There are so many places where Roman influence is still visible today in Britain. Based in Bristol, we can plunge into the Roman past easily with the Roman Baths only 10 mins away by train, but we were recently delighted to discover the Roman heritage of Carleon, just outside Newport.
Located a quarter of an hour bus ride from Newport centre, Carleon, or Isca as it was known in Roman times, is really quaint. Once there, you can easily walk from one Roman attraction to the other. We started with the Roman Baths, where with a bit of imagination and the help of a video projection in the main basin, it’s easy to visualise the bathers relaxing in the caldarium and other tepidarium.
The fortress housed up to 6,000 men and Carleon, which was home to the Roman legion for over 300 years, would have been one of Britain’s most vibrant Roman settlements. At the nearby National Roman Legion Museum, you can find out more about what life was like in Isca, and discover ordinary objects found throughout the years in the area, like food utensils, jewellery and soldiers’ weapons and equipment.
The weather was gorgeous on the day we went so after walking through the ruins of the 40 barracks that once housed the Roman legions, we sat on the grass watching kids play football and run around in the amazingly well preserved remains of the amphitheatre, before heading into town for a delicious pint of Brains by the river Usk.