"Rhyl .....more than a cheap thrill!" Rhyl by budapest8

Rhyl Travel Guide: 14 reviews and 50 photos

More than a Welsh seaside town over run by English


This is the nearest the train goes to
Llanrhaedre village in Clywd Vale where my dad (RIP) lived!
So when we met at the station it was nice to drive down
to the beach for a jaunt and stretch our legs.
After 2 months of heat wave all over Europe this day
was decidedly chilly and windy although my dad who
lives in North Wales it was perfect.
(November 2010) We came over for my fathers memorial
and I came here when we arrived up from London on
the train and we came here late one afternoon with
Clara and we took a quick stroll on the beach..(See last picture below)

Rhyl (Welsh: Y Rhyl) is a seaside town located on the Irish Sea,
in the administrative county of Denbighshire and the traditional
county of Flintshire, North Wales, United Kingdom, at the mouth
of the River Clwyd (Welsh: Yr Afon Clwyd). Once an elegant
Victorian resort, there was a large influx of people from Liverpool
and Manchester after World War II had a huge impact on the town
and surrounding area, including Culture and the Welsh Language.
Rhyl railway station has through trains to and from London, Crewe,
Cardiff and Manchester.

This resort town has a population of about 27,000.

Rhyl Football Club is currently one of the most successful teams
in the Welsh football pyramid -- in the 2003-04 season they won
the Welsh Premiership championship, the Welsh Cup and the
Welsh League Cup, and were losing finalists for the FAW Premier Cup.

Tourist attractions

Rhyl's most famous monument was the original Pavilion Theatre,
an elegant ornate building with five domes, which was demolished
in the 1970s. But Rhyl's current top attractions on the West Parade
are the 80-metre-high Sky Tower, which opened in 1993;
Rhyl Children's Village theme park; and the fairground.
There was once a laser quest and bowling establishment,
but this has since burnt down. On the East Parade,
we have SeaQuarium and the popular Rhyl Suncentre
- an indoor leisure swimming pool featuring an indoor
monorail as well as Europe's first-ever indoor surfing pool.
Next door stands the New Pavilion Theater, opened in 1991.

Rhyl shown within Denbighshire UA

The Marine Lake also used to be a popular tourist destination,
with fairground rides and even a zoo many years ago. Nowadays,
the Marine Lake is home to the miniature steam train that travels
around the lake, a playground and numerous watersports clubs.

In a bid to boost the decline in tourism, a million button badges
were sent to Japan in May 2005 with the website address
www.rhyl.com in an attempt to boost oversea tourism.
There were many detractors of the idea; they suggested
that money spent trying to improve the decaying Victorian
infrastructure would be a far better option. Also, due to the
poor website design, the campaign was poorly received.

Rhyl Sea and beach

Rhyl also contains many brass bands, which entertain the
town's many tourists, including the Rhyl Silver band,
the Scout and Guide band and the Salvation Army band.
The Rhyl Silver band was formed in 1878 by local businessman
David Owen Jones and is still going strong, with family members
having played throughout the band's history and currently
still doing so. They have performed in such prestigious venues
as the Royal Albert Hall and entertained Royalty in recent years.

Rhyl hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1892, 1904, 1953 and
1985, as well as an unofficial National Eisteddfod event in 1870.
Ysgol Glan Clwyd, the first Welsh-medium school in Wales,
was founded in Rhyl, although it has since moved to St Asaph
and the building now houses Ysgol Dewi Sant Primary.

Rhyl and Holyhead were the filming locations for ITV's 2004
comedy 'Big Dippers', starring Irish actor James Nesbitt.
Rhyl's Little Theatre, built especially for the town's children,
has provided entertainment, fun and education to the town's
children for decades. It closed recently due to disrepair and
a lack of funding, but is fondly remembered by the town, and
especially loved for its patrons Joe Holyrood and Juan Vitti.

The car park of the Little Theatre is the location of the infamous
John Prescott - egg in ear - punch in mouth incident.

Rhyl's beach is popular in the summer months, with tourists coming primarily from the North West of England and using the other attractions along the seafront. In recent years, like many seaside towns, the resort has had negative press in relation to drugs and crime issues in the west end area of the town, as well as poor run down facilities. The town however is rising to the challenge and is enjoying some investment in terms of the "drift park project" on the West Parade, which includes a new mini golf course and open air theater.

Famous people

Famous former inhabitants of Rhyl include Hollywood director Sara Sugarman, and Nerys Hughes, television actress.

Lee Trundle, Swansea City Football Club's striker and Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves both have strong family ties with Rhyl, as does comedian Lee Evans.

Former Visage singer Steve Strange (real name, Steve Harrington) went to junior school in nearby Kinmel Bay.

Martin Tomkinson, famous investigative journalist, longtime contributor to Private Eye, former associate at Kroll Associates, and follower of horse-racing, attended Rhyl Grammar School before becoming a leading bearded firebrand of the 1968 students' revolt at the London School of Economics.

Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, was born in the town.

The "A6 lay-by murderer" James Hanratty claimed he was in Rhyl at the time of his supposed crime, staying at a guesthouse in Kinmel Street. Depsite offering a credible descrpition of the area and summoning witnesses claiming to have seen him in the town, he was disbelieved and found guilty of the murder. He was executed, although many believed him innocent of murder.

Lisa Scott-Lee, a former member of the band Steps, is from nearby Rhuddlan.

Infamous people

Former Rhyl resident John Damon Gizzi - now serving 5 1/2 years in prison.

Rhyl in decline?

Rhyl in the early nineteenth century was a small village
with a population of about 300. By the end of the
mid 1830's it had become a fashionable watering
place and many titled people took rooms for months
at a time. Rhyl may boast modern facilities
and attractions but at heart it is a very
traditional seaside resort and has been welcoming
visitors for over 150 years.

As you walk along the promenade, it's easy to
imagine Victorian tourists in their top hats or
crinoline enjoying the same air.
These simple pleasures are what many families
are now rediscovering.
There is a book with pictures give you a taste of 'Sunny Rhyl',
a book which provides a snapshot of the town’s history,
including the fascinating people who lived there.
Pick up a copy at the Tourist Information Centre.

It was in Rhyl that John Prescott punched a member of the public
who had thrown an egg at him while campaigning for the 2001 General Election

  • Last visit to Rhyl: Aug 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (6)

Comments (4)

  • May 17, 2009 at 5:13 AM

    the hungry tum is on sydenham avenue just off the promenade near the harbour. It has got to be one of the best fish and chip shops in N.Wales. the fish is succulent and crispy and the chips are delicious with a fresh home cooked taste.

  • ollyf's Profile Photo
    Aug 8, 2007 at 8:55 AM

    Positive comments about Rhyl... I've seen it all now. It's sometimes said if there was a force 9 earthquake in Rhyl, it would cause millions of pounds of improvements...

  • ettenaj's Profile Photo
    Nov 9, 2006 at 2:47 PM

    Horscheck.....is there no where you have seen???

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Aug 27, 2006 at 8:58 AM

    Ahhh, there it is already...a lovely little page about Rhyl... I once spent a few hours in this nice seaside resort, but unfortunately didn't make it to the footie stadium. So I should better return. :-)

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