This was our first big Welsh trip, having only been to Wrexham and then spending the other half of the day back in England in Chester, this was our first full day out to Wales. We got the train through the Merseyrail system once again and then headed into North Wales from Chester, to Rhyl where we got the bus to the newest city in Wales, St Asaph…
Status: Denbighshire, City, Wales
Travel: Merseyrail (Southport – Chester Via Liverpool Moorfields), Arriva Trains Wales (Chester – Rhyl) Arriva Bus (Rhyl – St Asaph)
Eating & Sleeping: Farm Shop
Attractions: Cathedral, River Elwy, Henry Morgan Stanley Pole, Bible Translators Memorial etc
This is a map of St Asaph with a variety of interesting things for visitors to see, with a variety of interesting buildings aside from the main cathedral to see. This is located before you cross the river Elwy and head up the hill towards the cathedral.
This pole is dedicated to Henry Morton Stanley, a famous Victorian explorer, who met David Livingstone in Africa and uttered the immortal line “Dr Livingston, I presume?”. The totem pole documents his life as it goes around, and a board next to it gives a more in depth history.
The pole can be found after crossing the river Elwy, at the bottom of cathedral hill.
This is St Asaph cathedral, and the main reason we decided to visit St Asaph. For Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 three UK towns were designated as cities, in England – Chelmsford, in Scotland – Perth, and in Wales – St Asaph. As it was the newest Welsh city, and at this point I had only ever been to Cardiff with my Dad, this would be my second ever Welsh city, although Gemma had already previously been to Bangor, Cardiff, Newport and Swansea. We thought we were mad when we first decided to visit, as it involved a long journey through to Rhyl, and then a bus journey, however as you can see we made it. St Asaph is the second smallest city in the UK so it didn’t take too long to see what we wanted to see. The cathedral is the stand out feature of the new city, and is also one of the smallest UK cathedrals.
The oldest surviving parts of the current cathedral date back to the 13th century, but a large portion of it was destroyed. The building was later restored and the new parts of the current cathedral were built during the Tudor period, and restored again in the 19th century.
Having such an ancient cathedral, St Asaph has always been thought of as a city, so in 2012 it was finally made official.
The monument that stands outside the cathedral on the green is a memorial to the translators of the Bible.
The cathedral and the monument sit atop a hill in the middle of the city and can be seen from a wide area around the city.
This bridge crosses the river Elwy, and one my favourite images that I try to take in various towns and cities is that of an old bridge crossing a river with a large, impressive old clock tower, town hall or cathedral behind it. This nearly worked here as the cathedral can be seen, but it shows it up on the hill. Walking down the river is very pleasant and as its a small city it isn’t too busy so its more like walking around a small town.
St Asaph is a lovely city, with an ancient cathedral that is worth visiting. The main road running through North Wales, from Chester to Holyhead passes directly past the city so it has good road connections. There are no train stations in the city but there are good bus routes to nearby towns including Rhyl on the coast.
Later on I will post the second part of our day trip, the seaside town of Rhyl.