Fun Facts: 8 Things to Know About Rhyl and Prestatyn

The seaside towns of Rhyl and Prestatyn have long been popular tourist destinations, as the railways in the Victorian era meant people could holiday on the coast for the weekend, visiting from Liverpool, Manchester and further afield. Our Prestatyn holiday parks and Rhyl caravan parks are the ideal locations for family holidays, giving you a chance to explore the local area as much as you want!

Landmark Buildings

Rhyl has several Grade II listed landmarks and buildings, which include St Thomas parish church which is an example of Victorian Gothic architecture, the Midland Bank building, the railway station, the Town Hall, the Royal Alexandria Hospital and the war memorial.

Inhabited Since Prehistoric Times

There is evidence that Prestatyn, east along the coast from Rhyl, has been an occupied settlement since prehistoric times. Prehistoric tools were found in the caves of Graig Fawr, showing signs of early human inhabitants. There is also evidence of Roman settlers in the coastal town, from a Roman bathhouse that was part of a fort located on the road between Chester and Caernarfon.

The Roman Bathhouse near Prestatyn

Image credit: David Pickersgill

There Was Once a Pier

One of Rhyl’s previous landmarks was the pier, located to the original Pavilion Theatre. Over the years, the pier saw many visitors and even included a pier railway. Sadly, the pier was damaged by ships in 1883 and 1891, by a fire at the Pavilion Theatre in 1901 and storms in 1909. It was closed in 1913 when it was deemed unsafe, but re-opened at a reduced length in 1930, before closing once more in 1960 and demolished in 1972.

The Holiday Destination of the 20th Century

The arrival of the railway boosted Prestatyn’s population and was the place to go for holidaymakers in the North West of England. “Sunny Prestatyn” was famed for its golden beach, clean seas, entertainment on the promenade and healthy bathing waters. In World War Two, holiday parks were used as accommodation for British soldiers.

Bucket and spade on the beach at Prestatyn

Famous Former Residents

Every town has a claim to fame due to the former residents and Rhyl and Prestatyn are no different. Television presenter Carol Vorderman lived in Prestatyn as a child until leaving for university. The former Deputy Prime Minister for the United Kingdom, John Prescott, was born in Prestatyn. Actor Spencer Wildling is from Rhyl, who is known for playing Darth Vader in Star Wars film Rogue One and several characters in Doctor Who.

Rhyl Air Show is one of North Wales Biggest Events

Taking place each year in August, the Rhyl Air Show is a two-day action packed event featuring displays in the air and on the ground. The RAF Red Arrows make an appearance doing spectacular displays in the sky. The event attracts thousands of visitors to the town and is completely free.

Red Arrow display at Rhyl Air Show

Award-Winning Beaches

The beaches close to Rhyl and Prestatyn are great places to spend the day on hot summer days and go for a walk in winter. Beaches in the area include Ffrith Beach, Prestatyn Central, Barkby Beach, Splash Point and Rhyl Central, which is around two miles long. Prestatyn Central has a Blue Flag and Seaside Award for 2018, and Rhyl Central has a Seaside Award.

Prestatyn Is Home to North Wales Premier Carnival

Not to be outdone by Rhyl’s Air Show, Prestatyn Carnival is an annual summer event, and thousands take part in the festivities. There are lots of activities happening, from musical entertainment, shows for children, trade stalls, a classic car show, Morris dancers, a fun fair and the Grand Parade, which kicks off the Carnival. There is also food and drink available and a fancy dress competition everyone can get involved with.

Carousel ride at Prestatyn Carnival

Do you have any other fun facts about Rhyl and Prestatyn? Let us know in the comments or over on our social media channels! In the meantime, take a look at some of our other fun fact blogs:

7 things to know about Conwy

8 things to know about Snowdon

6 things to know about Betws-y-Coed