Chepstow is on the Welsh side of the England-Wales border. William the Conqueror ordered Chepstow Castle to be built in 1067, the year after his victory at the Battle of Hastings. The castle was to keep the Welsh inside their borders and to stop incursions into the King’s lands. It was built on a narrow cliff top ridge and commands views of the spectacular surrounding countryside. Nowadays it is one of the cultural centres of Chepstow and hosts various events.
From the 26th to 27th May 2013 there is a chance for kids to dress up as knights and even take part in a battle. These events start at 11:00 and continue until 16:00. Concessionary rates are £3.40 and a family ticket (2 adults and any children under 16) is a bargain at £13.50. The entry fee for an adult is £4.50.
On the 31st May 2013 the Lord Chamberlain’s Men will be performing Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” at Chepstow Castle. The performance begins at 19:30 and tickets are £12.50 for adults and concessions are £7.50. This is a comedy which can be enjoyed by all!
Chepstow (Cas-gwent in Welsh) is located at the confluence of the rivers Wye and Severn and it is a pleasant place to spend a sunny afternoon. You can sit on the banks of the river with a view of the castle and eat and drink to your heart’s content outside one of the town’s hostelries.
Chepstow has been inhabited at least since Roman times as it was a useful port and close to the garrison and town located at Caerleon. It is now seen as the gateway to the Lower Wye Valley, which is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
If you are the adventurous sort, then the National Diving and Activity Centre is just over a mile to the east of Chepstow, and there you can have scuba diving lessons or ride the Wire Zip Slide at speeds of up to 40 mph along the length of the flooded quarry (80 metres deep). This is one of the longest, tallest and fastest of these types of slide in the UK. You jump off a cliff top that is 70 metres high to begin the ride.
Chepstow is famous for its race course, holding both National Hunt races and flat races. There are 30 fixtures held throughout the year and also different events such as the Caribbean evening to be held this summer! There are usually about three racing fixtures a month, weather permitting.
As I went through Chepstow in the winter I noticed that some of the pubs I used to frequent had closed down, a mark of the poor economic situation in the UK, I suspect. Like Greece, Chepstow would benefit from an influx of tourists, so if you are in Cardiff or Bristol, considering visiting this picturesque town his summer!
The Chepstow Festival is from 15th June until 12th July in 2013, click here for details.