Having lived in Chepstow my whole life, I couldn’t wait to move to university to escape. Chepstow is great if you want somewhere close to schools or just a quiet town to settle down in for a few years, but for the younger generation it may as well be a ghost town.
1. “You live so close to England; can you even call yourself Welsh?”
When you’re Welsh and proud, the last thing you want to hear is someone calling you English. And with Chepstow being on the border of England and Wales, it means people love to joke that you wish you lived across the border and that you may as well accept you’re English. After 19 years living here, the jokes have worn thin.
2. “Well you don’t sound very Welsh”
When meeting new people, having to explain the location of Chepstow can be quite an issue and the accent always comes into speculation. People don’t quite seem to understand that you can live in Wales without having a thick Welsh accent.
3. Chepstow is where businesses come to live out their last days
In recent years Chepstow has become a town of endless charity shops that only fuel the buying frenzy of the ageing population. Honestly the charm of Chepstow is long gone with everything else that used to be here.
4. Student looking for a bit of extra cash on the side? Not going to happen here.
With the town mourning the days of modern shops and restaurants, you’ll be lucky to find a decent job in the area. Students looking to earn a bit of cash on the side will likely reach a dead end as all the town can offer is volunteering in the endless stream of charity shops.
5. Want to go on night out? Better catch the train elsewhere then.
As well as no shops, the food and drink industry of Chepstow stretches as far as Spoons and stops there. Sure, Spoons is great but once the doors shut at 12 o’clock, it’s either an hour of standing round in the Lion or going home. Not a great choice really, but at least Cardiff isn’t too far away.
6. A town or an elderly community?
Despite having two schools within the town and a few more dotted close by, it’s surprising how old the town feels. The high number of elderly residents seems to far out way the young, dragging the town away from modernising anytime soon.
7. The dreaded Severn bridge toll
The biggest nuisance about living in Chepstow is if you want to commute to Bristol or go out for the day, you’ll have to pay to get back in. The toll bridge has been an ongoing struggle for us living in Chepstow for years and for those who wish to drive to work, it means you’ll have to pay extra to get home in time for tea.
8. Feel suffocated? That’s not just Chepstow, it’s actually pollution.
Chepstow has been reported to have some of the most dangerous air to breathe in the UK. With three bridges leading directly into the town, it’s not surprising that the air quality here is so terrible. Because of this I’d also avoid climbing into your car around rush hour, you’re likely to get stuck in congestion.
9. The hospital that won’t see you in an emergency
With Chepstow being such a small town, it is surprising it has a hospital, however don’t be fooled. This is not an emergency hospital and will only see you by appointment, so if you rush there needing the aid of a doctor immediately don’t be surprised if you’re turned away and told to drive somewhere else.
10. Just walking round town will feel like a workout
Chepstow isn’t exactly a flat town and lies on a multitude of steep slopes and hills making it a general pain to get around quickly. Not that there are many places you’d want to rush to any time soon.