wales National Velodrome is here, and there are lots of dedicated cycle routes and pedestrianised bridges to help promote it as a way of getting around, even for those of us who aren’t athletes!
Staying in town
- Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre: Come here for performances of almost every kind, from pantomimes and comedy through to drama and workshops. There’s also an art gallery and the occasional film showing.
- Transporter Bridge: This may sound like an odd one, but a normal bridge just isn’t possible here and there’s something oddly fascinating about watching vehicles get lifted and pulleyed across the river. This is one of Newport's most recognisable landmarks, one of only a dozen in the UK, and is often used in fireworks displays.
- Movie night!: There’s a Cineworld in the retail park, although you might need to club together and get a taxi as its on the edge of the city.
Out and about
- East: You can cross the impressive Severn Bridge to Bristol by car or train. If you’re going on to London, the whole trip can take as little as 2hrs.
- West: Wales’ capital Cardiff is only a 15min train journey. Perfect for a daytrip or a big night partying.
- North and South: The majestic Brecon Beacons begin less than an hour away from Newport, with loads of outdoor activities to get involved in. For a shorter trip there’s the Newport Wetland Resort, where the River Usk meets the sea.