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Welsh: Y Rhyl

Rhyl is located in Denbighshire
 Rhyl shown within Denbighshire
Population 25,149 (2011)
OS grid reference
Community Rhyl
Principal area Denbighshire
Ceremonial county Clwyd
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town RHYL
Postcode district LL18
Dialling code 01745
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Vale of Clwyd
Welsh Assembly Vale of Clwyd
List of places

Rhyl (; Welsh: Y Rhyl, pronounced ) is a seaside resort town and community in Denbighshire, situated on the north east coast of Wales, at the mouth of the River Clwyd (Welsh: Afon Clwyd). To the west is the suburb of Kinmel Bay, with the resort of Towyn further west, Prestatyn to the east and Rhuddlan to the south. At the 2011 Census, Rhyl had a population of 25,149.[1] The conurbation of Abergele-Rhyl-Prestatyn has a population of over 60,000.

Historically part of Flintshire, Rhyl has long been a popular tourist destination for people from all over Britain.

Once an elegant Victorian resort, there was an influx of people from Liverpool and Manchester after the Second World War changing the face of the town. The area had declined dramatically by 1990, but has since improved due to a series of regeneration projects bringing in major investment. European funding, secured by the Welsh Government, has produced millions for the development of Rhyl's seafront.

The town is also the post town for one of three acute general hospitals in North Wales. Glan Clwyd Hospital, located in nearby Bodelwyddan, is the second largest of the three (after Wrexham Maelor) and provides emergency care and general surgery.


  • Etymology 1
  • Buildings and landmarks 2
    • Marine Lake 2.1
    • Regeneration project 2.2
  • Politics 3
    • Education 3.1
  • Sport 4
  • Transport 5
  • Notable people 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The origin of the name "Rhyl" is not fully known. However, the name appears in old documents variously as Hyll (1506), Hull (1508), [Leidiart] yr Hyll (1597), Rhil (1706), Rhûl (1749), Rhul (1773) Rhyll (1830), and Rhyl (1840),[2] all of which are variations (and some anglicizations) of an uncertain original form. Other suggestions have been made that it might derive from the similar sounding Yr Hill (as in "The Hill") or Yr Heol "(The Street)". Another theory is that the name Rhyl originates from the Welsh Tŷ'n yr haul meaning "House in the sun". The oldest known dwelling is called Tŷ'n rhyl; and the town marketed itself as a resort as 'Sunny Rhyl'.

Front page of the earliest surviving copy of the Welsh newspaper The Rhyl Advertiser; 5 January 1878

Buildings and landmarks

Rhyl promenade, looking east, c.1870
Rhyl clock tower and East Parade

A Rhyl landmark was the Pavilion Theatre, an ornate building with five domes, which was demolished in 1973, and the adjacent pier which was finally removed in 1972. Rhyl's top attractions on the West Parade are now Rhyl Children's Village theme park and the 250-foot (76 m) high Sky Tower (formerly the Clydesdale Bank tower, brought to Rhyl from the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival), which opened in 1993, but closed to the public in 2010.[3][4]

On the East Parade is the SeaQuarium and the Rhyl Suncentre. The Suncentre was an indoor leisure centre which opened in 1980 at a cost of £4.25m and featured a heated swimming pool and Europe's first indoor surfing pool.[5] The local council closed the centre in early 2014.[6] Next door stands the New Pavilion Theatre, which opened in 1991. A run of traditional beach shops runs alongside the sea front. The Carneddau mountains can be seen from the beach.

Barratt's of Tyn Rhyl is the oldest house in Rhyl. It is run as a hotel and restaurant.

The derelict Welsh Baptist Tabernacle Chapel built in 1867 has been bought by the Muslim community and been renamed the Islamic Cultural Centre.

Marine Lake

Former Ocean Beach Funfair site (December 2007)

The Marine Lake, an artificial excavation in the west of the town, used to be a tourist destination, with fairground rides and a zoo. The lake is a 12 hectares man-made reservoir and it was officially opened in 1895. Rhyl Miniature Railway is the only original attraction remaining on the site, a narrow gauge railway that travels around the lake and is now based at the new museum and railway centre. There is also a playground and numerous watersports clubs based around the lake.

The Marine Lake Funfair was demolished in the late 1960s, having been replaced by the nearby Ocean Beach Funfair. Ocean Beach finally closed on 2 September 2007 and was demolished to make way for a planned new development, Ocean Plaza. This was to include apartments, a hotel and various retail outlets.[7] However, work on Ocean Plaza never went ahead as scheduled and the land lay vacant for several years after the original developers, Modus Properties, went bankrupt in 2009. The site was sold to a new company, Scarborough Development Group (SDG), in 2010, but again no work commenced on the site for several years. In 2014, SDG submitted revised plans to develop the land on a much smaller scale than the original plans.[8] Now called Marina Quay, the plans no longer include the building of new apartments on the land as Natural Resources Wales' flood regulations now prohibit this.[9] The plans were approved by the local authority in November 2014. In August 2015, The Range retail chain signed a 20-year lease and plan to open a new superstore on the site.[10]

Regeneration project

In an effort to regenerate and boost declining tourism, a number of projects are under way or proposed. Projects include the Drift Park development on the promenade and the reopening of the town's miniature railway around the Marine Lake.

The West End of Rhyl is undergoing much reconstruction. There is a major investment of about £4 million at Rhyl College, a satellite site of Llandrillo College.[11] 2010 part of Rhyl College the new Sixth form centre.

They have partnered with Sony to redesign Rhyl Cinema in 3D and in 4K resolution: it was finished and unveiled in July 2011.

In 2015, plans were announced to demolish Rhyl Sun Centre and build an exhibition centre in its place. The Sun Centre, which was open for over 30 years, closed in 2013.


Ann Jones, who has lived in Rhyl all her life, has been the Assembly Member for the Vale of Clwyd since 1999. James Davies has been the MP for Rhyl since 2015.


The first Welsh medium secondary school was opened in Rhyl in 1956 on Rhuddlan Road and was called Ysgol Glan Clwyd. The school then moved to St. Asaph in 1969. The building now houses Rhyl's Welsh medium primary school Ysgol Dewi Sant, which in 2009 celebrated 60 years. There are two English medium secondary schools: Rhyl High School and Blessed Edward Jones RC High School.


Rhyl F.C. is a football club which historically played in English non-league football, but has competed since 1992 in the Welsh football pyramid. In the 2003–04 season they won the Welsh Premiership Championship, the Welsh Cup and the Welsh League Cup, and were losing finalists in the FAW Premier Cup. In the 2008–09 season they again won the Welsh Premier League.

On 17 May 2010, it was announced that Rhyl's Welsh Premier licence had been revoked. Their appeal was unsuccessful and they were relegated to the Cymru Alliance, returning to the Welsh Premier League in 2013 after winning the Cymru Alliance title, becoming the first club in the history of the competition to complete the season unbeaten.

Rhyl is also home to the inline hockey club Rhyl Renegades, which is the only Welsh club to compete in the pan-European Major League Roller Hockey Europe competition.


Rhyl railway station is on the North Wales Coast Line and is served by through trains provided by Virgin Trains between Holyhead and London Euston, and Arriva Trains Wales services to Cardiff Central via Newport and Crewe, and to Manchester Piccadilly.

The A548 road runs through the town, connecting it to the A55 Holyhead to Chester road at Abergele.

Notable people

See Category:People from Rhyl


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ The Sun Centre, Rhyl]
  6. ^ Rhyl Sun Centre will not re-open as 'wet attraction'
  7. ^
  8. ^ News North Wales
  9. ^ Daily Post
  10. ^ Daily Post (4 Aug 2015)
  11. ^
  12. ^ Rolland's Obituary in The Independent - 26 August 1997

External links

  • BBC Rhyl page
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