Posted on 21/02/2018 by David
If someone asked us what we thought about the North East coast of Wales, we’d call it a hidden gem.
This fascinating and diverse area of North Wales is sometimes overlooked by visitors, passed over in favour of better-known areas, such as Anglesey and Snowdonia. These iconic destinations tend to be first on the lips of holidaymakers, thanks to their stunning scenery and world-class tourist attractions.
It’s true, North East Wales has a lot to compete with. Yet, it’s an incredible place to visit in its own right. There’s loads to see and do in an expansive region that spans Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham.
And with more than its fair share of enchanting culture, golden beaches and idyllic country villages to explore, the North East Wales coast could be our best kept secret.
Let’s take a closer look at why this special corner of North Wales deserves our attention...
For walkers, the historic Offa’s Dyke Path spans stunning landscapes, delivering dramatic views of the Clwydian Range. If you’re looking for a real challenge or a walking holiday, the full path runs the length of Wales and takes at least 2 weeks to complete.
Offa’s Dyke Path isn’t just for seasoned walkers - the path is great for a day out too. Why not take a refreshing morning walk from Bodfari to Prestatyn?
Wrap up, get your walking boots on and stroll over the tumbling hillsides with views across the wild Welsh coast. Remember to pack your camera… the trail is a hot-spot for birds of prey and badgers!
If you prefer to keep it North Wales, why not make the cosy, hillside Bwlch Cottage your base? You’ll be right on the doorstep of Offa’s Dyke, ready for an early morning start!
Birds of a feather
Staying in the Great Outdoors, the RSPB Dee Estuary - Point of Ayr is a must-visit for nature lovers.
This remote part of the Dee Estuary reserve is a mosaic of natural coastal habitats which support the local wildlife. You can visit these habitats, which include salt marsh, dunes and shingle beach, by following the reserve's nature trail.
The trail is easy-going and beautiful, with several bird-watching spots to marvel at the thousands of different birds that make this unique habitat their home.
As well as coast-loving Curlews and Oystercatchers, you might also catch a glimpse of the rare and beautiful Peregrine Falcon here.
Fall in love
If that’s not enough nature for you, head to Dyserth Waterfall, between Rhuddlan and Prestatyn. This idyllic spot is dotted with extraordinary wildflower species and remains of the area's mining heritage.
The spectacular waterfall, part of the River Ffyddion, plunges 70 feet before joining the River Clwyd and makes for a dramatic photo op.
Visitors have the choice of admiring the falls from ground level or 'taking the stairs' on a steep ascent through woodland to the top - amazing views await!
There's free car parking, toilets, a shop and tearooms (peak season only) and, best of all, admission is just 50p per person - how many attractions cost that these days?
A place of well-being
North East Wales has its fair share of tales to tell, too. St Winefride’s Well in Holywell is the oldest visited pilgrimage site in Great Britain.
Legend has it that Caradoc, the son of a local prince, severed the head of Winefride (a young Christian woman) after she rejected his advances. At the spot where her head fell, a spring rose, but miraculously her uncle Beuno - himself a saint - restored her to life. Beuno then dealt with Caradoc and invoked the wrath of God upon the arrogant princeling, who fell dead on the spot.
Winefride spent the rest of her life as a nun but the spring where her head fell became a site of pilgrimage, with pilgrims believing the water contained miraculous healing properties.
Indeed, her Uncle Beuno reputedly said: "that whosoever on that spot should thrice ask for a benefit from God in the name of St Winefride would obtain the grace he asked if it was for the good of his soul."
Modern day pilgrims can visit St Winefride's to learn more about this remarkable young woman. It is also possible to bathe in the sacred waters and drink from the holy well on a daily basis (except Sundays).
The shrine welcomes visitors from all denominations and admission is just £1 (60p for over 60s).
Greenfield Valley Heritage Park is a heritage attraction combined with a great family-friendly park. Start at the park’s fascinating industrial heritage museum and learn all about the challenging lives of the people who lived and worked the land and the factories.
LIttle ones will love Toddler Tractor Heaven and the soft play area and older children can tackle the Tunnel Maze and the Adventure Tree House.
Afterwards, take a stroll along the walking route through enchanting woodland and past the 12th century Basingwerk Abbey.
We wrote a blog about Greenfield Valley Heritage Park not long ago, why don't you take a look?
It’s just a ten minute drive from Ty Mave - a spacious and contemporary holiday home, beautifully appointed and close to all the action on the North East Coast. Set in a semi-rural location and within walking distance of some great pubs, it's a lovely spot for a family break.
And finally, beaches! No, you won’t need to make the trek to Anglesey to enjoy the glorious North Wales Coast.
Did you know, Prestatyn has not one, but three gorgeous beaches? They may not be well-known but they make one glorious - and massive - location for summery strolls or sandcastle afternoons.
Central Beach is the main stretch; its sandy, golden shore is great for swimming and sunbathing. The amusement arcades are great fun, and there’s plenty of cafes to refuel at. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months too.
Ffrith Beach is the quietest of the three (in its heyday it was the busiest) and dog-friendly all year round. Your pooches will love running... and running... and running on the expansive sands.
Barkby is a pretty, sandy beach, backed by a long promenade. It's lovely for lazy days by the sea or evening strolls along the prom. There are sand dunes to explore and plenty of picnic spots too.
If you love your holidays beach side, then we'd recommend Pant Glas Mawr Cottage. It's rural location is really tranquil but it's just a short drive to the beaches of Prestatyn so you get to enjoy the best of both worlds!
We hope we haven't just let the cat out of the bag - the North East Wales is such a well-kept secret! Have you visited the area before - let us know what you love about this special part of North Wales.