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The high street in Wrexham, Wales
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The 11 best things to do in Wrexham

From churches and museums to a blossoming restaurant and pub scene, here are all the best things to do in Wrexham

Written by
John Bills

Whisper it, but Wrexham is on the comeback trail. Wind the clock back a century and a bit, and this was the largest town in Wales: an industrial centre with a growing local community. The struggles that Wales faced in the twentieth century were keenly experienced here, but the twenty-first century has brought renewed optimism, energy and ideas. The Wrexham of today is a different place from the Wrexham of yesterday.

Of course, that isn’t to say that the past has been forgotten. Many of the best things to do in Wrexham celebrate and explore that past, from museums to mines and much more, but this is also a city with its eyes focused on the future. The restaurant and pub scene is blossoming, and the football club might even be on its way back. It is important to emphasise ‘might be’, of course, because celebrity owners are far from a guarantee of anything in the modern game. It is another string to the city’s growing bow of awesome. These are the best things to do in Wrexham right now.

Best things to do in Wrexham

Wander the gardens at Erddig
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Wander the gardens at Erddig

What is it? A stunning Grade-I listed National Trust property just outside the city centre

Why go? There is plenty of competition, but beautiful Erddig is undoubtedly Wrexham’s main event. Built during the seventeenh and eighteenth centuries, this magnificent house is Grade-I listed and demands attention, from the fascinating interior to the sweeping gardens surrounding it. Erddig has the second-largest collection of items in the entire National Trust, and just think of the ground that covers. The walk from the centre of town to Erddig is plenty pleasant too.

Marvel at the most beautiful church in Wales
Photograph: Shutterstock

2. Marvel at the most beautiful church in Wales

What is it? The most beautiful church in Wales. There, we said it

Why go? Wrexham spreads around the majesty of St Giles’s Church, and ‘majesty’ is definitely an understatement there. It has been described as one of the most impressive pieces of ecclesiastical architecture in Wales, but we’re going to go ahead and remove the ‘one of’ there. Christians have been worshipping here for at least 800 years, but never has it been as stunning as it is today. The church tower is one of the Seven Wonders of Wales, and rightly so.

Sleep peacefully at the best hotel in town
Photograph: John Bills

3. Sleep peacefully at the best hotel in town

What is it? A nineteenth-century private residence turned stunning hotel with one of the city’s best restaurants to boot

Why go? The Lemon Tree is arguably the best hotel in Wrexham, and the excellent restaurant is a delicious cherry on top. The building is gorgeous: a nineteenth-century stunner that grabs the attention and refuses to let go. The hotel has grown in recent times, but the refurb has been extremely tasteful, and the staff are flippin’ magnificent. All the thumbs up, all of them.

Enjoy a famous old lager
Photograph: John Bills

4. Enjoy a famous old lager

What is it? What was once one of the world’s most exported lager is experiencing something of a renaissance

Why go? It might sound unbelievable, but there was a time when Wrexham Lager was one of the most exported lagers on the planet. This was at the height of the British Empire, and the 1881-established brew was sent to every corner of the Empire. The twentieth century wasn’t kind to Wrexham Lager (it was dead by the beginning of the twenty-first century), but the brand was revived by local businessmen and goes from strength to strength today.

Sing from the terraces at the Racecourse
Photograph: Shutterstock

5. Sing from the terraces at the Racecourse

What is it? One of the oldest football clubs on the planet, with shiny celebrity owners

Why go? Although success hasn’t been immediate, Wrexham AFC fans can be forgiven for rubbing their eyes and considering whether it is all real or not. The football club was down on its heels in late 2020 when salvation arrived in the form of new owners. Not just any new owners, but new owners straight out of celebrity land. Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have brought new life to the club, and a return to the Football League can’t be that far away. The fans are fantastic.

Start the day off right at Lot 11
Photograph: Lot 11 / Facebook

6. Start the day off right at Lot 11

What is it? Australian-style brunch in the north of Wales

Why go? Wrexham’s coffee scene took a bit of a pounding thanks to the pandemic, but Lot 11 remains strong in the heart of town. The beans are brilliant, the brunch the same, and the service is as convivial as it gets. It is also self-styled as a ‘cafe and hideout’, and we can more than get behind that sort of idea.


7. Embrace the region's industrial past

What is it? A beautiful park and a window into the industrial past of North Wales

Why go? Five miles west of Wrexham, the Minera Lead Mines are situated in a beautiful country park that doubles up as the beginning of the Clywedog Trail. Mining has taken place here since the end of the 13th century, although the last iteration of lead and zinc production ended in 1914. Minera is now a tourist centre committed to teaching visitors about the history of mining in these parts, surrounded by woodland and recreational grounds. The adjoining Minera mountain is a gorgeous hike.

Nurse a pint a the oldest pub in town
Photograph: Rept0n1x / WikiMedia Commons

8. Nurse a pint a the oldest pub in town

What is it? The oldest pub in Wrexham with a gorgeous thatched roof (and a more than acceptable pint)

Why go? Wrexham isn’t short on drinking holes, but the lure of a seventeenth-century pub is too strong to ignore. The Horse and Jockey sits in the centre of the town, and while the interior is fairly generic in the modern world, the exterior is anything but. The thatched roof harks back to very different times. No matter where you are, a drink in the oldest pub in town is a must. Wrexham is no different.


9. Explore the mind and the universe

What is it? A deep dive into curiosity and the magic of science

Why go? Wrexham’s Xplore! Science Centre more than makes up in curiosities what it lacks in that initial ‘E’. More than 100 hands-on exhibits await at the centre – the perfect day out for old and young visitors alike. Everything from the skeletons inside us to the universe around us is explored educationally and engagingly. The centre also offers downloadable science courses, which is pretty excellent.

Take in the views from Pontcysyllte

10. Take in the views from Pontcysyllte

What is it? A gorgeous aqueduct just eight miles from Wrexham

Why go? Wales has several beautiful aqueducts, but the languid setting of Pontcysyllte gives it a leg up on the rest. The aqueduct is still in use (okay, temporarily closed for work at the time of writing, but you get the point), and visitors with nerves of steel can traverse the world’s highest canal aqueduct in a darling narrowboat. The shimmering Llangollen Canal does the work, and the views are borderline miraculous.


11. Dive into the history of the town

What is it? Everything you ever wanted to know about Wrexham and more

Why go? Wrexham’s City Museum is a love letter to this fascinating place. It should be your first port of call for gathering information and getting a deeper understanding of the city. Well, after coffee at Lot 11, obviously. The museum covers everything from the football club and the lager to the city’s storied history, pulling no punches and detailing everything with refreshing honesty from start to finish.

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