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CONTENTS

Ten reasons

Discover why this is a much-loved part of Wales... Page 20

Arts and culture

This region has a packed cultural calendar... Page 36

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CONTENTS Welcome...................................................................................... 09 Denbighshire and Flintshire is a region like no other!

History all around.......................................................................10 A rich cultural history is evident throughout Denbighshire and Flintshire.

©BOGGY/STE HEAP/ADOBE STOCK; MELISSA CROSS/GLADSTONE’S LIBRARY; NICK EDWARDS@YONDA.ORG.UK/DISCOVERFLINTSHIRE.CO.UK; SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Let’s go there............................................................................... 14 Whatever the time of year, and whatever the weather, there’s always plenty to do here.

Ten reasons to love this region.............................................. 20 Check out a few of our favourite reasons to love it here.

22 10

Like to shop? You’ll love it here............................................. 22 High street chains, one-off independents and quirky specialists – they’re all waiting for the shopaholic.

If you’re only here for 48 hours.............................................. 34 You can pack a lot into a couple of days – try this itinerary to make the most of it.

A region at the heart of art....................................................... 36 Immerse yourself in a region that is crammed with arts and culture.

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WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


WELCOME TO THE

SHOP IN THE CLOUDS

AT THE PONDEROSA Situated at the summit of the famous Horseshoe Pass just 5 miles from the picturesque town of Llangollen. Our family-run business for over 30 years extends a warm Welsh welcome to our visitors. The Shop In The Clouds has a dazzling display of Welsh crafts and gifts appealing to all the family. Amongst our vast range we are proud stockists of Clogau gold, silver Celtic jewellery, Anne Stokes, Nemesis Now fantasy and gothic collectables along with traditional Welsh clothing by Manav, Disney figures and much more. The Ponderosa Café/Restaurant offers a wide menu, freshly prepared where possible using local produce. Luncheon and afternoon teas a speciality.

AMPLE FREE PARKING • OPEN DAILY THROUGHOUT THE YEAR • COACH PARTIES WELCOME

SHOP IN THE CLOUDS

PONDEROSA LTD

01978 790445 • shopintheclouds@mail.com

01978 790307 • 07932 722592 • ponderosab@btconnect.com

WWW.SHOPINTHECLOUDS.CO.UK

WWW.PONDEROSACAFE.CO.UK

HORSESHOE PASS SUMMIT • LLANGOLLEN • DENBIGHSHIRE • LL20 8DR FIND US ON THE A542


CONTENTS

Property

This region ticks key boxes for property buyers... Page 68

Nightlife

There is plenty of entertainment here once the sun goes down... Page 56

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A taste of Wales – and the world........................................... 42 Top-end fine dining, adventurous independents and a great range of ethnic cuisine means you’ll never go hungry here.

Ten things you must do........................................................... 52 There are loads of things to do here – make sure you don’t miss these.

Our sporting life......................................................................... 54 Whether you want to watch or play, there’s always plenty to do here.

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Welcome to the night............................................................... 56 From cocktail bars to country pubs, you won’t be bored in Denbighshire and Flintshire.

Getting here and getting around............................................. 61 Getting to and around this region couldn’t be easier.

Let’s explore................................................................................ 64

61

Although you’ll never run out of things to do here, there’s also plenty to do and see further afield.

We’re open for business........................................................... 66 With a skilled workforce employed in diverse sectors, Denbighshire and Flintshire’s economy is performing well.

If you’re planning to stay longer............................................ 68 Thinking of buying here? Properties in Denbighshire and Flintshire make a solid investment prospect.

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WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


The Beaches Hotel is a large, modern hotel on the beautiful North Wales coast. We offer free parking, an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room and gym. A large reception area is on offer to our guests with comfy sofas where free Wi-Fi can be accessed.

Our Promenade Bar serves bar meals and has an outside patio with a decking area, where guests can enjoy stunning sea views and sunsets. We also have our Bryn Restaurant for a more intimate dining experience.

We can cater for all types of events – so from large wedding parties and civil ceremonies to intimate birthday dinners, The Beaches Hotel is the perfect venue. Beach Road East, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, North Wales Coast LL19 7LG E. info@thebeacheshotel.com

www.thebeacheshotel.com

T. (+44) 01745 853072

www.castlecollection.com


WELCOME

WELCOME

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hether it’s a weekend break to walk in the beautiful countryside, days out with the children or a taste sensation at one of the Michelin-starred eateries, Denbighshire and Flintshire has got it all. You can get a taste for fine dining at the end of a hard day’s shopping. Browse the local produce at the historic market towns dotted across both of the regions. Hear stories of the castles dotted across the rolling landscape or explore heather-clad mountains. Denbighshire and Flintshire is packed with historical interest but, as you’ll see it’s also a thriving region. Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, you can always be assured of finding something exciting to do, tasty to eat or interesting to explore. So whatever you do during your visit to the region, please enjoy – and come back soon! l

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“YOU CAN ALWAYS BE ASSURED OF FINDING SOMETHING EXCITING TO DO, TASTY TO EAT OR INTERESTING TO EXPLORE”

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


HISTORY & HERITAGE

HISTORY ALL AROUND! A rich cultural history is evident throughout Denbighshire and Flintshire

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE

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Never battle shy, Flintshire and its neighbouring twin county of Denbighshire are warrior regions where a line of medieval Welsh princes fervently resisted Edward I’s bid to make his indomitable mark on their homeland. For centuries, the border was ever-changing. Scars on the landscape and fortress ruins show where battles raged. They include the imposing Rhuddlan Castle. Its construction involved diverting the River Clwyd so castle occupants could access supplies via ship. Edward I built Flint Castle in about 1264, overlooking the Dee Estuary and The Wirral. Such was its visual magnificence that artist JMW Turner created an 1830s watercolour depicting it. The triple-towered gatehouse at Denbigh Castle is hailed a wonder of Wales, while Ewloe Castle, within Wepre Country Park, Flintshire, is a 13th-century p13

elcome to Wales is the friendly greeting at the Flintshire border with England. It’s a warm welcome from a county which tenaciously hugs the banks of the River Dee Estuary in North East Wales. It wasn’t always so. In tumultuous times past the border was hotly fought over. Gripping tales abound through ancient and modern history, from princely crusades against marauding invaders to headline-grabbing 1970s trade union battles for workers rights. Today the thriving town of Mold, Flintshire, is a must-see on a sunny market day. It’s hard to imagine it as the bloody scene of an 1869 riot, fuelled when two coal miners were jailed for attacking the manager of Leeswood Green colliery.

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WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


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HISTORY & HERITAGE

motte and bailey monument with a distinctive D-shaped tower. It was built by one-time Prince of Wales, Llewelyn ap Gruffudd, whose brother Dafydd built Caergwrle Castle eight miles away. Caergwrle has a supposedly haunted 17th-century packhorse bridge over the picturesque River Alyn. More famous is Llangollen Chainbridge, over the Dee, built in 1817 by coal merchant Exuperius Pickering. Llangollen’s history enchants, with folklore linking King Arthur to its Dinas Bran Castle. Ellesmere Canal and a historic railway run through town attracting crowds all year. Visitors are also awed by the Cadw-protected Valle Crucis Abbey Cistercian ruin. Back on the coast Basingwerk Abbey, at Greenfield is a Grade 1-listed 12th-century Cistercian ruin, and nearby Pantasaph Franciscan Friary precedes the Dissolution of the Monasteries. More religious connections are woven into the story of the Gold Cape, unearthed in 1833 in a Bronze Age burial mound in Mold. The ceremonial original cape is in the British Museum but a gleaming copy is exhibited at Mold library. A 30-minute drive away is the intricately

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carved 15th-century Derwen Churchyard Cross, near Ruthin, a Denbighshire town which has its own castle, now a hotel and banquet hall. Bodelwyddan’s finely-preserved castle and parkland also encompasses a hotel, across the road from St Margaret’s 19th-century marble church, with a 202-foot high spire. Go east to discover Hawarden castle stone keep at the home of one-time Liberal Prime Minister WE Gladstone. Hawarden is firmly in Flintshire today but it was once claimed by England, a thought which is still not so warmly welcomed in Wales! l

“VISITORS TO THE BEAUTIFUL TOWN OF LLANGOLLEN ARE AWED BY THE CADWPROTECTED VALLE CRUCIS ABBEY CISTERCIAN RUIN”

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WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


DAYS OUT

LET’S GO THERE! Whatever the time of year, and whatever the weather, there’s always plenty to do here

©CROWN COPYRIGHT 2019 (VISIT WALES)

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Alternatively take a horse-drawn boat to Horseshoe Falls, a man-made marvel engineered by Thomas Telford. Llangollen Steam Railway is another visitors’ favourite especially when Thomas the Tank Engine comes to town. Starting at Llangollen Station near Dee River Bridge, trains run 10 miles to Corwen, following the line of The Dee Site of Special Scientific Interest. To add extra fun look out for events such as the Real Ale Train, Santa Specials, Days out with Thomas, and Dine on the Line experiences. Locomotive fans also love the narrow-gauge Bala Lake Railway offering nine-mile steam journeys around Bala Lake and through Snowdonia National Park. The ticket to ride begins at Llanuwchllyn Station from where trains run to the market town of Bala, before the steam adventure gets under way. Bala with is majestic lake – Llyn Tegid – is worthy of a day out itself. Walk in the ethereal shadows of the Aran, Arenig and Berwyn mountains. This is the largest natural lake in Wales, sourced by the Tryweryn and Dee rivers. It’s a haven where sailing, canoeing, wild swimming, and fishing are the order of the day. Alternatively simply take a waterside stroll and enjoy an ice-cream on a bench. Going underground there’s a chance to delve into the history of p17

hatever your passions, whatever your age, there’s a day out here to suit you. Where to start? The tranquil and secluded or the action-packed crowd pleasers? We have both in abundance. Let’s take off in top gear with a visit to one of the longest running indoor karting centres in Europe at Sandycroft, Deeside. Apex Kart caters for complete beginners and seasoned petrol heads, corporate clients, families and juniors aged over eight. It has been running more than 25 years and in 2015 underwent a complete refurbishment to give it even more va-va-voom. If that’s not enough of an adrenaline surge, head down the road to Pentre, Deeside, where The Boardroom Climbing provides a high point of any trip to Flintshire. The energetic and competitive will relish the challenges of this World Cup-standard indoor bouldering and climbing centre. It includes the first eight metre high indoor Psicobloc wall in Europe. For a bird’s eye view of Denbighshire head to Llangollen Wharf for a narrowboat trip over Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Look over the sides to absorb a view which really will take your breath away. Two-hour long trips cover five miles of Llangollen canal World Heritage Site.

“THE ENERGETIC WILL RELISH THE CHALLENGES OF THIS WORLD CUPSTANDARD INDOOR BOULDERING AND CLIMBING CENTRE. IT INCLUDES THE FIRST EIGHT METRE HIGH INDOOR PSICOBLOC WALL IN EUROPE”

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WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


Streaming 1950’s music videos, film memorabilia, pin-ups magazines, records and all the stories of the era. On display are typical sets and memorabilia which will transport you back to the fabulous 50’s. Streaming 1950’s music videos, film memorabilia, pin-ups, magazines, records and stories of the era.

Open daily 11am – 4pm Entry £5 including guided tour on request (£3 children under 12s) T. 01745 817004 E. caedaitrust@btconnect.com E. sparrowmbe@gmail.com Cae Dai, Lawnt, Denbigh LL16 817

Free parking

WWW.50SMUSEUM.UK

Greenfield Valley

Find us on

Heritage Park

Welcome to the Stream in the Sky.

www.greenfieldvalley.com

Open daily 10am-4.30pm

Relax in a canal boat trip across Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Throughout the summer we run 45-minute trips over the aqueduct four times daily. Views are stunning as you travel serenely at 127 feet above the River Dee. On our meal trips, you travel peacefully along the canal at walking pace while enjoying an excellent meal with the spectacular backdrop of North Wales' magnificent scenery. Sunday lunch is a popular event so booking is essential.

Explore

Play

Discover

Woodland Farmyard Events Farm machines Woodland skills

Costumes Tube maze Soft play Treehouse African drums

Museum Objects Education Pond dips Vicious Victorians

Themed events and activities throughout the season. Daily and annual passes available.

Trips run daily from March to October. Café and car park.

www.canaltrip.co.uk peterjones@canaltrip.co.uk | 01978 824 166

Contact us: info@greenfieldvalley.com Tel: 01352 714172 Sat Nav Postcode: CH8 7QB

Jones Boats | The Old Wharf | Trevor | Llangollen | LL20 7TP

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DAYS OUT

Flintshire’s Second World War mustard gas storage base at Rhydymwyn. Though the now derelict site is owned by the Ministry of Defence, the Rhydymwyn Valley History Society operates a visitor centre and on specific occasions when allowed by the MoD it leads tours through the fascinating tunnels at Valley Works, near the River Alyn. The underground chambers held most of Britain’s mustard gas and chemical weapons during the war. The society website details its tour dates and other activities. The River Alyn flows to Rhydymwyn from Loggerheads County Park, the ideal place for a not-too-strenuous family walk. Follow the riverside trail from Loggerheads Visitor Centre and cafe through the woodlands to Devil’s Gorge where abseilers frequently do their stuff. Choose a low route or the higher trail commanding stunning views of Moel Fammau, the highest hill in the Clwydian Range straddling the Denbighshire-Flintshire boundary. The summit gives its name to Moel Fammau Country Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If you’re in good shape you can walk to Jubilee Tower on the top and back in a couple of hours. Offa’s Dyke national trail crosses Moel Fammau and also takes in the circular remains of a hillfort at the summit of Moel Arthur, near Nannerch. Make the moderate climb up Moel Arthur to be rewarded

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“BEAUTIFUL COUNTRYSIDE IS SOMETHING NEITHER DENBIGHSHIRE NOR FLINTSHIRE ARE SHORT OF AND EXPLORERS CAN ENJOY A DIFFERENT VIEWPOINT EVERY DAY FOR A WEEK”

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with a terrific natural tableau of the Vale of Clwyd laid out before you. Even more just rewards come in the form of a visit to the Cross Foxes Pub in Nannerch where the licensee has been known to serve up a rejuvenating and scrumptious cider made from pressed apples grown by villagers. Other popular summits to aim for include Moel Fenlli, Moel Findeg and Moel Hiraddug. Beautiful countryside is something neither Denbighshire nor Flintshire are short of. Explorers can enjoy a different viewpoint every day for a week or more. Try packing a picnic to digest at the top of Hope Mountain while looking out at the Cheshire Plains. The 1,083-foot mountain is small compared to Snowdonia’s giants but the bonus is it’s far less busy than its more famous cousins. There’s a wide choice of good rural pubs around Nercwys Forest which is criss-crossed with a mix of short and longer pathways and bridleways for walkers, cyclists and horseriders. Llandegla Forest is also much loved by cyclists. It can be a bit muddy after rainy weather, but which outdoor adventurer doesn’t love a tramp through the puddles? It’s the kind of picture postcard terrain that’s perfect for sending a wish you were here selfie to friends back home. Graig Fawr, locally known as ‘Meliden Mountain’, is near the 70-foot Dyserth waterfall joining the River Afon to the River Clwyd. For an easy p18

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


DAYS OUT

“THIS AQAURIUM FEATURES EXOTIC AQUATIC SPECIES AND AN OUTDOOR SEA LION COVE GIVING AN UNDERWATER VIEW OF SEALS IN A 33,000-GALLON POOL”

stroll take the raised footpath from Prestatyn to the waterfall where there’s a souvenir shop. For typical seaside revelry, venture to the Nova Centre or Ffrith Beach Fun Park, Prestatyn or the Palace Fun Centre, Rhyl. The sandy Rhyl beach stretches for two miles from the Clwyd Estuary to Splash Point meaning that although it can get busy in summer there’s plenty of space for all. Dog owners should note that pets are not allowed on the beach from May to September, but other dog-friendly beaches nearby include Gronant Dunes, Prestatyn. Among the Rhyl penny slots and amusement arcades you’ll also find SeaQuarium, featuring exotic aquatic species and an outdoor sea lion cove giving an underwater view of seals in a 33,000-gallon pool. There are some real historical gems awaiting visitors to Denbighshire. Plas Newydd is a historic house in the town of Llangollen is where Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Sarah Ponsonby captured the imagination of Regency society. They received a stream of visitors to the unpretentious little cottage which, over the years, they transformed into a Gothic fantasy of projecting stained

glass and elaborately-carved oak. Winner of a 2016, 2017 and 2018 Visit Wales Hidden Gem award, Ruthin Gaol is the only purpose-built, Pentonville-style prison open to the public as a heritage attraction. People can spend time exploring its nooks and crannies and learn about life in the Victorian prison system. The attraction is closed during winter, so it’s worth checking opening times. And finally in the beautiful setting of a working farm in the Vale of Clwyd, Cae Dai 50s is a unique collection. Featured, amongst other items are areas dedicated to crime, sport, music, classic cars and a varied assortment of room sets dating from the 1950s era. For a waterborne expedition with a difference drop into Kathleen and May Centre at Connah’s Quay, Flintshire. From here, the Quay Watermen’s Association run boat trips along the River Dee using two Wheelyboats, with access for the disabled. They take about two hours to head upstream to Chester and back. Half-hour jaunts provide a close up view of local bridges including Britain’s biggest asymmetric cable-stayed bridge spanning the Dee Estuary. Once back on dry land, peruse the centre’s small museum and cafe.

WE ASKED YOU TO

Describe us in one word

Homestyle living gifts, furniture, antiques, vintage, handmade hampers, jewellery, daily craft demonstrations and a fabulous restaurant.

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If sailing’s not your first love, an alternative is to get on your bike and take the eight-mile, traffic-free national cycle route between Connah’s Quay and Chester. It follows the course of a former railway. Digging further into Flintshire’s rich heritage is a project set up to preserve the legacy of mining communities who sourced coal from below the seabed at Talacre for more a century. A sculpture dedicated to pit ponies was unveiled in 2017 at Point of Ayr near the colliery site, the last remaining deep pit in North Wales when it closed in 1996. Pit ponies were used until the late sixties. A Miner’s Trail accessed by an app follows a circular route via part of the Wales Coast Path between Ffynnongroyw and Talacre. Talking of ponies, saddle up with Bridlewood Riding Centre, Gwespyr, which has the advantage of securing direct access onto Gronant and Talacre Beach. It also runs hillside hacking treks and ‘own a pony’ days for young children to have a go at riding and learn the ins and outs of animal husbandry. While in Talacre stop off at Danger Point, an educational activity centre for families, schools and organised groups. Youngsters can become ‘Danger Detectives’ following a cleverly put together trail in which they are tasked with spotting health and safety perils in everyday settings. It gets busy so we suggest you book in advance. Greenacres Animal Park, Sandycroft, also advises visitors to plan ahead for the best chance of encountering its meerkats, raccoons, parrots, Shetland ponies, donkeys, alpacas, llamas and traditional farm animals like cows, sheep and pigs. The park website details opening times and any possibilities of closure due to bad weather. Always open and free to visit is Greenfield Valley where 70 acres of woodlands teem with wildlife. Within it is Greenfield Valley Heritage Centre enveloping the ruined Basingwerk Abbey where Middle Ages monks harnessed the power of Holywell Stream to grind corn. The centre museum houses relics of the region’s industrial past and farming memorabilia. Frequent visitor participation events are held here during school holidays and cafe and adventure playground with rope walks and timber bridges on stilts help keep children entertained. Many people make a full day of it by following the signposted trail from Holywell high street, taking in the ancient Pilgrim’s Way and St Winefride’s Well. The well is the shrine from which Holywell takes its name – holy well. Reputed to have healing powers it’s nicknamed the ‘Lourdes of Wales’. You’re sure to go home feeling refreshed! l

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WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


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REASONS TO LOVE THIS REGION!

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10 REASONS

[01] THE FESTIVALS

Some last an hour or two, others for several days, but whatever their duration, festivals in this part of Wales are varied and convivial. There’s something on the calendar spring, summer, autumn and winter, from Prestatyn Flower Show to Ruthin’s fundraising U Know Festival, Caerwys Agricultural Show to Mold’s December Santa Dash.

[02] THE COUNTRYSIDE The story goes that Mendelssohn composed his Rivulet on the banks of the River Alyn at Rhydymwyn, near Mold. We’re not surprised he was inspired by the lush meadows, majestic mountains, whispering forests and rippling waterways. The countryside here is a breath of fresh air!

©JOHN DAVID LONGLEY/KUZINA1964/ADOBE STOCK; ING IMAGE; NENAD OBRADOVIC/THE GOOD LIFE EXPERIENCE; SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

[03] THE WILDLIFE Wading birds and garden birds, badgers and bats, hedgehogs, frogs, butterflies and dragonflies – at nature reserves in Buckley, Connah’s Quay, Prestatyn, St Asaph, Rhuddlan and Ruthin you can spy nature’s wonders. Get ready for your hearts to be lifted. [04] THE HISTORY From ley lines to battle lines, North Wales heritage entails heroic freedom fighters and handsome princes, Iron Age hillforts and hidden castles. Some villages once in England are now in Wales and vice versa, making the history a riveting tale of struggle and survival. [05] THE FOOD Check out Mostyn Kitchen Garden for jams and chutneys; Authentic Thai Company for the hottest green curries, or Chilly Cow for the coolest ice cream. We could list all the amazing food artisans in Denbighshire and

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Flintshire, but the best way to sample their recipes is at regional food festivals including at Mold, Llangollen and Bodelwyddan Castle. They showcase the great taste of North Wales. [06] THE DRINK For a quiet pint or a pub crawl, there are inns and quaffs aplenty. The choice is made more interesting by real ale masters like Hafod Brewing Company, Mold; Facers of Flint; Loka Polly in Rhyd y Goleu; Denbigh Brewery and Llangollen Brewery. Try them all at Mold Novemberfest, which celebrates real ale.

“WADING BIRDS AND GARDEN BIRDS, BADGERS AND BATS, HEDGEHOGS, FROGS, BUTTERFLIES AND DRAGONFLIES – AT THE REGION’S NATURE RESERVES YOU CAN SPY NATURE’S WONDERS”

Flintshire this much-loved summit is visible. The Jubilee Tower on top makes a distinctive outline which can even be seen from The Wirral. One of the best views of it is from Pantymwyn, near Mold. Enjoy a drink at The Crown pub as you take in the picturesque scene. [10] THE LIVELY NEIGHBOURS This region’s countryside offers peace and tranquility but it’s not too far from bustling towns or big cities. Close neighbours such as Chester, Wirral, and Wrexham are a blink away and Manchester and Liverpool a mere hour whenever you feel the need to go loud. l

[07] THE MOUNTAIN RACE Scores of athletic types flock to the August Bank Holiday mountain race at Cilcain Show. Held annually since 1960, it’s one of Britain’s oldest fell races – 4.5 miles to the 1,820ft Moel Fammau summit and back. Invigorating for runners and spectators! [08] THE ENTERPRISING SPIRIT The get up and go ethos of Denbighshire and Flintshire is typified by its numerous community shops run by volunteers. Arts trails and crafts fairs also promote local skills and give budding entrepreneurs a lift up. [09] MOEL FAMMAU From so many places in Denbighshire and

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WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


SHOPPING

LIKE TO SHOP? YOU’LL LOVE IT HERE! High street chains, one-off independents and quirky specialists – they’re all waiting for the shopaholic

©HACOHOB/YANA136/ADOBE STOCK

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Many traders have also signed up to the cashless concept to keep customers coming through the door. They are working with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s payments firm, Square, to make Holywell a ‘contactless town’. It’s a move which saw Holywell spotlighted in a top story on the national BBC One news, with cameras zooming in on Sweeny Ted’s barber shop to film a young customer paying for a haircut with his watch. The town’s adaptability earned it a place on the shortlist in the Champion category of the Great British High Street Awards 2018. While Denbighshire and Flintshire are undeniably embracing technological change, importantly they have not forgotten their roots. The excitement of shopping here revolves around local traditions, the quaintness of tourist towns, the splash-about fun of coastal resorts. Llangollen’s main thoroughfare and winding passageways effuse old world charm, Ruthin has p24

t’s a common belief that small traders are losing the battle against superstores, but Denbighshire and Flintshire are pushing back in the bid for retail independence. They buck the trend when it comes to the number and variety of smaller shops on their high streets. Mold town centre manager, Dave Hill, would undoubtedly testify to that having witnessed a cluster of independents open up in Flintshire’s county town. Over the course of just two months in 2016, four new names were added to the myriad of start-ups on the Mold map. The even better news is that they are all not just surviving, but thriving. Over the hills in Holywell, shop owners have succeeded in pushing through some revolutionary changes which they believe will encourage more tourists and pave the way for a prosperous future. After 25 years of pedestrianisation, in 2018 they launched a trial scheme allowing cars back into the high street to boost passing trade.

“DENBIGHSHIRE AND FLINTSHIRE ARE PUSHING BACK IN THE BID FOR RETAIL INDEPENDENCE. THEY BUCK THE TREND WHEN IT COMES TO THE NUMBER AND VARIETY OF SMALLER SHOPS ON THEIR HIGH STREETS”

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WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


©MONKEY BUSINESS/ADOBE STOCK; FOTOLIA; ING IMAGE

SHOPPING

undeniable character with shops climbing up the sides of a steep hill to a pretty flower-bedecked square. Prestatyn’s bustling high street mixes stores selling local essentials with bistros and speciality premises offering unusual souvenirs. Rhyl’s promenade is a big draw for holidaymakers and the town centre a go-to destination for bargain hunters seeking value-for-money buys. The region’s rich farming heritage, inventive and industrious craftsmen and lively weekly markets add to the multifarious retail mix. Mold is transformed on market day when traffic is barred from the high street and a labyrinth of stalls take over. It always attracts a vivacious crowd to browse diverse wares from food and drink, to linens, carpets, furniture, household accessories, clothes, shoes, bags, garden plants and flowers. The list is endless and each week there is something new to see. The twice-weekly Mold Market is held on a Wednesday and a Saturday, only varying its schedule around Christmas to fit in with illuminated festive holidays and help buyers bag last minute gifts. Complementing it on the first and third Saturday mornings each month a farmers market is held at St Mary’s Church Hall, handily located opposite the town bus station. Farm-fresh seasonal fruit, vegetables, meats, pates and preserves can all be found here.

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE

“FOOD PROVENANCE IS VALUED IN BOTH DENBIGHSHIRE AND FLINTSHIRE AS EVIDENCED BY THE FLOURISHING FARM SHOPS IN BOTH COUNTIES”

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Food provenance is valued in both Denbighshire and Flintshire as evidenced by the flourishing farm shops in both counties. Flintshire has Lesters in Drury, near Buckley, Swans Farm Shop at Treuddyn, and Hawarden Estate Farm Shop. A True Taste of Wales accolade winner, Swans was launched by Gail and Clive Swan in 2003 on their 200 acres working farm which rears Welsh beef. Clive built the shop himself and all its pies and cakes are made on the premises. Lesters has an extensive greenhouse and plants section. Both it and the Hawarden Estate Farm Shop have well patronised cafes for enjoying a refreshments break between purchases. Hawarden is known for its home-made pasties and butchery counter offering succulent choice cuts of meat. Hawarden Estate has an offshoot cafe and small outlet in a converted larchwood-clad shipping container at Broughton retail park a few miles away from the ‘mother ship’. In Denbighshire, Rhug Estate has put together a winning recipe with its combination of Farm Shop, restaurant and takeaway cafe. The shop sells luscious lines in fresh produce including locally-sourced vegetables, eggs, preserves, breads, cheeses and cakes. The Mill Farm Shop is among the latest attractions adding to the appeal of the Tweedmill shopping outlet on the fringes of St Asaph. p29

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T. 01352 752632 E. info@vaughandavies.co.uk The Cross, Wrexham Street, Mold, Flintshire CH7 1ET Vaughan Davies Established 1938

Two floors of the finest mens & ladieswear.

www.vaughandavies.co.uk

Or so we are told!!! Our range of sweets is vast, we have all the traditional sweets from your childhood as well as sweets from far off lands, like chocolates from Belgium and liquorice from Holland. We also make our own FAB fudge. Kids and adults love our craft activities. You can paint a sweet jar and fill it with our sweets or decorate a craft item. Afterwards you can enjoy a delicious crepe, a yummy ice cream and a drink of your choice. Prices to suit all pockets. 5 King Street, Mold, Flintshire CH7 1LA | E. info@spavens.co.uk | 01352 752 695

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www.spavens.co.uk WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


porter’s delicatessen

tynook.co.uk T. 01978 860566 Ty Nook offers a range of contemporary gifts and homewares sourced in Wales and from across the globe. Open 7 days a week on Dee Lane, Llangollen LL20 8PN.

Cheeses Cheese wedding cakes Gourmet foods Olives nookantiques.co.uk

Welsh wine, beer and spirits

T. 07792 768193 Nook Antiques offers an eclectic selection of antiques and decorative items. Visit us at 23a-25a Bridge Street, Llangollen LL20 8PF.

Gift hampers

market street llangollen

gourmet essentials

tel: 01978 862990

www.portersdeli.co.uk

COLLECTABLES | CLOCKS CERAMICS | FURNITURE JEWELLERY | COFFEE SHOP

T W O M E A L S F OR £ 1 0.0 0 (including drinks) photograph this voucher and show when ordering

Gardening accessories and advice Plants, flowers and grow-your-own Home-made and locally-sourced food

Buyers Evening every Thursday from 5 to 8pm

Lon Parcwr, Ruthin LL15 1NJ 01824 702567 FREE PARKING www.sevenoaksruthin.co.uk

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE

O p e n Da i ly f ro m 1 0 a m – 5 pm 01978 754090 www.acornantiqueswales.com Mold Road, Gwersyllt, Wrexham LL11 4AF

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Lyn has been lovingly making handmade gifts, decorations, bags and a wide range of other items for over 5 years since moving to live in North Wales. Lyn is mainly self taught after initially learning basic skills at school. Lyn has gained experience in many skilled crafts including crochet, knitting and card making before finally finding her passion which is sewing. After moving to Cilcain Village, near Mold, Lyn attended a local sewing class to refresh and enhance her skills, before making gifts for family and friends. This grew rapidly when people began to see the beautiful and unique gifts and ideas that Lyn creates, until it became the all consuming passion that it is today.

Contact 01824 707 886 15 Clwyd Street Ruthin Denbighshire LL15 1HH Find us on Lovingly Made By Lyn

info@chillycow.co.uk 07968993495

www.chillycow.co.uk “Best Rural Food Business 2018 for Wales and Northern Ireland”

“Made fresh on the farm near Ruthin, Chilly Cow Ice Cream offers

delicious award-winning artisan ice cream in a variety of flavours. You can visit them on the farm at “The Cow Shed” for a pit stop – sample the ice cream, enjoy a coffee or take home other local produce. You might even spot our fluffy cows... One thing that is for sure you will always get a warm welcome from Anna and her team”

Find us at: Stryt Fawr Farm, Llanychan, Ruthin LL15 1UF

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WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


Do gs el W co m e

Located on Ruthin’s Town Square, State of Distress is the place to go for unique and locally sourced crafts, gifts and homeware. Not only do we sell local crafts we also hold workshops in many of the crafts we stock, from furniture painting workshops to paint-your-own-pottery (New for 2019) and our crafters host workshops based on their chosen crafts, there are workshops for all ages and fun to be had by all!

Supporting & stocking local crafts State of Distress, 14 St. Peter’s Square, Ruthin, LL15 1AA T: 01824 308359 E: info@stateofdistress.co.uk

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WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE

27/12/2018 11:07

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SHOPPING

©ALINA/UMB-O/ADOBE STOCK

“FIND DESIGNER CLOTHES AND SHOES, HOMEWARE, GIFTS AND GARDENING PRODUCTS AND FOODSTUFFS ALL UNDER ONE ROOF. MANY CONSIDER THIS A DAY OUT DESTINATION AS MUCH AS A SHOPPING PLACE”

menswear, Elevate Your Sole shoes and the packed to the brim Presents with a Difference antique and collectables. On a corner of the high street in Northop, Flintshire, passers-by spy eye-catching chandeliers, Persian rugs, blanket boxes and country dressers. These are among the treasures at Nic Eastwood Antiques and Interiors. Established in 1972, it can arrange deliveries to any part of the UK and also provides furniture restoration and upholstery services. Soft furnishings with a difference are on sale at Crefftau Cariad in Flint. Set up through Flintshire social services it involves people with learning disabilities in the production of bespoke hand-made items such as cushions, draught excluders, pet beds, throws, bunting, doorstops and ornamental gifts. Several miles away en route to Wrexham is the tiny village of Coed Talon, near Pontybodkin. There, tucked down a secluded country road, is the longest established needlecraft centre in North Wales, the family run Tri Thy Needlecraft Centre. Sewing classes are a regular feature at Abakhan fabrics and hobby centre on the Coast Road in Llanerch-y-Mor, Mostyn. Dressmakers, crochet artists and knitters are in seventh heaven browsing the different buildings all on one site, each packed with lush fabrics, threads, wools and accessories. There’s also a gift shop, tea room and a large car park. For more ideas on cushions and throws, lamps, candles and stylish homes pop in to Lily Rose Interiors in Castle Street, Llangollen. This is an Alice in Wonderland kind of town when it comes to shopping. Through each coloured door on the high street there is a different collection of wares – gifts, clothes, cosmetics, jewellery and DIY materials. With a river running through its centre, Llangollen is unquestionably a mecca for tourists but it retains a certain grace p31

Designer clothes and shoes, homeware, gifts and gardening products, plus the latest addition of quality foodstuffs are all under one roof. Many consider this a day out destination as much as a shopping place. Take the time to browse all the different departments before enjoying refreshments in its upstairs coffee shop or ground floor restaurant. In Rhyl high street stores and the White Rose shopping centre with its major chain outlets contrast with the Queen’s Indoor Market in a building which was formerly the Queen’s Palace dancing and entertainments arena. We believe plans are afoot to give the Queen’s location a facelift but in the meantime businesses there do a brisk trade in everything from books, gifts and greetings cards to a nail bar. Nearby Prestatyn sees Marks and Spencer, Boots and a Tesco superstore augmenting smaller shops on its busy high street. They include names like Chic Interiors, The Bon

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WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


Lilly Rose Interiors

Candles, cushions, lamps and throws, ceramic knobs and Chalk Paint, you will find something for everyone, for every home or that special gift.

Come and visit us at

36 Castle Street, Llangollen, Denbighshire LL20 8RT Tel: 01978 860123

www.lillyroseinteriors.co.uk

Corwen Manor

The Old Union Workhouse

Denbighshire Antiques, one of the largest showrooms in North Wales showcasing high quality antiques. Proprietor Paul Walker

Open: Monday – Saturday 10.30 – 5.00 T. 01745 818888 M. 0777 4646363 E. denbighshire@btconnect.com

Personalised lovespoons • Greetings cards in English & Welsh • Candles • Welsh crafts & souvenirs • Jewellery • Café • Wool shop Fishing tackle & live bait (River Dee day tickets available)

Rhyl Road, Denbigh LL16 3DY

Open 6 days a week Mon-Sat: 10am – 5pm, Sun: 11am – 5pm (closed Wed)

Corwen Manor 8 London Road, Corwen, Denbighshire LL21 0DR 01490 413196 www.corwenmanor.co.uk

www.denbighshireantiques.co.uk

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE

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SHOPPING

crannies are filled with treasures from past eras. “It’s the best sweet shop ever” is the cry to be heard from children – and adults – coming out of Spavens in King Street, Mold. Hundreds of oldfashioned jars lined along scores of shelves contain everything from black jacks and fizz bombs to cinder candy, cola bottles, rhubarb and custards. It stocks 50 brands of liquorice alone. The shop also incorporates a creperie, an ice cream parlour and runs pottery painting parties. Mold’s independent shops are the envy of many larger destinations. It’s impossible for us to name them all, but two whose reputations go before them are Vod Music, one of the smallest vinyl outlets in Britain, with a national following, and Hulsons pork butcher and bakers where people queue outside to buy freshly made steak pies and pork pies. Mold is also home to one of the nation’s largest independent men’s outfitters, Vaughan Davies, which has been trading since the 1930s. Women seeking to revamp their wardrobe will find high-end labels at Clays, Aphrodite, and Jane Davies. Siop y Siswrn, and Mati & Meg specialise in Welsh gifts and books, while The Hippy Shop caters for groovy customers in support of Rainbowbiz diversity charity. Adding to Mold’s feast of flavours is Richard Howells who opened The Olive Tree natural foods a couple of years ago. Tasters Delicatessen and p33

“MOLD IS HOME TO ONE OF THE NATION’S LARGEST INDEPENDENT MEN’S OUTFITTERS WHICH HAS BEEN TRADING SINCE THE 1930s”

©CRIN/MR DOOMITS/ADOBE STOCK; ANNIE THEBY/ UNSPLASH; ING IMAGE; SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

underpinned by its remarkable setting within exquisite countryside. Surrounded by hills and valleys, it has a whimsical character but its building facades are elegant and sophisticated. Shoppers delight in the Friday morning Country Market when home-made produce is sold in the Town Hall, while Tuesdays bring the general market to town. Between convenience stores like the Co-Op and Aldi, there are individualistic gifts merchants, boutiques and jewellers – some selling Clogau Welsh gold – ironmongers and pottery stores, shops offering all things Welsh, and antiques purveyors such as the Nook, Chapel Emporium and Passers Buy Antiques. Near Llangollen, Shop in the Clouds is perfect if you’re in the market for some traditional Welsh gifts. They offer everything from gothic figurines by celebrated artists to Welsh slate and coal products. Half an hour’s drive away there’s a street corner hideaway which really will take you back a few years triggering childhood memories with its retro furnishing, bric-a-brac and curiosities. Time Travellers Shop on Wrexham Road, Mold, is cherished by nostalgia fans. If you’re lucky you might be introduced to its mascot mannequin, Douglas, and one-legged teddy bear, Sergeant Hopper. Another retro specialist Florence and Bunce is found off Chester Road, Mold, while in Grosvenor Street The Vintage Shop’s maze of nooks and

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WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


Fostering You can help them, whatever they’re going through. And we’ll help you.

Change a life by fostering a child. Visit barnardos.org. uk/fostering or call us today on:

0800 027 7280 Registered Charity Nos. 216250 and SC037605 17468nc16


©AIGARS REINHOLDS/MONKEY BUSINESS/ADOBE STOCK

SHOPPING

“FOR A TRULY DEFINITIVE GIFT, THE RETAIL GALLERY AT RUTHIN CRAFT CENTRE OFFERS CONTEMPORARY WORK FOR SALE FROM SOME OF THE COUNTRY’S LEADING MAKERS”

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Taryn’s Deli also tickle tastebuds, while butchers like CJ’s, and Martin Grafton supply the best fresh meats. Chocoholics will love Denbigh Chocolate shop and cafe with enough treats to melt the mind. The shop sells chocolate gifts but it’s cafe adds cakes, scones, quiches, savouries and coffees to the choc-adventure! Oldham’s bakery in Denbigh also satisfies many a craving with its fresh bread, cream cakes, savouries and pies, while other gems in the town include Baroque, a bewitching shop packed full of curios, decorative items, quality furniture, gifts, cards, and jewellery. For a truly definitive gift the retail gallery at Ruthin Craft Centre offers contemporary work for sale from some of the country’s leading makers. It includes jewellery, ceramics, glass, metalwork, textiles, books and stationery. Ruthin is also home to Choo Choo, a cluster of three design-led shops at the top of town selling a fine mix of ladies fashion, gifts and houseware. Nearby Wayfarer Wools is like an Aladdin’s cave with its extraordinarily colourful mix of wools and hand-knitted garments including sweaters, shawls, baby wear, scarves and fancy tea cosies. Broughton is where visitors will find Flintshire’s biggest modern style shopping complex complete

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with more than 2,000 car parking spaces, pedestrianised walkways and national retailers including Next, Outfit, Accessorize, Asda Living, Boots, Primark, M&S Simply Food, River Island, Home Sense, Monsoon, and Sports Direct. Recent Christmases have also seen a Celtic Fayre on the site, bringing together scores of crafts stalls and food producers in marquees and cabins. Most of the shops are open till 8pm every weekday, 7pm on Saturday and 5pm on Sundays. After they close many visitors stay on to catch a movie at Cineworld or dine out at a restaurant such as Pizza Express, Nando’s or Chiquito’s. Mouthwatering recipes are also on the menu created by Dtoi Harvey whose Authentic Thai Cuisine business is the talk of many a local takeaway meal fan. Dtoi supplies community shops and local garage shops, such as the busy Essar at Loggerheads with a choice of dishes which she cooks up at her hillside home on the road to Moel Fammau Country Park. Carefully parcelled up, they are sold cold, ready to be heated up at home and enjoyed with family or friends. Denbighshire and Flintshire’s shops may not be able to compete with the size of the M&S flagship at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet, just across the English border, but they are certainly just as competitive and just as impressive in all departments. l

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


48 HOURS

IF YOU’RE ONLY HERE FOR 48 HOURS… You can pack a lot into a couple of days – try this itinerary to make the most of it

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE

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©CROWN COPYRIGHT (2019) VISIT WALES; ©HARVEY HUDSON/ ADOBE STOCK; ALYSA TARRANT/UNSPLASH; FOTOLIA

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“WALK OFF THE CAKES WITH A FIVEMILE EXPLORATION OF HAWARDEN’S ENVIRONS TAKING IN ITS CASTLE, TINKERSDALE AND THE DELIGHTFUL BILBERRY WOOD”

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ut on your walking shoes before breakfasting at Honey’s Bakery, Caergwrle. The riverside eatery won’t disappoint with its ‘full works’, plus fresh-from-the-oven breads and sweet pastries. Re-energise with a walk up beautiful Hope Mountain in Waun y Lyn Country Park. Sandstone was extracted here for decades but it’s now spectacularly reclaimed. Short and long walks can be enjoyed, including a circular route. Check Flintshire Rural Walks website for one to suit you. Alternatively stay on lower ground following Caergwrle heritage trail, and cross the historic packhorse bridge. Drive the rural route via the heart-stopping Horseshoe Pass to Llangollen for lunch at one of the throng of cafes and bistros which line the main street. It’s also a great town for browsing gift shops and souvenir hunting. Maybe take an afternoon trip on a steam train or a horse drawn canal boat, before heading back to base for a shower and change of outfit, ready for a great night out. The choice is yours – book ahead for a Medieval banquet at Ruthin Castle Hotel, or take in a show at Rhyl Pavilion or Theatr Clwyd, Mold. Arise early for a refreshing walk along Rhyl Beach and blow away the cobwebs before breakfast. Maybe try Liffey’s Cafe and Bistro, which also offers vegetarian and vegan options, or the Beach Hut at nearby Prestatyn. Take a tour inland via the A55 coast road giving a view of the Dee Estuary. Perhaps stop off at Mold on a market day – Saturday or Wednesday – for coffee or lunch. Hawarden Estate Farm Shop, a little further

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along the route, offers yet more local flavours. Dedicated shoppers might like to head to Broughton Retail Park for some retail therapy. Keep an eye out for the famous Beluga XL aircraft overhead. It carries Airbus cargo to and from Hawarden Airport. Avid plane-watchers should try Chocks Away Diner on the Aviation Park from where you’ll get a closer view of the high flying giant. You’ll almost feel like a pilot! If a swish afternoon tea is more your idea of Heaven partake of one at Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden – simply dreamy. Walk off the cakes with a five-mile exploration of Hawarden’s environs taking in its castle, Tinkersdale and the delightful Bilberry Wood. Google Flintshire Rural Walks for a recommended route. Dinner options are varied. Hawarden itself has numerous pubs and restaurants, including the Fox and Grapes’ Wednesday steak night or Monday and Tuesday early bird specials. Round off the day feeding your imaginations with a late evening film at Cineworld, Broughton. Alternatively, for something extra special, make a quick change out of the walking garb, and drive back down the A55 to Chequers restaurant, Northop Hall. You’ll almost certainly need to book in advance. Be tempted by braised lamb shank, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, red wine and mint jus, followed by Affogato espresso and home-made shortbread. Hmmm, maybe you’ll need another promenade stroll to walk it off. Watch the sun set over the Welsh hills before bed. l

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


ARTS & CULTURE

A REGION AT THE HEART OF ART! Immerse yourself in a region that is crammed with arts and culture

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE

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©CROWN COPYRIGHT (2019) VISIT WALES; EYE IMAGERY/LLANGOLLEN INTERNATIONAL MUSICAL EISTEDDFOD; FOTOLIA; SERGEJ KOZACENKO/THE GOOD LIFE EXPERIENCE

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nticing music festivals, literary fairs, exciting exhibitions and captivating crafts shows make up the cultural calendar in this part of the world. Flintshire is the birthplace of foremost Welsh language novelist Daniel Owen, the childhood home of Game of Thrones megastar Jonathan Pryce, Peter Kay’s Car Share heroine Sian Gibson, and Coldplay guitarist Jonny Buckland. Denbighshire spawned Amazing Spider-Man and Notting Hill actor Rhys Ifans, veteran TV presenter Carol Vorderman, cult pop star Lisa Scott Lee, of Steps, and Channel 4’s No Offence lead actress, Joanna Scanlan. Thespians cross paths with movie celebrities, music idols, comedians, wordsmiths and award-winning artists. They are all here ready to brighten up the world stage. No event showcases artistic passions more than Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, born in 1947 and going stronger than ever. Held throughout the second week of July at the Royal International Pavilion, Llangollen, Denbighshire, this is a globally-heralded spectacle. It attracts 4,000 performers from every corner of the world, some having spent years fundraising to pay for the trip. Classical choirs rub shoulders with folk groups, soloists with instrumental ensembles. Amazingly-choreographed dances include reels, capers, New Zealand hakas and Chinese lantern ceremonies. A 50,000-strong crowd flocks to the festival site filled with marquees, sales stalls, workshops and audience participation activities. Evenings bring star-studded concerts in the main pavilion with past performers including Pavarotti, Shirley Bassey, Alfie Boe, Bryn Terfel, Placido Domingo, Elaine Paige, Michael Ball and Van Morrison. Confirmed to take part at 2019 Llanfest, the Eisteddfod finale party, are Kaiser Chiefs, The Hoosiers and Toploader. At the heart of the event is a desire to spread peace and harmony. Since 1952 Llangollen’s young people have presented a message of goodwill to the world from the stage of the Royal International Pavilion on Children’s Day, attended by school pupils from across the region. Eisteddfods are at the root of Welsh culture encouraging involvement in the arts from an early age. Nearly every Denbighshire and Flintshire child will have sung in an eisteddfod choir, or had a painting, poem or other work submitted into an eisteddfod competition. Success at the Wales National Eisteddfod is a dream come true, but the youth version – the Urdd Eisteddfod – also attracts a

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“WITH TWO AUDITORIUMS, NAMED AFTER WELSHBORN ACTORS, SIR ANTHONY HOPKINS AND EMLYN WILLIAMS, THEATR CLWYD CAN HAVE PACKED HOUSES LAUGHING AND CRYING SIMULTANEOUSLY”

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tantalising array of quality entrants, and even at regional, district or school levels eisteddfod prizes are keenly sought after. A 19th-century winner was Daniel Owen, the father of the Welsh language novel. A tailor from Mold, he was the first writer nationally recognised as producing notable works of fiction in Welsh. Welsh language literature is now saluted at the Gŵyl Daniel Owen Festival centred around Mold over a week in October. A statue of him, erected in 1902, stands in Mold’s Daniel Owen Square and a memorial prize in his name, for talented writing, is awarded annually at the Wales National Eisteddfod. Another shining cultural beacon is Theatr Clwyd, the regional arts centre at the top of a rolling green hill a mile outside Mold. Its facade is dramatic enough, tremendous floor to ceiling windows looking out at the magnificent Clwydian range. But inside the breadth of its creative repertoire is even more impressive. With two auditoriums, named after Welsh-born actors, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Emlyn Williams, Theatr Clwyd can have packed houses laughing and crying simultaneously. It has art galleries, a concert hall, function rooms, a cinema, bistro and gift shop selling original crafts work. Opened by the Queen in 1976, the curtain p39

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


GWALIA CERAMICS

M MY Y RTLE RTLE HOUSE HOUSE G G II F FT T G GA AL LL LE ER RY Y Championing ‘Made in Wales’ Championing ‘Made in Wales’

Contemporary handmade ceramics, from Wales and further afield.

Do come in and have a look, we welcome browsers.

www.myrtlehousegiftgallery.co.uk www.myrtlehousegiftgallery.co.uk Tel: 01745 407624 | Mob: 07402 332676 Tel: 01745 407624 | Mob: 07402 332676 Open 10-6 | Sunday 10-3 | Closed Wednesday Open 10-6 | Sunday 10-3 | Closed Wednesday Myrtle House, Lower Street, St. Asaph LL17 0SG Myrtle House, Lower Street, St. Asaph LL17 0SG

Tel: 01978 869 109 1 Gwalia Terrace • Oak Street • Llangollen • LL20 8NS

REGENT STREET STUDIO Conceptual abstract paintings.

For viewing times please contact: E: regentstreetstudio@gmail.com T: 01978 860 311 M: 07884 292 404

Find us at: Regent St, Llangollen LL20 8HL

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE

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©CROWN COPYRIGHT (2019) VISIT WALES

ARTS & CULTURE

lifted gloriously on its inaugural performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and over the last four decades it has won plaudits for outstanding, groundbreaking and innovative productions. It has thrilled with classic drama, gripping mystery stories, hilarious farces and offbeat romps. Familiar names of stage and screen have graced its boards – Vanessa Redgrave, Julie Christie, Timothy Dalton, Tom Baker, Rula Lenska, Joe McFadden, and many more. Nearly half a million people see a Theatr Clwyd Company production each year, either at Mold or at one of its on-tour shows around the UK. Actors Sian Gibson and Rhys Ifans are past members of its youth theatre. Whatever the season there’s a reason to call at Theatr Clwyd to enjoy a home-grown or visiting stage production, a one-off gig, film show, or the rock and roll pantomime which pulls in mega crowds each festive season. Winter brings a temporary ice rink to its grounds, while summer highlights the North Wales Open Art Competition with local professional and amateur artists exhibiting throughout the complex. The rich vein of artistic talent in Flintshire is also displayed in May at Virgin Art, a week-long exhibition at The Church of St Mary the Virgin,

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Hundreds of local children take part in a Mold, when more than 300 paintings and costumed procession near Tower Gardens, photographs are displayed in the church aisles. following in the footsteps of a centuries old It marks its 10th anniversary in 2019. May Day custom when coal miners blackened Leading lights of contemporary art including their faces to dance in the streets. Central to 2015 National Eisteddfod gold medalist Rhian their partying was a Hâf, the late ceramist character called Bili, Emmanuel Cooper, dressed in black, and the Reggie’s Roller Palace Cadi, usually a male creator Olivia Brown, and “THIS PURPOSE-BUILT dancer in women’s state of the art designer ARTS COUNCIL OF clothing. David Poston have WALES-FUNDED Revellers at Buckley exhibited at Ruthin Craft Jubilee don glad rags on Centre, Denbighshire. CENTRE BOASTS THREE the second Tuesday in This purpose-built Arts GALLERIES, SIX ARTISTS July when legend has it Council of Wales-funded STUDIOS, A SHOP, that the town of Buckley centre boasts three CAFE AND CRAFTS is entitled to a day off. galleries, six artists Churches come together studios, a shop, cafe and WORKSHOPS” for a parade of floats and crafts workshops. It sits marching bands. The first just off a roundabout at of these annual gatherings the gateway to was more than 160 years ago. It shows no sign Ruthin not far from Nantclwyd y Dre, Wales’s of abating. oldest dated timbered town house, and Ruthin Buckley is also home to Hawkesbury Little Gaol, a former Pentonville-style prison, now Theatre. Much smaller than Theatr Clwyd, this a museum. ambitious amateur organisation still manages Capturing attention of a different kind in to stage several riveting shows a year including Holywell is the annual Cadi Ha Festival, a a traditional panto. p41 mesmerising weekend of mass dancing.

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If the worst happens, I know that Dogs Trust will care for him.

When I’m not here to love him, I know that Dogs Trust will be. Now I’ve got my free Canine Care Card, I have complete peace of mind. It guarantees that Dogs Trust will love and look after my dog if I pass away first. Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity with 20 rehoming centres nationwide and they never put down a healthy dog.

Apply now for your FREE Canine Care Card.

Call: 020 7837 0006 or email: ccc@dogstrust.org.uk

Please quote “113124”

This service is currently only available for residents of the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands & the Isle of Man.

www.dogstrust.org.uk Reg Charity Nos: 227523 & SC037843


MELISSA CROSS/GLADSTONE’S LIBRARY; NENAD OBRADOVIC/THE GOOD LIFE EXPERIENCE

ARTS & CULTURE

“THE GOOD LIFE EXPERIENCE COMBINES LIVELY MUSIC, ANIMATED LECTURES AND SCINTILLATING CONVERSATION WITH CAMPFIRE COOKING SESSIONS, WOODCRAFTS, YOGA AND MUCH MORE”

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If your preferred Christmas show involves big name soap stars putting on villain’s garb then try Rhyl Pavilion Theatre in Denbighshire. The seafront venue seats more than 1,000 with an entertainments programme including the annual pantomime, touring stage musicals and hot names from the world of comedy, pop, and rock and roll, such as Mrs Brown’s Boys, John Bishop, Olly Murs, and Little Mix. The feel good vibe continues at The Good Life Experience in Hawarden, Flintshire, combining lively music, animated lectures and scintillating conversation with campfire cooking sessions, stargazing, canoeing, woodcrafts, yoga, archery, axe throwing, slack-lining, even fire walking. This is truly the adventurous side of arts and culture – three days of non-stop action in September – a real family affair complete with vintage fairground, helter skelter, and overnight camping. It was founded by singer-songwriter and Radio Six favourite Cerys Matthews, arts consultant Steve Abbott, and Charlie and Caroline Gladstone. Over the last five years it has attracted famous faces including explorer Ben Fogle, Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine, awardwinning screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce, BBC’s Kate Humble, performance poet Dr John Cooper Clarke, punk survivor Wilko Johnson, indie rock band British Sea Power and Belgian rapper Baloji. A short walk away Gladstone Library stages another September event – Glad Fest – showcasing contemporary writing. It features readings, book

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signings, question and answer sessions and workshops, with visits from influential authors. The 2018 hotlist included bestseller Joanna Cannon, who penned Three Things About Elsie, broadcaster Sally Magnusson, and multi-award winner Sarah Perry, author of Melmoth. In the tiny hamlet of Trelawnyd the beat goes on during Folk at the Hall, over two days in July. Revolving around the village hall, it features the region’s top folk musicians. In August North Wales Blues and Soul Festival pulls in music devotees with an international line up. Over three days and nights the main hub is at Kendrick’s Field, Mold. Past performers have included UK Blues queen Connie Lush, Greg Coulson, formerly of The Selecter, France’s whirlwind Alexis Evans, New Zealand blues band Brilleaux, and number one harmonica exponent Liam Ward. Farming is also central to local life and the Denbigh and Flint Show attracts bumper crowds yearly, with handicrafts and daredevil entertainers among the exhibits. Other towns and villages across both counties also host well attended fairs and carnivals at different dates throughout the year. Whether your bag is singing the blues, donning daffodil yellow for a St David’s Day parade, quick-stepping to a dance pageant or just kicking up your heels and having fun, Denbighshire and Flintshire’s arts and culture scene will keep you entertained. That’s for sure. l

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A TASTE OF WALES – AND THE WORLD! Top-end fine dining, adventurous independents and a great range of ethnic cuisine means you’ll never go hungry here

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or white toast and served with salad garnish. To add an extra twist there’s a Buck Rarebit option – the Welsh rarebit topped with two poached eggs. This cafe houses a ceramics studio where you can paint a plate or other piece of pottery with a self-designed pattern and have it fired ready to take home. A hop, skip and jump over the Denbighshire border Caffi Florence sits in Loggerheads Country Park where the chef rustles up a rarebit on top of grilled black pudding, served with red onion marmalade. Go on, be daring! Bara brith tea loaf and Welsh Cakes are other stars of any quintessential Celtic menu and there are plenty to sample at charming tea and coffee shops like the deliciously named Truly Scrumptious, in Mold; Cranberry Cafe, Prestatyn; or Edenshine at Afonwen Craft Centre. Edenshine combines sweet-toothed confections with a delectable spot of retail therapy. The two-storey p45

hether you’re going Michelinstarred, medieval banquet, bistro casual, breakfast, lunch or dinner, Denbighshire and Flintshire can provide them all on a delicious plate. There’s a zeal for all things foodie in these twin counties, known for great taste in producing food, as well as eating it. If you’re in the mood for Italian, Indian, Chinese, Mexican or Spanish there’s a restaurant to suit. That’s not forgetting traditional Welsh recipes which are this region’s bread and butter. With that in mind there’s no better place to start than with the Celtic classic Welsh rarebit. It’s a tasty staple which sits nicely in the light bites category at chic cafes and on the house specials board of top-notch tea rooms. Try Jemoleys in Penyffordd, which serves up a mean all-day breakfast menu. It includes a Welsh rarebit made to Jemoleys’ special recipe melted on to brown

“BARA BRITH TEA LOAF AND WELSH CAKES ARE STARS OF ANY QUINTESSENTIAL CELTIC MENU AND THERE ARE PLENTY TO SAMPLE AT CHARMING TEA AND COFFEE SHOPS AROUND THE REGION”

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The Beaufort Park Hotel is an independently run, 3 star AA hotel located just a short drive from the historic market town of Mold set in the attractive North Wales countryside. There are plenty of attractions nearby including the ever popular city of Chester, the beautiful Clwydian mountain range, Snowdonia National Park and the many historic castles of North Wales. The hotel is a popular venue for weddings, christenings, parties, tribute nights and conferences.

Beaufort Park Hotel and Conference Centre, Mold, Flintshire CH7 6RQ 01352 758646 info@beaufortparkhotel.co.uk

www.beaufortparkhotel.co.uk

Tyddyn Llan is one of Wales’ most renowned restaurants set on the edge of Snowdonia National Park in the beautiful Vale of Edeyrnion surrounded by the Berwyn Mountains. Enjoy the simple pleasure of eating good food with warm hospitality. We offer the finest ingredients cooked with confidence and simplicity in our elegant Georgian house, which has held a Michelin star for 10 years. Together with an award-winning wine list, it’s the place to take time off and relax and indulge. Email us at: info@tyddynllan.co.uk | Tel: +44 (0) 1490 440264

Tyddyn Llan | Llandrillo | nr. Corwen | Denbighshire | North Wales | LL21 0ST

WWW.TYDDYNLLAN.CO.UK

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Friary. Its breakfasts, light snacks and lunches are created using local suppliers such as Henllan bakery and Patchwork pates. Work up an appetite or walk off lunch with a tour of the gardens and forest walkways, plus a visit to St Pio’s shop. For wholesome sustenance in Mold go to the outskirts of town to find Woodworks cafe at Woodworks garden centre. It does breakfast, lunch – we can’t recommend the freshly-made soups enough – or for something extra indulgent opt for Tasteful Afternoon Tea. A tip here is to book in advance as tables are quickly taken up by ladies – and all others – who love a good lunch. Afternoon tea is also on the agenda at Susan’s coffee shop, part of Lester’s Farm Shop in Drury. Alternatively, her three-egg omelette is locally renowned or you might consider her baked mushrooms with rarebit glaze, simply yum. For breakfast try Honey’s Bakery at Caergwrle, a scrumptious neighbourhood bakery with a cafe attached. The friendly owners bake sourdough breads, oriental filled buns and sweet-as-you-like patisseries. What makes a visit here extra special is its setting next to the picture-postcard River Alyn. Tables and chairs invite customers to sit down on the waterside terrace for a freshly-brewed tea or coffee before taking their breads home. p47

“THIS TEA ROOM ATTRACTS WALKERS, CYCLISTS AND TOURISTS, MANY DELIGHTED BY ITS BOAST OF BEING THE ONLY PLACE IN NORTH WALES WHERE YOU CAN TAKE YOUR DOG FOR LUNCH”

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Afonwen centre includes crafts units, a gift shop and an antiques emporium, making Edenshine the perfect place for a refreshments break while deciding whether to buy a gift for yourself or treat a loved one. Minutes away is The Cherry Pie Inn at Melin-yWern where baked halibut served on a bed of ratatouille is a sample of the menu, or how about duck breast with plum and ginger? Follow it up with a choice of desserts including, of course, the venue’s namesake, cherry pie with cream. For something out of the ordinary take a trip to the cemetery – yes, really! We’re talking about the pet’s cemetery in Brynford, in a stunning hillside location above Holywell. It’s open to visitors and has an award-winning ornamental gardens. The tea room was originally a place for bereaved owners of lost pets to chat. But its reputation spread for delicious homebaked scones, cakes and tasty, satisfying meals. Now it attracts walkers, cyclists and tourists, many delighted by its boast of being the only place in North Wales where you can take your dog for lunch. If tranquillity is what you’re looking for then you won’t go wrong at St Pio’s cafe at the St Pio Peace Centre in the beautiful grounds of Pantasaph Franciscan

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We’re passionate about food and drink here at the Nant y Felin. Producing delicious dishes using organic fresh ingredients locally sourced and herbs grown in our very own garden. From Sunday roast and seasonal dishes there’s great tasty food for everyone, including a large selection of gluten free options. There’s no better place to be, come join us! Wednesday to Friday 12pm – 2pm, 6pm – 9pm Saturdays 12pm – 2 pm, 5:30pm – 9pm Sundays 12pm – 3:30pm Find us Pentre Llanrhaeadr, Denbigh LL16 4NT

www.nantyfelin.co.uk

Brookhouse Mill has a warm and welcoming atmosphere in a restored 17th-century flour mill, the exposed beams, original iron wheels, cogs and grinding stones feature in the intimate dining rooms and bar area. The varied menu offers traditional dishes using Welsh produce where possible with imagination and expertise, with an extensive wine list complementing the menu. Established in 1981, this family-run restaurant is open for lunch and dinner service Monday to Friday and open all day Saturday and Sunday. Brookhouse Mill’s traditional Sunday lunch with all the trimmings is in high demand so booking in advance is advised. The restaurant can also accommodate private family parties of up to 30 people in the inviting conservatory which has stunning views over the river. And if the weather is fine, guests can also enjoy al fresco dining.

To book a table contact us on 01745 813377 or email info@brookhousemill.co.uk Brookhouse Mill • Ruthin Road • Denbigh • LL16 4RD

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The Artisans cafe in Holywell is a not-for-profit group launched to give unemployed people vocational training in customer services, including barista coffee making. It also sells locally-made artworks and handicrafts. Excellent value for money and tip top service is the ethos of Y Celstryn restaurant in Connah’s Quay. Set up by Coleg Cambria, it’s run entirely by catering students and was established to give them on the job training bar none. Diners here can get a silver service two course meal for £7.50 or three courses for £9.50. Undoubtedly the aim of those students is to one day work in a Michelin-starred venue like Tyddyn Llan restaurant with rooms at Llandrillo offering fine dining par excellence. Chef Bryan Webb has been at the top of his game for 30 years and held a Michelin Star since 2010. Committed to using the best seasonal produce, his signature dishes include his signature dishes include griddled scallops with cauliflower purée, pancetta, caper and raisin dressing or wild bass with laverbread butter sauce. It’s all served in the dining room of the 18th-century country house in Llandrillo, where his wife, Susan, supervises the front of house service and Tyddyn Llan guest rooms. Another commended country hotel restaurant, Palé Hall, in Llandderfel, near Bala, is less than four

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“CHEF BRYAN WEBB HAS BEEN AT THE TOP OF HIS GAME FOR 30 YEARS AND HAS HELD A MICHELIN STAR SINCE 2010”

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miles from Tyddyn Llan. Its restaurant has three coveted AA rosettes and the hotel is an AA Five Red Star, Relais & Chateaux destination. Under the expertise of head chef Gareth Stevenson it’s known for six and ten-course tasting menus, sumptuous afternoon teas and classic à la carte choices including half-grilled lobster, Welsh black fillet beef, and raspberry, mead and pistachio mille-feuille. In Rhuallt, near St Asaph, the White House restaurant with rooms coaxes the eye and the stomach with signature dishes including pan-seared pigeon breast; seafood, vegetable and saffron chowder; or roast pheasant for mains, followed by ginger cake in rum butterscotch sauce. Flintshire must also be credited with first-class hotel restaurants, not least of which is Soughton Hall luxury wedding venue. This restored Georgian manor house boasts an opulently furnished first floor dining room where guests are treated like a king or queen. Set in gorgeous formal gardens, it’s secluded and exclusive. Down the road Northop Hall Country House Hotel is known for its Chequers restaurant, while a couple of miles uphill from Mold the Plas Hafod Hotel has The Greenhouse with specialities including Hafod Harvest apple-brined pork loin steak. p49

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Like what you see‌

Pale Estate | Llandderfel | Bala | Gwynedd LL28 7PS | 01678 530285

Exquisite food, finest fresh local seasonal produce. Our superb visitor guides are packed with useful articles and information.

Fine dining, and a commitment to quality and excellence, sits at the heart of what we do. Our acclaimed, three rosette, fine dining restaurant features signature dishes from our own head chef Gareth Stevenson. Situated in the tranquil Dee valley, this grand, historic, high Victorian mansion has an idyllic woodland garden rolling down to the banks of the river.

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Expect to enjoy exceptional standards of service in a friendly, informal and relaxing atmosphere.

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“THE CHEERFUL DÉCOR INCLUDES LOTS OF ITALIAN KNICK-KNACKS AND THE RELAXED ATMOSPHERE IS PERFECT FOR ENJOYING GOOD OLD FASHIONED CONVERSATION OVER THE DINNER TABLE”

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For a meaty feast with extra authenticity, nothing beats a Medieval banquet at Ruthin Castle Hotel, Denbighshire. The historic setting is superb for a dinner where daggers and fingers replace dainty cutlery. Spit roasts, plaited pork pies, vegetable tartlets, and herby dumplings, are preceded by a potent toast of mead and accompanied by heady goblets of wine. There’s a sense of the rustic at Rhug Estate Farm Shop where Bison Grill uses seasonal vegetables and organic meats raised on site. The estate is first and foremost a working farm, but has a browse-around shop, quality restaurant and On The Hoof take-away service. The homely, satisfying grill menu comes with a generous helping of style. Try Rhug organic 14-hour slow-braised shin of beef cottage pie topped with Collier cheese to blow away even January blues. Hot gossip on opening – around 2015 – was the Indian Lounge, near Nannerch, and local patrons have been dishing out unswerving praise for it ever since. Mold’s Parivaar in Grosvenor Road has also triumphed with its fusion of Indian-Bengali cuisine. Parivaar is a newcomer on the block compared to the Bengali Dynasty at Shotton, which has beguiled customers for in excess of 20 years with tandooris, baltis, biryanis and more. From the sub continent to the Mediterranean. It almost feels like you are in Italy at the Belvedere restaurant, Mold. This cosy bistro is owned and run by an Italian family who have been providing freshlycooked delights for more than 30 years. The cheerful décor includes lots of Italian knick-knacks and the relaxed atmosphere is perfect for enjoying good old fashioned conversation over the dinner table. Denbigh’s Con Amici is another family-run Italian with a good selection of hand-made pizzas, pastas and risottos, plus an alluring specials board. For a Spanish feel try the mouthwatering, sizzling tapas at Y Delyn wine bar, Mold, where the tortilla is to die for. Mexican is the theme for Tres Amigos in p50

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Llangollen where fans of nachos, enchiladas, and fajitas will be jumping for joy. The Corn Mill pub and restaurant overlooking the River Dee at Llangollen is another popular eaterie, part of the Brunning and Price stable, which also runs the Dinorben Arms, Bodfari and Glas Fryn, Mold. On the hill opposite Theatr Clwyd, Glas Fryn has a reputation for being consistently reliable in both the food and drinks departments. What’s more it’s just the ticket for a pre-theatre dinner or a post gig nightcap. Don’t tell anyone but we’ve been known to call in ‘The Glas’ for a mid-morning coffee, stay for lunch, and still be there rounding off the day with a platter of cheese and wine late into the evening. On The Hill restaurant in Ruthin has enjoyed ten years seducing diners with sublime flavours served in an intimate 16th-century building. Those who have been there cannot wait to go back but wait they often have to do because demand for a table is such that it’s advisable to book well ahead. Ruthin also boasts The Seven Oaks Garden Centre Café which is a perfect stop for all the family offering delicious home-made meals. Another eatery which is well worth is a visit is The

“IF HOME-MADE FISH AND CHIPS IS MORE YOUR STYLE THEN THE SEASIDE IS THE BEST PLACE FOR ENJOYING LIP-SMACKING SALTY FLAVOURS”

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White Horse Restaurant in Hendrerwydd. This delightful 16th-century inn not only has spectacular views of the Clwydian Range, it also serves locallysourced produce and look out for their braised Welsh beef rib, parmesan and truffle chips, wild mushrooms, onion purée and peppercorn jus. If home-made fish and chips is your style then the seaside is best for enjoying lip-smacking salty flavours. The Beach Hut cafe and bar at Prestatyn does Monday-Friday afternoon deals on fish, chips, mushy peas and that all important tartare sauce. For an upmarket setting try The Bryn Restaurant at the Beaches Hotel, Prestatyn, where the Promenade Bar overlooks the Irish Sea. Chef ’s favourites include moules mariniere with warm ciabatta. The window-side at The Old Crown at the Castle in Rhuddlan looks right out at – you guessed it – Rhuddlan Castle. Eat your meal and admire a bite of history! Further down the coast Rhyl Pavilion Theatre offers 1891, a first-floor restaurant and bar with a view, a great choice for a pre-show meal or a non-stagey, leisurely dinner. Food for Thought is the name of the bistro at Gladstone’s Library at St Deniol’s, Hawarden,

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Flintshire, and it certainly has customers thinking it’s a very fine place. It’s open daily from 10am-5pm for light snacks, for lunch from 12noon-2pm and its daily changing dinner menu between 6.30 and 7.30pm is well timed for popping to the nearby Broughton cinema to catch an evening blockbuster. The Old Grocery restaurant, Hawarden, also has an early dinner option as well as intriguing cocktails like Fizzy Bakewell, a well-balanced mix of Bakewell gin, prosecco and cherry. A hidden gem with a gin menu, wine menu and cocktail menu is Java Square, Rhuddlan, which won North Wales Bistro of the Year 2018, impressing with its breakfasts, brunches, lunches, prosecco afternoon teas and Friday evening tapas. Our tour of Denbighshire-Flintshire eateries wouldn’t be complete without mentioning quality pub fayre. There’s such a wide choice you’ll be hard pressed to decide on a favourite. But here’s ten for starters: The Millstone, Penyffordd; Owain Glyndwr, Gwernymynydd; Black Lion, Babell; Piccadilly Inn, Caerwys; White Horse, Cilcain; Red Lion, Meliden; Three Pigeons, Graigfechan; Druid Inn, Llanferres; Eagle and Child, Gwaenysgor; The Hand at Llanarmon, Llangollen. We could go on but we’ll leave it to you to discover the rest of the best this region has to offer. l

Not just a hotel… we are a wedding venue, conference room, restaurant, entertainment venue and golf club. We pride ourselves on giving you the best experience possible from enjoyable family days out to a great game on the golf course, our helpful staff will ensure that you make the most of your time here.

flintmountainparkhotel.co.uk

Once you've enjoyed the lovely attractions of North Wales, you can sit and enjoy our in-house restaurant. The food that we lovingly cook is enjoyed by many in the community and is always highly recommended by our regular guests. The food will have you coming back!

Northop Road • Flint Mountain • Flint • CH6 5QG • Tel. 01352 736000

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THINGS YOU MUST DO!

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10 THINGS

[01] PICK YOUR OWN FRUIT

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Strawberries or gooseberries, apples, pears, plums or pumpkins, customers can get an empty punnet at Hawarden Estate Farm Shop, then go to the fields to pick their own produce. Return to the shop for weighing and paying. The type of fruit depends on the season but it’s always plumptious.

[02] WALK THE WALKS Offa’s Dyke National Trail, the Clwydian Way, Wat’s Dyke path, and Wales Coastal Path all wind through this region. Don’t miss the chance to soak up their stunning views exploring on foot.

Newydd is now a popular museum. Alternatively tour the 17th-century Bodrhyddan Hall, near Rhuddlan. The home of Lord Langford, set in several acres of formal gardens, it boasts notable artworks and a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy.

[03] SUMMON SOME PEDAL POWER Over 14s can rent electric powered bikes from Glan Lyn E-Bike Hire, Llanarmon-yn-Ial. Equipped with that extra boost trail blaze two-wheeled over Llangollen’s wondrous Horseshoe Pass! Alternatively mountain bikers get their adrenaline fix conquering Llandegla Forest. Google Oneplanet Adventure for details.

[06] COOK A FEAST A Cookery Club is open to the public at four star luxury Hope Mountain B&B on the first Sunday of the month from 5.30-6.30pm. You don’t have to be a masterchef, just keen to learn, share foodie tips and have some delicious fun.

[04] BE LITERALLY ASTOUNDED Check out Gladstone’s Library, Britain’s finest residential library at Hawarden. Once the retreat of Victorian era Prime Minister William Gladstone, it is housed in a Grade 1-listed building open daily for ‘Glimpse’ visits at 12noon, 2pm and 4pm. Each glimpse lasts 15 minutes. [05] MARVEL AT A MANSION Learn about the notorious ‘Ladies of Llangollen’, Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Sarah Ponsonby who became sirens of Regency society. Their extraordinary home at Plas

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[07] GO GHOSTHUNTING Visit Wales’s oldest lighthouse, operational from 1776 until 1883 at Talacre Beach. It’s said to be haunted by a former keeper. Or tour the allegedly haunted Plas Teg Jacobean mansion, Pontblyddyn, open at 2pm on Sundays or for private tours booked in advance. It once spooked pop band Girls Aloud.

“OFFA’S DYKE NATIONAL TRAIL, THE CLWYDIAN WAY, WAT’S DYKE PATH, AND WALES COASTAL PATH ALL WIND THROUGH THIS REGION – DON’T MISS THE CHANCE TO SOAK UP THEIR STUNNING VIEWS EXPLORING ON FOOT”

[09] GAZE THROUGH A LOOKING GLASS! Call at the Glassblobbery, Corwen, to watch amazing creations being made out of glass including animals, flowers, ornaments and drinking vessels. Buy a gift to take home or inquire about commission pieces which can be made on request. [10] CATCH A MATCH Football and rugby are the UK’s big games but few towns offer a chance to catch an ice hockey match. Flintshire’s team is Deeside Dragons, based at Deeside Ice Rink. If it’s National Ice Hockey League tournament time or even an out-of-season friendly, bag a ticket to see the coolest sport. l

[08] ABSEIL DOWN A FIENDISH GORGE Situated in Loggerheads Country Park is the thrilling Devil’s Gorge where abseilers get their kicks. This is an exhilarating way to start any day. Bravehearts can book sessions via AbseilUK based in Llanarmon. If you prefer to spectate rather than plunge, the footbridge across the gorge provides a grandstand view.

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SPORT

OUR SPORTING LIFE! Whether you want to watch or take part, there’s always plenty to do here


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Taking life up a gear Deeside Leisure Centre in Queensferry has a 1,452 square metre indoor wooden ramp area for skateboarders, BMX riders, scooters and in-line skaters. It’s the national home for ice sports in Wales, boasting an Olympic-sized ice pad for skate sessions, ice hockey and curling. The 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medal-winning taekwondo champion, Jade Jones, honed her skills at Flint Leisure Centre, now named Jade Jones Pavilion. The pavilion is also a regional indoor bowling centre with a four lane flat green and eight-lane ten pin bowling alley. It has a gym, fitness suite, air hockey, 25-metre swimming pool and learner pool, plus a children’s soft play area. Water sports enthusiasts ride the River Dee rapids in rafts, kayaks or tubes at Llangollen. Bala-based Get Wet offers High Ropes in the highest continuous course in the UK, along with paintballing and white water rafting. Right on target with its training excellence is North Wales Shooting School, Sealand, which has hosted top shots, including Commonwealth Games competitor for Wales, Cheryl Gizzi. A clay pigeon shooting centre for 50 years, it has an olympic trap, down the line, skeets, high and low towers among its facilities. Aiming for a bull’s eye of a different kind, Gronant Bowmen Archery Club offers target days and beginners courses. On two wheels, Llandega Forest is adored by mountain bikers. Horse riders can saddle up at numerous riding centres across the region. If spectating is preferable, it’s a short drive to Chester or Bangor-on-Dee Races, both of which can have hearts aflutter! l

ports lovers can’t go wrong in this region where extensive indoor and outdoor arenas offer activities for all ages. It’s not an area where premiership big names dominate, but football here still provokes strong passions. You get a true sense of this at the recently-opened Rhyl FC Museum, the idea of lifelong supporter Graham Cartlidge. He spearheaded a project to convert a room underneath the old kop into a glorious exhibition of the club’s history. Flintshire’s main team is Connah’s Quay Nomads who for the last three years competed in UEFA Europa League championships after finishing in the top three of the Welsh Premier League. Flintshire has a record of producing A-grade players. One school, Hawarden High, has turned out four international caps: former England striker Michael Owen; Wales international Andy Dorman; former Everton and Wales professional player and manager, the late Gary Speed; and Leicester City and Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward. Liverpool’s one time hero Ian Rush went to school in Flint. Being Wales, rugby is a force to be reckoned with. Rhyl plays in the Welsh Rugby Union National League division two and most towns have their own clubs. If golf is your bag, we have challenges aplenty, including courses at Llangollen, Denbigh, Ruthin, Rhuddlan, Mold, Buckley, Northop, Holywell, and Caerwys. All boast stunning countryside views and ‘19th hole’ refreshments. Prestatyn Golf Club is home to the 2019 Welsh Open Amateur/Play Championship.

“IF GOLF IS YOUR BAG, WE HAVE CHALLENGES APLENTY, INCLUDING COURSES AT LLANGOLLEN, DENBIGH, RUTHIN, RHUDDLAN, HOLYWELL AND CAERWYS”

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NIGHTLIFE

WELCOME TO THE NIGHT! From cocktail bars to country pubs, you won’t be bored in Denbighshire and Flintshire

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Street. Book a Gales en-suite room in advance so arming log fires in winter, you can relax without considering the journey home. enchanting sunsets in summer, The North Wales Blues and Soul Festival during friendly hosts and a choice of the height of August encourages fans to throw some eateries make for great nights out shapes in front of the main stage on Kendrick’s in this diverse corner of Wales. Field, Mold. When darkness descends the music – It would be misleading to tell you Denbighshire and dancing – spills over into local pubs and bars and Flintshire are the nightclub capitals of the UK. including Y Pentan, and Y Delyn. They aren’t. But neither are they short on Y Pentan is a popular venue all year with bands entertainment once the sun goes down. performing in the lounge. It’s a cosy space but the In evenings pubs and restaurants come into their mood is buoyant. own for eating and socialising, Y Delyn wine bar in King with many adding live music to Street, Mold, is a naturally chilled their inviting menus. out meeting place for anyone who Anyone who enjoys a jig, hop “ANYONE WHO enjoys great food and drink, good or a bop should visit during ENJOYS A JIG, HOP conversation, and quality music festival season. The worldOR A BOP SHOULD to boot. It hosts percussion famous International Musical evenings, acoustic sessionists and Eisteddfod in July turns VISIT DURING jazz nights. Llangollen into a hive of activity FESTIVAL SEASON” All ages turn out for Mold’s with joyous fringe events M-Fest in July, showcasing local complementing the Eisteddfod bands such as nine-piece ska programme. They include outfit Skariad, and rock trio 50 Hertz. stand-up comedy, folk concerts, disco dances and Not many provincial bands can lay claim to romantic evening cruises via narrowboat. supporting a UK punk legend but 50 Hertz did just In 2018 Eliza Carthy and her Wayward Band, Mark that when they supported The Jam’s bassist Bruce Radcliffe’s Galleon Blast and Jamaican-born poet Foxton at The Tivoli nightclub, Buckley. Linton Kwesi Johnson joined the party. The ‘Tiv’ as it is affectionately known has a Many Llangollen pubs hold regular music nights. national reputation after starting life in the 1920s as Try the Ponsonby Arms Sunday Folk sessions, or a theatre and cinema. It has experienced hard times check Facebook for who’s on when at Campaign for and good times. Real Ale (CAMRA) pub of 20 years the Sun Inn. In the seventies and eighties, it was mainly a disco Meet friends over a nice glass of red at haunt frequented by younger generations. p58 Llangollen’s wood-panelled Gales wine bar, in Bridge

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WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


Today it’s enjoying a resurgence as a live music venue with a 1,000 capacity hall attracting well known names from all genres, including actor, DJ and Radio Six broadcaster Craig Charles with his Funk and Soul Club. Cult band Wishbone Ash, seventies glam rockers Sweet and John Coghlan, original drummer of Status Quo, have all played there over the last year. On a classical note the North Wales International Music Festival at St Asaph Cathedral every September has been a respected name on the calendar since it was founded by William Matthias in 1972. It has premiered the work of top composers including Paul Mealor, whose motet Ubi Caritas et Amor was performed at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011. The festival’s evening concert agenda attracts big names annually, filling the cathedral to the rafters. Jacqui Dankworth and Craig Ogden, and Jonathan Pryce were among those who appeared in 2018. Some six miles away on the bustling North Wales coast young clubbers gather at Rhyl to let their hair down and dance till the early hours at night-spots like Hidden, Cirque, Ellis’s and The Tiki Bar. Chester and the North Wales town of Wrexham both border Flintshire, making access to their nightlife another option. Chester boasts one of North West England’s

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE

“CHESTER AND THE NORTH WALES TOWN OF WREXHAM BOTH BORDER FLINTSHIRE, MAKING ACCESS TO THEIR NIGHTLIFE ANOTHER OPTION”

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newest entertainment centres, The Storyhouse, comprising a theatre, comedy nights, cinema, library and restaurant. The city centre has a multitude of nightclubs, late bars and music venues such as Alexanders, Telford’s Warehouse and The Live Rooms which also has a base in nearby Wrexham. Glyndŵr University, Wrexham, stages gigs at its William Aston Hall, while the town centre has several nightclubs, a small amateur theatre and an Odeon cinema complex. Back in Flintshire movie buffs can take their pick from differing styles of picturehouses including the basement film auditorium at Theatr Clwyd, the state of the art Cineworld multiplex at Broughton Retail Park, and the latest cinema to open up is the independently-owned Gaumont Plaza at Flint. The Gaumont launched in 1938 screening We’re Going to be Rich with Gracie Fields. It went on to show films into the 1970s when it closed and was later turned into a bingo hall. When that shut down the opportunity came to restore it to its original use and in 2016 the new Plaza was opened with an appealingly retro feel. Denbighshire has Vue cinema at Rhyl and the Scala cinema and arts centre at Prestatyn. Being a seaside resort Rhyl is never short on entertainment no matter what the time of day or night. But a good place for all the family to enjoy an unforgettable night out is Rhyl Pavilion Theatre. Check out its website for the rolling programme of entertainment which includes music gigs and stage shows. For those who like a few laughs with their pint Theatr Clwyd hosts frequent Comedy Club nights with Comedy Store favourite Silky at the helm to introduce some of Britain’s best stand ups. Theatr Clwyd’s raison d’etre is all about providing a good night out whether it be taking in a play, a film, a musical show or any number of other events. Simply look up the What’s On section of its website to see what tickles your fancy. For a slightly more offbeat night with the kids wrap up warm and head to the coolest of parties at Deeside Leisure Centre ice rink, Queensferry. Friday and Saturday nights involve skating to the hottest dance sounds around from 8-10pm. Combining good food with music is a tradition as old as the hills and one that is central to Old Wives Tale, a family-run Portugese restaurant in Corwen, which hosts memorable acoustic nights, blues and folk sessions. ‘Non-stop music and arts over eight marvellous days’ is the boast of Gwyl Edeyrnion Festival at

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ELEVATE/UNSPLASH; FOTOLIA; ING IMAGE

NIGHTLIFE

Corwen where the itinerary runs into the evenings with local pubs such as The Harp, The Royal Oak and Owain Glyndwr Hotel all staging gigs. For more cerebral revellers The Beaufort Park Hotel, in New Brighton, Flintshire, intrigues with Murder Mystery Nights which include a threecourse dinner. The venue also hosts tribute acts paying homage to music mega-stars like Kylie Minogue and Freddie Mercury. Weekends at St David’s Village Hotel, Ewloe, start with Friday evening cocktails in its Taki Tiki Bar, which you might like to follow with a meal at its Village Grill. Springfield Hotel and Health Club in Halkyn is a celebration specialist for parties, with band nights in its 300-seat Afon Suite. Its bar offers panoramic views across the Dee estuary towards The Wirral. Smaller but with its own unique appeal is the Blue Bell Inn near the top of Halkyn Mountain. The family-run freehouse is a past CAMRA cider pub of the year winner. It serves up sparkling music nights, too, including fortnightly jazz. Not far away in Holywell another 2018 CAMRA-recommended pub is the Wetherspoons Market Cross, named after an obelisk which once stood nearby. Ale aficionados also love the 200-year-old Fox Inn, Ysceifiog, a little more remotely located in the

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“THIS VENUE ALSO HOSTS TRIBUTE ACTS PAYING HOMAGE TO MUSIC MEGA-STARS LIKE KYLIE MINOGUE AND FREDDIE MERCURY”

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Holywell hills but worth the trip for its friendly hosts, good food – served every day except Wednesday – and a choice of at least four cask ales. A young whipper snapper, compared to the Fox, is Mold Alehouse, a micro-pub opened by Gareth and Rebecca Jones in 2016. It has quickly made its presence felt and won a 2018 Vale of Clwyd CAMRA branch pub of the year award. Nestling in the Clwydian Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a hamlet called Cadole. The name was originally ‘Cat hole’ but was shortened over time. At its heart is a pocket-sized pub, The Colomendy Arms, which also has an enviable CAMRA track record. It is comfortably unshowy, delightfully understated and refreshingly good at delivering a first class, thirst-quenching pint and decent packet of crisps. Hardy souls brave the hike to the summit of nearby Moel Fammau, an established tradition among Denbighshire and Flintshire’s brave on New Year’s Eve when, if the weather is kind, there is an unequalled view of celebratory fireworks displays dancing across the skies of North Wales and Merseyside. If that’s too chilly then join the summer set who climb to the summit to see the sun go down on the June solstice. Take a glass or two to toast the longest day of the year in unforgettable style. l

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


CADWCH M EWN C STAY IN TH YSYLLTIAD E LOOP

Pob manylyn a ffaith cyn dechrau eich taith

Yr arbenigwyr ar wybodaeth am drafnidiaeth gyhoeddus

All the information before you get to the station The public transport information people

Bws yn cyrraedd am Bus due

14:31

Rhadffôn/Freephone

0800 464 0000 Bysiau nesaf Next b uses

11:06 12:16 12:47 13:19

Trên nesaf Next train

13:24

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Gwybodaeth gyfleus am deithio, ar-lein, ar eich ffôn symudol neu drwy ffonio rhif rhadffôn Easy travel information online, on your mobile or freephone


TRAVEL

GETTING HERE AND GETTING AROUND! Getting to and around this region couldn’t be easier

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etting to Denbighshire and Flintshire is easier than you might think, with major road networks and public transport leading the way. BY CAR Head for the M56 motorway via the M6 – from the north Junction 20A or south junction 21A. The M56 runs straight onto the A55 Expressway through Flintshire and into

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western Denbighshire. To reach coastal areas like Rhyl, Prestatyn, St Asaph and Rhuddlan follow it until the sign-posted exits. For Mold take the A494 junction off the A55. This is also the best route for Ruthin and Denbigh. For Llangollen leave the A55 at the A483. Follow that to the A539 to reach Llangollen via Acrefair. Alternatively for Llangollen from the Midlands leave the M6 at the M54 junction,

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then take the A5 towards Chirk, and Llangollen. From South Wales, the A470 runs to Llandudno, eventually joining the A55 towards Denbighshire and Flintshire. BY TRAIN There are train stations along the North Wales coast, including at Shotton, Flint, Prestatyn and Rhyl. From all these you will most likely need a taxi to your accommodation. From London it’s best to head north via p63

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


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A55 North Wales Expressway and junction A road

L i v e r p o o l

B road

B a y

East Hoyle Bank

Railway and station Administrative boundary 2

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West Hoyle Bank

6 Miles 10 Kilometres

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Rhuallt

B5381

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Llandyrnog A525

Peniel

Soughton

Llyn Brenig

RUTHIN B5429

Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd

Clocaenog

Clocaenog Forest

Mynydd Isa

A549

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Caergwrle Llanfynydd

Rhydtalog

Ffrith

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Moel Garegog (413m)

Cyrn-y-Brain (565m) A542

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ys lant

M ilio

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Pentredwr Eglwyseg Mountain (511m)

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Carrog Glyndyfrdwy Moel Fferna (630m)

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en ngoll Canal Lla A5

A539

B4401

Llandrillo

y

GWYNEDD

SHROPSHIRE

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B

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Sych r Moel (827m)

POWYS

ND

ES

B5431

Dee

Cynwyd

Hope

A541

B5430

Llanelidan

Corwen

A494

Saltney

A525

L B5437

A5104

G

A550

A5104

B5129

A55

Penyffordd

Llanarmonyn-lal

A5104

A5

Broughton

A548

A5118

Treuddyn

Clawddnewydd

Bryn Saith Marchog

Druid

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Queensferry Ewloe Hawarden

Llanferres

Graig-fechan

A494

Sealand

Shotton

New Brighton

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Aly

D E N B I G H S H I R E Llandegla B5105

B5126

Llanbedr-Dyffryn-Clwyd

B4501

Llanfwrog Mynydd Hiraethog

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Rhewl

Ffridd Fawr

CONNAH'S QUAY

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n g e R a

Llyn Brân

Northop

A494

B5435

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A548

Flint Mountain

MOLD Moel Famau (554m) Gwernymynydd

Llanrhaeadr Nantglyn

A5119

A541

Moel Llys-y-Coed (465m)

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A543

White Sands

Rhosesmor Hendre

B5429

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DENBIGH

Nannerch

y

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Cl

B5382

Bodfari

FLINT

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Pentre Halkyn Halkyn B5123

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Clw

Henllan

CHESHIRE WEST AND CHESTER

Bagillt Bank

A55

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of

B5428

Whelston

A5026

B5121

Afon-wen Lixwm

C

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A541

Gayton Sands

Milwr Bagillt

Brynford

Caerwys

Graig

Trefnant

Elwy

HOLYWELL

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30

Tremeirchion V

Holywell Bank

Greenfield

Carmel

B5122

ST ASAPH

Hafod-y-Green

CONWY

y

Llyn Helyg

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27

Dawpool Bank

Llannerchy-mor

Mostyn

B5429

A55

D e e

A5151

Dyserth

A547

Glascoed

e

Rhuddlan

R i v e r A548

Gop Hill (250m)

Trelawnyd

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s

A547

A525

25

r

Mostyn Bank

Gwespyr Meliden

B5119

Bodelwyddan

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Talacre

A548

RHYL

Point of Ayr

Gronant

PRESTATYN

WIRRAL

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TRAVEL

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Euston Station. The journey takes about three hours, 45 minutes, often connecting at Crewe. From Cardiff it can take up to five hours, changing at Llandudno Junction. Travelling in from the North, such as Manchester and Liverpool, usually requires a change at Chester. BY COACH AND BUS National Express services operate into Denbighshire and Flintshire towns. They are not the quickest way to travel, involving numerous pick-up stops en route. But they have the advantage of being relatively inexpensive. Arriva Buses run routes between local towns and villages. Their frequency varies so plan carefully if you’ve a deadline to meet. Many services finish early evening so for nights out leaving the car behind it’s safest to book a taxi. BY SEA Irish Ferries and Stena Line operate between Holyhead and Dublin. From Holyhead the A55 Expressway takes drivers west towards Denbighshire and Flintshire. From Holyhead railway station services run along

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the coast towards Chester. From Holyhead to Llangollen it’s a drive of just under two hours. Via train involves taking the coastal route to Chester and changing there for Llangollen. From southern English ports like Dover and Portsmouth trains can be taken into London to catch an onward connection from Euston Station. BY AIR Manchester and Liverpool are the two closest airports to Denbighshire and Flintshire, each less than an hour’s drive away in good traffic. If you are relying on public transport from these airports the quickest option is to take the train to Chester, then go onwards via train, bus or taxi to the relevant destination in either Denbighshire or Flintshire. The train from Manchester or Liverpool to Chester takes about an hour but can be longer if it’s busy. ON YOUR BIKE A well-used cycle route follows the course of a former railway line from Chester to Connah’s Quay. The Tour of Britain passes through both counties and offroad endurance challenges abound. l

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“MANCHESTER AND LIVERPOOL ARE THE TWO CLOSEST AIRPORTS TO DENBIGHSHIRE AND FLINTSHIRE, EACH LESS THAN AN HOUR’S DRIVE AWAY”

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


FURTHER AFIELD

LET’S EXPLORE! Although you’ll never run out of things to do here, there’s also plenty to do and see further afield


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ith so many places to see in all points north, south, east and west, Denbighshire and Flintshire are great bases from which to explore

further afield. Snuggled into the top right hand corner of Wales, Flintshire is next door neighbours with Cheshire, just 10 miles from ancient Chester. It is within viewing distance of The Wirral. Denbighshire kisses the spectacular Snowdonia National Park. Along the A55 expressway is the scenic isle of Anglesey. During the course of a week intrepid travellers can climb Wales’s highest mountain, splash about in the sea, stride out along a Roman wall or even set sail to Ireland. Chester seduces with its famous racecourse, glamorous shops, Storyhouse theatre and varied pubs and restaurants. Irresistible to history lovers are the black and white-fronted, two-storey, medieval walkways, the Rows. The Roman amphitheatre, centuries-old cathedral and ornate Eastgate clock also make it an unforgettable place to spend a day. Families love to head to Chester Zoo, a top UK tourist attraction, less than half an hour from Mold. On a smaller scale, the Welsh Mountain Zoo draws visitors to Colwyn Bay along the North Wales coast. The winding coastline mesmerises with beautiful sea views on one side, snow-capped mountains on the other. The elegant, unspoiled esplanade of Llandudno, is a must-see with its Victorian pier and Great Orme cable cars. Nearby Bodnant Gardens is a floral wonderland, neighbouring the tasteful Bodnant Foods. Conwy boasts one of the most famous castles in the world, twinned with Himeji Castle in Japan. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Conwy’s colourful fishing harbour is pretty as a picture, while across the Menai suspension bridge Anglesey tantalises with sandy beaches and secluded beauty spots. Inland Snowdonia, encompassing Betws-y-Coed and Swallow Falls, is a magnet for outdoor pursuits fans and a haven for anyone needing a break from the daily grind. Reaching the summit of Mount Snowdon is on many a bucket list, as is a visit to Portmeirion, the Italianate Welsh village which was the setting for cult TV series The Prisoner starring Patrick McGoohan. Drive a little further to discover Caernarfon with its castle where the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales took place.

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Back in Flintshire, from the riverside at Connah’s Quay a string of pretty villages can be seen along the length of The Wirral peninsular. To complete the full reflective picture make a short drive to the salt marshes of Parkgate, Wirral, to look back at Wales. Stop in at Parkgate’s ice cream parlours while you’re there. For those who want to travel yet further afield Denbighshire and Flintshire make easy overnight stop-offs for holidaymakers going global. It’s a direct drive to Holyhead where daily ferry services go to Ireland. Two international airports are also close by at Manchester, less than an hour along the M56, and Liverpool 40 minutes drive away. Visit this region and you are perfectly placed to discover the world. l

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“FAMILIES LOVE TO HEAD TO CHESTER ZOO, A TOP UK TOURIST ATTRACTION, LESS THAN HALF AN HOUR FROM MOLD”

WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


BUSINESS

WE’RE OPEN FOR BUSINESS! With a skilled workforce employed in diverse sectors, Denbighshire and Flintshire’s economy is performing well

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©PÉRIG MORISSE/ADOBE STOCK; SHUTTERTOCK.COM; ZBYNEK BURIVAL/UNSPLASH

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Northop. Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has its engine plant on Deeside Industrial Park, where other global operators include Mondi packaging and medical products company Convatec. St Asaph business park is noted for its world class specialism in opto-electronics, which includes Glyndŵr University’s OpTic Technology Centre. Tate and Lyle has a processing plant in Mold, and international wet-wipes maker Nice-Pak is on Aber Industrial Park, Flint. In the quarrying sector Hanson Aggregates has numerous sites including at Padeswood, Cilcain and Pantybuarth. Henllan Bakery is the pride of Denbigh. Other homegrown giants include frozen food retailer Iceland, and comparison site moneysupermarket.com. Both are examples of the region’s ability to start small, tap into a new market and build a loyal customer base. Many start-ups have followed their success, like KK Fine Foods. Launched in the kitchen of its founder Leyla Edwards, it now employs more than 300. Sandycroft arboriculturists Man Coed are former winners of a best small business in Flintshire award, while Denbigh recruitment firm iConsult scooped a North Wales entrepreneur of the year award for under 35s. Tourism is key to the region’s economic survival especially for seaside towns relying heavily on visitor investment. Farming is also integral, exemplified at the annual Denbighshire and Flintshire Show. Every year 150 trophies are presented and 200 volunteers ensure all runs smoothly. Their work ethic is typical of a region prepared to battle against all odds to achieve success. l

his region has long contributed to the industrial wealth of the nation and today its input is no less important. Back in the day the Dee estuary was lined with some of the biggest names in British industry. Think Courtaulds, John Summers steelworks, Hawker Siddeley Aviation, Connah’s Quay Power Station, Shotton Paper Mill, Warwick International chemicals, Mostyn docks, Point of Ayr colliery; all major 20th-century employers. Earlier still were lead mines and copper smelteries in which copper from Anglesey was processed at Greenfield. The modern day names are different but the estuary is still a hotbed of production. Despite a transformative period of job losses and changes in the focus of major industrial players Denbighshire and Flintshire have survived, some would say stronger, and ready to meet the demands of 21st-century business leaders. Where the fossil fuel of coal was once the region’s driving force, it’s now home to Britain’s largest solar park at Shotwick. Where the River Dee once transported raw materials of the cotton mills, today it provides the most efficient logistical route for delivering the giant wings of A380 aircraft from Airbus factory at Broughton to its sister plant in Toulouse, France. Shotton steelworks maintains its foothold, these days under the ownership of Tata Steel. The paper mill is run by Finnish group UPM and Warwick Chemicals by American owned Lubrizol, producing detergent additives. The region has succeeded in drawing foreign investment, notably gas and oil suppliers ENI, of Italy, which has a base at Point of Ayr and key administrative offices in

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WELCOME TO DENBIGHSHIRE & FLINTSHIRE


PROPERTY

IF YOU’RE PLANNING TO STAY LONGER… Properties in Denbighshire and Flintshire make a solid investment prospect

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the North Wales seaside on the other. The region’s greatest asset is indisputably its convenience for employment, education, shops and leisure services, making life pretty good and reasonably affordable. Land Registry figures show the average 2018 house price for Wales was £156,495. Denbighshire comes in at £150,971 and Flintshire a touch higher at £158,903. Zoopla has the average price paid in the last year for a detached house in Flintshire at £232,564. In Denbighshire it was £197,348. For a semi it stands at about £140,000 in Denbighshire, £143,000 in Flintshire. Terraced properties and flats in both counties go for under £120,000. Among the most expensive areas is Northop, where Zoopla values some properties in exclusive Northop Country Park at £804,826, while a property at Dinbren, Llangollen was valued at £791,105. In summer 2018 Rightmove listed two large detached houses in rural Holywell at more than £900,000 and a six-bedroomed stunner in out of the way Babell in excess of £1m. Scenic villages like Pantymwyn and Nercwys in the vicinity of Moel Fammau Country Park have seen properties listed for anything between £240,000 and £750,000, depending on their size, condition and exact location. In Rhyl people prepared to revamp can get properties under £150,000. A dream house with a pictorial view will clearly cost more than a jolly semi in urban Shotton, but not as much as many throw at cramped London apartments. A move here really can re-energise people’s lives. l

ften an eye-opening vacation has been the deal breaker persuading people to move to Denbighshire or Flintshire for good. They may not have realised it before but the region ticks key boxes for property buyers. First is the amount of choice available in the size and type of homes, and their exceptional location. Denbighshire and Flintshire boast mountainous views, rolling hills, lush forestry, intriguing caves, inland beauty spots and an award winning beach with a lighthouse. Add to this some striking industrial vistas and you have any number of backcloths to choose from for a new start in life. Prices vary from a handful of bargains incredibly coming in under the £100,000 mark, right up the scale to in excess of £800,000 and on occasions hovering around £2m. One thing’s certain: whether your pockets are deep or not this part of north Wales offers more for your money than many a city. It’s cheaper than London and Cardiff, but still has easy access to commuter motorway networks. It’s greener than Manchester and Liverpool, but less than an hour away from them. It’s rural in parts but still practicable for anyone whose work is out of the area. Transport links are efficient for buses, trains, boats and planes. For young families there’s a wide choice of schools, plus further education opportunities at the likes of Coleg Cambria and Coleg Llandrillo, and highly prized engineering apprenticeships at Airbus. Anyone looking to retire can enjoy the quiet life, yet still be a blink away from the Cheshire glitterati on one side, and

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MOLD MARKETS

Street Markets

Every Wednesday & Saturday from 9am to 3.30pm throughout the year attracting more than 70 traders. Thriving Indoor Market at the heart of Daniel Owen Precinct. Open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday.

Farmers market

It’s a great day out!

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Freshly produced food, drink & crafts all locally sourced. Held at St Mary’s Church Hall (King Street) from 9am to 2pm on the first and third Saturday of the month.

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The town’s retail offer is complimented with a great range of independent shops and a growing hospitality sector that boasts something for every taste. Home to the acclaimed Theatr Clwyd with a full programme of shows and theatrical performances www.theatrclwyd.com Great calendar of festivals and events fabulous Blues and Soul Festival in August, acclaimed Food & Drink Festival in September, wonderful literary celebration Daniel Owen Festival in October. The new town guide and further details of the town’s annual events programme is available at www.moldtowncouncil.org.uk

The biggest and best street market in North Wales

Visitor information available at: www.northeastwales.wales


MARCHNADOEDD

Marchnadoedd stryd

Bob dydd Mercher a dydd Sadwrn rhwng 9am a 3.30pm trwy gydol y flwyddyn gan ddenu mwy na 70 o fasnachwyr.

YR WYDDGRUG

Yng nghanol Canolfan Daniel Owen mae yna farchnad dan do sy’n ffynnu sydd ar agor rhwng 9am a 5pm o ddydd Llun i ddydd Sadwrn.

Mae’n ddiwrnod allan gwych

Marchnad Ffermwyr

Caiff bwydydd a diodydd ffres a chrefftau sy’n cael eu cynhyrchu’n lleol eu gwerthu gan ffermwyr lleol a gweithwyr crefft medrus. Yn Neuadd Eglwys y Santes Fair (Heol y Brenin) rhwng 9am a 2pm ar ddydd Sadwrn cyntaf a thrydydd dydd Sadwrn y mis.

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Mae ystod wych o siopau annibynnol yn cyd-fynd â siopau’r stryd fawr y dref, ynghyd â sector lletygarwch sy’n tyfu’n gyflym sydd â rhywbeth at ddant pawb. Cartref i’r enwog Theatr Clwyd gyda rhaglen lawn o sioeau a pherfformiadau theatraidd www.theatrclwyd.com

Calendr gwych o wyliau a digwyddiadau – Gŵyl Blws a Soul gwych ym mis Awst, Gŵyl Fwyd a Diod ym mis Medi, dathliad llenyddol gwych sef Gŵyl Daniel Owen ym mis Hydref. Mae’r canllaw tref newydd a rhagor o fanylion am raglen o ddigwyddiadau blynyddol y dref ar gael ar www.moldtowncouncil.org.uk

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diod a d bwy

Y farchnad stryd fwyaf a’r orau yng Ngogledd Cymru

Mae gwybodaeth i ymwelwyr ar gael ar: www.gogleddddwyraincymru.cymru




Heritage Attractions in Denbighshire Ruthin Gaol Ruthin Victorian Prison Museum Explore the cells of the Victorian Pentonville style prison and learn about the prisoners who stayed here! Activities available for all ages. Open 1st April – 30th September 6 days a week 10am – 5pm. Closed Tuesdays

www.ruthingaol.co.uk

01824 708281

Plas Newydd Llangollen Historic house, gardens and café Visit the fascinating home of the “Ladies of Llangollen” set in historic gardens against the beautiful backdrop of Castell Dinas Bran. Open daily, 1st April – 3rd November

10.30am – 5pm

www.plasnewyddllangollen.co.uk

01978 862834

Nantclwyd y Dre Ruthin 15th century timber framed house & walled garden Explore one of Wales’ oldest timber town houses and its restored gardens in the heart of historic Ruthin town. Open 6th April – 29th September Opening days and times vary, please visit our website

www.nantclwydydre.co.uk

01824 709822

Profile for Kingfisher Visitor Guides

Welcome to Denbighshire & Flintshire  

Unique, beautifully designed, high-quality visitor guide, which is available in leading hotel bedrooms. For those enjoying a break, or stayi...

Welcome to Denbighshire & Flintshire  

Unique, beautifully designed, high-quality visitor guide, which is available in leading hotel bedrooms. For those enjoying a break, or stayi...