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Welsh: Y Rhyl
Rhyl seafront - geograph.org.uk - 1571642.jpg
Rhyl seafront
Grid reference: SJ015815
Location: 53°19’16"N, 3°28’49"W
Population: 24,889  (2001)
Post town: Rhyl
Postcode: LL18
Dialling code: 01745
Local Government
Council: Denbighshire
Vale of Clwyd

Rhyl is a seaside resort town in Flintshire, on the eastern bank of the mouth of the River Clwyd. To the west across the river in Denbighshire is Kinmel Bay, and the resort of Towyn further west. At the 2001 census, Rhyl had a population of 24,889.

Rhyl has long been a popular tourist destination, drawing great numbers in particular from Liverpool and elsewhere in southern Lancashire.

Once an elegant Victorian resort, the changes in holiday patterns after the Second World War changed the face of the town. The area had declined dramatically by 1990. Since then a series of "regeneration" projects have brought investment and Rhyl's seafront has been redeveloped.

Name of the town

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),[1] all of which are variations of an uncertain original form. Other suggestions have been made that it might derive from the similar sounding Yr Hill ("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 in the town is actually called 'Tyn rhyl', which is run as a hotel and restaurant.

Buildings and landmarks

Rhyl landmark until the 1970s were the Pavilion Theatre, an ornate building with five domes demolished in 1973, and the adjacent pier, finally removed in 1972. Rhyl's top attractions on the West Parade are now the 250-foot high Sky Tower, which opened in 1989, and Rhyl Children's Village theme park.

On the East Parade is the SeaQuarium and the Rhyl Suncentre, an indoor leisure swimming pool featuring an indoor monorail, as well as Europe's first indoor surfing pool. 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.

Marine Lake

Ocean Beach Funfair site in 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. 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 eventually replaced by the Ocean Beach Funfair and demolished in the late 1960s. Ocean Beach finally closed on 2 September 2007 to make way for Ocean Plaza, a development which includes apartments, a hotel and retail outlets, including a supermarket.[2]

When Ocean Beach Funfair closed, the Jetstream Rollercoaster was dismantled as a buyer could not be found. There was a plan to remove the Water Chute log flume ride to Margate by the Save Dreamland campaign but they could not raise the money and the main structure of the water chute was dismantled. The Dreamland Campaign managed to salvage the boats and key mechanical parts from the ride. The remaining buildings at Ocean Beach were demolished.

In 2008, some rides from the former Ocean Beach site arrived at Ffrith beach in nearby Prestatyn. These include the spiral Slide, The Pepsi Loop coaster, The Nessi, Dodgems and Waltzers.[3]


  1. "Rhyl". Place Name Research Centre. http://www.e-gymraeg.co.uk/enwaulleoedd/amr/cronfa_en.aspx. Retrieved 19 September 2007. 
  2. "End of an era for Rhyl's funfair". BBC News. 2 September 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/north_east/6968961.stm. Retrieved 18 September 2007. 
  3. "Ffrith Beach". conceptnews.org. http://www.conceptnews.org/ffrith/. Retrieved 14 April 2008. 

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