life through the lens
home destinations a-z the big trips about me world beers newspapers updates/links top fives freestyle




Location - Western Europe; Capital - Wales - Cardiff; Population - Wales - 3 million; Currency - Pound Sterling MORE UK - LONDON

Bodnant Garden is an easy day trip from Llandudno or Conwy, after which it was a coincidental trip to surprise new I'm A Celebrity location, Gwrych Castle. Also on this page I've weaved in some of my original photos from many trips home to Prestatyn - July 2020.


uknote20 Pounds Sterling














wales3399A short drive south of Llandudno and Conwy is Bodnant Garden




wales3400It's a 60 acre site of formal gardens created in the 19th century - Bodnant Garden





wales3409The Pin Mill stands at the end of a lily pond - Bodnant Garden




















wales3411The surrounding countryside and hills look superb - Bodnant Garden




















wales3413The garden is set around Bodnant Hall, also called Bodnant House - Bodnant Garden




wales3425Beyond the terraced gardens near Bodnant Hall is a wilder, more open section - Bodnant Garden





wales3432I'm clueless when it comes to flowers but I think these are blue hydrangeas on the right - Bodnant Garden



















wales3433A 10min walk from the National Trust property are great views of the River Conwy - Bodnant Garden




















wales3685I'd long seen Gwrych Castle from the coast road and had wanted to visit for some years - Abergele




wales3677The castle was built in the 19th century as a country house rather than for defensive purposes - Abergele





wales3679What were the chances of it being selected for I'm A Celebrity?!!! Didn't even cross my mind.. - Abergele




















wales3675As it was the era of coronavirus the interior areas were closed, but I got this photo from the top of the stairs of The House, the main building containing the entrance hall, library, drawing room and dining room - Abergele























wales3673Restoration works have been going on for years, and many locals didn't know it was open to the public. ITV (producers of I'm A Celebrity) ploughed in some cash, and boy oh boy it's going to be popular in 2021 - Abergele




wales3664Gwrych Castle (Hedged Castle in English) has relied heavily on donations and volunteers to rebuild the site, so I'm A Celebrity has made huge strides to accelerate this. Congratulations! Abergele





wales3694A bit of a long walk from the castle is Pensarn beach, from where you can see Llandudno's Little (& Great?) Orme, out of picture - Abergele




















wales3699There's not much to recommend Rhyl, a beach resort further east along the coast. Lots of regeneration money has been spent but the town and seafront still look run down and in need of a boost




wales3704Having said that, the beach is very wide, though not particularly soft and inviting - Rhyl





wales3714But this place is cool, Pro Kitesurfing, which offers kitesurfing and wakeboarding lessons and has a small outdoor bar-cafe - Rhyl




















wales3715 Can't escape the Ormes, Little or Great! Rhyl





















wales4011Of course I have to include my home town of Prestatyn, a little further east again on the north Wales coast, starting with this brilliant view of the town from the Hillside Gardens (the Great Orme is out of picture on the left)




wales4019A sculpture of a Roman soldier's helmet lies below the Hillside Gardens (previous photo) - Prestatyn




wales80The North Hoyle Offshore Wind Farm is situated 7.5km off the coast. It consists of 30 turbines providing electricity for 40,000 homes, and may well have expanded since - Prestatyn





wales103A close up of the North Hoyle Offshore Wind Farm from Prestatyn





















wales296Prestatyn beach runs the whole way along the town's coast, from Talacre to Rhyl - Prestatyn




















wales3745Prestatyn is probably best known as the start or finish of the Offa's Dyke Path - signified by the Dechrau a Diwedd sculpture - which largely follows the England/Wales border for 285km from Prestatyn to Chepstow in the south



wales4020On the rail station platgform is a sculpture of a hiker, no doubt referring to walkers on the Offa's Dyke Path - Prestatyn




wales3742As a kid we called this disused 18th century lead mine Fish Cave, found off the Bishopswood trail - Prestatyn




wales3737The coronavirus lockdown inspired this COVID-19 snake, which stretches along the Prestatyn-Dyserth Way. People are invited to add their messages painted on stones - Prestatyn



















wales297The disused Prestatyn to Dyserth train line is now a popular walking trail. On the left you can just make out a distant Prestatyn plus the wind farm - Meliden




wales3725Take a trail leading off the Prestatyn-Dyserth Way that rises up to Craig Fawr, a viewpoint with great views of the surrounding coast - Meliden





wales3726It doesn't feel like north Wales if you can't see the Little or Great Orme, here with Rhyl in the foreground - Meliden





















wales3729There's great views of the coast, offshore wind farm and Prestatyn - Meliden





















wales3735The top of Craig Fawr is only a 15min walk from the railway path below - Meliden




wales73Cute little Dyserth waterfall, a 10min walk from the end of the Prestatyn-Dyserth Way path - Dyserth
























wales6513th century Rhuddlan Castle, another built by King Edward I, stands above the River Clwyd - Rhuddlan





wales3748Shortly after Prestatyn is Talacre



















wales3746The beach resort is known for its caravan parks - Talacre





















wales3749The 18th century Point of Ayr lighthouse - Talacre




wales4130Thanks to Andy Gill for this great photo of a storm over Point of Ayr lighthouse - Talacre




wales3754Birdwatchers might want a visit to the Dee Estuary - Point of Ayr reserve, which is accessed via boardwalks parallel to the water and marshland - Talacre





wales StAsaph14th century St Asaph Cathedral in St Asaph, the second smallest city in Britain and known as Llanelwy in Welsh



















wales4025At the bottom of the hill from the Cathedral is St Asaph Parish Church - St Asaph




















wales302The 19th century Marble Church, or St Margaret's Church, has a cemetery of WWI graves, many of them Canadian soldiers who died in a flu epidemic in 1919, after the war ended - Bodelwyddan




wales TremeirchionSome lovely Welsh countryside near Tremerchion





wales313The market town of Ruthin has several historic buildings, this being Nantclwyd y Dre, a 14th century timber townhouse which is now a museum


















wales314The entrance to Ruthin Castle, a medieval castle built by Edward I in the 13th century - Ruthin




















wales316In the grounds of the castle is a fantastic Welsh dragon painted on Welsh slate - Ruthin




wales324The castle is now a luxury hotel - Ruthin






wales4030Near the start of the Greenfield Valley Heritage Park trail are the ruins of 12th century Basingwork Abbey - Greenfield




















wales120The Greenfield Valley Heritage Park is dedicated to the area's industrial past. This photo is of the 19th century Cotton Mills - Greenfield


















wales4028On the heritage trail up to Holywell - Greenfield




















wales4033A short walk off the trail and along Greenfield Road is St Winefride's Well, a shrine dubbed 'the Lourdes of Wales' - Holywell




wales4040The waters of the well are said to give miracle cures of the sick, as evidenced by etched graffiti on the walls of the shrine by grateful recipients - Holywell






wales4039It's also possible to bathe in the waters at specific times and to drink the water from a poolside tap (a bit metallic, as expected!) - Holywell





















wales3758The Arc sculpture honours the coal and steel workers - Wrexham




wales3759This 2018 mural depicts silhouettes of WWI soldiers and commemorates 100 years since the end of World War I - Wrexham






wales3761A shopping arcade in the town centre - Wrexham


















wales3764 The towering 15th century St Giles' Church - Wrexham


















wales3766That might be Elvis outside the Rock Suite Cafe - Wrexham




wales3768A message for the wealthy: Eat The Rich - Wrexham







wales3774The National Trust property of Erddig is only 3.5km south of Wrexham





















wales3775Erddig Hall is set within a huge 1,900 acres of estate grounds - Wrexham




















wales3776Only the grounds were open post coronavirus lockdown, hopefully this changes in 2021 - Wrexham




wales3777A perfectly manicured tree-lined path within the grounds of Erddig - Wrexham





Website and content Copyright © 2008-2022 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.


LINKS - Wales tourist board - guide to north Wales - Snowdonia guide - - take a train up Mt Snowdon, Wales' highest mountain - more info on Snowdon - guide to mid Wales - another site focused on mid Wales - guide to south Wales - Britain's official tourism website - train information across Britain - Wales public transport journey planner - National Express coaches cover Britain


I am not responsible for the content of external websites.