Newport, Isle of Wight
Newport, the Island’s principal town was founded in 1180 as the port for Carisbrooke, the first capital of the Island. Its grand Georgian buildings date from the town’s most affluent period, with the porticoed town hall designed by John Nash. Within the town hall is the Museum of Island History, which tells the story of the Island's past from the time of the dinosaurs to the present day.
Newport Roman Villa was discovered in 1926 when the owner of a nearby house sank foundations for a garage. The extensive remains of a farmhouse built around 280 AD, which were found, are now open to the public.
On the quayside you’ll find two further attractions: the Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum contains an impressive display of vintage buses and coaches, collected to display the Island’s transport heritage, while the Classic Boat Museum is a collection of beautifully restored classic sailing and power boats dating back to the 19th century.
Art lovers are spoiled for choice, with Quay Arts offering a varied programme of events throughout the year as well as gallery space for artists from around the world. The Newport Museum & Art Gallery has an ever-changing collection of art and ceramics, while Newport Harbour, just a short walk from the town centre, is home to a number of craft studios.
Entertainment in Newport is plentiful. The 200-year-old Apollo Theatre, Medina Theatre and Quay Arts stage a huge variety of performances and there’s a multi-screen cinema, pubs, and restaurants aplenty.
Nearby Carisbrooke Castle is an impressive royal fortress which served as a prison to King Charles I. The Castle’s famous donkeys can still be found powering the wheel which raised water in the medieval well house.
To the east of Newport, Isle of Wight Lavender boasts the National Collection of Lavendula, with over 230 varieties. It’s a great place for buying gifts made from the Island-grown sweet-smelling flowers.
Things to do in Newport
- Shopping - Newport offers the usual high street brands that you would expect to see in a large town, plus a rangeof speciality shops.
- Walk - take a stroll along the quayside and enjoy a quiet drink or meal whilst taking in the view.
- Art - Visit Quay Arts Centre where you can browse the work of local artists.
- Newport Roman Villa - Built in 280 AD, Newport Roman Villa features fantastically preserved Roman bath suites with hypocaust underfloor heating. It is open to the public from 1 April until 31 October and is located on Cypress Road.
- Carisbrooke Castle - Located in the village of Carisbrooke near Newport, Carisbrooke Castle was the strongest castle on the Island and was where Charles I was imprisoned prior to his trial in 1649.
Map of Newport
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Just outside Newport Carisbrooke Castle provides a fantastic living history experience for all the family. On a rainy day, Quay Arts on the old quay is a favourite place to pass some time, with regular exhibitions and entertainment as well as pubs and cafes.