In between stuffing my face while judging for the North East Wales Year of the Sea Food Challenge recently, I also found time to explore some of the most popular things to do in Wrexham. The largest town in North Wales, Wrexham is nestled between the Welsh mountains and the lower Dee Valley, next to the English border. The lush landscapes make this a lovely part of Wales to visit, while the rich Welsh culture and heritage inherent in the region mean you’ll never be short of places to explore during your stay.
During my time in Wrexham, I stayed at the lovely Ramada Plaza Hotel. Situated just off the A483 (the main dual carriageway past Wrexham), this hotel was really easy to find once I arrived in Wrexham, and it was conveniently located around a 15-minute drive away from most of the attractions and restaurants I wanted to visit. My room was contemporary, spacious and spotlessly clean, with a soft-as-a-cloud kingsize bed and luxurious ocean-inspired toiletries.
Top things to do in Wrexham
Here are my favourite things to see and do while in Wrexham:
Explore Wrexham’s historic town centre
Spend a few hours strolling around Wrexham town centre and you might spot something that takes your fancy in one of the high street shops, or perhaps discover a few local landmarks. Wrexham town centre is home to several sites of cultural importance, including the General Market, the Butcher’s Market, the Horse and Jockey pub, and the Wrexham Lager Brewery.
If you get tired, stop off at one of Wrexham’s best restaurants to refuel with a bite to eat. If you’re keeping it local, The Fat Boar serves comfort food at its finest, but if you fancy a short drive, head to The Royal Oak in nearby Bangor on Dee, or Gales of Llangollen – said to be the oldest wine bar in Wales.
Admire St. Giles Parish Church
We came across St. Giles Parish Church when we were exploring Wrexham town centre, and even though we’re not religious, it was so beautiful that we just couldn’t resist going inside for a look around.
Built between the end of the 15th century and early 16th century, this is the oldest medieval parish church in Wales. It’s 135-ft high steeple tower is one of the Seven Wonders of Wales and during the summer months, you can even climb it (although I’m not sure I’d want to!)
Cross Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct has to be my favourite of all the things to do in Wrexham. This UNESCO World Heritage Site designed by Thomas Telford features a 39-metre high aqueduct complete with a public footpath, making it the tallest navigable aqueduct in the world.
You can cross Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on a canal boat in a 45-minute return journey, but if you’re feeling particularly brave, you can walk across. I’ve even seen photos of people paddle-boarding across it! Just don’t look down – it’s quite the drop! The public footpath is currently closed for improvements and the boats only run from March until October, so I didn’t manage to cross the aqueduct myself, but I was able to walk around 50 yards down the path to get some photos of the picturesque views and snap a few sneaky selfies!
Looking at these pictures, you can see why Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is often referred to as the ‘stream in the sky’!
Explore Chirk Castle
After visiting Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, we drove on for another ten minutes or so until we reached nearby Chirk Castle. A grade I-listed building owned by the National Trust, Chirk Castle was built by Roger Mortimer de Chirk in the 13th century under the instruction of Edward I; one of several medieval Marcher fortresses built on the Welsh-English border to keep the Welsh under English rule.
By the time we arrived at Chirk Castle, it was around 4pm on a Sunday afternoon, so we were too late to look inside the building or explore the 5.5 acres of beautiful gardens, but we wandered around the estate and took some photos of the castle exterior.
Visit Erddig Hall
Another National Trust property, Erddig Hall was built sometime between 1684 and 1687 for Josiah Edisbury, the High Sheriff of Denbighshire. This stately family home features an 18th century walled garden complete with breath-taking water features, idylillic landscaped gardens, stables housing horses and donkeys, and plenty of family-friendly activities, spaces and eating areas.
We didn’t have time to fit a visit to Erddig Hall in during our stay, but it’s firmly on my radar for my next visit to Wrexham.
What would you enjoy about these things to do in Wrexham? Have you ever visited this part of Wales before?