Nearing Christmas, we decided to head into Wales, as we hadn’t yet been together. As Chester is on the Merseyrail network it was easy to get to, and from there it wasn’t far to the largest town in North Wales, Wrexham.
Status: Wrexham County Borough, Town, Wales
Travel: Merseyrail (Southport – Chester, Via Moorfields), Arriva Trains Wales (Chester – Wrexham)
Eating & Sleeping: N/A
Attractions: St Giles Church, Wrexham Cathedral, Wrexham Markets, County Borough Museum etc
St Giles church is the parish church of Wrexham, and its tower is considered one of the 7 wonders of Wales. It can be seen for miles around as is a local landmark in the area. Inside, the church looked very impressive, as with a lot of old churches it was very ornate and stone clad. It stands in the middle of the town, only a very short walk away from the main shopping areas.
Work on the tower began in 1506, and stands 135 feet high. During the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Elizabeth II in 2012, a beacon was lit on the top of the tower, one of many throughout the UK. Tours are available regularly up the tower, and afford a good view over Wrexham.
We passed the cathedral of St Mary’s on our walk from the station, unfortunately when we went it was shut, but from outside it looks very distinctive with it’s spire. When it was first built back in 1857, it was the parish church of Wrexham. It became a cathedral in 1898 when a new diocese was established in the area, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wrexham.
As we went around Christmas time, a tree was up in the main centre of the town, and the markets were also set up. The setting was very pleasant, and after the brief rain shower stopped the sun made an appearance for us. We got a chocolate love spoon in the tourist information office, which are normally made of wood and given as a gift of romance. The earliest known love spoon that has been found in Wales dates back to 1667, and is held in the St Fagans National History Museum near Cardiff. They hail from various countries but the Welsh one is the most famous. We couldn’t resist getting a chocolate one to munch on later!
As we headed back towards the train station (one of two in the town that provide regular services to the Welsh Capital, Cardiff, as well as Chester and London, as well as various other places, we passed the county borough museum. The museum gives a fascinating insight into local history, of the town and people of Wrexham and surrounding area, especially the coal mining days.
After we had finishing sightseeing, we headed back to Chester, to begin part 2 of our day out.