NEWS that Chepstow has been named as one of The Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live for 2019 has been greeted in the town.

It Chepstow is one of ten Welsh locations to feature on the list, which was revealed on Sunday.

In its description of the town, The Sunday Times said the scrapping of the tolls on the Severn bridges had attracted “droves” of home-buyers from across the border, tempted by cheaper land. Those new arrivals, the article continued, were “tempted by the pretty little streets beneath the 11th-century castle, dotted with whitewashed buildings, colourful cottages and Georgian townhouses”.

This is the first time Chepstow has appeared on the Sunday Times list, and it is the only place in Monmouthshire to make this year’s edition.

The Free Press visited Chepstow on Monday to ask locals – and visitors – if they thought Chepstow’s inclusion on the list was well-deserved.

Tracey Warnock is manager of The Three Tuns on the town’s Bridge Street. The pub, which has a beer garden backing onto Chepstow Castle, was named on The Guardian’s list of the 50 best pubs in the UK in 2018.

“This is one of the prettiest places to be,” Ms Warnock said of Chepstow. “It appeals to everybody – there are so many walks and there’s a friendly community.”

However, she said she would like to see more litter bins for dog mess around the town.

“Some people use a bag and then leave the bags on the floor. What’s the point in that?” she asked.

Ian Gregory has co-owned St Mary’s Collectables, on St Mary Street, for eight years. He said: “We love it here, it’s not too big and not too small.

“It’s really nice and picturesque, and the fishing and shooting is very good, too. But I think we need more banks and the powers that be need to get onto the parking situation.”

St Mary Street is pedestrianised but vehicles are often parked on the street, sometimes blocking the entrance to shops.

Also in Mr Gregory’s shop was John Blackwell. He said the local issue which needed addressing was congestion. “The A48 needs sorting out,” Mr Blackwell said. “Everybody knows there’s a serious problem ongoing with the traffic lights. We’re starting to suffer now, with hours spent in traffic.” And traffic problems were also raised by Matthew Taylor, owner of Chepstow Books and Gifts – also on St Mary Street.

Mr Taylor said: “The main issue is getting the traffic sorted, and personally I’d like a direct rail link to Bristol. It’s where I think most of the commuters are going to, and it would help get traffic off the road.”

He said he was “really pleased” to see the book shop had been mentioned in The Sunday Times article, and said Chepstow was “a really good place to bring up children, with a good environment”.

He also said the removal of the bridge tolls had been good for business, bringing day trippers and “vibrancy in the town”.

Some of those day-trippers included Mr and Mrs Ash, from Chippenham, who were visiting Chepstow on Monday to see the castle and river. They said: “It’s been a long time since we were last here, but we come to Wales a lot. It’s a nice and quiet area, and the river is a big draw. The castle is very impressive. We went to the museum and to a lovely pub called The Boat Inn. It would be nice to live here, it’s close to Cardiff and Bristol so it’s a useful place to live.”

The overall Wales winner in the Sunday Times list was Crickhowell, and the overall UK winner was Salisbury, in Wiltshire.