A new city of reinvention
The area of Newport neighbours Monmouthshire and is home to a cathedral city of the very same name again. Situated 12 miles from Cardiff, on the mouth of the River Usk, the Normans built a castle here. But Newport really grew up in the 19th century when its port became the place from which to export coal around the world – until Cardiff took over in the 1850s. It was also the site of the last large-scale armed insurrection in Britain, the Newport Rising of 1839.
The docks may have declined in importance, but Newport survived, building on manufacturing, engineering and service industries – some government departments are located here too, such as the passport office. The city is also reinventing itself. First off, it was granted city status in 2002, beating off competition from five other Welsh rivals, including Aberystwyth and Wrexham. It also opened the Usk footbridge in 2006, which won a number of awards, and attracted some big-name discount retail outlets. A few years later, it hosted the prestigious 2010 Ryder Cup at the nearby Celtic Manor Resort.