The largest town in picturesque North Wales, Wrexham is surrounded by wild natural beauty in every direction. It’s the perfect base to explore North Wales’ many ancient wonders, and even has a few hidden treasures of its own. Wrexham native Laura Leigh Dickenson shares her insider knowledge...
Explore and learn about local history
Visiting Wrexham for the first time, you’d likely be most enchanted by our 16th century gothic Parish Church, St. Giles, the largest medieval church in Wales, whose bell tower dominates the skyline. Within its grounds is the grave of local philanthropist Elihu Yale, a substantial benefactor of the American University which bears his name. In fact, the prestigious Yale has a replica building on its campus, which makes a brief appearance in the film Indiana Jones: Raiders of The Lost Ark. Open year round for visitors to admire, you can even climb up to the church roof for a bird’s-eye view (between Easter and September on the last Saturday of the month, book in advance through Tourist Information).
Wrexham does enjoy a fascinating history; did you know that our football team, Wrexham AFC, is the third oldest club in the world? Or that the very first ‘Miss World’ came from here? How about that our famous Ruabon Red Brick Tiles were used in the restoration of the Taj Mahal? Or that Wrexham Lager – brewed since 1881- was reputedly served onboard the Titanic? (But you can enjoy a pint without worrying about icebergs in pubs around town).
Our eccentric history is important to us and we keep most of it safe at the Wrexham County Borough Museum (free entry - closed Sundays and Bank Holidays). Get there before the end of January 2018 to catch an exhibition from our very own big-time graphic novelist, Neil Edwards (DC, Marvel, Disney, Lucas etc) who works for Hollywood from the comfort of his Wrexham home. The exhibition features Neil’s pencil drawings of comic strip superheroes Superman, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Wonder Woman.
Enjoy the great outdoors
Within a walkable distance from the town centre you can find yourself in 1,200 acres of National Trust land, where you can wander the grand chambers or the 18th century walled gardens of the nation’s favourite historic house, Erddig Hall. You’ll discover an immaculately maintained stately home and grounds, with seasonal Traditional Markets, an amiable Cider Festival and a Woodland Classroom with nature lessons for all ages.
Hidden away in Erddig’s surrounding forest is the site of a Norman Castle, no structure remains but the landscape gives a pleasing visual account of 12th century border conflicts. The water in the surrounding Motte (Clywedog) overflows from a reservoir hidden high up in the breathtaking Llandegla pine forest nearby, where cyclists can get their off-road kicks (bike hire available at One Planet Adventure).
Back in what has become the old part of town, thanks to our surrounding big brand shopping centres (Eagles Meadow, Island Green), tourism is now worth £115.9 million to our local economy. The number of hotels here has tripled in the last few years and you’ll find the usual chains like Premier Inn, Ramada and Travelodge. To crash out in character, try the Grade II listed neo-gothic Lemon Tree Restaurant with Rooms on Rhosddu Road.
Visitors flock to our successful annual events such as Wales’ Comic Con at Glyndwr University (April 2018) now in its tenth year, drawing crowds of cosplay fanatics to meet their favourite TV stars and pop culture heroes. And, Focus Wales, an International New Music Festival, boasting 200 bands over 20 stages in three days. Opened in 2018, Tŷ Pawb (Everybody’s House), provides “Markets, Arts and Community” in the form of indie cinema, exhibitions and performance spaces, with a food hall and artisan crafts.
Eat and drink
Join us for our monthly Street Carnivals (last Saturday of each month except December) breathing life and colour into our streets. Our cafés are home to award winning Baristas who do battle for best coffee accolades. The latest success story is King Street Coffee Company, established by the Gallanders brothers, their two ‘Street Coffee’ venues add industrial cool and craft beer to the old school café scene. Food is having a real renaissance in town - independent restaurant, The Fat Boar popped up recently, serving the finest of our local Welsh produce over three floors of stylish comfort and a generous terrace. And, LOT 11 Café/Hideout, is a hip new brunch bar for the Instagram generation with pavement-side seating planned for the warmer months.
Come and bask in Wrexham’s creative spirit, stay and shop in our Independent Quarter, explore all that we have to offer and more.
Our nightlife is diverse enough to deliver warm fires with local ale at The Royal Oak, dance-floor bangers at newly renovated club ATIK, a perfectly shaken Espresso Martini at Voodoo Moon, or live music and culture at Undegun, our Community Art Space.