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Holidays in Denbighshire Wales, a guide to finding the best holiday in Denbighshire

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Click to zoom into DenbighshireDenbighshire is located in the north of Wales between the counties of Conwy to the west, Flintshire to the east, the county borough of Wrexham to the south and the Irish Sea to the north.

The northern coastline is the location for the traditional seaside holiday resorts of Rhyl and Prestatyn, both set on a low flat plain that lies between the Clwydian range of mountains and the Irish sea. The terms "Sunny Rhyl" and "Sunny Prestatyn" are not merely advertising slogans as the topography of the area actually causes the high temperatures and above average hours of sunshine for these and other north Wales coastal towns. The phenomenon known as the föhn effect is cause for the high temperatures, and the distance from the mountain ranges of Clwyd and Snowdonia contribute to the higher than average hours of sunshine.
Both towns have miles of golden sand and all the usual seaside pleasures and attractions, including the Sun Centre at Rhyl. In addition, for those who would like a fishing holiday, boats are available for hire or charter from the harbour in Rhyl for anglers wishing to fish for sea bass in the Irish Sea.
Heading inland from the coast the county consists for a large part of the catchment area of the River Clwyd, the beautiful Vale of Clwyd, fertile agricultural land bounded on the one side by the high moorlands known as the Denbigh Moors and on the other by the Clwydian Range of mountains. The Clwydian mountains are becoming ever more popular as a destination for activity holidays with, among others, ramblers and mountain bike riders. Indeed the moorlands on the boundaries with Conwy County to the west have also become home to mountain bike trails around Llyn Brenig (Lake Brenig).
Within the Vale of Clwyd itself are the historic market towns of Rhuddlan, St Asaph, Denbigh, and Ruthin with the towns of Corwen and Llangollen in the Dee Valley to the far south of the county.

Rhuddlan is a small town with an old church, St Mary's, and a big Castle. Rhuddlan Castle was one of the 'iron ring' of fortresses built across north Wales by the English king, Edward I, as part of his campaign to conquer the Welsh in the late 13th century. It remains as a monument to the inability of the English, or should I say the Anglo-Normans to conquer this part of the British Isles. (The Welsh rebellions continued into the C15th). The massive twin-towered Gatehouse immediately catches the eye, and a protected river dock forms one side of the defences of this concentrically planned castle. But the Castle was to be supplied with provisions by ship and yet it is 3 miles from the open sea. No problem in the C13th ................1800 ditchers were drafted in from the Fenlands of England and the River Clwyd was straightened and deepened, and more or less turned into a canal for the 3 mile run to the sea at Rhyl.

Venturing a few miles further south we come to the town of St Asaph on the banks of the River Elwy, but again close to the River Clwyd. Indeed the two rivers converge just a few miles after passing St Asaph. The town is renowned for the Cathedral from which it gets it's name St Asaph Cathedral. The historic Cathedral - one of the oldest Celtic shrines in Britain was founded in the 6th century by Saint Kentigern. He built his Church here in AD560 and when he returned to Strathclyde in AD573 he left Asaph as his successor. Since that time the Cathedral has been dedicated to Saint Asaph and the Diocese bears his name. The church has had a troubled history and the present building was begun in the thirteenth century. It is reputed to be the smallest ancient cathedral in Great Britain - just 182 ft long and 68ft wide - but its contribution to the Welsh nation has been outstanding with it being home in the C16th to Bishop William Morgan who translated the Bible into Welsh. The town itself is a convenient centre to visit the Vale of Clwyd , the Clwydian range of mountains and the moorlands and lakes in the surrounding countryside. There are beautiful riverside walks and, away from the bustling centre, the peace and tranquility of the surrounding countryside.

From St Asaph we travel 5 miles south to the town of Denbigh via the A525. The town of Denbigh, and indeed the history of Denbigh, are dominated by the remains of it's hill-top Castle and town walls. Although incomplete and in a ruinous state in many parts they are still an impressive site and remain a monument to the tenacity of the Welsh in their battles against the Anglo Norman invaders. They are well worth the walk up the town hill and once there you will enjoy impressive views of the fertile Vale of Clwyd and the rolling hills of the Clwydian range of mountains.
The Welsh rebellions of the late C13th, led by Llywelyn ap Gruffydd,  although ultimately unsuccessful made the English King Edward 1 determined not to have to fight again for the same land, and he set about extending his already impressive iron ring of fortifications in Wales.
The lordship and castle at Denbigh were granted to Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, one of King Edward's successful commanders. De Lacy began to construct the present Castle and walled town in 1282 but was unable to complete the works before the first Welsh incursion during the 1294 uprising led by Madog ap Llewelyn. After this uprising was put down de Lacy continued with the construction making the Castle even stronger than before, building the still impressive gatehouse, the great hall, living quarters, and massive towers. The Castle endured attacks throughout its history including the Wars of the Roses and the English Civil War. In 1646 it took Cromwell's men several months to force Denbigh's garrison to surrender, the Castle's inhabitants eventually succumbing to the Parliamentary troops. Although time and battle have taken their toll on the Castle and Town Walls there is still much to view and it is well worth a visit while taking a holiday in Denbighshire.

Leaving Denbigh we head to Ruthin, again on the A525. It is but 8 miles to Ruthin but take a short detour after 3 miles to the small village of Llanrhaeadr located in a by-passed road with an ancient Church and Holy Well from a by-passed time. The church of St Dyfnog in Llanrhaeadr is named after the C6th Saint Dyfnog, who established his church here because of the Holy Well of Llanrhaeadr .... the water was believed to have great healing properties. It is a beautiful little church in a peaceful setting and well worth the 2 minute detour. On entry to the church the famous C16th Jesse window is highlited against the general darkness of the church interior...More > The Holy Well is situated behind the graveyard at St. Dyfnog's, a short walk through the woods leads you to a quiet, wooded dell. The water springs from the hillside in several places and collects in a large spar like pool with steps down into the water for the faithfull.

We then follow the long and winding road a further 5 miles until we arrive at the ancient market town of Ruthin, rich in history, it was burnt to the ground in the Owain Glyndwr rebellion of 1400 and to this day there is still displayed the gibbet of the last man to be hanged in the town square, and then down the hill to the Victorian Gaol and the pitiful cells used by the inmates on their last night on this earth. An easy town to navigate as it is said that where ever you park you can find the town square by walking up the Hill. Best to follow the signs to the Ruthin Craft Centre and Car Park, exit the Car Park and walk uphill to St Peter's Square, the town square. The town is surrounded on all sides by rolling countryside, and its closeness to the Clwyd Hills make it an ideal base for ramblers and mountain bike enthusiasts. Indeed the County Council have mapped out several mountain bike trails in the Clwyd Range and to the West around Llyn Brenig. More >

Over the hills and not too far away and we come to the Valley of the River Dee and the towns of Llangollen and Corwen with their many attractions for a holiday break in Denbighshire. Llangollen is world renowned as the home of the International Musical Eisteddfod. It is an inland tourist resort and historic town which has much to offer  including the Llangollen Canal, and the Llangollen Steam Railway, and is ideal as a short break holiday or for a longer stay.   More >

Holiday map of Denbighshire.
This map shows:
Main Roads
Resorts / towns with accommodation
Ancient Monuments, Neolithic Burial Chambers, Standing Stones
Nature Reserves
RSPB Sanctuaries
Golf Courses
National Trust Properties
Sandy Beaches
Lakes and Mountains
Holiday Map of Denbighshire. Move the cursor over the attractions Click for Holidays in Conwy Click for Holidays in Conwy Click for Holidays in Conwy Click for Golf Holidays in Flintshire Click for Golf Holiday in Wrexham Click for Golf Holidays in Flintshire Click for Golf Holidays in Flintshire Click for Golf Holidays in Flintshire Click for Golf Holidays in Flintshire Click for Golf Holidays in Flintshire Click for Golf Holidays in Conwy County Click for Golf Holidays in Conwy County Click for Golf Holidays in Conwy County Click for Golf Holidays in Conwy County Click for Golf Holidays in Conwy County Click for Golf Holidays in Conwy County Click for Golf Holidays in Denbighshire Click for Golf Holidays in Denbighshire Click for Ruthin town and Castle Click for Llangollen town and attractions Denbigh Castle St Asaph Cathedral Click for Golf Holidays in Denbighshire Click for Golf Holidays in Denbighshire Click for Golf Holidays in Denbighshire Click for Golf Holidays in Denbighshire Click for Golf Holidays in Denbighshire Click for Golf Holidays in Denbighshire Where to stay in Prestatyn Where to stay in Rhyl Where to stay in Bodelwyddan Where to stay in Holywell Where to stay in Denbigh Rhug Chapel and Llangar Church Caer Drewen and attractions in Corwen Where to stay in Ruthin Where to stay in Mold Where to stay in Maeshafen Where to stay in Flint Where to stay in Corwen Where to stay in Llangollen Click for Chirk Castle Old Oswestry Hill Fort Tyn Y Rhos Flint Castle Basingwork Abbey St Winifrides Well, has been an important place for pilgrims to visit since the Middle Ages, and is known as the  Lourdes of Wales Maen Achwyfaen Where to stay in Chester Where to stay in Llanrwst Where to stay in Maenan Where to stay in Rowen Where to stay in Betws y Coed Click for Mountain Bike trails in Conwy County Jump to Map of  Conwy County Where to stay in Conwy Where to stay in St Asaph Where to stay in Deganwy Where to stay in Llandudno Where to stay in Colwyn Bay Where to stay in Abergele Where to stay in Pentrefoelas Where to stay in Bala Where to stay in Buckley Where to stay in Northop Hall Village Where to stay in Northop Where to stay in Oswestry Where to stay in Bylchau Jump to Map of Flintshire Jump to Map of  County of Wrexham Jump to Map of  Powys Jump to Map of  Gwynedd - Snowdonia Where to stay in Caerwys Click for Holidays in Conwy County Click for Holidays in Conwy Click for Rhuddlan Castle Nature Reserve Nature Reserve Nature Reserve Nature Reserve Llyn Brenig offers facilities for fishing, mountain bike trails, and  a wealth of archaeological remains Llyn Celyn offers facilities for fishing and also feeds the River Tryweryn for white-water-rafting Bala Lake, Llyn Tegid  offers facilities for fishing , sailing, windsurfing and generally a great holiday

For a holiday in Denbighshire north wales I can recommend the delightful market town of Ruthin. Find accommodation in Ruthin here >

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