Rhos on Sea is a village and seaside resort on the north coast of Wales, Conwy County. It sits in the shadow of Bryn Euryn on the western edge of the Bay of Colwyn, and lies between the towns of Penrhyn Bay to the west and Colwyn Bay to the east.
The Rhos-on-Sea section of the promenade (and cycle path) stretches from the Cayley embankment via Rhos Point and on to Penrhyn Bay in the west. The village centres on the harbour and the seafront, and a number of restaurants, ice cream parlours and pubs line the busy promenade. Next to the Cayley Embankment sits the Aberhod Restaurant, popular for weddings and other functions. The Cayley Arms pub and restaurant, especially busy on Karaoke nights, lies opposite the harbour slipway, while the Rhos Fynach pub and restaurant sits opposite Rhos Point. The ice cream parlours of Fortes and Nino's on the seafront are ever popular, and the Cayley Kiosk on the promenade has a regular clientele for al-fresco refreshments.
Shopping in Rhos-on-Sea centres on Rhos Road, which stretches uphill from the harbour, and there are several good quality small shops, including antique shops, classy ladies' wear, a fish and chip shop, a general store, a butchers, (maybe not a bakers or candlestick makers) all close at hand.
Rhos-on-Sea Beach: The stretch of beach that sits between the promenade and the harbour breakwater is the most popular section of beach in the summer months. Access to the sand and shingle beach is via either the steps from the promenade or the ramp at the Rhos Point end of the beach. The harbour breakwater creates a pleasant sheltered area popular for sun bathing and paddling. Birdwatchers and nature lovers can head west around Rhos Point toward the mussel beds to find a wide variety of seabirds including oystercatchers, dunlins, red shanks, cormorants and many more. Walk a few hundred yards towards the Colwyn Bay end and there are wide expanses of sand and much to explore as the tide recedes.
Check out the ancient monks' fishing weir close to the Aberhod Restaurant, its been there for several hundred years ...the monks of Rhos Fynach can teach us a thing or two about utilising the power of the tides. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee al-fresco at the Cayley Kiosk and observe oystercatchers, redshanks, dunlins, black headed gulls and curlews foraging on the beach below.
Walks, Cycle Trails and Other Activities
Walks: For those who enjoy walking Rhos-on-Sea has much to offer. There are many walks criss-crossing the landscape in this beautiful area of North Wales, including local walks to Bryn Euryn, Pydew, the Little Orme and of course the all new “Wales Coastal Path” which had its grand opening in Rhos-on-Sea in 2010.
Water-Sports: With the increasing availability of sea kayaks and canoes for hire or sale, (see Rhos Point Kayaks) more and more are taking to the waters off Rhos-on Sea and the Welsh coastline. No longer is the sea considered the sole domain of yachts and motor boats, and families and indeed anglers employ these smaller crafts to explore the coastline. Although care must be taken on coastal waters experienced canoeists can explore the safe waters around the harbour at Rhos-on-Sea at high tides.
St Trillo's Chapel: St Trillo's is thought to be the smallest church in Wales and indeed some say the whole of the British Isles. It nestles in a hollow below the coast road at Rhos Point. The Chapel is dedicated to St Trillo a 6th century Saint who established his "Llan", an enclosure of land, in the area of Rhos on Sea, and the altar is built directly over a pre-Christian well. Opinion is divided about the age of the building but there is little doubt that it has been rebuilt over the years. It is certain that Christians have worshipped on the site for nearly 1500 years; King Maelgwn Gwynedd walked the land when the church was established and may have worshipped here, and to this day the site is still visited for the holy water and as a place of Christian worship. The Chapel is close to the Rhos Point fishing weir, where the monks of Rhos Fynach had been catching fish for hundreds of years, and it is believed that prayers were offered in the Chapel for successful fishing.
Church of Llandrillo yn Rhos: The church is situated on the A546 between Colwyn Bay and Llandudno. It is dedicated to Trillo a 6th century saint. It is a double-naved structure with a prominent west tower. Some say the church is built on the site of an earlier chapel belonging to Ednyfyd Fychan, Seneschal to Prince Llywelyn the Great. The evidence for this is based on blocked 13th century arcades on the north wall.
The south nave and chancel were added early in the 16th century and the porch circa 1540. Tower is variously claimed to be 15th century and of 1552.
Rhos Harbour: The Rhos harbour was created by the formation of a rock breakwater designed to protect the village of Rhos-on-Sea from flooding during high tides. Several boats sail from Rhos Harbour Jetty and tickets for boat trips and fishing trips are available from the angling shop at Rhos Point. The harbour jetty is popular with children for crabbing, and indeed some days they are queuing up with their fishing lines for the best spot.
Fishing Trips: Incentive Fishing Trips of Rhos on Sea, is an independent Charter Boat on the North Wales Coast. The Boat 'Incentive' is available for charter or individuals for Boat Trips in North Wales and is licensed for a maximum of 10 anglers. North Wales Boat Trips Sail every day, weather permitting, with a minimum of 5 anglers or a minimum charge equivalent to 5 anglers. The Incentive is a 36' long x 12'6" beam with enormous deck space, equipped with rod holders, fish baskets and bait boards. Telephone : 01492 541733 (Home) or 07721 532731 (Boat).
Rhos Point: Rhos Point is a promontory on the North Wales Coast, it being the east point of Penrhyn Bay and the west point of Colwyn Bay. Battered by the Irish Sea it can appear a barren landscape but look closely and you will be surprised at the abundance of wildlife on Rhos Point. Ringed plover, cormorants, turnstones, oystercatchers, curlews, red shanks, dunlins, and purple sandpipers can all be observed. If you want to do a bit of bird spotting without getting your feet wet – then the promenade close to St Trillo's Chapel is a good viewpoint. A visit during the hours either side of high tide can be the best time to view the birds, as it concentrates them close to the shore.
Colwyn Bay Cricket Club: The club was founded in 1923 and they started playing at the Penrhyn Avenue ground in Rhos-on-Sea in 1924. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams play in their respective ECB Premier Divisions of the Liverpool & District Cricket Competition. Colwyn Bay Cricket Club was voted best ground in the LDC Competition for the second successive year in 2008.
Harlequin Puppet Theatre: The Harlequin Puppet Theatre is Britain's first and only permanent theatre designed and built for puppets. It has since 1958 entertained a vast number of adults and children and influenced the course of puppetry in Britain. This charming theatre seating 120 people is situated in its tree-shaded garden only a few yards from the sea.
Bryn Euryn and Llys Euryn: Bryn Euryn is a tree covered limestone hill overlooking Rhos on Sea, in Conwy County, North Wales. There are grand views of the Conwy Valley and the hills of Snowdonia to the west, and the Bay of Colwyn to the east. It has historical interest with Llys Euryn - a manor house dating from the 15th century - and a hilltop fort from the 6th century. The iron age hillfort, survives as ramparts, earthworks, and remains of a hut circle on the north and west sides of the hill. But you will need a good imagination to envisage the site as it was in the sixth century as time and nature have conspired to keep it well hidden below the undergrowth. There is much more to see of Llys Euryn however.
A hodgepodge of stuff from the original Rhos-on-Sea page. Some of the information might be of interest to locals and visitors alike. :
In the 20th Century, as with many holiday resorts Rhos-on-Sea became a popular retirement destination for the well off, and I think it fair to say that the residents of Rhos on Sea thought they were posher than their neighbours. Indeed, when I was a child, if I was to spot a Rolls Royce it would be in Rhos on Sea.
Its reputation as a retirement destination grew until eventually even Emily Bishop of Coronation Street fame was story lined to retire to "Ros on Sea". As with many North Wales coastal towns, Rhos on Sea benefits from a mild climate, indeed Rhos on Sea and its neighbour Colwyn Bay grew with the advent of the holiday trade that came with the arrival of the railways in the mid 19th Century.
In the 21st Century Rhos on Sea retains its sedate charm and its popularity with its visitors has not diminished. Indeed, with the building of the rock breakwater off shore a new attraction has opened up for Rhos on Sea. For many years the village would flood when high tides coincided with strong north easterly winds and the rock breakwater was the solution to the problem. However, it had the added benefit of also providing a safe harbour.
Today there are many boats anchored within the new harbour and the boat trips and sea fishing trips from Rhos jetty are becoming ever more popular. Anglers can hire fishing rods on the boats or from the Tackle shop at Rhos Point, just a few hundred yards from the jetty. Some of the boats go as far as 20 miles offshore, while others make fishing trips around the local wrecks in the Irish Sea.
Suggested Walk :
Talking of wrecks should your visit to Rhos on Sea coincide with a low spring tide its well worth taking a walk round the Point and out to the low tide mark. Here you will find the wreck of the paddle steamer Rhosneigr that went aground near Rhos Point on July 20th 1908, but you will need your wellies for the last few yards. (In 2008 I heard a postscript to the story of the Rhosneigr. A local lad, Mike Watkins who at one time lived in the Bay but now in Pydew, told me of the time he was messing about in his boat in Rhos harbour some 20 years earlier. He heard a shout from some visitors who were rock pooling and they asked him to identify the barnacle encrusted object they had found on the beach. After rubbing off some of the barnacles he read the word ..Rhosneigr. He had in his hands the bell of the wrecked boat the Rhosneigr. …But not for long as the two lads who found it took it back to Manchester !)
For many years it was also possible to see the remains of a second world war Mosquito warplane, but these have now disappeared. However, look carefully and you might find the remains of the medieval stone and timber fishing weirs (goradau) among the mussel beds.
Look closely at the picture below and you will be able to see the remains of the stakes used to hold the wicker fencing around the weir. The weir may be of medieval origin but it was still being fished in the early 20th Century. Indeed, Davy Post (David Williams originally from Park Road) remembers that his dad would get fish from the weir.
To continue the walk head east from the Rhos Point mussel beds toward the rock breakwater and, if you are fortunate, you might find a few remains of the demolished Victorian Rhos Pier. To your right you will see the only remaining section of Rhos Pier, the tower-like Pier Toll Room, now a small museum at Rhos Point.
Rhos-on-Sea Pier was originally built at Douglas, Isle-of-Man in 1869 before being dismantled in 1892 and re-erected in Rhos-on-Sea until it's eventual demolition in 1954.
Rhos Pier was a majestic structure but unfortunately, due to fears over it being used by enemy landing forces during the Second World War it was partially dismantled. By the 1950's Britain was in the "age of austerity" the war had almost bankrupted the nation and with local councils finding money in short supply it was decided to blow up the pier rather than maintain it.
Although I was a five year old at the time I, and my child-hood friends, still remember the day Rhos Pier was "blown up". It was such a big occasion for us that every body remembers it. At the time our gang was playing in the Pwllychrochan Woods that overlook Colwyn Bay and Rhos on Sea (in the Devil's Bowl, or as we called it Devy's Bowl, to state the precise location). I suppose it sounds a bit strange for 5 and 6 year olds to be playing in the woods but it was normal in those days, and I checked with my child-hood friend Steve Davies (Rhiw Road) and he remembers it as clear as a bell.
Enough reminiscing.... back to Rhos beach and if you are really lucky you may find remains of ancient tree trunks buried in the sand, evidence of the ever changing shore line.
Some half a mile further along the beach, opposite the Aberhod Restaurant, you will find at low tide the stone outline of another ancient fishing weir. The outline of this weir is very clear and when the tide recedes, the method of entrapping the fish is obvious. The seawater is held within the three walls of the weir. Originally, there would have been wicker fencing above the stone foundations to assist in the entrapment. Just goes to show how our ancestors were using the natural power of the great tidal range of the North Wales coast for thousands of years, and yet we in the 21st century can not see the advantage of tidal lagoons to supply "green" energy. Free energy driven by the moon's gravitational pull. (I can remember collecting mussels and periwinkles from the Aberhod Weir. I remember finding pearls in the mussels but as we were children we had no idea of their value and played games with them.)
To continue the walk :
Exit the beach and return to the promenade and then head back toward the Point, you have the opportunity to enjoy the delights of Fortes or Nino's ice cream parlours or the Rhos Point Cafe. The walk continues to the west along the promenade toward Penrhyn Bay. After a few hundred yards you will see the 6th Century St Trillo's Chapel. It is a tiny little church and probably only holds six people at a squeeze, but it is has been a place of worship for over a thousand years. The chapel is on the site of a pre-Christian holy well with the altar being built directly over the well, and to this day people visit to worship and collect the holy water.
Exit the Chapel and continue west for another mile and in the garden of "Odstone", the last house before the Rhos Golf Course, you will come to the place from where the Welsh Prince Madoc is said to have sailed to find America, 300 years before Christopher Columbus. The legend of Madoc discovering America had been passed down for generations but there was little evidence to back up the story. However, in the 1950's, workmen building the sea wall at Penrhyn Bay discovered the remains of a previously unknown stone harbour wall in the exact location described in the legend of Prince Madoc. The wall, and a slate plaque, is set back from the road in the sunken garden of Odstones.