Sand castles and sunbathers on Rhyl beach

Family fun in Rhyl and Prestatyn

Rhyl and Prestatyn may be enjoying a thoroughly modern makeover, but it is still all about fun and value-for-money. Generations of families flock to the North Wales coast to enjoy good old-fashioned seaside holidays at their very best.

Rhyl and Prestatyn. The names go together like fish and chips, Punch and Judy, sea and sand, conjuring up visions of the traditional Great British seaside holiday in all its unabashed glory.

The image is a bit of a cliché, really, but it’s true: this vibrant strip of North Wales coast still offers the best in all-out fun, value-for-money family holidays, in the great bucket-and-spade tradition.

But that doesn’t mean they’re not constantly evolving. At Rhyl, the old funfair may have gone, but in 2013 it was replaced with the sophisticated £85m Ocean Plaza. Not to be outdone, Prestatyn has a big shopping park and superb four-mile beach and dunes.

Donkeys on Rhyl beach

Simon Townsend runs Rhyl Miniature Railway, one of the area’s most beloved attractions. He says:

“There’s so much regeneration going on. There is the new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the harbour, so you are able to walk across to a sandy outcrop called Horton’s Nose, which is very scenic and has got interpretation panels and walking boards, with great views along the promenade."


This adds another attraction to a long list which already includes sandy beaches, promenade, golf, cinema and arts centre, theatre, horse riding, kitesurfing, sailing, waterskiing, BMX and cycling tracks , fishing, tennis, bowling, SeaQuarium… and of course the grand-daddy of them all, Rhyl Miniature Railway, which opened way back in 1911.

“We’ve got a great heritage, so we often get elderly couples who say that they went on our trains in the 1960's,” says Simon. “Our visitors are always a family group, children with parents or grandparents, and the heritage is passed on down the generations.”

Mother, father and two young children walking along Prestatyn Seafront

Many visitors stay on the numerous holiday parks and caravan sites here; some are day-trippers from Liverpool and Manchester; others come from as far afield as Ireland for their annual hols. Many use Rhyl and Prestatyn as a base from which to explore Snowdonia, the borderlands, Llŷn Peninsula and Anglesey. It works the other way, too: wherever they’re staying in North Wales, day-trippers come here to enjoy the all the facilities of resorts that are made with one thing in mind: fun. It’s all about the fun.