I was on assignment for the iNewspaper travel section as part of its Winter Weekend series.
The North Wales city is an unlikely hot ticket for a UK city break in 2024 — and not just for football fans.
Here’s a taster of the text:
A former industrial town in North Wales isn’t the obvious winter warmer — but Wrexham is having a moment.
When the actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought the local football club in 2020 [pictured above], it was a story worthy of a Hollywood epic for the third oldest football club in the world, dating from 1864.
Wrexham first made its name during the Industrial Revolution for its mining but, after a sprinkling of tinsel-town stardust, the industrial-heritage sites are now visitor attractions, independent businesses are reviving closed-down shops and match days draw new-found fans from across the pond.
Wrexham was granted city status in 2022 after narrowly losing out to Bradford to host the UK City of Culture 2025.
The new Football Museum for Wales is coming to the former Wrexham Museum (now closed) in 2026 and Wrexham is bidding for City of Culture 2029.
They inspired this feature about the Hollywood glamour of the formerly workaday town in Northeast Wales for Telegraph Travel.
Here’s a taster of the article.
The streets of the former industrial town in Northeast Wales were packed last night with fans from across the world cheering on the open-top bus parade from the Racecourse ground, home of Wrexham AFC.
It marked the Wrexham team securing promotion back to the English Football League after 15 years and consisted of three buses, featuring the men’s side and women’s side, which also clinched promotion.
The club’s Hollywood co-owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney [pictured above] completed the line-up, having bought the club in 2020 and transformed its fortunes.
It’s a story worthy of a Hollywood epic for the third oldest professional football club in the world, dating from 1864, and compensates for Wrexham narrowly losing out to Bradford to host the UK City of Culture 2025 last year.
Jim Jones, CEO of North Wales Tourism, says:
“You can’t put a value on the recent exposure. Wrexham is the gateway to North Wales and the whole world now wants to know the story of Wrexham and the region.”
A weekend in North Wales then, copywriting a couple of tourism itineraries for This Is Wrexham.
The second trip was based in the Ceiriog Valley, exploring the attractions of a sometimes less visited part of North Wales.
Here’s a flavour of the story:
It’s a view to stop you in your tracks — looking across the village and up the valley to the Berwyn range.
“I’ve painted this view numerous times, trying to capture the soft colours and long shadows,” smiles the artist Rosie Davies, surrounded by her sketchpads and work-in-progress watercolours at her Ceiriog Valley art studio.
Rosie changed careers to move to the village of Llanarmon from Cheshire and now devotes her time to capturing the natural beauty of this lost-in-time area of Wrexham County.
“The valley is like another world,” adds Rosie, who opens her studio at the Tithe Barn to visitors on the second Saturday of the month.
“I’ve finally found the tranquility and inspiration to fulfill my ambition to paint.”