If you are a history buff then the business centre of Newport in Wales just might be one of the most interesting places in the United Kingdom. Most people may not believe it, but the city has hosted many of the most well-known household names from pop stars to historical characters – and there were some notable happenings along the way.
There must be something in the air in this Welsh cathedral city because it has a simply fascinating history.
For instance Harry Houdini, the famous escape artist launched his 1905 tour in the city and he did it in his own unique style. There were red faces among the local police when Houdini managed to escape from their cells while completely naked. Some years later he leapt (while handcuffed of course) from the Newport Bridge and was arrested for obstructing traffic. He was later released without even paying a cent in fines.
Pop stars have also stamped their unique personas on the city. The policeman from the Village People made his home there after marrying a local lawyer. Victor Willis moved after he was released from prison in the United States where he was serving time on drug charges. Maybe he just wanted a slightly less flamboyant lifestyle.
Newport may not spring to mind as one of the culinary hot spots for global cuisine but at least one American superstar might beg to disagree. In 2007 Kanye West fell so hard for the curry from well-known eatery The British Raj Indian Restaurant that he had the head chef flown to New York (a trip of 3,500 miles – surely one of the all-time takeout records) to cater for an event where he was hosting the glitterati of the entertainment world.
Food seems to still be attracting people to Newport. In fact, the Food Festival has been going from strength to strength.Although not as large as other food festivals the Newport version has gained somewhat of a cult following. With fringe activities and delicious food and drink from all over the globe, it now attracts people from across the UK.
With a history rich in colourful characters and a thriving cultural and art scene, this city in Wales is simply one of the most fascinating places in both Wales and the wider United Kingdom. This is a place that will satisfy even the most jaded of traveller – and it should be on your holiday itinerary.