Denbigh, meaning 'small fort' is one of the largest and strongest walled towns in the whole of Wales.
It survived Welsh Prince Owain Glyndŵr’s uprising in 1400. Not bad for a place with a little name. The gate house alone is one of the toughest defensive structures of its time. In fact, the fortress, was so sturdy it took Cromwell’s army four months to get the better of it.
If it’s a view you're after, you’re in the right place. The Clwydian Range is officially an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. More than 20 miles of rocky hills, green vales, heathery moors and woodland. It’s a Mecca for mountain bikers.
You don’t need any off-road experience for Denbigh’s other past-time. Shopping. Denbigh was a market town when Edward I arrived. There’s still a market in Crown Square every Wednesday. And a People’s Market every month. Where you can pick up something delicious. The best food is local so it’s fresher. And it doesn’t have far to go, so you won’t be notching up food miles. Which makes it better for the environment. Should you need a good excuse for a spending spree.
We’ve other great excuses, too. The food hall at the Denbigh and Flint Show in August is just one of them. While you’re there you can see award-winning livestock, learn the correct way to handle an air-rifle, and watch proper jousting by the Knights of the Damned. Only in Denbigh.
If you want to learn a thing or two, head for the Library. Built in 1572. Restored in 1780. Today it houses a museum all about the history of Denbigh. As well as the keys to the Town Walls. Which can be borrowed. So you can explore the Countess Tower. And the Goblin Tower.
Or spend an afternoon fishing the fast flowing trout-filled River Dee. Catch the best view of it from Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a terrifying 126 feet up. Then there’s St Asaph’s ancient Cathedral dating back to 560 AD. It’s the smallest ancient cathedral in the UK and houses William Morgan’s first Welsh translation of the bible. Or Edward I’s other nearby castle at Rhuddlan.