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Living in Newtown: the local area guide

The Welsh hills, flora and fauna surround Newtown, a former market town with a rich history in the woollen trade. It’s the biggest town in Powys, though that doesn’t mean it has lost a pinch of its medieval charm.

The River Severn winds way past the locale and on towards the Aberystwyth coast some 40 miles away. Two theatres and four churches are central to the town, and lush green open spaces surround the river bank.

The town is dotted with memoirs of its past. A small weaver’s cottage is now home to the local textile museum in a nod to commerce of past. The Robert Owen Museum celebrates and tells the story of the visionary draper born and bred in Newtown. As low key as Newtown can be at times, there’s a wealth of things to see and do – the best of both worlds.


Newtown’s local residents are primarily in their 40s and 50s with 30-44 year olds coming a close second. The last population count in 2011 cited 11,357 people living in the town. The majority are British and highly educated.

Most locals own their own homes outright and some have mortgages. A smaller group of others rent privately, or live in social or council housing. One car – or sometimes a van – is the usual per household and it’s the preferred way to commute.

Just as many Newtown locals work full-time as those whom are retired. Those working tend to be in the wholesale and retail trades, in automotive repairs, manufacturing or health and social work.


The Potteries, Focus School and Bettws Lifehouse are the closest independent schools to Newtown – they’re each only around a 10-minute drive away.

State schools are in plentiful supply too. Some of the best scoring primary schools include Ladywell Green school, Ysgol Dafydd Llwyd and Ysgol Gynradd Carno in Carno; just a 12-mile drive from Newtown.

Secondary school students have a marginally longer commute to reach the best schools. Top schools like Llanidloes High and Welshpool High are roughly a 14 mile (or 25 minute) commute from Newtown. Students can just as easily walk to one of the best schools though – Newtown has its exceptionally rated high school and sixth form.


With rural roads, lots of charming neighbouring towns and villages and plenty to see and do, a car will always be the best option to make the most of living in Newtown.

Public transport is available, with National Rail and Arriva Trains running routes all across the UK from Newtown’s own train station. Tanat Valley coaches run regular bus services across the local area, too.

With the closest airports, Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff, all roughly a two to two and half hours’ journey away, getting to them needs a little planning. Incorporating an over-night stay is best advised.

Amenities and shopping

Newtown is surrounded by some of the most picturesque parts of Powys, and local walking and hiking groups like to make the most of the scenery. Birdwatching, either in the town itself or at Pwll Penarth Nature Reserve (just 3 miles from the outskirts) is a popular pastime.

Shoppers won’t be disappointed with Bear Lanes; Newtown’s shopping district that’s crowned with Tudor-style gateway. A wealth of well-known high street chains, charity shops, banks and dry cleaners are all on hand.

However, you don’t have to head to the shopping centre; there are plenty of convenience shops dotted around the town where you can easily pick up the essentials.

And if you’d rather leave the shops behind altogether, it’s safe to say that there’s lots more on offer in Newtown. Wander around the galleries, leaf through your favourite books at the library or take in a movie at the cinema.

Cricket, tennis and basketball clubs make good use of the local sports facilities, though why not take advantage of the local walking groups and experience highlights of the area for yourself?

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

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

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