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Things to do in Rhyl, North Wales

Rhyl is on the north-east coast of Wales between Prestatyn and Colwyn Bay.

Blue Bridge Rhyl
Blue Bridge Rhyl © Christopher Rowlands - stock.adobe.com

Like its neighbours, it is a well-known seaside resort in the county of Clywd and 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.

Aerial View of Rhyl
Aerial View of Rhyl © eyeimagery - stock.adobe.com

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 that has won the Welsh Premier League among other victories.

Aerial View of Rhyl
Aerial View of Rhyl © eyeimagery - stock.adobe.com

Rhyl has its own modern railway station on the North Wales Coastline.

Virgin Trains run from Holyhead to London Euston and Arriva Trains run from Cardiff Central to Manchester Piccadilly.

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 beach in Rhyl
The beach in Rhyl © Lianalatti - stock.adobe.com

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 that runs around it.

There is also a new museum, a railway centre and a children's playground.

There are several local watersports clubs that make use of the lake.

Rhuddlan Castle
Rhuddlan Castle © eric - stock.adobe.com

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.

History of Rhyl

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.

Rhyl beach
Rhyl beach © Christopher Rowlands - stock.adobe.com

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.

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

The present-day town of Rhyl has a population of around 24,000 people. 

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