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Living in Welshpool: The Local Area Guide

Welshpool is billed as the location ‘where Wales begins,’ positioned just 4 miles away from the Wales-England border. This classic market town is tucked into the picturesque Severn Valley, with Long Mountain and the green rolling hills of Montgomeryshire surrounding it.

It has long been an important area for agriculture, and still retains the largest sheep market in all of Europe. Its rural location lends itself well to outdoor pursuits, from horseback riding to golf and fishing. Historic sites including the famous Powis Castle are at its doorstep, and a working steam train provides a leisurely way to access the scenery. There are many examples of well-preserved 16th century architecture, with one of the best being the timber-framed Mermaid Inn on the High Street.

Demographics

Welshpool’s economy has been agriculture-based for centuries. The town still hosts the Smithfield Livestock Market, which is the largest in Europe and lasts one day each year. The town also is home to numerous industrial estates, which house small businesses and industries.

Welshpool is part of what was historically Montgomeryshire County in the current administrative area of Powys. In the Montgomeryshire parliament constituency, which includes Welshpool, 66% of residents are in work. Many are homeowners, with 38% owning their own home outright and 32% paying a mortgage. There is a significant aging population in this constituency. Nearly 25% of residents are over the age of 65. A high majority, of 96%, identify as white British.

Education

Families residing in Welshpool are lucky to have access to several highly rated schools. The town is home to Oldford Nursery and Infants School, which is ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ features according to its Estyn report. It’s also home to the ‘good’ Ardwyn Nursery and Infants School, as well as Leighton Primary. Leighton, also marked as a ‘good’ school, was also noted in its inspection report to have well-behaved children and a safe, supportive atmosphere.

The other school in town is Ullapool High School, which provides 6 year comprehensive secondary education. It’s housed in a modern building which includes the Macphail Centre, featuring a public library and 200-seat theatre. When inspected in 2009 by HMIE, it was found to be good in terms of learner experiences and very good at meeting learning needs.Older children move on to Welshpool High School, which is a secondary school and sixth form college catering for students aged 11-18. Their school motto is ‘Raising Achievement by Raising Expectations’ and at the time of their 2010 Estyn inspection there were 1,135 students in total. This mixed comprehensive community school was rated ‘good’ both in their current performance and potential for improvement. In 2014, 59.9% of pupils attained at least 5 A* to C grade GCSEs, compared to 55.4% of pupils nationwide. These included English/Welsh and Maths subjects.

Transport

The Welshpool railway station is served by Arriva Trains Wales. It’s on the Cambrian Line, with hourly services to Newtown, Machynlleth, and Shrewsbury. Welshpool’s also home to the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway, a narrow gauge steam train that departs from Raven Square. Bus services are operated by Tanat Valley Coaches, and provide transport to Shrewsbury, Newtown, Oswestry, and other regional destinations.

By motorway, it’s a 30 minute drive to Shrewsbury, or just 20 minutes to Newtown. The main roads passing through Welshpool are the A458, A483, and A490. Welshpool Aiport conveniently serves the area, known also as Mid Wales Airport.

Amenities and shopping

Welshpool is an excellent destination for a day of shopping, with quaint Tudor architecture and bustling lanes to explore. As a traditional market town, there’s a long history of independent shops in Welshpool and these traditions continue today. This includes a twice-weekly market in the Town Hall. A variety of shops are on offer. Art and antique lovers can visit shops along the High Street including A & H Antiques and F.E. Anderson and Son.

There’s an Iceland and Spar in town for conveniences, as well as independent food and wine shops including a butchers, fishmongers, and fruit and veg vendors. Fashion boutiques, hardware stores, and home furnishings shops complete the offerings. In terms of services, Welshpool houses branches of many national banks, including Lloyds and Barclays. There’s also a Boots pharmacy and other national brand names.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.


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