The 3rd walk on the South Wales section of the Wales Coast Path, starts at the Newport Wetlands Reserve at Nash. From there, we walked to Newport’s iconic Transporter Bridge on the River Usk. It’s just under 4 miles to the eastern side of the bridge, plus a further 2 miles along roads to the west side at Pillgwenlly.
Near the entrance to the Wetlands Reserve the path is easily followed, the distinctive WCP icon displayed on way-marker posts along the route.
A grassy track leads across farm fields towards Nash Village, passing near to the local pub, The Waterloo Inn.
A feature of walking this section are the numerous footbridges, which link the fields by crossing over the extensive network of ‘reens’ that drain the farmland across the Gwent Levels.
From Nash it’s a pleasant walk across countryside fields as the path winds its way towards a local nature reserve, Great Traston Meadows.
Great Traston Meadows are a rare example of traditional hay meadows, rich with rare plants and wildflowers. If you walk here in early summer you’ll be rewarded with the sight of a profusion of wildflowers, butterflies, dragonflies and bees, including the rare Shrill Carder Bee.
After walking across the meadows the route follows a hedgerow lined cycle path before leaving the countryside scenery behind, passing by an industrial area and dry dock and emerging onto the eastern bank of the River Usk.
There’s one more footbridge to navigate on this section, a quirky set up of metal steps over a rickety conveyor belt which runs from a riverside wharf to a nearby cement works.
The path continues as a grass track along the top of the east bank of the River Usk and leads towards one of the iconic structures on the Wales Coast Path…..
Newport Transporter Bridge
This marvellous feat of engineering was opened in 1906, and is one of only two operational transporter bridges in Britain, the other being in Middlesbrough on the River Tees.
Newport Transporter bridge is currently closed until at least 2024. Lottery Heritage funding has been awarded for a major refurbishment and a major new visitor centre is being constructed.
So there are very limited ‘open day’ opportunities to walk across the top deck during this time. Here’s a link to all the key facts and figures on the bridge.
I’ve been fortunate to visit the bridge on open day events, climbing the stairwells and walking across the top a number of times, and it really is a great experience, if you’ve a head for heights!
Below are some photos taken on an open day event in recent years, when you could walk over the top walkway and travel back across the river on the gondola, an aerial ferry .
The walk from the Wetlands Reserve to the Transporter Bridge at Stephenson Street is just under 4 miles. As the bridge is out of action, then the Wales Coast Path official route continues along an industrial estate, a busy dual carriageway and across the modern Newport City Bridge to the west side of the River Usk.
It’s a 2 mile walk along roads to the west side of the Transporter Bridge at Pillgwenlly, see map 2 in the route recap below.
On the west bank there’s an alternative view of the bridge and the wonderful cable suspended gondola.
The return walk takes us back over City Bridge, late afternoon setting sun providing a golden glow for a wonderful silhouette of the Transporter Bridge.
This walk covered just under 6 miles ‘point to point’ on the Wales Coast Path.
With exciting new developments for a Transporter Bridge Visitor Experience Centre planned for completion in 2024, this will undoubtedly become a superb attraction for walkers on the Wales Coast Path in future years.
3 thoughts on “South Wales Coast ~ Walk 3. Newport: Nash to Transporter Bridge.”
A slightly different feel to this post, but nevertheless full of interest and information – possibly not all of it known even to local residents.
Great photography , as we have come to expect , but the shots of the transporter are exceptional.
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Another well narrated walk and some wonderful photos. This brings back some lovely memories, we remember going across the Transporter on the gondola, many years ago and having to pay a penny to do so!
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Wonderful photos of the transporter bridge, especially the gondola shot.
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