Rhos-on-Sea

Rhos-on-Sea or Llandrillo-yn-Rhos in Welsh, is a charming small seaside town in Conwy County (formerly Clwyd), North Wales, with a population of around 7,500. It is placed between Llandudno and Colwyn Bay and although it is a mile to the north,  it is effectively a suburb of Colwyn Bay.

The town is named after the Welsh kingdom of Rhos established there in late Roman times as a sub-kingdom of Gwynedd, and later became a cantref (hundred).

View onto Rhos-on-Sea from Bryn Euryn

View onto Rhos-on-Sea from Bryn Euryn

A popular residential and retirement area, the village centres on the harbour and the seafront. Although often busy with traffic, the village has retained an old-fashioned charm and has an interesting variety of independent small shops to browse around. It is well served with cafes, ice cream parlours and restaurants too, but is an amusement arcade-free zone.

Rhos-on-Sea's 'high street' lined with tall Victorian terraced buildings

Rhos-on-Sea’s ‘high street’ lined with tall Victorian terraced buildings

The Rhos-on-Sea section of the promenade (and cycle path) stretches from the Cayley embankment via Rhos Point and on to Penrhyn Bay in the west. Opposite the shopping streets on the promenade next to the Tourist Office is a small landscaped area with seating, known as Combemere Gardens.

140921-Rhos-on-Sea-gardens

140921-Rhos-on-Sea-gardens plaque

The centrepiece of the gardens is the figure of a fisherman woven from live willow

The centrepiece of the gardens is the figure of a fisherman woven from living willow

On the other side of the buildings from the garden is a wooden jetty that marks one side of the harbour. The jetty is popular in the summer for a spot of  ‘crabbing’. The necessary equipment – i.e. a crabbing line and a bucket to hold your catch – can be bought from the shop next to the tourist information centre.The local crabs seem to have no objection to being caught in exchange for a bite of bacon or ham, but they do expect to be freed to be caught again another day.

9/8/11-Crabbing from the jetty, Rhos-on-Sea

Crabbing from the jetty, Rhos-on-Sea

Rhos-on-Sea Harbour

The Rhos harbour was created by the formation of a rock breakwater designed to protect the village of Rhos-on-Sea from flooding during high tides. Several boats sail from Rhos Harbour Jetty and tickets for boat trips and fishing trips are available from the angling shop at Rhos Point.

Rhos-on-Sea harbour is protected by a substantial rock seabreak

Rhos-on-Sea harbour is protected by a substantial rock breakwater

The harbour and view across Colwyn Bay

The harbour and view across Colwyn Bay

Following the promenade around past the harbour in the westerly direction of Penrhyn Bay, you will notice a small stone octagonally-shaped building. This was the original ticket office for the pier that was once located here.

The ticket-office for the pier that once existed here

The ticket-office for the pier that once existed here

The Pier - Extract from the Heritage Trail narrative board (click to enlarge)

The Pier – Extract from the Heritage Trail narrative board (click to enlarge)

How Rhos on Sea Pier looked

pier

Rhos on Sea Pier was originally the Douglas, Isle of Man Pier and was built in 1869. It was taken down, sold to Rhos on Sea and rebuilt in 1896. A far longer pier than Colwyn Bay it serviced pleasure boats between Liverpool, Rhyl, and Conwy. During the second world war it was decided that a portion be removed from the centre of the structure to prevent any attempts of landing by enemy troops. Shortly after the end of the war it was demolished completely as it was deemed unsafe.

The anchor of the sunk vessel The Rhosneiger

The anchor of the sunk vessel The Rhos Neiger

Rhos Point

Rhos Point promontory marks the east point of Penrhyn Bay and the west point of Colwyn Bay. Battered by the Irish Sea it can appear a barren landscape but look closely and you will be surprised at the abundance of wildlife on Rhos Point. Ringed plover, cormorants, turnstones, oystercatchers, curlews, red shanks, dunlins, and sometimes during the winter,purple sandpipers, can all be observed. If you want to do a bit of bird spotting without getting your feet wet – then the promenade close to St Trillo’s Chapel is a good viewpoint. A visit during the hours either side of high tide can be the best time to view the birds, as it concentrates them close to the shore.

You may notice the remains of wooden posts in places along the rocky shore; these are remnants of a medieval Fishing Weir that operated here.

Rhos on Sea promenade from seashore with line of old fishing weir posts

Rhos on Sea promenade from seashore with line of old fishing weir posts

140913TGNW-Rhos seashore-narrative board-fishing weir

Medieval Fishing Weir-extract from Heritage Trail narrative board

The weir may be of medieval origin but it was still being fished in the early 20th Century.

fishweir2

Old photograph of the Fishing Weir – the caption says “Big Mackerel Catch at Rhos”

Keep walking along the promenade and you will arrive at the tiny chapel of St Trillo, click on link  to chapel’s own page.

st trillo's chapel

St Trillo’s chapel

Nature Reserves

Within easy reach of the village are the nature reserves of Bryn Euryn, Rhiwledyn on the Little Orme, and the woodland of Pwllycrochan behind Colwyn Bay.


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