Newport is an idyllic little town on Pembrokeshire’s north coast. Newport has very loyal visitors with many spending the entire summer in Newport every year and with good reason. Newport is an undeveloped haven with a laid back way of life that acts as a perfect antidote to the excesses of modern life.
Newport is a town of two halves, the streets around Market Street and the area around the Parrog. Market Street was once wide enough to accommodate market stalls but has since been narrowed with the enclosure of front gardens at many of the properties.
Make sure you visit the Information Centre on Long Street. This community staffed centre can provide you with a wealth of information including what’s on in the village.
Newport is served by the coastal bus service 405: The Poppit Rocket which links the town to Cardigan and Fishguard as well as the surrounding villages.
Read our top tip for things to do on your Newport stay – 48 hours in Newport.
Newport Parrog is a draw for all things water based. It’s a perfect spot for kayaking up stream to Newport Bridge or down river out to sea and exploring the cliffs and caves of Cemaes Head.
Newport has a sailing club with many events held throughout the summer and the links golf course at Newport Golf Club provides one of the best locations to swing a club.
Newport Parrog is just made for rockpooling and round by the old lifeboat station; the stones there are just perfect for skimming.
Just over 5 miles east from Newport is Castell Henllys a reconstructed Iron Age hill fort, complete with roundhouses and other buildings, built in exactly the same place as the Iron Age buildings as identified by archaeological excavations. Re-enactments throughout the summer bring the settlement to life.
And 2 ½ miles southeast is Pentre Ifan, an exposed Neolithic burial mound on the hillside high above the village. The setting is magnificent with Carn Ingli and Newport Bay as a backdrop.
Pop into the Information Centre on Long Street for more ideas of places to visit in the area.
Food and drink
There are a number of good pubs in Newport including The Castle Inn, The Royal Oak and The Golden Lion. They all provide food at lunchtime and in the evening.
There are also two excellent restaurants in Newport; Cnapan and Llys Meddyg. These are Restaurants with Rooms so they also offer amazing accommodation.
There is also a fine selection of cafes both in the town and on the Parrog.
Newport has a great selection of places to stay. Newport Golf Course offers rooms with one of the best views in Pembrokeshire. There are also Inns, B&Bs, restaurants with rooms and guesthouses in Newport. Camp sites and touring caravan sites are available including several that have direct access to The Parrog.
There is a holiday park with camping facilities at nearby Llwyngwair Manor on the way to Cardigan. There are numerous self catering cottages throughout this part of Pembrokeshire including in Newport itself.
History of Newport
The town was founded by the Norman William FitzMartin in about 1197. William founded Newport as the new capital of the Marcher Lordship of Cemais and it was a busy port founded primarily on the growing medieval wool trade. Despite seizure from the native Welsh, it remained within the FitzMartin family until the death of William, the 2nd Lord Martin, who died without male heir in 1326.
The castle was built in the 12th century and consists of a massive gatehouse flanked by two circular towers, the dungeon tower on the southwest and the Hunter’s tower on the northwest. The relatively vulnerable southeast side was protected by a large D-shaped tower.
Adjoining this are the remains of part of the chapel and a vaulted crypt. A vaulted dungeon remains in the aforementioned southwest tower. The castle is privately owned.
The Parrog was the focus for maritime activity. Between the 16th and 18thcenturies Newport’s focus was Herring and after its decline, the port turned to coastal trade and shipbuilding up until the 19th century.
The game Cnapan may have originated in the Middle Ages as a form of organised chaos and relief for the monotonous work of the local peasants. The game is said to be a forerunner to rugby and involved the occupants of both Newport and nearby Nevern. The game covered the whole of the countryside between the two villages. There are few rules so as to minimise hindrance to play. There were two groups of players on each side, some who grappled for the cnapan or ball and others who were the fastest runners. There were also features similar to scrums and lineouts.