Properties for sale in Usk
Living in Usk: the local area guide
Only a few miles up the road from Newport, at the base of the beautiful Monmouthshire hills lies Usk. Usk is a small, historic Welsh town with clear roots in Roman, Norman and Medieval history. That’s not to say it’s not made its mark on the modern era though. Usk is one of the most successful towns in the Britain in Bloom competitions. It is also home to a fantastic array of quirky pubs, restaurants, antique dealers and artisan shops.
Despite its peaceful feel, Usk was an important military outpost. The Romans first noticed its strategic importance in AD 55 before vacating after 20 years. Later, the Normans took over and the de Clare family constructed the imposing, yet beautiful castle that remains to this day.
However, Usk (Brynbuga in Welsh) has long left its military past behind. Now a vibrant community, the cobbled streets, and 17th century buildings are surrounded by beautiful country walks, flower arrangements and all manner of excellent shops and amenities.
Slightly fewer than 3000 people live in Usk today, and work largely in professional, elementary and skilled trade occupations. While Usk is a relatively quiet community, it does not have a disproportionately large retired population; the average age is 43, only slightly over that of Wales as a whole. Most of the local community are Welsh but, given the town’s relative proximity to the border, there is an unsurprisingly large contingent from elsewhere in the UK and Ireland.
The Usk community are notably friendly and work together to maintain the town's fantastic success in the Britain in Bloom competitions. Since 1980, the Usk in Bloom committee has worked passionately to improve the town with the artful, creative planting of floral arrangements, shrubs, bushes and trees. They’ve had some significant success too – winning Wales in Bloom a staggering 27 times in a row between 1982 and 2010.
Usk has a clear draw for families with children. The beautiful countryside, excellent horse-riding community, and friendly rugby club mean it’s a great place to raise an active family.
Past that, it is served by some good quality local schools. The Church in Wales Primary School is a friendly and successful school. Nearby are also Llanfair Kilgeddin VA CIW Primary School and Goytre Fawr Primary School. For children a little older, the local comprehensive is Croesyceiliog School.
It’s worth noting that Newport is only a 20-minute drive away, and has some of the top performing schools in Wales. Both Bassaleg School and Caerleon Comprehensive were named in the top 10 schools in Wales in 2014.
Usk is quiet, peaceful and has excellent access to main roads. It also sits a few miles away from Newport. In this sense, Usk is home to a small commuter community. To the east of the town is the A449, which goes directly to Newport and Wales’ main artery – the M4. Cardiff and Bristol are, therefore, also close by.
Though the town lacks a railway station, a couple can be found a few miles down the road – The Pontypool & New Inn station and the Cwmbran station. What’s more, regular buses pass through the town, reaching Newport in just under half an hour.
Amenities and shopping
This is where Usk really comes into its own. Despite its small size, Usk has a brilliant selection of pubs, diners, antique dealers and creatively-minded artisan stores.
Examples include Country Pine & Antiques of Usk, Reeks Stained Glass and Craft Studio (which has some wonderful creative gift ideas and even offers bespoke work) and Harpers of Usk on Bridge Street. For new residents, The Curtain Studio is a must-visit. It has 1000s of fabric choices and is ideal for those wishing to personalise their home.
Pubs and restaurants are scattered throughout the town, with many boasting near-perfect reviews. The New Court Inn and the Nag’s Head Inn are two popular examples."
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