Top 8 Things To Do In Denbighshire



Denbighshire, at the top of North Wales, has been inhabited since at least the Paleolithic times. A Neanderthal burial site discovered in Pontnewydd dates back over 200,000 years – the oldest evidence of habitation in Britain. No surprises, then, that this slice of Britain is well-known for its history. 

Today, it’s home to natural attractions, such as Blue Flag-certified, golden-sand beaches and historic sites including castles, mansions and more. Read on to discover the eight best things to do in Denbighshire. 

Dinas Brân seen from above

Visit a castle

If massive stone fortresses are your thing, Denbighshire is the place to go. This Welsh county was once fought fiercely over, which means that today it has no fewer than five mighty castles to visit. Denbigh Castle, Dinas Brân, Rhuddlan Castle, and Ruthin Castle were all built in the 13th century, while Bodelwyddan Castle was originally built in the 15th century and largely reconstructed at the beginning of the 19th century. 

Also worth a visit is Caer Drewyn Hillfort, an Iron Age fortification which sits rather imposingly above Corwen, with splendid views over the Dee Valley.

Go to the seaside

Denbighshire’s coastline is packed with family-friendly sandy beaches: our top picks are Rhyl East beach and Prestatyn, both of which are Blue Flag-certified. 

Rhyl deserves a special mention as it’s been designed for accessibility (and sand-friendly wheelchairs are available for hire if needed). Expect all the trappings of a traditional seaside town, from seafront amusement arcades to donkey rides and a giant aquarium. 

Prestatyn is popular with sailors, swimmers and windsurfers, and also has seaside attractions such as an arcade. With around five miles of golden sand, there’s plenty of space to spread out. 

Want some inspiration for other places to go? Read our guide to the best Denbighshire towns to visit. 

See campsites near Rhyl.

Visit the UK’s smallest cathedral

With a population of just over 3,000, St Asaph is the UK’s second smallest city. It’s home to a correspondingly small cathedral, which was built in the 13th century and claims to be the smallest ancient cathedral in Britain. Whether or not that’s true (there are a couple of other contenders), its Gothic construction and pint-sized proportions make St Asaph’s cathedral one of the top things to see in Denbighshire. 

See campsites near St Asaph

Steam trains are a serious business in LlangollenRide the Rhyl Railway

Rhyl’s Marine Lake is worth a visit for several reasons – it’s the only salt-water lake in North Wales, it has no fewer than two play areas and you can try everything from sailing and kayaking to waterskiing or kneeboarding here. The most compelling reason, however, has to be the presence of the Rhyl Miniature Railway. This is the oldest miniature railway still in operation in the UK. Take a ride and you’ll chug around the perimeter of Marine Lake on tiny trains dating back to the 1920s.

If you can’t get enough of heritage railway routes, a full-size steam train runs from Llangollen station through the Dee Valley all the way to Corwen, and is well worth a trip for the views alone. 

See our range of campsites near Llangollen

Get out and about 

Denbighshire has plenty of gorgeous countryside to explore, including the Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We’ve picked some of the best routes for you with our guide to the best walks in Denbighshire

Want a bit more adrenaline? Several companies run activities guaranteed to get your heart rate up. Try white water rafting, kayak over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, go canyoneering or get to grips with gorge walking and rock climbing.

Explore campsites near the River Dee.

Look out for fiery red squirrels in Plas NewyddExplore pretty Plas Newydd

Run by the National Trust, Plas Newydd is an historic mansion set in rolling acres of woodland and landscaped grounds. It’s poised on the edge of the Menai Strait with fabulous views across to Snowdonia. Look out for rare red squirrels as you stroll around, or go on a guided walk with one of the Plas Newydd red squirrel rangers. 

See campsites near Plas Newydd.

Get hands-on with history at Llangollen Museum

From the outside, Llangollen Museum looks a little forbidding: it’s a squat, tower-shaped building with no windows above its half-way point. The inside is much more welcoming, with interactive exhibits telling the story of Llangollen from the Stone Age to the modern day, plus dressing-up outfits for kids to try on. 

Other interesting museums in the area include the Fifties Museum in Denbigh (a treasure trove of everything 50s, from pop music to motor cars) and Nantwich y Dre in Ruthin (a timbered town house with rooms which recreate eras from the 14th to 20th centuries).

Find campsites near Denbigh.

Contemplate life behind bars at Ruthin Gaol

Ever wondered what prison was like in the Victorian era? Ruthin Gaol aims to answer that question as comprehensively as possible. While strolling around the Pentonville-style prison, you’ll learn about characters like John Jones (the 'Welsh Houdini', who escaped from Ruthin twice), find out what daily life was like for prisoners and gain insight into crime and punishment in Victorian Britain. Keep your eyes opened for ghosts in Ruthin’s death row cells – the prison is said to be haunted. 

See campsites near Ruthin, or browse all campsites in Denbighshire

Ready to get your teeth stuck into more of Denbighshire’s rich history – or simply want to pretend you’re a medieval knight? Check out our guide to the best castles in Denbighshire.