Slow Train Coming


Chepstow has a fine castle that we were privileged to visit but it has a lot more too. 

Our walking route from the railway station took us up to the top of the town taking in Sammy the Seal, the history mosaics outside Tesco, the Portwall, the blue plaque for Dambuster pilot Bill Townsend and even a plaque for the town’s favourite cat Alfie.

We could now relax and start the downhill section, past the historic George pub and under the town gate rebuilt in 1609 by Margaret Clayton where she used to hide the pub takings for safety.  The centre of town was redeveloped some 20 years ago to include some interesting sculptures which we discussed and saw the memorial to William Williams VC. After all that it was time for a coffee break.

We ambled downhill, along Bridge Street admiring the door knockers and window decorations and ended up on the 1816 bridge that spans the Wales-England border with good views back towards the castle cliffs. To finish off the morning we learnt about the history of the river, and the fact that the Chartist prisoners arrested in Newport were deported from here to Tasmania (tying in nicely with our Newport trip). We even saw the baked potato sculpture celebrating 10 years of the Wales Coastal path.

After another break we headed to the castle meeting by Rubin Eynon’s tactile model and into the castle.  We shared some words about the castle’s main events over the centuries and then had a walk around the grounds.  It’s an impressive structure that’s for sure. I loved seeing the old original doors, so well preserved. It was an overcast and completely still day – as someone said, Turner would have loved it for painting.

Walking back to the station, some took the direct route whilst others had a look inside St Mary’s Priory and found the ornate tomb of Margaret Clayton.

Click here to see notes used for our visit.