Ruthin, North Wales, is situated at the A525 and A494 crossroads. Just South of the A55 coastal road, Ruthin is Denbighshire’s county town, in the Vale of Clwyd.
What’s Ruthin like?
Named Ruthin (after the Welsh word for red), because of the sandstone prevalent in local geology, it is a rich agricultural area which has probably been settled since Roman and Celtic times, and became a regular drovers route stopping point. Built partly on a hill (town square and castle) but also on the Clwyd’s flood plain (the newer parts of the town), Ruthin is a perfect base from which to explore Cheshire, North Wales and Snowdonia.
Ruthin Gaol & Town
The Gaol is the only purpose-built prison of its type open for visitors. You can wander through cells and experience life as an incarcerated Victorian prisoner, even in the dark isolation cells! The Gaol’s life as a prison ended in 1916 when it was converted to offices and then for munitions production before taking on its role as a visitor attraction.
Ruthin’s craft centre was transformed in 2008 and is now the premier centre for display of Contemporary Applied Art, and for visitors to view artists at work in studios and workshops.
The attractive town is home to some half timbered buildings (the sixteenth century Wynnstay Arms coaching inn, for example) and some other fascinating historical properties – Nantclwyd House (a Grade I listed building built 1314), The Myddelton Arms (with its unusual roof described as the ‘eyes of Ruthin’), St Peter’s Church (with is incredible oak panelled roof), Pendref Chapel, and the old courthouse, to give a few examples. Ruthin’s thirteenth century Castle is now a luxury hotel and events centre, so not a tourist attraction in the way that many castles are, but no trip to Ruthin would be complete without a peep around Nantclwyd y Dre, the oldest surviving townhouse in Wales (built 1435!) – just listen out for the Lesser Horseshoe bats in its attic.
Those interested in Formula One might be interested to visit the Tom Pryce memorial in Ruthin (Pryce was the only Welsh driver to win a Formula 1 race but he died in 1977 following a high speed collision).
Walking and the outdoors
Ruthin’s position makes it the perfect base for walking – maybe in Snowdonia, along the North Wales Coast, or South to the Berwyn Mountains. Other outdoor activities such as cycling, and horse riding can be happily facilitated too.
How to get to Ruthin
Ruthin is easily accessed from the UK’s main motorway network. The M55 at Chester leads to the A55, then to Ruthin via the A494. The town possesses no train station (nearby towns, Flint and Wrexham do) but runs regular bus services to Denbigh, Rhyl, Chester and and Wrexham.
Where to stay
We are proud to offer the visitor to North Wales some delightful options for holiday accommodation – mainly self-catering cottages – but we also offer hotels, pubs and guest houses. Whether you’re looking for a cosy romantic retreat, a group holiday or a family break, our diverse properties cater for most requirements.