If you ever doubted the impact a little bit of stardust could have on a town, look no further than Wrexham. Once the largest city in North Wales and an industrial powerhouse, neglect and economic stagnation brought the town to its knees in the 21st century, a place where memory spoke louder than expectations. All that changed when Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney expressed an interest in buying Wrexham AFC. It is one of the oldest professional football clubs on the planet but one that, much like the town itself, was struggling to keep its head above water.
Things To Do in Wrexham Wales
What followed is something for the history books, as the football club rose from the ashes and the town followed suit. New life has been breathed into its streets, and a town of fascination and innovation shimmers once more. In many ways, the Netflix smash hit Welcome to Wrexham documentary was just the beginning. These are the best things to do in Wrexham right now, a collection of attractions and experiences that showcase the very best this charming city offers.
If the popular Netflix series inspires you to travel to Wales, here's what to do in Wrexham.
Wander The Gardens at Erddig
The jewel in Wrexham's glittering crown is Erddig, a Grade-I listed National Trust property a short walk from the center of town. Constructed in the 17th century for the High Sheriff of Denbighshire, Erddig was saved from ruin in the second half of the 20th century, and what a renovation job it has been. The mansion is a tremendous example of a prestigious country house, and the collection within is the second-largest under the National Trust umbrella.
As with many National Trust spots around the UK, Erddig is as captivating for its surroundings as its collections, and the 18th-century walled garden shimmers with serenity. If you only see one thing in Wrexham, Erddig should be it.
Snap a Welsh Wonder at St Giles Church
At the center of Wrexham sits St Giles' Church, an imposing structure that deserves its place among the Seven Wonders of Wales. This is ecclesiastical architecture at its best, and there is more to the church than the relative simplicity of faith. Climbing the tower is a must (the views of Wrexham are spectacular), and visitors can also learn about the ancient skill of bellringing in the Ringing Room. The bells themselves are old, an understatement, to say the least. The final resting place of Elihu Yale (benefactor of Yale University) is found in the churchyard.
Pick Your Jaw up off The Floor at Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
The countryside surrounding Wrexham is Wales at its best, with composed landscapes punctuated by seemingly ubiquitous sheep and a true sense of peace. You'll find plenty of aqueducts too, and few are as impressive as the majestic Pontcysyllte. The aqueduct (built to carry the Llangollen Canal) is another Grade-I listed structure in the area, and brave visitors can travel across it in a narrowboat.
That isn't for the faint of heart, but the views are predictably jaw-dropping. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Pontcysyllte is the highest canal aqueduct on the planet.
Discover The Past at Wrexham Museum
Significant changes are coming to the Wrexham Museum. The renewed interest in the football club has seen investment acquired to develop the football exhibition here, and a new Football Museum of Wales is under construction.
Still, the Wrexham Museum remains a fascinating window into the town's history, focusing on industry, football, and beer. What more could you want?
Sink a Pint at The Horse and Jockey
Wrexham is a city that likes a pint, and nowhere has beer been served longer than The Horse and Jockey pub. The exterior is a giveaway; the thatched roof and white-washed walls are almost a time machine to the 17th century.
The interior ticks many of the boxes desired in an old pub, even down to the legendary ghost (George, for the record) who wanders the nooks at night. This old building is a square peg in the round hole of Wrexham city center, in the best possible way.
Join The Revolution at Wrexham FC
What an incredible time to be a fan of Wrexham football club. This proud old institution (the club was founded in 1864, making Wrexham the oldest football club in Wales) had fallen on tough times, with memories of glorious nights at the Racecourse Ground fading into dust.
Everything changed when Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney decided they wanted to get involved. One wildly successful Netflix documentary later, Wrexham is on the way up, and the sky's the limit.
Wrexham fans have always been passionate; success will only fuel that fire. Get on board before this one goes into the stratosphere (and by the stratosphere, we mean the lower levels of professional football.)
Learn About Industrial Heritage at Minera Lead Mines & Clywedog Trail
Wrexham's story is fascinating, a tale typical of industrial towns but one accentuated by regional charm and beauty. The Clywedog Trail is a marvelous way to embrace this. The nine-mile walking path takes you through the serene countryside, from the old Minera Lead Mines to Wrexham. Lead was first excavated here in the 13th century, reaching its peak in the 1700s.
Minera is now a hub of information focused on education and understanding. The energetic should consider a hike up Minera Mountain (Mwynglawdd in Welsh.)
Expand Your Mind at The Xplore! Science Discovery Centre
Wrexham's Xplore! Science Discover Centre is the home of science in North Wales, a thrilling place where curiosity is king. This is a fun-for-all-the-family attraction, with interactive exhibitions and educational entertainment everywhere across its 100+ exhibits. The calendar is packed with special events and one-off days, so keep an eye on the social media pages for all the details.
Spend a Night or Two at The Lemon Tree
Wrexham isn't overflowing with brilliant places to stay, but this gorgeous property is all you need. The Lemon Tree started out as a private residence in the 19th century, but it shines today as an excellent hotel with a fabulous restaurant. Whether you are staying the night or not, The Lemon Tree is a delightful option for lunch (and a photograph or three.)
Get Creative at Tŷ Pawb
Tŷ Pawb is Wrexham's one-stop-shop for all things creative. The name translates to “Everybody's House,” which should give you a good idea of what to expect from this cultural hub, housed in a renovated old market. Galleries, cafes, markets, a food court, and more await inside, and also a popular spot for community events and all the rest. Community and markets are integral to Wrexham's proud history, and Tŷ Pawb is keeping that heritage alive.
Explore The Castle in Chirk
The small town of Chirk is just 15 minutes south of Wrexham, and while a charming destination in its own right, it makes a great day trip out of its northern neighbor. It is best known for its eponymous castle, one of the finest examples of a 13th-century castle building surrounded by gorgeous gardens and parklands. Still, there is more to Chirk than just the castle. Chirk Aqueduct gives Pontcysyllte a run for its money in the pretty stakes, while St Mary's Church is everything a market town church should be.
The largest country park in the Wrexham area and a designated Green Flag site, the Alyn Waters Country Park is peace personified. Well, peace is in park form, but you get the point. This type of place deserves time and attention not because of jaw-dropping attractions and excitement but because of the importance of taking a step back and appreciating the silent beauty of the world. Four miles north of Wrexham, the Alyn Waters Country Park is a gorgeous option for a day of serenity.
Welcome to Wrexham, indeed.