What a privilege it is to live in such a beautiful place. Don't believe what you hear about Rhyl; this place is the tops. We have fine beaches, a brilliant shopping centre which boasts shops you can actually SHOP in and afford their stuff, a wonderful public transport system, a Council that actually bothers to listen to the requests of the residents and super clean streets.
I came to live here 3 years ago and I'm hooked on the place. There is nothing negative I can say. I have never, ever, lived anywhere else where the street sweepers are out EVERY morning picking up any litter from the streets - and I'm taling about 4 a.m., day in, day out! We also have town centre supermarkets which makes living here even easier. Our beaches are clean and safe, too. We have a fabulous theatre and have had big names like Brian McFadden, Girls Aloud and Lemar.
Rhyl, too, boasts lots of hotels and B & B's which are affordable. If you holiday in Rhyl, you don't need to go anywhere else. It's ideal for campers and caravanners, too, with a myriad of sites to choose from.
So, if you've never been to Rhyl, come - you'll be made most welcome!
Living on the border between Shropshire and North Wales, I am but a stone’s throw away from the Vale of Llangollen, which is one of the prettiest valleys in the UK and boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in Wales. They say that people often don’t appreciate the beautiful countryside on their own doorsteps, but I certainly do, so I though I’d share it with you. The river Dee threads its way through the valley to the town of Llangollen, surrounded by spectacular hills and beautiful scenery. The gateway to North Wales and the Snowdonia National Park, its scenery is a pleasant mixture of craggy mountains and rolling green hills. Achingly beautiful views in every direction, its Welsh countryside at its best, and an artist’s paradise, each season showing a different array of colours and experiences. If you are aware of Llangollen, its probably because it’s the home of the International Musical Eisteddfod, where every July, the town comes alive with dancers, singers, choirs and musicians from all over the world and the population of 4000 swells to over 100,000 as cultural competitions and celebrations take place on a purpose built site on the edge of the town. Originating in 1947 as a way of bringing nations together after the second world war, it has played host to some tremendous performances, including Pavarotti who sang there as a young boy and returned as a mega star. The town takes its name from Saint Collen who founded it in the seventh century. Two hundred years ago it consisted mainly of a village green and a four arched 14th century bridge, which is one of the Seven Wonders of Wales. It’s a wonderful place to stand and gaze at the river rushing down below with the tall and sometimes menacing mountains forming a backcloth in the distance. There’s plenty to do and see. To the north in a romantic and stunning setting, are the Gothic stone ruins of 13th century Valle Cruc
is Abbey. This Cistercian abbey, founded by a Welsh prince, has an almost intact chapter house. One of the enterprising abbots who lived there was accused of minting his own money. Further along that road is the famous Horseshoe pass, a steep and winding road through the mountains. To the north-east of the town a footpath climbs 800ft to the remains of Dinas Bran an 8th century castle. Breathtaking views of the Eglwyseg mountain and Llangollen town are the reward for the steep 750-foot climb. The picture of Llangollen framed by the arch of the castle must be one of Wales’ most photographed sites. Alongside the bridge is a station, home to Llangollen’s excellent steam railway, a 7-mile journey along the Dee Valley, which travels past the lovely Horseshoe Falls and provides an incredibly scenic trip alongside the river to Glyndwrfy. Another favourite ride is aboard a horse drawn canal boat at the town’s wharf, the location of the Canal Museum. Along a branch line of the Shropshire Union Canal the trip is so laid back and gives you the opportunity to relaxing and contemplate the green hills and valleys. To the south of the town, the famous Pontcysylite Aqueduct, supported by four iron arches, stands 121 feet in the sky above the River Dee. An amazing experience whether you view it from afar, where the canal boats seem to sail through the air, or walk over it and get a tremendous feeling of solitude. Built to carry traffic from the northern rim of the valley to the far side, this cast-iron trough is the longest and highest in Britain. A black and white timbered house, Plas Newydd, once the home of two eccentric Irish ladies, known as the Ladies of Llangollen, sits high on a hill looking over the village. Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Sarah Ponsonby, were Irish aristocrats who gained notoriety in the 18th century. They dressed as men, and lived in the house for 50 years, entertaining famous literary and pol
itical figures, including Sir Walter Scott and William Wordsworth. The interior of the house is decorated with carved oak, whilst beautiful grounds surrounding the home are now a public park. Llangollen has been described as enchanting, there is a definitely a magical feeling to the place, an ideal destination for a week-end break, particularly if you enjoy walking. There’s an abundance of comfortable and reasonably priced places to stay and eat and drink, though personally I would avoid the larger hotels which tend to be full of Americans at the week-ends on their whistle stop tour of the UK (‘today’s Monday it must be Stratford’!). I would recommend Gales Wine Bar which is a firm favourite with both locals and visitors alike. Situated in Bridge Street in the centre of Llangollen, this 18th Century building has been developed into one of the best Wine Bars in Britain, with 15 en-suite bedrooms it offers really good value for money in warm, friendly surroundings. Check it out on www.galesofllangollen.co.uk