Whilst it’s not known as a popular tourist destination, Wrexham boasts a host of landmarks and activities worthy of attention.Easily accessible from all of Wales, or from across the border in Cheshire, there’s plenty to draw the discerning tourist – and there’s plenty for locals to distract themselves with, too.
In this article, we’ll take a look through them.
Designed by Thomas Telford and finally built in 1805, this wonder of 19th century engineering remains the longest and tallest aqueduct in the country (that’s Britain, not Wales).It’s just over three hundred metres long, spanned by a cast-iron trough a metre or so deep and was designed to carry water over the river Dee, thirty-eight metres below.
The aqueduct is supported by a series of arched ribs – each of which is carried by a pair of stone pillars.During construction, there was widespread scepticism among the public over whether Telford’s design would work, but he persevered; his work stands to this day, as testament not only to his genius, but to his faith in his own abilities.After all, it takes genius to continue with a good plan even in the knowledge that everyone thinks it’s a terrible plan.Take a walk on the Pontcysylite Aqueduct and you’ll have all the time in the world to reflect on that!
On the outskirts of Wrexham lies Erddig, an expansive property whose grounds cover more than twelve-hundred acres.The estate is dominated by a hugely impressive 18th century house, which the National Trust’s website describes as ‘fascinating yet unpretentious’ – two qualities that are hugely desirable in any historical day out.
There’s a strong upstairs-downstairs vibe within the walls of Erddig hall – and in some respects this divide can still be keenly appreciated.In the upper floors of the manse, guests can expect to find all of the fine period furniture and decorations that the Georgian aristocracy would have enjoyed.The downstairs portion is not without its charm, too, being home to a collection of portraits of the household servants. Outside the walls of the hall, there are several outbuildings, including a stables, a sawmill, a joiner’s shop and a blacksmith’s. What more could one ask for in a country estate?
Valle Crucis Abbey
If you’re prepared to venture a little further from Wrexham into the Welsh countryside, you’ll find Llangollen.Llangollen is notable in that it is home to the ruins of Valle Crucis Abbey.Founded at the turn of the 13th century as a colony for twelve monks, the original wooden building was replaced with a much larger stone structure which could house up to sixty.
The Welsh countryside was seen as an ideal place for a monastic retreat.In the 13th century, it offered just the right amount of remoteness from civilisation.Many monks would live out their days in the Abbey without a thought for the rest of the world.
Visitors to the ruin might be surprised to see that many details of the construction remain intact.For example, the west front still carries an inscription from the 14th century, dedicated to the Abbot who oversaw its construction.The east side, on the other hand, is home to the very same fishpond from which the monks used to catch their dinner.
Admission to the ruin is fairly cheap at £3.50 per adult and £2.65 for children.Alternatively, for £10.50 an entire family can get in. Unfortunately, the Abbey is only open during the summer months (between April and October), and so those planning a winter break will have to occupy themselves elsewhere!
Golf at Carden Park
Just a short trip across the Anglo-Welsh border lies Carden Park, one of the grandest of Chester hotels. It’s situated in the heart of Cheshire’s countryside and, if you’re looking to enjoy a spot of golf, it’s an ideal retreat. Within its grounds there are two sprawling golf courses – one of which was designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus.If you’re looking to spend an afternoon or two whacking small balls across acres of lush greenery, then there are few better places to do it.
As well as the golf itself, the grounds is also home to a spa, swimming baths and smattering of high-quality restaurants and bars.If you’re looking for some post-round refreshment, then you’ll find it amply supplied.Moreover, CardenPark is also one of the foremost meeting venues in Cheshire, making it an ideal location for any Wrexham-based firm planning a corporate retreat.
Posted in Activities Tagged with: Carden Park, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Thomas Telford, Valle Crucis Abbey