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Things to do in Chepstow & reasons to stay at the Greenman Backpackers

From Nights

Image of Chepstow castle a stones through from the Greenman Backpackers Hostel Chepstow

The Greenman Backpackers is situated in Monmouthshire on the South Wales border. An area steeped in history, so if you are looking for Things to do in Chepstow? Here are some suggestions…

Chepstow is a town in Monmouthshire on the South Wales border with so much history and so many things to do. The Castle is the oldest stone built Castle in Wales and dates back to 1067 being built by the Conqueror and makes Chepstow 950 years old in 2017 with plans afoot to celebrate this. A visit to the Castle is a must if at all possible.

Our huge Norman Church has a history all of its’ own and is a place of serene tranquillity and dappled daylight. Chepstow was once the biggest port in Wales and a walk down to the Riverbank will be a truly rewarding one. The River Wye at Chesptow has the second highest tidal range IN THE WORLD with a tide of up to 14.6 metres. Just sit and watch it rip in or out.

The beautiful iron Chepstow Bridge, built by John Urpeth Rastrick in 1816 was the widest five arch span iron bridge in the world when it was built….and it still is! The very best views of the Castle are from this lovely old bridge and, if you stand in the very middle with your legs apart….you have one foot in Wales and one foot in England. Go on, can you really resist the photo opportunity?

The Town Gate, originally 13th Century but remodeled in the 16th. Century was built in to the Port Wall which completely encircled the Town from Castle to River. Here tolls were collected and fees collected from market stall holders. (The land on the other side of the Gate was known locally as “Robin Hood Corner”. It was where unofficial market folk sold their goods without paying the fees!)

Within Chepstow Town there are so many more things to do and Mick and Ness will be more than happy to offer suggestions of interesting things to see and it may be possible, with prior notice, to arrange a “Hidden Chepstow” guided walk with a local historian.

And there is nowhere in the Town of Chepstow that is more than a few minutes walk away from the Greenman Backpackers Hostel.

Slightly (but not much) further away are some attractions of National, even World renown and Mick and Ness and their team will be most happy to give directions and also give local knowledge and secrets that may not be found in the guidebooks!

Offa’s Dyke Path: is a long distance footpath following the English/Welsh border. There is local conjecture as to whether it was built by Offa of Mercia in the 8th. Century either to keep the English out or the Welsh in…. The Dyke runs from Sedbury, Chepstow to Prestatyn in North Wales. It is177 miles long, crosses a variety of landscapes and will take the average walker about 12 days to walk. Perhaps the best views of the scale of the ramparts is seen at Beachley near Chepstow. To know more, just click here.

Tintern Abbey: is approximately five miles from Chepstow and can be reached by bus or by walking/cycling the A466, or by following the Wye Valley Path. The well presented ruins of this Certercian Abbey founded in 1131 are well worth a visit particularly as the on – site information is excellent.

The Wye Valley Path: is a mostly Public Right of Way 136 mile long waymarked path following the magnificent River Wye through the changing scenery, flora, fauna and wildlife of it’s young, mature and old stages. It runs from the source of the Wye near Plinlimon to where it joins the Severn Estuary at Chepstow. There are also many simple and some breathtaking cycle paths to be found in the beautiful Wye Valley. To know more about the Wye Valley Walk, just click here

Chepstow Racecourse: is 1 mile from the Greenman Backpackers and is the most prestigious racecourse in Wales hosting the Welsh Champion Hurdle and the Welsh Grand National. The meetings are both National Hunt and Flat Racing and many have theme days and/or music after the races.

Attractions page bike image of hallway at the Greenman Backpackers Chepstow accommodation

Cycling – Lands End to John O’ Groats: Here at the Greenman we have a demand from walkers, and in particular, cyclists following this famous old challenge. Should you decide to stay in our Chepstow Backpackers Hostel we will do our very best to freshen you up in readiness for the next stage. Click here to know more

Cycling – Holyhead to Chepstow: This increasingly popular cycle ride/walk takes the participant across Wales from West to East or vice versa. It is increasingly being attempted as a cycle ride to raise funds for charity. To know more about the route, just click here

The Severn Bridge: has designated walker and cycling lanes and can be an exhilarating experience on a windy day but the views of the Rivers and their very scale make it well worth it. Keen Geologists may be interested in the rather rare Red Marl and Tea Green Marl strata in the SSSI that is Aust Cliff which have between them a Rhaetic Bone Bed which occasionally surrender sharks teeth to the intrepid fossil collector.

The Wales Coastal Path: Stretches from the Dee Estuary in North Wales to the Severn Estuary in Chepstow with many suggested walks and staging posts along the way, one of which is our Chepstow Accommodation, the Greenman Backpackers Hostel. There are easy access walks and slightly more challenging hikes. Most parts of the Path reveal stunning scenery of great variety and superb Geology. Fellow Path users are common in the Greenman. One potentially exciting development is the possibility of the last of the Severn Ferries that plied their trade before the Severn Bridge opened in 1966, the “Severn Princess” may become the cosmetically restored Heritage Feature at the end of the Wales Coastal Path.

Fossil Beach: We feel that one of the major advantages of choosing the Greenman Backpackers for your Bed and Breakfast Accommodation in Chepstow is that the team running the Hostel have a wealth of local knowledge and know many hidden gems. Fossil Beach is one! Two miles from Chepstow, on the shore of the Severn and overlooked by the ceremonial end stone of Offa’s Dyke, the beach is a must for seasoned Geologists but definitely for young Geologists because there are ammonites, brachiopods and much more beside a – plenty. Not to mention the incredibly rare Pericline at Castleford bend opposite the Castle.

The Gloucestershire Way: is an increasingly popular, sometimes a little challenging waymarked route through the Forest of Dean, the Severn Plain and the Cotswolds linking the Wye Valley Walk and the Off’a Dyke Heritage Trail to the Severn, Cotswold, Oxfordshire and Heart of England Ways. Never tried it? Why not stay in our affordable but excellent Chepstow Bed and Breakfast and give it a go! Walkers are Welcome: Every April the Chepstow Walkers are Welcome Group host a hugely varied series of pleasurable and informative Walks. These attract walkers and hikers from all over the U.K. and this Festival of Walking grows bigger every year. What better place to stay than the Greenman Backpackers Hostel in Chepstow?

Like Mushrooms? Greenman Backpackers proprietor Mick Lewis is an accomplished expert Mycologist. Fancy a forage…?

Chepstow is a lucky town. Surrounded in every direction by beauty. No matter what the time of the week or the season there is always so many things to do in Chepstow.