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Because this is the start of a special conversation. Between you and Wrexham.

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Maybe you’re learning about the county borough for the first time. Thinking of visiting or studying here. Or setting up a business.

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Maybe you’ve lived here for a long time and know what Wrexham is about. Or just need a little reminder. It doesn’t matter. The message is simple. Wrexham is a great place to be. A place where you (and the people you love) can live, work and play.

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Somewhere you can dream your dreams, be creative, do your thing. So turn this page and learn about the things that make life good.

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And when you’ve finished? Grab your smart phone. Pick up your tablet. Turn on your PC. Then follow, tweet, like.

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And if you’re not into apps, facebooking, tweeting or receiving e-blasts, just pick up the phone. We love that too. Talk to us. Because Wrexham is saying ‘hello’.

Train Stations Wrexham General Rail Wrexham Central Rail Attractions Library/Gallery Waterworld County Borough Museum St Mary’s Cathedral St Giles Church Grove Park Theatre Mecca Bingo Bellevue Park Indoor Markets/Arcades People’s Market Central Arcade Butchers’ Market Overton Arcade General Market Shopmobility Shopmobility (Bus Station) Other Contact Wrexham Guildhall Crown Buildings Lambpit Street Council Buildings Police Station Law Courts Registry Office Tourist Information Centre Queens Square Yale College Bus Station

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Find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/wxmsayshello Follow us on Twitter #wxmsayshello

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live shopping and cafĂŠ culture nightlife countryside and villages

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love history and heritage culture famous sons and daughters local produce

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contents pontcysyllte aqueduct credits Powered by the Wrexham Tomorrow ideology. Written and produced by Assets and Economic Development, Wrexham County Borough Council. Designed by White Fox 01352 840898 www.whitefox-design.co.uk Photography contributors include Eye Imagery, Crown Copyright (2012) Visit Wales, Glyndw ˆr University, Football Association of Wales, Getty Images, Macesport and Moneypenny. Available in alternative formats and in Welsh. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, Wrexham County Borough Council can accept no liability whatsoever for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions, or for any matter in any way connected with or arising out of the publication of the information contained.

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create our business is to create children of the sun tiger, tiger burning bright knowledge is power your business: our business

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play sport walking park life nature reserve events

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goodbye maps

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So you think you’re living the dream? If you live in Wrexham County Borough, you might be. And if you visit, study or work here, you might get a taste for it.

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live

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Eagles Meadow

shopping and café culture As far as life’s little pleasures go, shopping is right up there. We love it. Leisurely shopping of course. The type where you don’t have to rush and there’s always time to enjoy a coffee with the morning newspaper or a swish interior design magazine. Maybe grab something to eat. No itinerary. Just possibilities. Well, here’s the good news. That’s exactly the kind of shopping we do in Wrexham. The type that’s made to be enjoyed. A social occasion. 8

big name brands Let’s start with Eagles Meadow. Since opening in 2008, this trendy retail spot has helped fire Wrexham up the official shopping leagues. It occupies eight acres of the town centre and has a lovely cosmopolitan feel to it. Open space, water features, lovely stone and slate materials, penthouse apartments and a hint of café culture. Very nice. You’ll find big retailers like Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, Next and a myriad of well-known fashion brands. Frothy lattes and cup cakes at places like Starbucks


and Costa. And mobile-phone shops offering the latest gadgets and gizmos to keep you talking, texting and tweeting. There’s also an Odeon Cinema, lots of restaurants and a Tenpin bowling centre (you can find out more about that on page 12).

independents So we do big and beautiful, but we also do small and perfectly formed.

And the icing on the cake? Lots and lots of car-parking (970 spaces to be precise). So you never need to fret about where to park your motor.

Alongside our big retail spaces we have historic streets like Town Hill, Bank Street and Temple Row, and lots of independent and quirky little shops that give the town its heart and charm. Ideal for people who don’t follow the crowd and like something different.

Life is good.

Shopping for free-thinkers.

Eagles Meadow www.eagles-meadow.co.uk

Fashion boutiques, jewellers, photographers’ studios, shops with jars of old fashioned

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sweets filled to the brim. Swizzle-bombs, sugar-twirls and other delights that make you feel like a 10-year-old again.

The Butchers’ Market, General Market and People’s Market are open Monday to Saturday (although the first two do close early on a Wednesday).

www.wrexham.towntalk.co.uk

markets You’ll notice something else when you shop in Wrexham. We like to chat. It comes with being a market town. We’ve got three covered markets and one weekly outdoor market in the town centre, selling everything from sausages and steak to furniture and fashion. And the friendly banter is free. Bargain.

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And the weekly outdoor market is held every Monday. On Queens Square to be precise. And did we mention it’s one of the biggest in North Wales? There’s also various craft and local produce sold at events across the county borough. An example? Try the monthly farmers’ market at St Margaret’s Church in Garden Village. Wrexham Tourist Information Centre 01978 292015


retail parks Over the past decade, Wrexham has been one of the fastest growing retail centres in the UK. Fact: 615,000 square feet of new shop floor space built since 1999. Somebody somewhere has been doing some pretty serious shopping. A lot of this growth is down to the various retail parks that have sprung up in and around the town centre, including Central, Plas Coch and Island Green – all with lots of parking. You’ll find loads of big name retailers selling everything from sports-wear to electrical goods, and from furniture to food and drink.

town centre parks Now a word of caution. Shopping is great, but sometimes you just need to ‘chill’. Take a break from the energy of the

crowds and put those shopping bags down for a minute. Open spaces like Llwyn Isaf and Bellevue Park provide lovely spots of calm near the town centre, where you can relax and admire your savvy purchases. Places to try a few skateboarding tricks, throw a Frisbee or just sit in the sunshine. With an ice-cream? Happy days.

out of town shopping Keep your eyes peeled. Wrexham’s countryside offers retail therapy in surprising places. Like the Plassey Craft and Retail Centre. Set in 247 acres of parkland near Bangor-on-Dee, it has 25 outlets including an interior designer, boutique, blacksmith, garden centre, tea-shop and restaurant. 01978 780277 www.plassey.com

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nightlife

And when you get a strike, you just want to hear that noise again and again.

It’s true. You’re never too old to party.

Welcome to the razzmatazz of Tenpin at Eagles Meadow. A state-of-the-art 24-lane centre that’s bringing a little bit of America to the heart of Wrexham.

So it’s a good thing that Wrexham town centre is buzzing at night. Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, cinema, tenpin bowling. It’s all here. If you were down with the kids, you might say it was ‘phat’. Or ‘the bomb’. But this guide has been written by people in their 30s, so let’s not go there.

bowling, cinema and restaurants There’s something dangerously addictive about tenpin bowling. The light show, the music, the clatter of pins.

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“Bowling is one of the few activities that everyone can enjoy,” says manager Vince Brown. “It’s for all ages, regardless of ability.” And when you’ve finished? Well, catch a movie at the eight-screen Odeon right next door or enjoy a post-strike celebration at restaurants like Nando’s, Pizza Express and Frankie and Benny’s. www.tenpin.co.uk www.eagles-meadow.co.uk

Tenpin bowling


nightclubs and live music We wouldn’t say Wrexham never sleeps. But it stays up late enough to satisfy even the most serious party animal. Trendy bars, leather sofas, dancer podiums, LED colour washes. Names like The Bank, Voodoo Moon, L’Etage, Ironworks and Envy trip off the tongues of Saturday night adventurers deciding where to go next. And if you’re into live music, you’re onto a winner. Central Station and its downstairs

venue Yales Café Bar offers a heady mix of gigs, club nights and comedy. The Magic Numbers, Charlatans, The Kooks, Kasabian. They’ve all played there. Plus some very talented local bands. You can also check out a raft of other live music venues, including the student bar at Glyndw ˆ r University. www.wrexhammusic.co.uk www.centralstationvenue.com 13


countryside and villages

gresford

Lush hedgerows, thatched roofs, cute cottages, charming old pubs.

In 15th century All Saints, Gresford has one of the loveliest churches in Wales. Plus a pond so large, it often gets called ‘The Lake’.

Sounds like a set off Midsomer Murders, but we’re talking about some of the idyllic villages in Wrexham County Borough. And – you’ll be relieved to know – the average life expectancy is somewhat better than in the fictional TV detective drama.

Just down the road near Gresford Heath, there’s a memorial to the saddest day in Wrexham’s history. September 22nd 1934, when 266 men lost their lives in a colliery disaster. www.gresford.org.uk

One of the great things about Wrexham is that we have the best of both urban and rural life. A bustling, modern town surrounded by lovely countryside and delightful villages. And you can get from one to the other in the blink of an eye. Here’s a little snapshot of some of our rural towns and villages. 14

The Lake, Gresford


Chirk Castle

holt OK. It’s not exactly Checkpoint Charlie. But stroll from Holt across the Old Dee Bridge and you’ll be in another country – England.

Upper Mill, Rossett

rossett Art lovers may recognise Upper Mill on the river Alyn at Rossett. It was sketched by JMW Turner in 1795.

Other remarkable ancient structures include the ruins of Holt Castle and St Chad’s Church – one of the few surviving examples of medieval design gone seriously wrong. It still looks lovely though. www.holtvillage.co.uk

He was a little too early to call in for refreshment at the Victorian halftimbered Cocoa Rooms (now a bank). They were built to tempt young men away from the village pubs. Which, you may be glad to know, are still standing and still doing a roaring trade. www.rossett.org.uk

Holt Bridge

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golf nearby and horse racing just a few hundred yards from the village centre.

overton Overton is so stuffed with historic buildings that it’s been designated a conservation area. Look out for Dispensary Row – a set of neo-Gothic terraced cottages with arched doorways and windows. And its extrawide High Street, redesigned in grand style after Edward I granted the village borough status. www.overton-on-dee.co.uk bangor-on-dee Stunningly set on the River Dee, Bangor is reached by a hump-backed medieval stone bridge. There’s fishing on the river,

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www.bangorondeecommunitycouncil.co.uk chirk and the ceiriog valley Chirk has an embarrassment of riches for a small town. An aqueduct by Thomas Telford. A viaduct by Henry Robertson. A great castle built by Edward I. And a championship golf course. It’s also a gateway to one of the most beautiful valleys in Wales – the Ceiriog Valley (find out more on page 54). www.chirkandtheceiriogvalley.co.uk

Dispensary Row, Overton

Bangor-on-Dee

Chirk Castle

Overton Bridge


Chirk Aqueduct and Viaduct

ruabon This is a village with a long history. There’s evidence of a bronze-age settlement and the Roundhouse or Old Gaol in Bridge Street is one of just three remaining medieval lock-ups in Wales. And if you wonder down High Street, you’ll notice Victorian houses built with the worldfamous Ruabon red-brick. There’s also the impressive Wynnstay Gates in Park Street and we just have to mention The Bridge End – recently named best pub in Britain by those real ale connoisseurs at CAMRA. It also brews award-winning beer. www.ruabon.com

hanmer Owain Glyndwˆr, perhaps the greatest Welshman of all time, got married in the church at Hanmer in 1383. That one

burnt down, but don’t be disappointed. Its replacement is the most strikingly situated in the whole of the county borough. You approach from a mere, or glacial lake, teeming with crested grebe, swans and Canada geese. You enter a set of ornate iron gates, pass through a large graveyard which sweeps uphill to the church. And you prepare to be amazed. erbistock The narrow, wooded lane that winds from Overton Bridge past the Garden House leads nowhere – except to one of the loveliest villages in Wrexham. Erbistock’s setting on the banks of the Dee has inspired painters and photographers for centuries. There’s a beautiful pub and restaurant called The Boat, which dates back to the 13th century. And an unexpectedly grand neo-Gothic church. 17


love

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It’s true what they say. Love makes the world go round. And there’s a lot to love about this place. Its history, personality, culture. Live Wrexham. Love Wrexham.

The New Kitchen at Erddig

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history and heritage When Thomas Telford finished his Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in 1805, it was the tallest navigable canal boat crossing in the world. It still is. And it’s still taking passengers on the ride of their lives. But now it’s on the world map. Because in 2009, UNESCO made this masterpiece of civil engineering a World Heritage Site – along with 11 miles of canal, including Chirk Aqueduct and parts of neighbouring Denbighshire and Shropshire. 20

The thing is, we don’t want to tell you the whole story straight-away. We want to keep something back. Keep you interested. So we’ll explain everything later in our World Heritage Site micro-guide, which is rather handily reproduced in the middle of this booklet.

national trust properties Next time you’re clipping your privet, spare a thought for the head gardener at Chirk Castle. The yew hedges are so enormous it takes a team of three men about eight weeks


Chirk Castle

to give them a short back and sides. All wielding electric trimmers. And generating three tonnes of clippings. Imagine getting that lot in your green wheelie bin. It’s all worth it, mind. The gardens were once voted the best in the National Trust. The castle itself is a Marcher fortress dating from 1310. But this is no ruin. In fact, it’s been lived in for the last 700 years. The grand 18th century state apartments are crammed with elaborate plasterwork, Adam-style furniture, tapestries and portraits.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

And the tea room does a terrific home-made bara brith (a type of fruit-bread). Our other National Trust property (we don’t like to brag, but yes – we have two) is Erddig. If you were hooked on the recent TV series Downton Abbey, you’ll know what we mean when we say Erddig is an ‘upstairsdownstairs’ kind of place. Because this stately home has as much to say about the lives of its servants as its owners. Chirk Castle 01691 777701 Erddig 01978 355314 www.nationaltrust.org.uk 21


wrexham county borough museum

life, telling Wrexham’s story through modern technology.

Now indulge us. Imagine you’re back in school (unless you are still in school). You’re told to write an essay on the history of Wrexham from start to present.

Of course, it’s hard to tell what the building’s most famous inhabitant makes of all the changes. He’s a quiet sort of guy. But then he is 3,500 years old.

Now you could reach for the lap-top and have a chat with Mr Google (or any other reliable search engine). But you’d have a lot more fun heading down to the county borough museum.

Unearthed by workmen digging a trench in Brymbo in 1958, ‘Brymbo Man’ was nothing more than a celebrity skeleton for a while. Then we asked Dr Caroline Wilkinson of BBC’s Meet the Ancestors to reconstruct his face. She’s a very clever lady.

The building enjoyed something of a makeover in 2010, with an impressive new glass extension creating a lovely café area, reception and shop. There’s also lots of new interactive gadgets and gizmos that bring the exhibitions to

As for that essay? Top marks guaranteed. 01978 297460 www.wrexham.gov.uk/heritage

Wrexham County Borough Museum

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Bersham Ironworks

bersham ironworks and heritage centre When Bersham Ironworks was at its peak in the 18th century, its owner was known as John ‘Iron Mad’ Wilkinson. Now we admit he may have been a little eccentric. And he certainly had a short fuse (he fell out with James Watt, whose steam engines were powering the Industrial Revolution with the help of cylinders made in Bersham).

And Bersham cannons were fired in many of Britain’s campaigns in the Napoleonic and Peninsular Wars. Today, the visitor centre at Bersham Ironworks offers curious minds the chance to learn about one of Wrexham’s most innovative – and eccentric – sons. Check it out.

But he was also a genius. He developed a revolutionary process which allowed him to bore cannon with great accuracy out of solid cast metal.

And while you’re there, visit the nearby heritage centre. It holds all Wrexham’s collections of industrial heritage and explains how iron, coal and lead transformed a small market town into an economic powerhouse of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Typically, he supplied weapons to both sides in the American War of Independence.

01978 318970 www.wrexham.gov.uk/heritage 23


Miners’ memorial, Gresford

coal and steel

up the skyline with molten metal.

Like much of Wales, Wrexham spent most of the last century mining coal. Feeding the furnace of Britain’s industrial juggernaut.

With over 2,000 workers toiling night and day and some of the most modern techniques in steel manufacture, it was like a vision from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis planted onto a Welsh hillside.

Wrexham will always remember its mining roots with pride, but there was a cost. September 24, 1934. A huge explosion deep underground at Gresford Colliery. 266 killed. Husbands, fathers, sons, brothers. Wrexham has never forgotten them. Steel was another pillar of the town’s economy. At its height in the 1960s and early 70s, Brymbo Steelworks would light 24

The site closed in 1990, but walk down Lord Street in Wrexham town centre and you’ll see a sculpted archway formed from the figures of a miner and steelworker. Wrexham has always believed in the future (we’ll tell you more about that on page 34). But we’re proud of our past too. www.wrexham.gov.uk/heritage


exploring churches The steeple of St Giles Church in Wrexham. One hundred and thirty five feet high and one of the Seven Wonders of Wales. If you’re feeling energetic, book a tower tour for stunning views across the whole of Wrexham and beyond. And when you’re done? Visit some of our other churches. As well as being places of prayer and contemplation, these architectural treasures bring the sometimes turbulent history of our towns and villages vividly to life. Take St Mary’s Church in Ruabon. Inside, you’ll find a 15th century wall painting and a 16th century font. Outside, you’ll find an ornate Lych Gate partly carved in local Wynnstay Oak and dedicated as a Parish War Memorial in

1920 (when Britain was still coming to terms with the huge loss of life inflicted by the First World War). At St Chad’s Church in Holt you can see the bullet holes left by a skirmish between Roundheads and Cavaliers during the English Civil War. And in St Mary’s Cathedral, Wrexham, there is a chapel dedicated to the martyr Richard Gwynne. Hung, drawn and quartered in 1584 – and sainted in 1972. Fifteen of our churches have come together to form the Open Church Network. All with their own compelling stories to tell. And all committed to welcoming visitors. St Giles Church 01978 355808 Wrexham Tourist Information Centre 01978 292015 Open Church Network www.openchurchnetwork.co.uk St Giles Church, Wrexham

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culture We like culture in Wrexham. We like it so much, we spent a whole year celebrating it. 2011 was our official Year of Culture, with over 300 events dedicated to art, music, fashion and other creative passions. So where can you get a fix in 2012? Try this.

art We don’t just look at art in Wrexham (nice though that is). We like to get our hands dirty. Oriel Wrecsam is one of our leading arts centres and a great place to see the very

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best contemporary art and craft. But if you come to any of the classes on offer, be prepared to roll up your sleeves. We reckon art should be interactive. Oriel Sycharth Gallery at Glyndw ˆ r University features work by internationally famous artists. And by those who might well be famous one day – its own students. The general public can also soak up the ever-changing exhibitions at Yale College’s Memorial Gallery for a few hours every weekday.

Oriel Wrecsam 01978 292093 Oriel Sycharth Gallery www.glyndwr.ac.uk Yale College Memorial Gallery 01978 311794


Fron Male Voice Choir

music Music is the food of life. And in the 890seat William Aston Hall at Glyndw ˆr University, Wrexham has a venue capable of showcasing the best there is. From classical (big names like the Hallé Orchestra and the Welsh National Opera) to swing, motown and pop. And you’ll find even more music on campus in the nearby Catrin Finch Centre. Of course, it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t have a few top-notch choirs in Wrexham. Being Welsh and proud.

We’ve got Brymbo, Y Rhos, Rhos Orpheus and Dyffryn Ceiriog for starters. Plus the oldest boy-band in world – Fron Male Voice Choir. The boys have become rather famous since their Voices of the Valley album stormed the charts. Our choirs perform at various venues throughout the year. You can sometimes even sit in on rehearsals – and it doesn’t cost you a penny. Fron Male Voice Choir www.fronchoir.com Wrexham Tourist Information Centre 01978 292015 27


Theatr Stiwt

theatre Rhosllanerchrugog, just outside Wrexham, is remarkable for many reasons. It’s said to be the largest village in Wales. It has several magnificent choirs. And it’s home to Theatr Stiwt. The venue, which hosts all sorts of drama and musical performances, is as much a centre for Welsh culture now as it was back in 1926, when it first opened. The intimate 150-seat Studio Theatre at Yale College in Wrexham stages regular 28

productions, while the Riverside Studio Theatre – home to Wrexham Musical Theatre Society – is more bijou still, seating 120. Other stalwarts of the amateur scene include Grove Park Theatre, whose productions have been thrilling audiences since 1925. Shows in 2012 include After Miss Julie, Men of the World and Dracula. Theatr Stiwt 01978 841300 www.stiwt.co.uk Studio Theatre 01978 311794 Riverside Studio Theatre 01978 261148 Grove Park Theatre 01978 351091 www.groveparktheatre.co.uk


wrexham culture We like culture. We like art, music, fashion and everything else. But like every place, Wrexham has a culture of its own too. The little things that make it what it is. Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on. But if you stand on the terraces at the Racecourse football stadium, together with our fans, supporting our team, you might understand.

plastered with memorabilia that pays homage to the original Wrexham Lager, you might understand. And if you sit in the back of a village hall and listen to a male voice choir rehearse – and feel the hair start to prickle on the back of your neck – you might understand. And if you see teenagers free-running on Llwyn Isaf green – jump, flip, no room for error – or young musicians with a busted guitar amp unleashing their creative dreams on the street corner, you’ll probably understand.

If you walk into a pub and see walls

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famous sons and daughters There are lots of people close to Wrexham’s heart. Too many to mention here. From celebrities proud of their roots to ‘ordinary’ people who’ve done something extraordinary. We’d love to tell you about them all. But for now, here’s one or two you may have heard of.

robbie savage He was feared as one of football’s hard-men. He’s got the nicest hair on TV. And he recently showed the world his mojo on the dance floor. The former Premiership star is a Wrexham lad through and through, and took the nation by storm in 2011 when he lined up against other celebs for BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. We gave him a ‘10’. But then, we were biased. He’s also a prolific ‘tweeter’, with over half a million Twitter followers. Go to www.twitter.com and follow @RobbieSavage8

Robbie Savage

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Your micro-guide to the World Heritage Site. Quick and easy.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal

www.pontcysyllte-aqueduct.co.uk

11 mile s of world heritag e


what the man would say

Engraved portrait of Thomas Telford published on front cover of Atlas to the Life of Thomas Telford - Civil Engineer in 1838. Engraved by W. Raddon from a painting by S. Lane.

Wherever you look in life, it’s always the same story: it’s only by working together that we achieve great things. People sometimes say that I built Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. That’s not true. What I mean is, I didn’t do it on my own. I had help. Everyone that played a part – every tradesman, labourer and horse – left their mark on the world. Because it’s still here today. Still telling its story to the hundreds of thousands of people who visit every year. Just like its older brother, Chirk Aqueduct, the Horseshoe Falls and the other canal structures we built. We put them together piece by piece. With guts, belief and vision. And although the human race has done great things since my day – split the atom, put a man on the moon, invented penicillin – Pontcysyllte still excites people. Still exhilarates. Inspires. I was proud of it in 1805. And if I was among you today, I’d still be proud. When you experience it, I hope you feel the same.

Thomas Telford Civil engineer 1757-1834

www.pontcysyllte-aqueduct.co.uk


touched by genius When Thomas Telford finished Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in 1805, it was the tallest canal boat crossing in the world.

When you see it, you’ll see something that was touched by genius. Because Telford was a true visionary.

It’s still there today. Still taking canal boat passengers on the ride of their lives. But now it’s on the world map.

He lived in a different age, but he was up there with the likes of Apple founder Steve Jobs, Microsoft’s Bill Gates or any other modern forward-thinker. He was a man ahead of his time.

In 2009 UNESCO made this masterpiece of civil engineering a World Heritage Site – along with 11 miles of canal including Chirk Aqueduct and the Horseshoe Falls near Llangollen. Now it’s officially one of the greatest heritage sites in the world, and on a par with places like the Pyramids, the Taj Mahal and the Acropolis.

It’s no exaggeration to say that techniques and ideas developed at Pontcysyllte helped shape the world through their impact on engineering. But what’s really amazing is the way the structure still captures people’s imagination. Over 200 years after it was built. It’s never lost its magic.


“Look, don’t touch.” Some heritage sites are just too fragile to handle.

That’s not the case here. Telford’s structures – like the man himself – were made from tough stuff. So you don’t have to just stand back and admire our World Heritage Site from a distance (inspiring though that is). You can experience it. In lots of different ways.

Try our top five for starters. 1. cross the aqueducts Dare you cross the stream in the sky? And can you do it without looking down? You can walk across Pontcysyllte, or save your legs and take a leisurely boat ride. But there’s one thing you have to take with you. A camera. The views are something else. Chirk Aqueduct is just a few miles downstream. And you could argue the views are even lovelier.

2. explore the tunnels If walking across the aqueducts gets your pulse racing, wait until you tackle ‘the Darkie’. A few yards into the tunnel and you realise where it gets its name from. It’s seriously dark, seriously long and once you’re halfway, there’s no going back. You can walk through it without a torch. It’s quite an adventure. But maybe a torch is a good idea?

3. walk the towpaths

A canter across will take you over the Welsh border and into England.

It’s not all aqueducts and tunnels along the 11 miles of World Heritage Site. Walking along the rest of the towpaths is a nice way to spend a few hours.

And if you work up an appetite, just keep walking past the pretty canal-bank cottages to the Poachers Pocket pub. Or The Bridge Inn. Good food and real ale are waiting.

Countryside rich in wildlife, sparse in people. In other words, peace and quiet. Nice thinking time if you’re by yourself. Catching up time if you’re with someone special.


experience it There are places to eat along the way. Like the aptly-named Aqueduct pub at Froncysyllte. The (also aptly named) Thomas Telford pub at Trevor basin. Or the Sun Trevor pub, which offers a welcome pit-stop halfway between Pontcysyllte and Llangollen. And the best bit? No hills. Not even Telford could make water run upwards, so the canal towpaths are nice and flat. Although if you’re a serious walker, there are lots of intriguing walks and trails just off the towpaths, including the Ceiriog Valley Walk (which is lovely) and the famous Offa’s Dyke.

4. float on a boat with Togg

There are 45-minute trips along the canal, and two-hour trips right up to the Horseshoe Falls on certain days at peak season. There are lots of relaxing ways to experience the World Heritage Site, but a horse-drawn boat trip takes some beating. Quietly gliding across the water. Ducks and ducklings pottering along the bank. And the madness of the big wide world evaporating into mist.

5. see the horseshoe The Horseshoe Falls is where it all starts. The place where the canal draws its water from the river.

People have been enjoying horse-drawn boat trips from the canal wharf in Llangollen for over 100 years.

It’s basically a man-made weir – shaped like a horse-shoe. And like so many of Telford’s creations, it only seems to enhance the beauty of the landscape around it.

In fact Togg, Geordie and the other horses are pretty much celebrities these days. And they appreciate the odd carrot for their efforts.

An example of man’s designs complementing nature. How often do you see that?

www.pontcysyllte-aqueduct.co.uk


when you’re finished Don’t forget your camera. Or, better still, grab a shot on your phone and share it with friends via Flickr, Facebook, Instagram or some other social media. Let them see what they’re missing. Then explore the rest of the World Heritage Site and beyond. Hire a boat. Or discover attractions like Llangollen Steam Railway, Tyˆ Mawr Country Park and Chirk Castle. All just a stone’s throw away. Journey further afield into Wrexham, Denbighshire and Shropshire and discover gems like the National Trust property at Erddig, the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the lakeside market town of Ellesmere.

You can find everything you need at www.pontcysyllte-aqueduct.co.uk If you have a smart phone, just scan the QR code. Or if you’re the “tweeting type” check out our Facebook pages and Twitter feed. And if you like to chat, we like that too. Pick up the phone and contact one of our nearby Tourist Information Centres:

Wrexham TIC 01978 292015

Oswestry Mile End TIC 01691 662488

Llangollen TIC 01978 860828

credits Written and produced by Assets and Economic Development, Wrexham County Borough Council, on behalf of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site partnership. Designed by White Fox 01352 840898 www.whitefox-design.co.uk Photography contributors include Eye Imagery, Crown Copyright (2012) Visit Wales and the Institution of Civil Engineers. Illustration by Prodo Digital. Available in alternative formats and in Welsh. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, Wrexham County Borough Council and its partners can accept no liability whatsoever for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions, or for any matter in any way connected with or arising out of the publication of the information contained.

scan me

www.pontcysyllte-aqueduct.co.uk


facebook.com/pontcysyllte-aqueduct twitter.com/pontcysyllte


getting around the site Horseshoe Falls

Llan

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Trevor Basin

CEFN MAWR

LLANGOLLEN

Pontcysyllte VALE

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FRONCYSYLLTE Whitehurst Tunnel

Heritage Zone 11 mile Heritage Site River Dee

Chirk Tunnel

CHIRK

Heritage Zone

Scale/Graddfa 1:35000.

Chirk Aqueduct

11 mile Heritage Site River Dee Scale/Graddfa 1:35000.

Now we’ve whetted your appetite, you’ll want to know how to get here. The site lies on the border between North Wales and England and straddles three counties – Denbighshire, Wrexham and Shropshire. You can get here by car (via the M53 or M56 from the North West, and the M54 from the Midlands). By train (Chirk station is just a hop and a skip away from the site, and Ruabon just two or three miles away with regular bus links).

Arriva Trains Wales (Chester-WrexhamShrewsbury) 08456 061660 www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk Borderlands Line (Wrexham-Liverpool via Bidston) www.borderlandsline.com Virgin Trains (Wrexham-London Euston) www.virgintrains.co.uk Traveline Cymru 0871 200 2233 www.traveline-cymru.org.uk Wrexham Bus Line 01978 266166 www.wrexham.gov.uk Arriva Buses www.arriva.co.uk

MO RI

NIO MUN D L IA

PA T

Or by bus.

Here are some useful contacts:

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www.pontcysyllte-aqueduct.co.uk

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United Nations        Cultural Organization

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Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2009


Russell Crowe

russell crowe OK. This is a bit tenuous! But did you know that the Hollywood A-lister has an interesting link with Wrexham?

mark hughes Another former footballer who became a galactic name during his playing career with Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Chelsea.

Great grandparents Fred and Kezia lived here before emigrating to Canada in 1925 with all of their children bar Russell’s grandfather, John. He stayed behind to run the family business before moving to New Zealand.

‘Sparky’ learnt his goal-scoring skills on the playing fields of Ruabon, where he grew up, and has always been a great ambassador for Wrexham and for Wales.

So in a way, the star of films like Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind and American Gangster is one of Wrexham’s most famous grandsons. Small world.

Has enjoyed a high-profile management career since hanging up his boots.

Go to www.twitter.com and follow @russellcrowe

Mark Hughes

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local produce Fact. Good food makes life taste better. Good local food makes life taste great. So if you don’t already know about the food and drink being produced right here in the county borough, it’s time you did.

local food first Robert Didier is a man who knows his way around the kitchen. He trained under the legendary Raymond Blanc and tickled the taste-buds of actor Sean Connery. Aka James Bond. So when Robert moved to North Wales in 2003 to set up a business making handmade pastries, he knew what he was doing. And his trademark Tractor Wheel Pie is becoming rather famous round these parts. In fact, there are stacks of very talented people producing all sorts of wonderful food and drink in Wrexham. The kind of food that just makes you smile.

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There’s the creamiest ice-cream made by Richard on his Erbistock Farm. The tantalising syrups and sauces made by Guy and his family at their 16th Century home in Bettisfield – all made from the blueberries he grows. And award-winning bangers made by Mark at his farm in Eyton. There are brewers, cheese-makers, vegetable growers, honey-makers, hand-crafted jelly producers, free-range egg farmers, chocolate truffle-makers. The list goes on. We even have a tea trader called Kim, who sells a special blend of ‘Wrexham tea’ from her shop on High Street in the town centre (called ‘Just Tea and Coffee’, which makes perfect sense). The point is, we think local food tastes best. Which is why we’ve produced a handy little online food directory to help you find out what you can buy. And where you can buy it. Tuck in. www.localfoodfirstwrexham.co.uk Go to www.twitter.com and follow @wrexfoodfirst


wrexham lager It’s back! That’s right. The brand that probably did as much to put Wrexham on the map as anything else during the past century, has finally returned.

Brewed by the new Wrexham Lager Beer Company using a recipe from the brand’s 1970s hey-day, the golden continentalstyle lager has enjoyed favourable reviews from connoisseurs.

Of course, it’s a slightly different tipple to the drink which Carlsberg-Tetley called time on in 2002.

But remember. You can have too much of a good thing. Drink responsibly and check out www.drinkaware.co.uk for the latest guidance on alcohol consumption.

But after years of waiting, you can once again order a ‘pint of Wrexham’ in local pubs.

Go to www.twitter.com and follow @WXM_Lager 33


create

www.wrexhamsayshello.co.uk 34


Everyone needs a ‘thing’. A talent or skill they’re known for. Something that makes them stand out. “That’s my thing. That’s what I do.” So what’s Wrexham’s thing? The answer is simple. Innovation.

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“our business is to create” Wrexham has always played its part in pushing the world forward with new ideas and technology. We can’t help ourselves. It’s in our blood. From the radical techniques used by Thomas Telford to build Pontcysyllte Aqueduct over 200 years ago, to groundbreaking work going on right here and now at Glyndw ˆ r University. An example? The university is helping to develop the world’s biggest telescope. Helping to unlock the secrets of the universe. Among many other things. You see, Wrexham has always been kind of obsessed with the future. Obsessed with new ideas. New thinking.

We’re not saying everyone here will be zipping around on hover boards by 2025. But don’t bet against your gadgets of tomorrow being dreamt-up in Wrexham. To quote the poet Arthur O’Shaughnessy, “…we are the dreamers of dreams”.

bright sparks There are people in all walks of life who are ‘visionaries’. They see things others don’t. Problems are possibilities. Change is opportunity. Wrexham has more than its fair share of bright sparks. Both individuals and organisations. We can’t fit them all in here, but here’s a taste.

Glyndw ˆ r University

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thomas telford

elihu yale

Built Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in 1805 using radical techniques that influenced engineers across the globe. Quite simply, Telford was ‘the man’.

Born in 1649. Gifted entrepreneur and educationist who grew up near Wrexham and made a generous donation to the Collegiate School of Connecticut, USA.

john wilkinson

They were pretty grateful. You can still see a replica of the steeple of St Giles Church in the grounds of what became known as Yale University.

Patented new cannon-boring techniques in the mid-1700s that revolutionised warfare. Lord Nelson took them to sea on HMS Victory. The rest, as they say, is history.

wrexham maelor hospital

william low Civil engineer who lived in Wrexham and drew-up the first realistic plans for a channel tunnel in the 1860s. Brilliant engineer. Bad businessman.

At the cutting edge of medical research and committed to developing ‘the healthcare of the future’. In 2010, there were 135 projects involving patient trials, development of medical devices and treatments.

Thomas Telford’s Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

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Glyndw ˆ r University

glyndwˆr university Where do we start? Developing mirrors for the world’s biggest telescope in South America. Working with Chinese universities to push bio-engineering boundaries. The list goes on. One of Wrexham’s busiest innovators today. www.glyndwr.ac.uk moneypenny Great example of entrepreneurial vision. Founded in 2000, it was the first company in the UK to provide professional callanswering services. Received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2008. Now employs nearly 250 staff and handles over 6.5 million calls a year. www.moneypenny.co.uk

world. Capable of producing up to 1.8 million solar panels a year. Wrexham is plugging the world into the energy of the future. www.sharpmanufacturing.co.uk cytec engineered materials Part of the global giant Cytec Industries Inc. Develops advanced materials for use in high performance aircraft, road vehicles and many other things. Even Formula One race cars. www.cytec.com/engineered-materials nu instruments Founded in 1995. Designs state-of-the-art scientific equipment used by boffins all over the world. Specialises in mass spectrometry. Complicated stuff.

sharp manufacturing, llay Cited as one of the biggest and most advanced photovoltaic centres in the 38

Nu Instruments www.nu-ins.com Wikipedia www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_spectrometry


children of the sun Power. It’s something we’re interested in. Not in the same way Genghis Khan was. World domination isn’t really our thing in Wrexham. We’re interested in helping to solve the world’s energy problems. People are using more energy, but fossil fuels like natural gas are drying up. So that’s a big problem. Throw in the pollution created by fossil fuels and concerns about nuclear power, and things start to look scary.

So the issue is pretty simple. The solution? That’s not so simple. But it makes sense to do two things: develop clean energy technology and reduce fossil fuel consumption. Wrexham is immersing itself in both and doing its bit to keep the lights switched on for future generations. Proof? Visit the solar centre at Sharp Manufacturing in Llay, and you’ll begin to understand the science behind harnessing energy from the sun. The centre is open to schools, colleges, universities and other groups, but you have to book in advance. Please don’t just turn up. They’re busy people.

Sharp Solar Centre

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Of course, Sharp is one of the world’s truly elite corporations. They’ve been working with solar technology – or ‘photovoltaics’ – since the 1960s, so it’s safe to say they’re experts. Now take a drive around Wrexham and you’ll probably notice a lot of homes with shiny new solar panels on the roofs. Wrexham Council is busy fixing them to 3,000 council houses as part of a £20 million scheme. One of the biggest of its kind in the UK.

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The project will save around 3,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually (the equivalent to taking 1,000 cars off the road) and will help reduce Wrexham’s carbon footprint. What’s more, it’ll save council tenants up to £300 a year on electricity bills. Sharp Solar Centre www.sharpmanufacturing.co.uk Council housing solar project www.wrexham.gov.uk


turn the lights off before you leave

consumption in simple, practical ways”, he says.

So we’re doing our bit to tackle climate change. But it’s not all about building and using solar technology.

“As a direct result of the project many thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions will be saved and the county borough’s total carbon footprint will drop.”

We’re also making all those little adjustments to our daily routines to reduce our impact on the environment. From the very simple (only boiling the water you need in the kettle, turning off the lights in empty rooms) to the more challenging (growing your own food, cutting down on car usage). Through the innovative People Power project, everyone in Wrexham is being asked to make an online pledge to reduce their energy use at home and at work. Steve Connor, chief executive at the marketing agency Creative Concern, has been helping us bang the drum. “The campaign asks the people of Wrexham to decrease their own energy

www.peoplepowerwrexham.org

build for the future Now a futuristic place needs futuristic buildings. Right? And that means buildings that won’t cost the earth. Plans to develop the town’s Western Gateway into a low-carbon, mixed use business park are gathering pace. And it’s not just the environment that will benefit. This hi-spec, hi-tech business park will also help Wrexham attract more high quality employers. And premium companies will bring premium jobs. Result. 41


tiger, tiger burning bright It was Napoleon that once described China as a ‘sleeping giant’. Well, the giant is awake and is now one ˆr Glyndw the world’s greatest economic powers. If University not the greatest. And neighbouring India isn’t far behind.

So it’s a good thing that we’re pretty handy at building international friendships. Glyndw ˆ r University is already working with the College of Bio-engineering at Hubei University of Technology in Wuhan. It’s also one of a group of Welsh universities helping to establish education and training services in the Chongqing region.

The statistics are frightening. For example, China and India are producing an average of one million engineering graduates per year, compared with just 170,000 in the USA and Europe.

What’s more, Wrexham Council is talking to Chinese businesses looking to invest and create jobs in the UK. The message? Put your money into Wrexham. You won’t regret it.

These two Asian tiger economies are the future.

knowledge is power “Space. The final frontier.” OK. The tight costumes made it tricky to take Captain James T Kirk and his Star Trek buddies too seriously. But he had a point.

Techniquest Glyndwˆr

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And Wrexham is doing its bit to help man boldly go where no-one has gone before. Because at Glyndwˆr University, scientists are helping to develop mirrors for the aptly-named ‘World’s Biggest Telescope’, which will be based in South America.

From students building solar-powered cars to scientists pushing bio-technology frontiers through work with Chinese universities.

love science Science can be fun. Honest.

These aren’t any old mirrors though. They’re 1.5 metres wide and have to be polished to within one billionth of a metre – less than 1,000th of the thickness of a human hair. The mirrors will be a vital component of the telescope, so Wrexham will be playing a crucial role in helping the world penetrate the mysteries of the universe. How impressive is that? The telescope is just one example of the university getting involved in innovative projects. There’s lots of other stuff going on. Stuff that feels very ‘brave new world’.

Visit Techniquest Glyndwˆr on the university campus and you’ll discover how. There are more than 60 exciting interactive games and exhibits to get young and old minds alike thinking. Including a spinning orb with flowing crystals and a spooky ‘shadow wall’ that takes on a life of its own. Billed as North Wales’ most challenging day out, Techniquest aims to explore the mysteries of science – through the medium of big bangs and slippery slime. 01978 293400 www.tqg.org.uk

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your business: our business We get a real buzz out of doing business in Wrexham. And we’ve got more than our fair share of entrepreneurs who’ve taken a clever idea and grown it into something big. Take Moneypenny. Named after 007’s favourite PA, the company has a Queen’s Award for Enterprise and Innovation, and was nominated by the Sunday Times as one of the Best 100 Places to Work. Not bad for something that started off as a small local business and grew into one of the leading professional call-answering services in the UK.

“There is a fantastic resource of hardworking, enthusiastic and personable people on our doorstep.” Rachel Clacher Co-founder of Moneypenny 44

And if you ask co-founder Rachel Clacher what their secret is, she’ll answer you in one word: people. “We based ourselves in Wrexham and remain committed to the town as there is a fantastic resource of hardworking, enthusiastic and personable people on our doorstep. “Every day they do a great job representing our business and also the thousands of client businesses we work with across the UK.” And it’s not just the people that make Wrexham a great place to run a business. There are lots of other reasons.


Not least, Wrexham Council’s dedicated team of business experts. They offer all sorts of help, advice and information, from business planning and marketing to raising finance and finding the right premises. They’re a pretty clever bunch. So if you’re setting up a business from scratch or looking to relocate and expand, you should give them a call. It’s good to talk.

next generation of business stars. The Lord Sugars of tomorrow. Wrexham’s young people are bursting with entrepreneurial energy. Maybe you’re one of them? Yes? Well, we’ve set up a new forum to help you along the way.

Wrexham Council business support 01978 667000 www.wrexham.gov.uk

Launch Wrexham lets you talk to other young entrepreneurs, swap ideas and even apply for grants to energise your business ambitions.

the next Lord Sugar?

You’ll be driving that Bentley before you know it.

Now you know we’re pretty obsessed with the future here in Wrexham. So it’s no surprise that we’re interested in the

www.launchwrexham.co.uk Go to www.twitter.com and follow @LaunchWrexham

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play www.wrexhamsayshello.co.uk 46


The world is a playground. Make the most of it. Step outside your front door and have fun. Live your life. Feel free. This is Wrexham.

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sport

oldest serving international football venue.

Few things evoke as much passion and tribal instinct as sport. Sport is war … without the consequences.

It’s also the largest stadium in North Wales (around 10,000 seats) and the fifth largest in Wales.

Wrexham is a competitive place. Not in a brash way, but quietly competitive. So it’s no surprise that we’re big on sport. Both playing it and watching it.

It’s a place that’s tasted both sporting glory and heartbreak over the years. Victory and defeat. And that’s what makes it such a special part of Wrexham.

football and rugby

Take Wrexham Football Club for example. ‘The Dragons’ have played out their story on the turf of the Racecourse for many years.

Glyndw ˆ r University Racecourse Stadium. This local sporting icon is the world’s

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There are giant-killings that linger in our memory like they were yesterday – Arsenal, Middlesbrough, Tottenham, West Ham, FC Porto. Just some of the scalps we’ve claimed. And then there’s the pain of relegation in years gone by. Being a football fan is to experience extremes. The stadium is also home to another kind of football. The kind that uses a different type of ball. In fact, Wrexham beat off stiff competition from other towns and cities to host

matches during the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. Maybe you’re a hardcore rugby fan and maybe you’re not. It doesn’t matter. 2013 will be a chance to experience the atmosphere, the passion and everything else that’s great about sport. Don’t miss out. Wrexham Football Club www.wrexhamafc.co.uk Rugby League Word Cup 2013 www.rlwc2013.com

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horse-racing Horse racing at Bangor-on-Dee started more than 150 years ago when a couple of chaps from the local hunt galloped across the meadows for a £50 prize. And they still haven’t got around to putting in a grandstand. Because the views are so stunning from the grass banks of this natural amphitheatre, there really isn’t any need. It was also thriller writer and ex-jockey Dick Francis’ favourite course. Although things have changed a bit since he rode his first ever winner here back in 1947.

Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse

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“Over the last 20 years the racecourse has progressed from being all wooden buildings to having superb facilities – not only for race days, but also for private parties, weddings and conferences,” explains general manager Jeannie Chantler. So what’s the attraction? Pure entertainment. “You can’t beat the spectacle and colour of seeing horses and jockeys close up, the bustle around the betting ring and adrenalin rush of the race itself,” says Jeannie. www.bangorondeeraces.co.uk Go to www.twitter.com and follow @BangorOnDeeRace


golf For the slightly apprehensive, Chirk Golf Club’s course can play as short as 5,525 yards. But if the force is with you, the so-called ‘Tiger Tees’ can extend this to a whopping 7,045 yards. This 200-acre course, bounded by the Llangollen Canal and with superb views of Chirk Castle, offers the typical Wrexham golfing experience. A true test. A friendly welcome. Competitive green fees. And something just that little bit different. There’s also an 18-hole championship course at Wrexham Golf Club. And scenic nine-hole courses at Darland, Alyn Waters, Moss Valley and the Plassey. And if you’re not quite hitting it straight, a fancy bit of kit at Clays Golf Centre in

Wrexham might help. Pros at the Mizuno National Fitting Centre there use a £20,000 radar system to analyse your swing. They can even work out your ‘smash factor’. Alyn Waters Golf Centre (nine hole) 01978 855131 Chirk Golf Club (18 hole) 01691 774407 Clays Golf Club (18 hole) 01978 661406 Darland Golf Centre (nine hole) 01244 579282 Moss Valley Golf Club (nine hole) 01978 720518 Plassey Golf Complex (nine hole) 01978 780020 Wrexham Golf Club (18 hole) 01978 351476 51


mountain biking You really earn your breakfast at Coed Llandegla Forest in neighbouring Denbighshire. Its colour-coded mountain bike trails are set in 650 acres of sustainably managed woodland. The green route is great for families and the blue route perfect for beginners – and you can hire bikes if you don’t have your own. But Llandegla also attracts the aficionado. The 11-mile red route contains unsurfaced single-track, bermed switchbacks and water crossings. As for the black route… well, let’s just say you need strong legs and nerves of steel. 01978 751656 www.oneplanetadventure.com

outdoor adventure Shame to waste all that fresh air. Wrexham offers a wide range of white-knuckle activities to turn our great outdoors into one big adventure playground. Motor Safari do the lot. Rally skid driving, off-roading, power boating, falconry, white-water rafting. As featured on TV shows like Top Gear, Blue Peter and The Holiday Programme. The climbing wall at Plas Power Adventure should also get your adrenalin going. It’s big – more than 6,000 square feet. And it’s very popular with kids, who often outstrip their parents. Both here and on the ropes course – which contains a 100foot zip wire, an abseil platform and something worryingly known as ‘the leap of faith’. 01978 754533 www.motor-safari.co.uk 01978 754747 www.plaspoweradventure.com

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leisure centres

tennis

Want to keep everything looking trim – including your bank balance? Just flash the Pure card at one of our public leisure centres.

We love our tennis. And not just during Wimbledon fortnight. The six indoor and 10 outdoor courts at the Wrexham Tennis Centre in Wrexham are internationalclass.

It will save you money on most activities including swimming, gym sessions and fitness classes. Waterworld is an aquatic centre (the clue is in the name). With a 25-metre competition pool, a learner pool, a 65-metre flume and a rapid-river ride.

Our coaches will help you live up to them. And any time you fancy a knockabout, you can play at the courts at Acton Park and Bellevue Park in Wrexham or Ponciau Park in Rhos. Absolutely free. Wrexham Tennis Centre 01978 265260 www.nwrtc.co.uk

In the Tropical Lagoon at Plas Madoc, you can walk the surf, ride the crocodile, slide down the snake and play in the waves. And you can let the kids have a go as well, if you must. Chirk has a pool, too. The perfect place to cool down after a stint in the sauna or steam room. A game of squash. Or a little Tae Kwon Do. www.wrexham.gov.uk Waterworld 01978 297300 Wrexham Tennis Centre

Plas Madoc Leisure and Activity Centre 01978 821600 Chirk Leisure and Activity Centre 01691 778666

athletics Top athletes come to Queensway Stadium. Including Olympic stars past and present like Colin Jackson, Jamie Baulch, Iwan Thomas and Christian Malcolm. But it also hosts school sports days and local fun runs. And it’s the home of Wrexham Athletics Club, which helps budding stars from eight years upwards to get in shape.

Waterworld

01978 355826 53


walking

the secret valley

Don’t let it all fly past in a green blur from your car. Whether you live in the county borough or you’re just here for a visit, there’s a much better way to get up close and personal with Wrexham’s countryside.

The B4500 is a very special road. Not that you’d guess it from the map. It begins just off the A5 at the town of Chirk and disappears only about 18 miles later into a network of narrow country roads.

Walking.

It’s special because it runs the length of the Ceiriog Valley. Through a remarkable variety of landscapes – gentle pasture, woodland, sheer rock faces and glimpses of high mountain ridges and brooding moorland.

There are many miles of footpaths in every corner of Wrexham. In every conceivable landscape from woodland and river valley to windswept moorland and heathery mountain. Get out there and explore.

tour guides Fancy a bit of company on your Wrexham walkabout? We have a wealth of qualified tour guides who know the county borough inside-out. 01286 677059 www.northwalestouristguides.com

The valley is so beautiful, in fact, that Lloyd George called it “a little piece of heaven on earth”. And so miraculously unspoilt that travelling the B4500 alongside the trout-filled River Ceiriog feels like a journey into the distant past. It certainly had the desired effect on Patricia Somerset, who visited from South London for a few days. Some walking, pony trekking and heritage sightseeing ensured a relaxing break. “My job is stressful and I work long hours so this holiday was perfect,” says Patricia. “The biggest decision I had to make was which beautiful place I wanted to visit that day. I was surprised how lovely it was – I couldn’t think how I’d missed the valley before. It has been a real discovery.” www.chirkandtheceiriogvalley.co.uk

top walks ceiriog valley walk

Ceiriog Valley

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Lovely route that begins at Chirk railway station and finishes at the foot of the Berwyn mountains in the village of Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog.


Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

maelor way

includes the mighty Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. www.nationaltrail.co.uk/offasdyke

A 24-mile walk passing through or near villages like Bronington, Hanmer, Penley and Overton – which can provide a welcome pit stop. Not to mention a pint.

wat’s dyke way

offa’s dyke path

Shorter and less famous than Offa’s Dyke, this 61-mile trail enters Wrexham at Overton and emerges in Alyn Waters Country Park before passing into Flintshire.

National Trail named after the spectacular earthwork built by King Offa of Mercia in the eighth century. The section through Wrexham

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park life

alyn waters, gwersyllt

There’s no shortage of open space in Wrexham. In fact, 90% of the county is rural. But that hasn’t stopped us creating a wide range of parks for people to enjoy all year round.

Feel the burn in Wrexham’s biggest country park, with six calorie-counted walks of different gradients and distances. Or you could just look at the sculptures. 01978 763140

Some have seasonal museums, visitor centres and cafés. Some fly the Green Flag Award for excellence as public green spaces. And some have sprung up from the remnants of our industrial heritage. Each is unique. With its own programme of events for the entire family. Including kite making, pond dipping and fungal forays (or mushroom hunting to you and me). Download a guide at www.wrexham.gov.uk/countryside

minera lead mines Right at the head of the Clywedog Valley and the perfect place to begin an exploration of one of the busiest rivers of the Industrial Revolution. You can still see the remains of the lead mines – the restored beam engine house, winding engine and boiler houses. 01978 763140

Ty Mawr

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moss valley

ty mawr, cefn mawr

Coal miners once used the railway lines and tramways that criss-cross this V-shaped valley. Now, as you stroll along the lakes or through the oak and beech woodland, you’ll encounter cyclists, anglers and birdwatchers.

Sheep, donkeys, pigs, rabbits, chickens and lots of other resident animals to look at. Plus a lovely walk alongside the River Dee with dramatic views of the Cefn viaduct.

01978 763140 01978 822780 nant mill, coedpoeth bellevue, wrexham Troubled by mole hills in your carefully manicured lawn? A trip to Nant Mill might make you more understanding. Its giant mole tunnel lets you see things from their point of view. You can watch more wildlife from the bird hide. And even hire ducks – rubber ones – for a duck race.

Restored Edwardian park with lime avenues radiating from the bandstand. In the evening the paths are lit by period lamps. An elegant oasis just a quarter of a mile from the town centre.

01978 752772

01978 264150

Clywedog Trail

Minera Lead Mines

Alyn Waters

Llwyn Isaf

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nature reserve Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve is part of Britain’s third-biggest raised bog. So huge, in fact, that it’s visible from space. Now the idea of a very big bog might not be immediately appealing. Which may be why few of the boaters sailing past on the Llangollen Canal stop to walk the Mosses Trails.

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They’re missing out. Since the bog was saved from the ravages of peat cutting it’s become famous for its snakes, lizards and newts. Not to mention dragonflies, water voles, curlews and skylarks. And if your eyesight is particularly keen, you may even spot a raft spider.

www.ccw.gov.uk www.naturalengland.org.uk


events

the olympic torch

There’s always something going on in Wrexham County Borough. From big annual events to more modest (but no less enjoyable) entertainment and activities.

There’s something big happening in London this year. In fact, the eyes of the world will be on the UK when the 2012 Olympics kick off on July 27.

Some highlights? Erddig Apple Festival attracts thousands every year and is one big party in honour of the humble apple. Wrexham Science Festival puts the ‘wow’ factor into all things scientific. And our St David’s Day and Christmas markets draw people from miles around. No exaggeration. Wrexham Tourist Information Centre 01978 292015 www.wrexham.gov.uk www.northwalesborderlands.co.uk www.events-northwales.co.uk

Consider this. It’s estimated that one billion – that’s 15% of the world’s population – watched the 2008 opening ceremony live on TV. That’s a lot of people. So what will Wrexham be doing? Well, for starters the Olympic torch will be coming to Wrexham County Borough on May 30. Details haven’t been announced at the time of going to press, but we do know the torch will cross Pontcysyllte Aqueduct World Heritage Site. And pass through Acrefair, Rhostyllen and Wrexham town. Further details will be announced nearer the time, so keep tabs on Wrexham Council’s website. Wrexham Council www.wrexham.gov.uk London 2012 Olympics official website www.london2012.com

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goodbye

Time flies. Thanks for reading this brochure. But don’t forget. This is just the start. Wrexham has a lot more to say. So do you. Let’s keep talking.

apps

Events, shopping, business news, the lot.

You can carry this brochure on your phone. Just scan the code with a QR reader or find it at the iPhone app store.

Email: wrexhamsayshello@wrexham.gov.uk

www.apple.com

social media And you can follow us on facebook and twitter. Why not post something on our page or tweet us? www.facebook.com/wxmsayshello www.twitter.co.uk/wxmsayshello

wrexham tourist information centre, lambpit street The sign over the door might say ‘tourist’, but the door is open to everyone. In fact, half of Wrexham TIC’s customers are people who live in the county borough. Our four TIC assistants are incredibly helpful and, between them, they have over 70 years’ experience. What they don’t know about Wrexham just isn’t worth knowing.

e-blasts Or sign-up for regular e-news blasts about great things that are happening in Wrexham. 60

Pick up the phone or pop in for helpful ideas and info about things to see and do. Everything from arts classes and theatre


plane… Manchester Airport www.manchesterairport.co.uk Liverpool John Lennon Airport www.liverpoolairport.com train… Arriva Trains Wales (Chester – Wrexham – Shrewsbury) 08456 061660 www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk Borderlands Line (Wrexham – Bidston) www.borderlandsline.com Virgin Trains (Wrexham – London Euston) www.virgintrains.co.uk shows to festivals and concerts. From museums and heritage sites to restaurants and country pubs. And if you’re visiting and want a bed for the night, they can even help you find somewhere to stay.

bus… Traveline Cymru 0871 200 2233 www.traveline-cymru.org.uk Wrexham Bus Line 01978 266166 www.wrexham.gov.uk Arriva Buses www.arriva.co.uk

01978 292015 tic@wrexham.gov.uk

in a good place Finally, if you don’t live in Wrexham County Borough and don’t quite know where it is – or how to get here – here are some useful pointers. We’re right on the Welsh-English border. We’ve got Cheshire and Shropshire on the one side. Snowdonia and the North Wales coast on the other. We’re just 45 minutes’ drive from major airports in Manchester and Liverpool and 90 minutes from Birmingham. In fact, we’re just a hop and skip away from most of the UK – connected by great road and rail links, including train services direct to and from London. 61


hello world

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wrexham town centre Hello. It’s good to meet you.

RAMADA PLAZA HOTEL

Key

Because this is the start of a special conversation. Between you and Wrexham.

Toilets Parking

Maybe you’re learning about the county borough for the first time. Thinking of visiting or studying here. Or setting up a business.

1 2

★ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Maybe you’ve lived here for a long time and know what Wrexham is about. Or just need a little reminder. It doesn’t matter. The message is simple. Wrexham is a great place to be. A place where you (and the people you love) can live, work and play.

★ 9 10 11 12 13

Somewhere you can dream your dreams, be creative, do your thing. So turn this page and learn about the things that make life good.

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And when you’ve finished? Grab your smart phone. Pick up your tablet. Turn on your PC. Then follow, tweet, like.

★ 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

And if you’re not into apps, facebooking, tweeting or receiving e-blasts, just pick up the phone. We love that too. Talk to us. Because Wrexham is saying ‘hello’.

Train Stations Wrexham General Rail Wrexham Central Rail Attractions Library/Gallery Waterworld County Borough Museum St Mary’s Cathedral St Giles Church Grove Park Theatre Mecca Bingo Bellevue Park Indoor Markets/Arcades People’s Market Central Arcade Butchers’ Market Overton Arcade General Market Shopmobility Shopmobility (Bus Station) Other Contact Wrexham Guildhall Crown Buildings Lambpit Street Council Buildings Police Station Law Courts Registry Office Tourist Information Centre Queens Square Yale College Bus Station

www.wrexhamsayshello.co.uk 2

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wrexham town centre Hello. It’s good to meet you.

RAMADA PLAZA HOTEL

Key

Because this is the start of a special conversation. Between you and Wrexham.

Toilets Parking

Maybe you’re learning about the county borough for the first time. Thinking of visiting or studying here. Or setting up a business.

1 2

★ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Maybe you’ve lived here for a long time and know what Wrexham is about. Or just need a little reminder. It doesn’t matter. The message is simple. Wrexham is a great place to be. A place where you (and the people you love) can live, work and play.

★ 9 10 11 12 13

Somewhere you can dream your dreams, be creative, do your thing. So turn this page and learn about the things that make life good.

★ 14

And when you’ve finished? Grab your smart phone. Pick up your tablet. Turn on your PC. Then follow, tweet, like.

★ 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

And if you’re not into apps, facebooking, tweeting or receiving e-blasts, just pick up the phone. We love that too. Talk to us. Because Wrexham is saying ‘hello’.

Train Stations Wrexham General Rail Wrexham Central Rail Attractions Library/Gallery Waterworld County Borough Museum St Mary’s Cathedral St Giles Church Grove Park Theatre Mecca Bingo Bellevue Park Indoor Markets/Arcades People’s Market Central Arcade Butchers’ Market Overton Arcade General Market Shopmobility Shopmobility (Bus Station) Other Contact Wrexham Guildhall Crown Buildings Lambpit Street Council Buildings Police Station Law Courts Registry Office Tourist Information Centre Queens Square Yale College Bus Station

www.wrexhamsayshello.co.uk 2

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