Chepstow Things to Do

  • Chepstow Castle
    Chepstow Castle
    by SallyM
  • Chepstow Castle sits on a cliff above the river Wy
    Chepstow Castle sits on a cliff above...
    by SallyM
  • Chepstow Castle
    Chepstow Castle
    by SallyM

Best Rated Things to Do in Chepstow

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Chepstow Castle

    by sue_stone Written Sep 20, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chepstow Castle is an amazing castle that dates back to 1069!!

    It covers a large area with different sections, some in better condition than others.

    It is located in a great position, sitting high up above the River Wye.

    We really enjoyed wandering through the castle, reading the information signs in each section, which helped to give you a feel for castle life.

    The experience was topped off nicely by the sound of a medieval wooden flute being played in one section of the castle, which wafted across the inner courtyard.

    Chepstow Castle Chepstow Castle Chepstow Castle enjoying the castle Castle door
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    The town of Chepstow

    by sue_stone Written Sep 20, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cheptow is located just over the border from England, in Monmouthshire, South East Wales.

    It is an attractive town situated on a large bend of the River Wye.

    The main attraction in Chepstow is the Castle, though the centre of town is cute and worth a wander around before or after a visit to the Castle.

    street in Chepstow
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Balam's Profile Photo

    Chepstow Castle

    by Balam Updated Mar 29, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    With it's spectacular setting on cliffs over the River Wye Chepstow Castles long cliff edge hugging shape shows several stages of development from its early Norman beginnings in 1067, just a year after the norman invasion building commenced and unlike most other Norman fortresses of the time Chepstow Castle was built imediatly from Stone showing it's great importance. At this time most other fortresses were being built in the Motte and Bailey form and constructed of wood with earth ramparts, William Fitzosbern used his great Castle to subdue the Welsh population of Gwent.
    It was lost by Sir William Fitzosbern's son Roger after an unsuccessful rebellion in 1075 becoming property of the King. In the 12th century the castles fortifications were strenghened considerably with building of the 13th century being mostly new living quarters.
    During the 14th centuary the castle changed hands many times as it's importance declined.
    In 1403 the castle was regarrisoned due to the fear of attack by Owain Glyndwr and thus it's strength prevented it from being attacked.

    like many great Castles during the 16th century the living quarters were adapted for more comfortable pastimes and it came to resemble a Great House rather than a Castle but the luxery did not last long as saw military action during the first Civil War when it was held by the Royalists until their surrender in 1645. During the Second Civil War the Castle was once more held for the King but it was besieged by the Parliamentarians whose guns breached the walls and the Castle was taken and its commander Sir Nicholas Kemeys was killed
    The Parliamentarians repaired the castle and held it for the remainder of the Civil War. the After the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 the Castle was used as a prison and held some important people like the Royalist Bishop Jeremy Taylor and the Regicide Henry Marten who was imprissoned in Bigod's Tower (now known as Marten's Tower) where he spent 12 years in comfortable captivity until his death on 9 September 1680 after choking while eating his supper.

    The Castles garrison and it's guns left in 1690 and many of the castles other defences dismantled and Castle was allowed to fall into a state of decay until it was eventually passed over into the care of the State in 1953

    Adult - £3.60, Concession - £3.20, Family - £10.40
    Entry is free for Welsh residents aged 60 and over or 16 and under who have a valid pass.



    Opening times
    01.04.09 - 31.10.09: Monday - Sunday 9.00 - 17.00

    01.11.09 - 31.03.10: Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 16.00, Sunday 11.00 - 16.00

    Chepstow Castle Chepstow Castle Chepstow Castle Chepstow Castle Chepstow Castle
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Balam's Profile Photo

    The Town Gate

    by Balam Written Mar 4, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chepstow's original Town Gate was built at the same time as it's Port Wall during the lordship of Sir Roger Bigod. The Gate was rebuilt during the medieval period although the existing gate dates mostly from the start if the 16th Century.
    As with many walled towns Tolls were once collected on all cattle and goods that passed through for sale. These were paid to the Lord and would be used to aid with the upkeep of the towns defences and it was with this money that in 1524 Charles Somerset the lst Earl of Worcester restored the medieval gate.

    The room above the Town Gate has had many uses over the years, it has been a prison, guard room, Quarters for the local constable and a museum among many.
    Following some extensive restoration by the Town Council in 1986 the room was named 'The Margaret Cleyton Room' in memory of the lady who had the Gatehouse rebuilt in 1609.

    The Town Gate The Town Gate The Town Gate The Town Gate The Town Gate
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • Balam's Profile Photo

    St Marys Church

    by Balam Written Mar 5, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chepstow Parish and Priory Church of St. Mary was founded by 1071 by the Marcher Lord Sir William Fitzosbern who brought Benedictine monks from the Abbey in Cormeilles Normandy to supervise the building of the church which was built in local yellow Triassic sandstone.
    The Parish and Priory Church prospered until the Act for the Dissolution of Smaller Monasteries in 1536. After this much of the stone from the Priory and the Church's eastern section was taken and used for local building.
    It's central Norman tower collapsed during a severe gale in 1703 leaving only the present fantastic example of a vast three storey early Norman Nave. (It's present fortified tower was erected in 1705). The west door is said to be an architectural masterpiece with five arches resting on receding columns and all decorated in a lavish style of the early Norman period.

    The Church has two early tombs , one is a 16th century monument to Henry the 2nd Earl of Worcester and his wife, The other is a Jacobean tomb of Margaret Cleydon. Her tomb also depict's her two husbands and twelve children.
    In the west porch there is a floorstone with an epitaph that marks the burial place of Henry Marten the regicide, who died in 1680 whilst imprisoned at Chepstow Castle.
    There are two fonts, one of which is of Norman origin and the other dates from the 15th century

    The church is open daily between 9am and 5pm

    Henry the 2nd Earl of Worcester and his wife St Marys Church Jacobean tomb of Margaret Cleydon St Marys Church Norman Font
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • neilward's Profile Photo

    The Gee Gees.

    by neilward Updated Jan 10, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Any visit to Chepstow should be combined with a day at the races,ita an excellent day out.Drinks are a bit expensive,lots of food outletsand parking across the road.Theres a subway for pedestrians,prices range from £11-$17 entrance.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Balam's Profile Photo

    The Port Wall

    by Balam Updated Mar 29, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In Medieval times the Town was protected to it's North and East by the River and by it's Town Wall called The Port Wall. The wall was over 1,200 yards long, 6 feet thick and 15 feet high. It originally had 12 towers along the wall and a dry moat on the outside.
    The wall was built mostly just as a means of controlling access to the town which was via the Town Gate were a Toll would be charged on Goods brought into the Town. This sort of wall and gate is known as a Customs Wall.

    Much of the wall is in an excellent state of preservation although we found that the best stretch is that that can be seen from Upper Nelson St at its junction with Garden City way.

    The Port Wall The Port Wall The Port Wall The Port Wall The Port Wall
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Balam's Profile Photo

    Museum

    by Balam Updated Mar 29, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Situated in a 18th century Town House called Gwy House that has an interesting history in itself involving some prominent people from Chepstow’s past.
    It was built in 1796 by Warren Jane who was an Apothecary and the house continued to be linked to the medical profession as it was owned for many years during the 19th century by a local surgeon and during the First World War it became a Red Cross Hospital and until recently it was the Chepstow and District Hospital, there is a display in the Museum that illustrates the changing uses of the house over its history.

    The museum exhibits reflect Chepstow’s development from its early beginnings as a Roman town to being an important port and bustling Market town as well as the then subsequent decline of the port. The museum houses a wealth of information and is well worth a visit.

    Admission is free

    Open Monday to Saturday 11:00 to 13:00, 14:00 to 17:00
    Sundays 14:00 to 17:00

    Chepstow Museum Chepstow Museum Chepstow Museum Chepstow Museum
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • neilward's Profile Photo

    The border

    by neilward Written Jan 2, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is the Wye Bridge, that spans the River Wye,which provide a lot of the border between England and Wales.
    Thie picture was taken in the Spring,the colours you can see this time of year are beautiful,lots of greens and browns.

    River Wye
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • uglyscot's Profile Photo

    Visit Chepstow castle

    by uglyscot Updated Dec 10, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The castle is open daily from April to October 10am-5.30pm and November to March 10am -3,30 pm. Tickets cost £3.70 for adults, Concession £3.30.
    The castle stands on a narrow cliff top overlooking the Wye Valley.It has changed appearance over the centuries. It was begun in 1067 in stone, which is unusual for a Norman castle, by William FitzOsbern. The oldest part is the great tower, but building continued into the 17th century.
    It was fortified in the 12th century and again at the time of the Welsh Wars.
    It has also been a prison and a place of industy before being left to decay . It has since been taken over in 1953.
    Its doors, made of wood, are 800 years old- the oldest castle doors in Europe-, but have been removed and are now on show in the on-site exhibition.
    There are three sections to the castle- the original Norman section, Tudor renovations and the Barbican.
    Warning, some of the staircases are uneven and steep, especially those leading to the top of St Martin's tower.
    I liked the Great Hall in the Barbican area best, and the views from the windows over towards England.
    There is a car park beside the castle, 3hours for £1.30 Toilets are also available.

    Chepstow Castle The castle town and castle doorway to shop part of the castle
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    CHEPSTOW CASTLE

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pulling into the Castle car park, I liked what I could see of this mighty fortress of Chepstow, the Castle that once guarded the route from England into South Wales for more than 9 centuries!

    Building commenced the year after the Battle of Hastings in 1067, in stone, an indication of the Castle’s importance. It has the earliest surviving stone keep in Britain situated on a narrow ridge high above the river Wye.
    I wandered around the whole Castle, most in ruin's, but in some place's, they did have furniture. There is signage everywhere, so you definitely know what you are looking at.
    People with walking problem's would probably need to stay on the main pathway's in the Castle area, as to go inside the ruin's, there were step's, so care needed to be taken.
    Toilet's and a Gift shop are located on site.

    A major exhibition “A Castle at War” which includes life-size models and a dramatic Civil War battle scene, explores both the medieval development of the Castle, and its role in the Civil War.

    OPEN DAILY..... 1st April to 31st October and March 9.30am to 5pm,
    July and August opening until 6pm.
    1st November until 29th February 10am to 4pm
    Monday to Saturday and 11am to 4pm Sunday.

    ADMISSION.....
    Adults £4.00, Reduced Rate £3.60, Family Ticket £11.00 (2 adults and all children/grandchildren under 16 yrs). Entry is free for Welsh residents aged 60 and over or 16 and under who have a valid pass.

    Plenty of parking is provided off Bridge Street immediately below the Castle.

    Chepstow Castle Chepstow Castle Chepstow Castle Chepstow Castle Chepstow Castle
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Balam's Profile Photo

    The Gloucester Hole

    by Balam Written Mar 30, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the Limestone Cliffs on the Gloustershire side of the River you will see a small square hole. This is known as The Gloucester Hole.
    The small opening leads into a much larger chamber withing the Limestone cliffs. The are many stories and much speculation about it's origin and about what it has been used for such as storing Tea by the Shirenewton Quakers of for the storing of explosives by Brunel when the railway was built.
    The Blue Plaque on the floor opposite the hole says that a local antiquarian called J.G.Wood wrote in 1901 that nearly 50 years earlier he had quizzed the oldest inhabitants and discovered that this natural cave had been enlarged and fitted with a crane at it's mouth to unload large ships that could moor there in deep water but could not easily dock at the shallower wharves on the Chepstow side of the river. The cargo was then reloaded onto trows and taken up river to Monmouth and Hereford. For many years mooring chains and rings in the cliff below survived to support this explanation.

    Next to the Hole is a Union Flag which was first painted in 1935 to mark the silver Jubilee of king George V by some Chepstow salmon fishermen. the highest tides reach nearly to the top of it.

    The Gloucester Hole The Gloucester Hole
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo

    Chepstow Museum ~ re-live the olden days

    by aaaarrgh Written Sep 5, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chepstow Museum is directly opposite the Tourist Information Office in a pleasant Georgian mansion. It is FREE to enter, so nothing to lose except half an hour of your time. Well, as for time you can travel back decades, with exhibitions of wartime Chepstow and miscellaneous collections of Chepstow clocks, signs, bank notes, bottles, machinery etc. One large room is devoted to the town's early history, another is filled with 200 years of etchings of Chepstow. On the landing there was information, photos, paintings and drawings of Sir John Soanes' local masterpiece, Piercefield House - I had just missed a special exhibition of the architects' original drawings.

    The museum staff are helpful and friendly and look after a museum shop filled with various postcards, games, books and souvenirs.

    Open 10.30-5.30 during Summer months, closes for lunch in Winter

    ty gwy
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo

    Chepstow's Clifftop Castle

    by aaaarrgh Updated Sep 4, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    No doubt if you are heading for Chepstow, you will know about its excellent castle. It sits high above a bend in the River Wye on sheer rocky cliffs. Its construction began shortly after the Norman Conquest of England in 1067. There are examples of different historical periods which make the castle a useful learning tool for visitors and students. Thankfully you don't really need to spend money on a guidebook because there is plenty of information on display. And an interesting exhibition about the castle's history and the English Civil War. At the end of the 17th century, a few decades after the war ended, the Castle outlived its usefulness and began to decay.

    Chepstow Castle has a big advantage over similar castles nearby (for example Caerphilly) simply by the fact it is surrounded by beautiful countryside and a picturesque town!

    Admission price in 2006 3.50/3.00 GBP for adults, 10 GBP for a family. Close to large carpark, Tourist Info Centre and Chepstow Museum

    attraction fortifications
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Balam's Profile Photo

    Chepstow (Road) Bridge

    by Balam Updated Mar 30, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There has been a bridge at Chepstow for Hundreds of years, at least since the Romans built one which was about half a mile further up the river than the present one.
    The Present Iron Bridge is the 6th bridge to be built on that site, it's predecessors would have been constructed of wood and so would not have lasted much longer than 30 - 50 years before they would need major repairs and so many towns folk would give donations and leave money in their wills to fund the repairing or rebuilding of the bridge which was often described in old records as "fallen into great ruin and decay and likely to fall"
    The rebuilding of the Bridge was always difficult due to the extraordinarily high rise and fall of the tide which can rise up to 46ft.
    The present Bridge has been constructed of cast Iron on stone piers and was built in 1816 and it has had to be strengthened several times, near the foot of the bridge near the bridge Inn is a marker the records the highest tide of the 19th c.

    We walked over the bridge and down a lane hoping to get some good views of the castle but you cannot get to the side of the river, however I have read that if you go up the path which comes down opposite the bridge (follow the Offa's Dyke footpath signs) it takes you up to the Cliffs from which you can get some great views of Chepstow and the Castle.

    Chepstow Road Bridge Chepstow Road Bridge Chepstow Road Bridge Chepstow Road Bridge (Looking to Wales) Chepstow Road Bridge (Looking to England)
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Chepstow

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

13 travelers online now

Comments

Chepstow Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Chepstow things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Chepstow sightseeing.

View all Chepstow hotels