Ruthin is an idyllic town, with independent shops, historic buildings, an array of great places to eat and beautiful scenery. It is a fantastic destination for a holiday, whether there it’s a large group holiday or a romantic getaway; there is something for everyone.
The Clwydian Range is easily accessible from Ruthin and well worth the journey. You can get to the mountain range on regular buses, some of which are free. If you prefer to drive, it is just 30 minutes from the town. Clwydian Range is an area of outstanding natural beauty, with hills, mountains and woodlands that makes for a fantastic spot for walking, horse riding, fishing, bike rides and picnics, with many different paths to choose from, which vary in distance and terrain. If you are looking for a place to spend an hour on the way to the range, or on the way back, then Llangollen has lots of sights to see. It is a small, vibrant town with some historical gems including the 19th-century town bridge and the Plas Newydd, which is a gothic style house with a stunning garden.
Image Alan Richards
Moel Famau, which means ‘mother of mountains’, is 1,821ft or 562m in height and seven miles from the town of Ruthin. It is not big enough to class as a mountain but is a great challenging walk for hikers. The hill also gives its name to the surrounding countryside and is located in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The views from the top are spectacular, and on clear days you can see much further than Ruthin – you might be able to spot Liverpool, the Isle of Man, parts of Cumbria, Blackpool Tower and, of course, Snowdonia. There are lots of picnic spots on Moel Famau and remember to wear appropriate footwear when climbing the hill.
Denbigh Castle was built in the 13th century by the English to assert dominance over Welsh citizens. The three-towered gatehouse sits on top of a hill and is considered by historians as one of Wales’ seven wonders. The castle was built in two stages due to a Welsh rebellion capturing the castle, and the two phases of construction can be identified by different colour stone. The fantastic views of Clwydian Range, the town of Denbigh below and surrounding woodlands are a highlight – be sure to snap a picture! Events are held at the castle ruins throughout the year, from Easter egg hunts to storytelling and re-enactments.
Image Mike Searle
Ruthin Castle is a medieval castle that was built on the site of an Iron Age fort. The castle was built by Dafydd ap Gruffydd to help Edward I invasion of Wales. At the time of the English Civil War, the castle was given some repairs to make it defensible but was later demolished by Oliver Cromwell, who wanted castles around Britain to be unsuitable for military use in the future. Today, the remains of Ruthin Castle have been incorporated into a hotel, along with a spa and restaurant. One notable guest was HRH Prince Charles, before his investiture as the Prince of Wales.
Nantclwyd y Dre
The oldest timber-framed house in Wales and a Grade I listed building is definitely worth a visit. Interactive screens and guides will teach you more about the building, the unique artefacts inside, the periods of time it has seen and the life of previous residents. The historic house was the winner of the 2017 Wales hidden gem award, and the gardens are beautifully maintained. There are talks which take place throughout the year on a variety of subjects, including plants, horticulture and the resident bats. The bats can be viewed on the webcam inside the house; they are looked after by Chester Zoo.
Image Richard Hoare
Ruthin Gaol, Clwyd Street
Ruthin Gaol is one of the only prisons of its type to be open to the public in Wales. It offers a fascinating and thought-provoking insight into prisoners’ life during the Victorian era. There is a great selection of exhibits and cells that are set up to display different parts of prison life. There is also displays about individual prisoners, the time they spent there and what crimes they committed. It is very informative and suitable for all ages; there is a lot of consideration taken for the younger audience, and they get the chance to play dress up, amongst other great activities.
St Asaph Cathedral
The cathedral is St Asaph is an Anglican church, and the building dates back to the 13th century. It is sometimes claimed to be the smallest Anglican cathedral in Great Britain. Much of the building was in ruin after a rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr but was rebuilt during the reign of Henry VIII and in the 19th century. Entrance to the cathedral is free, though donations are welcome that go towards keeping the building in good condition.
Image Philip Halling
There is an endless amount to see and do in Ruthin; you will want to continue returning year on year after you have fallen in love with the charm and character of the area. Have a look at our holiday homes for sale, Ruthin and have your very own home away from home.