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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How Rhos on Sea Pier looked
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.
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.
The weir may be of medieval origin but it was still being fished in the early 20th Century.
Keep walking along the promenade and you will arrive at the tiny chapel of St Trillo, click on link to chapel’s own page.
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.