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Rhyl - Overview

Rhyl is a Victorian seaside resort and watering place on the north-east coastline of Wales. Boasting a long, sandy beach and an ideal location off the A5 coast road of north Wales, Rhyl developed as a new town in the 1830s and 1840s largely due to the rise of sea bathing tourism. Its close proximity to Liverpool and Manchester quickly made it a popular destination with tourists from the north-west of England, while the arrival of the railway in 1848 introduced visitors from London. The town rapidly enlarged and improved, providing all the facilities required of a seaside destination including a 2,115ft long pier, an artificial boating lake, pleasure rides and miniature railway.

According to a guidebook written by Mark Luke Louis, an immigrant from France, in 1854, Rhyl boasted one of the most modern train stations, finest baths, libraries and reading rooms, not to mention elegant hotels lining the seafront. In addition to praising these modern holiday amenities, Alphonse Esquiros from France also highlighted the sight of the mountains of Snowdonia further inland creating a most picturesque backdrop for this coastal town.

By the second half of the century, Rhyl’s reputation as a fine holiday destination had travelled far and wide, and coasting steamers from Liverpool and Lancashire docked here routinely. In the twentieth century the town showed off the world’s first passenger hovercraft service. Thanks to the town’s modern layout, healthy climate and broad offer of popular attractions at affordable rates, another French writer, D’Arcis, praised Rhyl as an ideal destination for families and a children’s paradise, which came alive every summer. He was particularly fond of the beautiful and safe beaches, the orchestras playing across town and the many puppet plays which were on show for children.

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