The historic walled town of Chepstow, also known as “The Entrance to Wales,” is nestled within the Lower Wye Valley, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the border between England and Wales. This bustling market town, referred to as Cas-Gwent in Welsh, translates as castle of Gwent, reflecting the importance of its Norman castle located at the heart of the town which is one of the earliest stone-built strongholds in Britain
Chepstow boasts history through the ages, with medieval cottages and Georgian town houses, as well as the nearby Tintern Abbey, the Old Wye Bridge and St Mary’s Priory. We can’t neglect to mention that Chepstow is home to one of the nation’s best loved racecourses too, bringing the famous Welsh Grand National to the town. With so much going for it, it’s easy to see why it attracts large numbers of residents and tourists alike.
Established by the Normans, Chepstow became a base during the Norman conquest of South East Wales, with 2017 celebrating the 950th anniversary of the founding of the town. We can certainly expect to see some anniversary celebrations throughout the summer months ahead! Chepstow castle was the first stone-built fort in the country, marking the historical importance and strategic position of the settlement. Just six miles from the town centre, you can also find the ruins of Tintern Abbey, one of the greatest monastic ruins left in Wales. With high arched windows and cloister walls standing the test of time, it is easy to imagine how magnificent Tintern Abbey would have been hundreds of years ago. Framed by the rolling hills of the Wye Valley, its imposing and impressive structure inspires the imagination, come rain or shine. The Abbey looks particularly mysterious and almost magical on frosty and misty mornings.
Despite the local name of Cas-Gwent, Chepstow also has another meaning, derived from the Old English words “Chepe” and “Stowe” meaning market place. To this day, the historic town is still renowned locally for its thriving markets as a centre for local farmers to convene and trade.
Thanks to the famous Old Wye Bridge dating back to 1816, which traverses the River Wye connecting Chepstow to Gloucestershire, this key connection has allowed the town to grow from strength to strength and the bridge is still widely used today. However, Chepstow has evolved over the years into a relaxed shopping destination, inspired by local lore and offering niche, boutique shops that simply can’t be found in the bigger towns and cities.
For those searching for a picturesque and culturally exciting location to call their home, you’ll be hard-pushed to find somewhere as well-connected at Chepstow. Just a two hour drive from London and just over half an hour away from Bristol, Cardiff and the Brecon Beacons, Chepstow is ideally situated to allow for country-living with city links.
The proposed reduction of the Severn Bridge toll is set to make the region more desirable than ever before, as transport links across the border become more affordable, attracting more people to the area. This can only mean that 2017 is the time for Chepstow to shine!
Aside from the intriguing collection of architecture dispersed through the town, the impressive heritage, the unrivalled transport links and the magnetic attraction of the culture-rich market town, Chepstow is the perfect base for nature lovers looking to explore the picturesque landscapes of the Wye Valley. The stunning surroundings which attracted 18th and 19th century artists such as Gilpin, Sandby, Lucas and Madeley, are interspersed with an abundance of scenic trails and public footpaths leading to and from the town. Walking is a great way to see the area at its best as you meander along the river Wye. Every October you can even participate in the Monmouthshire Walking Festival, taking part in over 30 walks across the region. What better way to appreciate the breath-taking views of the Wye Valley?
With something for everyone to enjoy, whether that’s nature-lovers, budding artists, history enthusiasts or culture- seekers, Chepstow, “The Entrance to Wales”, is the perfect place to call your home.
Are you intrigued to discover more? Speak to our Chepstow team today!