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Things to do in Rhyl, North Wales

Rhyl promenade © Dale Miles

Rhyl is on the north east coast of Wales between Prestatyn and Colwyn Bay. Like its neighbours, it is a well-known seaside resort in the county of Clywd.

Rhyl was a small village of 300 people until the 1830s. It became an elegant seaside resort in Victorian times, attracting thousands of visitors and day-trippers from the northwest of England. It had a magnificent Pavilion Theatre with five domes, and a pier, both now demolished.

The oldest house in Rhyl is Barratt's of Tyn Rhyl, which is now used as a hotel and restaurant. The former Welsh Baptist Tabernacle Chapel was built in 1867. After lying derelict for some time it was bought by the Muslim community and is now an Islamic Cultural Centre.

After World War II Rhyl was inundated with people moving from Liverpool and Manchester. However, by 1990 as people holidayed abroad, the town was in decline and unemployment was high. A series of regeneration projects funded by the EU has given the seafront a new lease of life.

Present Day Rhyl

The town of Rhyl has a population of around 24,000 people. It sits at the mouth of the Clwyd River with the backdrop of the lovely Carneddau Mountains.

Modern-day Rhyl has the Suncentre on the East Parade which is an indoor water park with Europe's first surfing pool. The nearby SeaQuarium and the new Pavilion Theatre give the seafront a smart appearance with many beach shops in-between.

On the West Parade is the Sky Tower, which is 250 feet high, and the Children's Village theme park.

Ocean Plaza, an apartment and hotel complex with shops now stands on the site of the Ocean Beach Funfair which closed in 2007. Some of the funfair rides were relocated to Prestatyn including the Spiral Slide, Pepsi Loop Roller Coaster, Nessi, dodgems and waltzers.

The town has a Welsh-speaking primary school, Ysgol Dewi Sant, which has been in operation since 1949. There is also a successful Football Club which has won the Welsh Premier League among other victories.

Rhyl has its own modern railway station on the North Wales Coast line. Virgin Trains run from Holyhead to London Euston and Arriva Trains run from Cardiff Central to Manchester Piccadilly.

Notable residents of Rhyl include Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain; Arthur Cheetham, first Welsh film-maker; actress Nerys Hughes and comedian Lee Evans.

Things to do in Rhyl

The six miles of golden sandy beach runs from Rhyl to Prestatyn and has all the traditional family attractions of donkey rides, ball games and sandcastles. The area is patrolled with lifeguards.

Visit the Lifeboat Station and learn about the life-saving work of the RNLI or book a day of sea fishing from Rhyl Harbour.

The Marine Lake to the west of Rhyl has a miniature railway which runs around it. There is also a new museum, a railway centre and a children's playground. There are several local watersports clubs which make use of the lake.

The area has four golf courses in stunning Welsh countryside and there is Crown Green Bowling with regular tournaments. For walkers, Rhyl has many coastal walks and footpaths and the Offa's Dyke Footpath starts at nearby Prestatyn.

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Images of Rhyl

Rhyl North Wales © Dale Miles

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