A somewhat industrial façade cloaks the Roman and medieval treasures of the city of Newport, in south-east Wales. A key port since the medieval period, it is little wonder that Newport has grown and flourished with industry changes, from exporting coal by the shipload to becoming a centre of manufacturing and engineering excellence.
But these facts are only part of Newport's story, and the city's attractions, combined with the surrounding Gwent and nearby Monmouthshire countryside, make this a pleasant place to stay for a while.
Located on the River Usk near the Severn Estuary, Newport is a city of bridges and has many buildings of architectural note. Stay in Newport hotels to explore the streets, views and nightlife of the city and to see a side of Wales away from big draws such as Cardiff, Snowdonia and the Pembrokeshire Coast.
Where you stay in Newport really depends on what you like to do during your holiday.
Celtic Manor Resort is one of the stand-out hotels in Newport, nestled nearby in the beautiful Usk Valley. The luxury hotel and golf course was home to the Ryder Cup in 2010. If you're hooked on golf (or you're a golf widow who is into divine spa treatments), this is an excellent place to stay.
Several well-known brands can also be found in the Newport area such as Premier Inn, Travelodge, Hilton, Holiday Inn Express and Ibis.
If Roman history is high on your holiday agenda, you might prefer to stay in the village of Caerleon, just to the north of Newport. It is the site of Roman fortress Isca Augusta, plus a fort and two Roman museums.
Top five attractions
Newport Transporter Bridge
Not an obvious tourist attraction at first glance, but many visit to see this huge bridge in operation. Only eight remain worldwide, and you can be transported for less than a pound between March and September.
Riverfront Arts Centre
Check ahead of your visit to see what's on at this popular arts and cultural venue on the river.
Newport Museum & Art Gallery
Journey through Newport's history at this modern venue and see artefacts from pre-historic Wales as well as those from recent years.
It was around the year 75AD that the Romans built a fortress and settlement at this site. You can still see the remains of an amphitheatre, a bath house, the fortress wall and the barracks.
National Roman Legion Museum
Find out what made the Romans great at this interesting museum in Caerleon, which houses some weapons and currency, among other displays. Kids can let their imaginations run wild as they dress up as soldiers.
Wales Open; August-September: Stake your place alongside the greens at Celtic Manor to see this hotly-contested annual golf competition.
Monmouth Festival; July-August: Nine days of music fills the souls of visitors to this long-running and popular festival, which is staged only 30 minutes away in Monmouth.
Monmouthshire Show; August: Rural life in Wales is showcased, alongside a host of other entertainment and activities, during this family show in summer.