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'''Chepstow''' is an ancient market town and former port situated on the River Wye (''Afon Gwy'') in [[Wales]] a short distance upstream from where the Wye and Severn rivers merge. A Norman castle founded in 1067 stands at the water's edge. A considerable portion of the massive town wall ([http://www.parkhouse.org.uk/chepstow/dscf0119vga.jpg Port Wall]) remains intact as does the Town Gate which provides access from the west. Until the bypass was built a few years ago, access from the east was limited to John Rennie's cast iron 1816 bridge across the river Wye.
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<div style="float:right; padding:2px; width:640px">[[image:chepcasbridge.jpg|Chepstow Castle and Bridge (14 July 2002)]]</div>
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[[image:chepcasbridge.jpg|frame|right|Chepstow Castle and Bridge]]
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'''Chepstow''' [http://www.chepstow.co.uk] (''Cas-gwent'') is an ancient market town and former port situated on the River Wye (''Afon Gwy'') in [[South Wales]] a short distance upstream from where the Wye and Severn rivers merge. A Norman castle founded in 1067 stands at the water's edge. A considerable portion of the massive town wall (Port Wall ) remains intact as does the Town Gate which provides access from the west. Until the bypass was built a few years ago, access from the east was limited to John Rennie's cast iron 1816 bridge across the river Wye.
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
Chepstow is well served by rail and road: it lies on the railway line from [[Gloucester]] to [[Cardiff]]; the '''A466''' follows the Wye Valley to [[Monmouth]] via [[Tintern]] and [[Llandogo]]; the 1966 Severn Bridge and M4 motorway provides easy access to [[London]] and elsewhere. Regrettably, a toll of £4.60 has to be paid for cars when travelling from east to west (into Wales). It costs nothing to travel to England. The same charges apply on the Second Severn Crossing, a newer road bridge downstream of the original 1966 bridge. The '''airports''' of [http://www.bristolairport.co.uk/Default.asp?bhcp=1 Bristol] and [http://www.cial.co.uk/ Cardiff] are not too far away
+
 
 +
Chepstow is well served by rail and road: it lies on the railway line from [[Gloucester (England)|Gloucester]] to [[Cardiff]]; the '''A466''' follows the Wye Valley to [[Monmouth (Wales)|Monmouth]] via [[Tintern]] and [[Llandogo]]; the 1966 Severn Bridge and M4 motorway provides easy access to [[London]] and elsewhere. Regrettably, a toll of £5.40 has to be paid for cars when travelling from east to west (into Wales). It costs nothing to travel to England. The same charges apply on the Second Severn Crossing, a newer road bridge downstream of the original 1966 bridge. The '''airports''' of Bristol [http://www.bristolairport.co.uk/Default.asp?bhcp=1] and Cardiff [http://www.cial.co.uk/] are not too far away
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
 +
 
*'''The Priory Church of St Mary''', was founded in 1071. Benedictine monks from Cormeilles in Normandy (Chepstow's twin town) were there until the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1536 and 1540. Today it serves as Chepstow's parish church.
 
*'''The Priory Church of St Mary''', was founded in 1071. Benedictine monks from Cormeilles in Normandy (Chepstow's twin town) were there until the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1536 and 1540. Today it serves as Chepstow's parish church.
*'''[http://www.racing-index.com/racecourse/chepstow-racecourse.html Chepstow Racecourse]''' is in the grounds of the ruined Piercefield House.
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*'''Chepstow Racecourse [http://www.racing-index.com/racecourse/chepstow-racecourse.html]''' is in the grounds of the ruined Piercefield House.
*'''[http://www.castlewales.com/chepstow.html Chepstow Castle]''' is open every day except 24/25/26 Dec and 1 Jan. Mon-Sat 09:30-16:00, Sun 11:00-16:00. There is a charge to enter: £3 adults, £2.50 concession to over 60, children, and student with student card, £8.50 family (2 adults 3 children).
+
*'''Chepstow Castle [http://www.castlewales.com/chepstow.html]''' is open every day except 24/25/26 Dec and 1 Jan. Mon-Sat 09:30-16:00, Sun 11:00-16:00. There is a charge to enter: £3 adults, £2.50 concession to over 60, children, and student with student card, £8.50 family (2 adults 3 children).
*'''[http://www.chepstow.co.uk/museum.htm Chepstow Museum]''' (free) is opposite the Castle car park.
+
*'''Chepstow Museum [http://www.chepstow.co.uk/museum.htm]''' (free) is opposite the Castle car park.
*'''The Severn Princess''' restoration project : http://www.btinternet.com/~burtonvilla/severnprincess/. One of the Beachley/Aust ferry boats, which ran before the Severn Bridge was opened in 1966, has been rescued from Ireland and is being restored.
+
*'''The Severn Princess''' restoration project : [http://www.btinternet.com/~burtonvilla/severnprincess/]. One of the Beachley/Aust ferry boats, which ran before the Severn Bridge was opened in 1966, has been rescued from Ireland and is being restored.
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==
Chepstow has long served as the gateway for the scenic Lower Wye Valley and two '''long distance walks''' are accessible from Chepstow: the [http://www.offas-dyke.co.uk/index.php3 Offa's Dyke Path] and the [http://www.wyevalleywalk.org/english/index.php Wye Valley Walk].  
+
 
 +
Chepstow has long served as the gateway for the scenic Lower Wye Valley and two '''long distance walks''' are accessible from Chepstow: the Offa's Dyke Path [http://www.offas-dyke.co.uk/index.php3] and the Wye Valley Walk [http://www.wyevalleywalk.org/english/index.php].  
  
 
If you find yourself at a loose end having viewed the Museum and the Castle at the lower end of Chepstow, there are a few suggestions for a pleasant stroll up to the Town Gate:
 
If you find yourself at a loose end having viewed the Museum and the Castle at the lower end of Chepstow, there are a few suggestions for a pleasant stroll up to the Town Gate:
* standing in the car park facing the castle, notice a path to the left going up the hill. This leads to [http://www.parkhouse.org.uk/chepstow/dscf3276.jpg The Dell], a green oasis that gets overlooked by some. There are different views of the surprisingly long castle wall. You can even scramble up close to the wall and walk along until you get to the Barbican end of the castle. Approaching the top of The Dell you have an option of climbing some grassy steps and entering the main car park via the "hole in the wall", an ancient stone doorway in the Town Wall, and then finding your way into the upper town via various alternative exits at the far side. The other option is to exit the iron gate at the top of The Dell and turn left to reach the outside of the Town Gate at the traffic lights.
+
* standing in the car park facing the castle, notice a path to the left going up the hill. This leads to The Dell , a green oasis that gets overlooked by some. There are different views of the surprisingly long castle wall. You can even scramble up close to the wall and walk along until you get to the Barbican end of the castle. Approaching the top of The Dell you have an option of climbing some grassy steps and entering the main car park via the "hole in the wall", an ancient stone doorway in the Town Wall, and then finding your way into the upper town via various alternative exits at the far side. The other option is to exit the iron gate at the top of The Dell and turn left to reach the outside of the Town Gate at the traffic lights.
* the middle option involves starting from the Museum, and strolling up Bridge Street past a row of bow-windows on the right, past the [http://www.parkhouse.org.uk/chepstow/dscf2451powis.jpg Powis Almshouses] (1716 - see if you can read the tablet high up on the wall), past [http://www.parkhouse.org.uk/chepstow/dscf2450fivealls.jpg The Five Alls] public house (check the [http://www.parkhouse.org.uk/chepstow/dscf2964web.jpg inn sign]), up cobbled Hocker Hill Street (some say Hawker Hill), past St Maur where Horatio Nelson stayed in 1802, according to the [http://www.parkhouse.org.uk/chepstow/dscf2438nelson.jpg plaque] on the wall. You can now walk straight ahead to the Town Gate or veer left up the High Street.
+
* the middle option involves starting from the Museum, and strolling up Bridge Street past a row of bow-windows on the right, past the Powis Almshouses (1716 - see if you can read the tablet high up on the wall), past The Five Alls public house (check the inn sign ), up cobbled Hocker Hill Street (some say Hawker Hill), past St Maur where Horatio Nelson stayed in 1802, according to the plaque on the wall. You can now walk straight ahead to the Town Gate or veer left up the High Street.
* the third option, starting from the Museum, is to head towards the river, passing Afon Gwy, a place to eat and sleep, on the left. Take a stroll over the [http://www.parkhouse.org.uk/chepstow/dscf0576vga.jpg 1816 iron bridge] (not that much newer than the world's oldest (1781) at Ironbridge, a 100 miles or so to the north. You have to take a [http://www.parkhouse.org.uk/chepstow/dscf0583-0584.jpg photograph of the castle from the bridge] (why be different?). It's more photogenic when the tide is in, the water is reflecting, and the sun shining but never mind, with the tide out, and the mud on show, the castle looks more impregnable. The rise and fall of the tide, at 12m, is the second highest in the world. Come back off the bridge to the Bridge Inn and walk along the river bank, which is less pleasant since the flood defences were built in 2001, obscuring the view and re-arranging the seats (they used to line the river bank facing the river). Spot the [http://www.parkhouse.org.uk/chepstow/chartists.jpg wall plaque] recording the fact that the leaders of the Chartist Insurrection were transported from the Port of Chepstow to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the 3 February 1840. Just before you reach the Boat Inn, turn right and make your way up Lower Church Street, through the iron-railinged path across the graveyard of St Mary's Church, across to Upper Church Street from where, opposite the Montague Almshouses (1615), you can amble up the pedestrianized St Mary Street and the High Street to the Town Gate.
+
* the third option, starting from the Museum, is to head towards the river, passing Afon Gwy, a place to eat and sleep, on the left. Take a stroll over the 1816 iron bridge (not that much newer than the world's oldest (1781) at Ironbridge, a 100 miles or so to the north). You have to take a photograph of the castle from the bridge (why be different?). It's more photogenic when the tide is in, the water is reflecting, and the sun shining but never mind, with the tide out, and the mud on show, the castle looks more impregnable. The rise and fall of the tide, at 12m, is the second highest in the world. Come back off the bridge to the Bridge Inn and walk along the river bank, which is less pleasant since the flood defences were built in 2001, obscuring the view and re-arranging the seats (they used to line the river bank facing the river). Spot the wall plaque recording the fact that the leaders of the Chartist Insurrection were transported from the Port of Chepstow to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the 3 February 1840. Just before you reach the Boat Inn, turn right and make your way up Lower Church Street, through the iron-railinged path across the graveyard of St Mary's Church, across to Upper Church Street from where, opposite the Montague Almshouses (1615), you can amble up the pedestrianized St Mary Street and the High Street to the Town Gate.
  
If you support charity shops, Chepstow has about five (it does sometimes vary), watch out for them. You can also spend a surprising amount of time in Glance Back Books, a secondhand bookstore on the corner of Upper Church Street and Middle Street. St Mary Street has some shops which deal in antiques and objects which one day might be antiques. Every three weeks or so, on a Saturday morning, there is a Farmers' Market in the Place de Cormeilles, adjacent to the Town Gate. Every Sunday morning there is a market at the racecourse which can attract large crowds.
+
If you support charity shops, Chepstow has about five (it does sometimes vary), watch out for them. St Mary Street has some shops which deal in antiques and objects which one day might be antiques. Every three weeks or so, on a Saturday morning, there is a Farmers' Market in the Place de Cormeilles, adjacent to the Town Gate. Every Sunday morning there is a market at the racecourse which can attract large crowds.
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==
*A few miles upstream from Chepstow, on the river Wye, are the ruins of the '''Cistercian [[Tintern]] Abbey''', founded in 1131. Perhaps in a few years it will be possible to cycle to Tintern safely if the [http://www.sustrans.co.uk/webcode/content.asp?ID=220 Sustrans] plan for an off-road [http://www.wyevalleycycling.org.uk/map.htm cycle route to Tintern] is sanctioned.  
+
 
*The first part of the [http://www.wyevalleywalk.org/english/index.php Wye Valley Walk], which starts at the bottom of The Dell, by the Castle will take you to Tintern. The [http://www.offas-dyke.co.uk/index.php3 Offa's Dyke Path] will also get you there. Cross the 1816 Bridge over the Wye and follow the steep path up the hill on the other side. You really need walking boots because there are usually some muddy sections. Allow about 3-4 hours for either way. Go one way and come back the other is a good day out, lunching in [[Tintern.]]
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*A few miles upstream from Chepstow, on the river Wye, are the ruins of the '''Cistercian [[Tintern]] Abbey''', founded in 1131. While the UK cycycling group Sustrans [http://www.sustrans.co.uk/webcode/content.asp?ID=220] have proposed an off-road cycling route along the former railway to [[Monmouth]] this has been rejected again recently due to local opposition, and consequently the re-instatement of the railway is currently equally likely (i.e. not very).
* Go climbing at [[Tutshill]], a couple of miles out of Chepstow, on the Gloucestershire side of the Wye. [http://www.ukclimbing.com/databases/crags/craginfo.html?id=51 Wintour's Leap] is a popular limestone climb and considered "the gem of the Wye Valley".
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*The first part of the Wye Valley Walk [http://www.wyevalleywalk.org/english/index.php], which starts at the bottom of The Dell, by the Castle will take you to Tintern. The Offa's Dyke Path [http://www.offas-dyke.co.uk/index.php3] will also get you there. Cross the 1816 Bridge over the Wye and follow the steep path up the hill on the other side. You really need walking boots because there are usually some muddy sections. Allow about 3-4 hours for either way. Go one way and come back the other is a good day out, lunching in [[Tintern]].
*The [http://www.nationaldivingcentre.com National Diving Centre] is at [[Tidenham]], a couple of miles away along the road to Gloucester ('''A48'''). Site open Monday - Thursday: 9:30am - 5pm 1st dive 10am, out of water by 4:00pm. Friday/Saturday/Sunday & bank holidays: 8am - 5pm, Out of water by 4pm. Tel:  01291 630850, e-mail: [mailto:info@nationaldivingcentre.com info@nationaldivingcentre.com].
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*Go climbing at [[Woodcroft]], a couple of miles out of Chepstow, on the Gloucestershire side of the Wye. Wintour's Leap [http://www.ukclimbing.com/databases/crags/craginfo.html?id=51] is a limestone cliff popular with climbers and considered "the gem of the Wye Valley".
*Visit the [http://www.deanforestrailway.co.uk/station_norchard.html Dean Forest Railway] which is based at the Norchard Steam Centre, on the B4234 Forest Road between [[Lydney]] and [[Whitecroft]], about 9 miles from Chepstow. Entrance is free on non-passenger train days. An example of steam train fares is Adult: £6.50, Senior: £5.50, Child aged 5 to 16: £4.50, child under 5 is free, for all day, travel as many times as you like. But see the web site for alternatives: http://www.deanforestrailway.co.uk/timetable.html#fares.
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*The National Diving & Activity Centre [http://www.ndac.co.uk] is at [[Tidenham]], a couple of miles away along the road to Gloucester ('''A48'''). Site open Wed - Fri: 9:30AM - 5PM 1st dive 10AM, out of water by 4:00PM. Friday/Saturday/Sunday & bank holidays: 8AM - 5PM, Out of water by 4PM. Tel:  01291 630850, e-mail: [mailto:info@ndac.co.uk info@ndac.co.uk].
 +
*Visit the Dean Forest Railway [http://www.deanforestrailway.co.uk/station_norchard.html] which is based at the Norchard Steam Centre, on the B4234 Forest Road between [[Lydney]] and [[Whitecroft]], about 9 miles from Chepstow. Entrance is free on non-passenger train days. An example of steam train fares is Adult: £6.50, Senior: £5.50, Child aged 5 to 16: £4.50, child under 5 is free, for all day, travel as many times as you like. But see the web site for alternatives: [http://www.deanforestrailway.co.uk/timetable.html#fares].
 +
*A map of the area (available from most good bookshops and tourist information centres in Chepstow) will allow you to plan your own walks - although beware that several footpaths marked do not exist or will not be in a suitable state. Nonetheless, this can allow some excellent views of the landscape without going far from Chepstow. Check that the map does mark footpaths clearly before buying however, as many don't.
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
There is a fish and chip shop just outside the Town Gate (The Arch), in Albion Square, a Chinese takeaway a little further up Moor Street, on the right; there is another sandwiched between the main car park and Bank Street, where you can also sit down. There is an Indian Restaurant at the top of Hocker Hill Street. There are quite a few pubs serving food as well as tea-rooms. Chepstow even has a local department store, Herbert Lewis, in the High Street, which has a coffee shop. Check out the list:
+
 
*[http://www.chepstow.co.uk/to-eat.htm List of places to eat]
+
There is a fish and chip shop just outside the Town Gate (The Arch), in Albion Square, and a Chinese takeaway a little further up Moor Street, on the right; there is another sandwiched between the main car park and Bank Street, where you can also sit down. There is an Indian Restaurant at the top of Hocker Hill Street. There are quite a few pubs serving food as well as tea-rooms. Chepstow even has a local department store, Herbert Lewis, in the High Street, which has a coffee shop. Late in 2004, a Greek Meze Bar opened in Welsh Street.
 +
 
 +
The Coach and Horses Inn on Welsh Street serves proper good-quality home cooking with a specials menu that changes daily
 +
 
 +
==Buy==
 +
 
 +
*<buy name="Green Man and the Gatekeeper" alt="" address="Now at Taurus Crafts, The Old Park, Lydney GL15 6BU" directions="On the A48, Gloucester road from Chepstow, about 8 miles to Taurus Crafts - Look for the Bull sculpture on your left." phone="01594843860" url="http://www.greenmangatekeeper.com" hours="11.0 to 5.00 daily" <br>Inspired by History, Tradition and Heritage - Original, unique gifts in leather, ceramics and pewter. We also produce our own range of original greetings cards.<br> Green Man Plaques • Bags • Belts • Masks • Jewellery • Brooches • Badges • Miniatures • Greetings Cards and more.</buy>
  
 
==Sleep==
 
==Sleep==
*[http://chepstow.england.hotels-123.com/George-Hotel-Chepstow.html George Hotel] is just outside the Town Gate, in Moor Street. Tel: 01291 625363
 
*[http://www.s-h-systems.co.uk/a50466.html Chepstow Hotel] is about half a mile up the hill from the Town Gate, on the Newport Road. Tel: 01291 626261
 
*[http://www.beauforthotelchepstow.com Beaufort Hotel] is in the town centre at the top end of St Mary Street. Tel: 01291 622497
 
*[http://www.hotelchepstow.co.uk/ Castle View Hotel] is opposite the Castle (as you would expect). Tel: 01291 620349
 
*B&B accommodation can be booked through the Chepstow Tourist Information Centre, Bridge Street (opp. Castle), Tel: 01291 623772
 
  
==External links==
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*'''George Hotel''', [http://chepstow.england.hotels-123.com/George-Hotel-Chepstow.html] is just outside the Town Gate, in Moor Street. Tel: 01291 625363
*http://www.chepstow.co.uk/
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*'''Chepstow Hotel''', [http://www.s-h-systems.co.uk/a50466.html] is about half a mile up the hill from the Town Gate, on the Newport Road. Tel: 01291 626261
*http://www.striguil.co.uk/
+
*'''Beaufort Hotel''', [http://www.beauforthotelchepstow.com] is in the town centre at the top end of St Mary Street. Tel: 01291 622497
 +
*'''Castle View Hotel''', [http://www.hotelchepstow.co.uk/] is opposite the Castle (as you would expect). Tel: 01291 620349
 +
*B&B accommodation can be booked through the Chepstow Tourist Information Centre, Bridge Street (opp. Castle), Tel: 01291 623772.
 +
*'''The First Hurdle Guest House''', [http://www.thefirsthurdle.com].  Comfortable B&B in central Chepstow location.
 +
 
 +
*''' Coach and Horses Inn''', Welsh Street, 01291-622626. A popular B&B which specialises in real ales and cracking proper home-cooking.
 +
 
 +
*<sleep name="Monmouthshire Cottage" alt="Monmouthshire holiday cottage" address="Itton Chepstow" directions="" phone="01291641861" url="www.monmouthshireholidaycottage.com" checkin="1400" checkout="1000" price="From £240 per week" lat="" long="">Detached country cottage sleeping up to 4 people set in its own garden. Short breaks available</sleep>
 +
 
  
  
{{msg:stub}}
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{{isPartOf|Monmouthshire}}
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{{usablecity}}

Revision as of 08:05, 12 April 2011


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Chepstow Castle and Bridge

Chepstow [1] (Cas-gwent) is an ancient market town and former port situated on the River Wye (Afon Gwy) in South Wales a short distance upstream from where the Wye and Severn rivers merge. A Norman castle founded in 1067 stands at the water's edge. A considerable portion of the massive town wall (Port Wall ) remains intact as does the Town Gate which provides access from the west. Until the bypass was built a few years ago, access from the east was limited to John Rennie's cast iron 1816 bridge across the river Wye.

Contents

Get in

Chepstow is well served by rail and road: it lies on the railway line from Gloucester to Cardiff; the A466 follows the Wye Valley to Monmouth via Tintern and Llandogo; the 1966 Severn Bridge and M4 motorway provides easy access to London and elsewhere. Regrettably, a toll of £5.40 has to be paid for cars when travelling from east to west (into Wales). It costs nothing to travel to England. The same charges apply on the Second Severn Crossing, a newer road bridge downstream of the original 1966 bridge. The airports of Bristol [2] and Cardiff [3] are not too far away

See

  • The Priory Church of St Mary, was founded in 1071. Benedictine monks from Cormeilles in Normandy (Chepstow's twin town) were there until the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1536 and 1540. Today it serves as Chepstow's parish church.
  • Chepstow Racecourse [4] is in the grounds of the ruined Piercefield House.
  • Chepstow Castle [5] is open every day except 24/25/26 Dec and 1 Jan. Mon-Sat 09:30-16:00, Sun 11:00-16:00. There is a charge to enter: £3 adults, £2.50 concession to over 60, children, and student with student card, £8.50 family (2 adults 3 children).
  • Chepstow Museum [6] (free) is opposite the Castle car park.
  • The Severn Princess restoration project : [7]. One of the Beachley/Aust ferry boats, which ran before the Severn Bridge was opened in 1966, has been rescued from Ireland and is being restored.

Do

Chepstow has long served as the gateway for the scenic Lower Wye Valley and two long distance walks are accessible from Chepstow: the Offa's Dyke Path [8] and the Wye Valley Walk [9].

If you find yourself at a loose end having viewed the Museum and the Castle at the lower end of Chepstow, there are a few suggestions for a pleasant stroll up to the Town Gate:

  • standing in the car park facing the castle, notice a path to the left going up the hill. This leads to The Dell , a green oasis that gets overlooked by some. There are different views of the surprisingly long castle wall. You can even scramble up close to the wall and walk along until you get to the Barbican end of the castle. Approaching the top of The Dell you have an option of climbing some grassy steps and entering the main car park via the "hole in the wall", an ancient stone doorway in the Town Wall, and then finding your way into the upper town via various alternative exits at the far side. The other option is to exit the iron gate at the top of The Dell and turn left to reach the outside of the Town Gate at the traffic lights.
  • the middle option involves starting from the Museum, and strolling up Bridge Street past a row of bow-windows on the right, past the Powis Almshouses (1716 - see if you can read the tablet high up on the wall), past The Five Alls public house (check the inn sign ), up cobbled Hocker Hill Street (some say Hawker Hill), past St Maur where Horatio Nelson stayed in 1802, according to the plaque on the wall. You can now walk straight ahead to the Town Gate or veer left up the High Street.
  • the third option, starting from the Museum, is to head towards the river, passing Afon Gwy, a place to eat and sleep, on the left. Take a stroll over the 1816 iron bridge (not that much newer than the world's oldest (1781) at Ironbridge, a 100 miles or so to the north). You have to take a photograph of the castle from the bridge (why be different?). It's more photogenic when the tide is in, the water is reflecting, and the sun shining but never mind, with the tide out, and the mud on show, the castle looks more impregnable. The rise and fall of the tide, at 12m, is the second highest in the world. Come back off the bridge to the Bridge Inn and walk along the river bank, which is less pleasant since the flood defences were built in 2001, obscuring the view and re-arranging the seats (they used to line the river bank facing the river). Spot the wall plaque recording the fact that the leaders of the Chartist Insurrection were transported from the Port of Chepstow to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the 3 February 1840. Just before you reach the Boat Inn, turn right and make your way up Lower Church Street, through the iron-railinged path across the graveyard of St Mary's Church, across to Upper Church Street from where, opposite the Montague Almshouses (1615), you can amble up the pedestrianized St Mary Street and the High Street to the Town Gate.

If you support charity shops, Chepstow has about five (it does sometimes vary), watch out for them. St Mary Street has some shops which deal in antiques and objects which one day might be antiques. Every three weeks or so, on a Saturday morning, there is a Farmers' Market in the Place de Cormeilles, adjacent to the Town Gate. Every Sunday morning there is a market at the racecourse which can attract large crowds.

Get out

  • A few miles upstream from Chepstow, on the river Wye, are the ruins of the Cistercian Tintern Abbey, founded in 1131. While the UK cycycling group Sustrans [10] have proposed an off-road cycling route along the former railway to Monmouth this has been rejected again recently due to local opposition, and consequently the re-instatement of the railway is currently equally likely (i.e. not very).
  • The first part of the Wye Valley Walk [11], which starts at the bottom of The Dell, by the Castle will take you to Tintern. The Offa's Dyke Path [12] will also get you there. Cross the 1816 Bridge over the Wye and follow the steep path up the hill on the other side. You really need walking boots because there are usually some muddy sections. Allow about 3-4 hours for either way. Go one way and come back the other is a good day out, lunching in Tintern.
  • Go climbing at Woodcroft, a couple of miles out of Chepstow, on the Gloucestershire side of the Wye. Wintour's Leap [13] is a limestone cliff popular with climbers and considered "the gem of the Wye Valley".
  • The National Diving & Activity Centre [14] is at Tidenham, a couple of miles away along the road to Gloucester (A48). Site open Wed - Fri: 9:30AM - 5PM 1st dive 10AM, out of water by 4:00PM. Friday/Saturday/Sunday & bank holidays: 8AM - 5PM, Out of water by 4PM. Tel: 01291 630850, e-mail: info@ndac.co.uk.
  • Visit the Dean Forest Railway [15] which is based at the Norchard Steam Centre, on the B4234 Forest Road between Lydney and Whitecroft, about 9 miles from Chepstow. Entrance is free on non-passenger train days. An example of steam train fares is Adult: £6.50, Senior: £5.50, Child aged 5 to 16: £4.50, child under 5 is free, for all day, travel as many times as you like. But see the web site for alternatives: [16].
  • A map of the area (available from most good bookshops and tourist information centres in Chepstow) will allow you to plan your own walks - although beware that several footpaths marked do not exist or will not be in a suitable state. Nonetheless, this can allow some excellent views of the landscape without going far from Chepstow. Check that the map does mark footpaths clearly before buying however, as many don't.

Eat

There is a fish and chip shop just outside the Town Gate (The Arch), in Albion Square, and a Chinese takeaway a little further up Moor Street, on the right; there is another sandwiched between the main car park and Bank Street, where you can also sit down. There is an Indian Restaurant at the top of Hocker Hill Street. There are quite a few pubs serving food as well as tea-rooms. Chepstow even has a local department store, Herbert Lewis, in the High Street, which has a coffee shop. Late in 2004, a Greek Meze Bar opened in Welsh Street.

The Coach and Horses Inn on Welsh Street serves proper good-quality home cooking with a specials menu that changes daily

Buy

  • Green Man and the Gatekeeper, Now at Taurus Crafts, The Old Park, Lydney GL15 6BU (On the A48, Gloucester road from Chepstow, about 8 miles to Taurus Crafts - Look for the Bull sculpture on your left.), 01594843860, [17]. 11.0 to 5.00 daily. Inspired by History, Tradition and Heritage - Original, unique gifts in leather, ceramics and pewter. We also produce our own range of original greetings cards.
    Green Man Plaques • Bags • Belts • Masks • Jewellery • Brooches • Badges • Miniatures • Greetings Cards and more.

Sleep

  • George Hotel, [18] is just outside the Town Gate, in Moor Street. Tel: 01291 625363
  • Chepstow Hotel, [19] is about half a mile up the hill from the Town Gate, on the Newport Road. Tel: 01291 626261
  • Beaufort Hotel, [20] is in the town centre at the top end of St Mary Street. Tel: 01291 622497
  • Castle View Hotel, [21] is opposite the Castle (as you would expect). Tel: 01291 620349
  • B&B accommodation can be booked through the Chepstow Tourist Information Centre, Bridge Street (opp. Castle), Tel: 01291 623772.
  • The First Hurdle Guest House, [22]. Comfortable B&B in central Chepstow location.
  • Coach and Horses Inn, Welsh Street, 01291-622626. A popular B&B which specialises in real ales and cracking proper home-cooking.
  • Monmouthshire Cottage (Monmouthshire holiday cottage), Itton Chepstow, 01291641861, [23]. checkin: 1400; checkout: 1000. Detached country cottage sleeping up to 4 people set in its own garden. Short breaks available From £240 per week.




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