Holywell takes its name from the town’s major feature, the historic St Winefride’s Well; one of the Seven Wonders of Wales. A grade 1 listed building and scheduled ancient monument built at the beginning of the 16th century, this sophisticated and beautiful building is a gem of late perpendicular architecture and is unique in the world. The well has been a place of continuous pilgrimage for over 1300 years.
Greenfield Valley Heritage & Country Park is a 1½ mile-long linear park following the course of the Holywell Stream between the town and the estuary of the River Dee, and through which the most steeply graded conventional standard gauge railway in the UK once ran.
Here, in addition to St Winefride’s Holy Well and 12th-century Basingwerk Abbey, lie the remains of a number of historic mill buildings, many of which are by now scheduled ancient monuments.
More recently, cottages, farmhouses, and even a Victorian school have been moved here stone by stone from other locations and carefully reconstructed and furnished as they might have been in centuries gone by. The park also boasts a farm museum.
Visitors can also enjoy a number of meandering woodland walks, it has five small lakes including a fishing lake all teeming with wildlife.
The North Wales Pilgrims Way has been way marked, linking ancient churches dedicated to the saints of the 6th century whose gentle faith, entwined with a sense of the beauty and wonder of nature, still echoes with us today. Basingwerk Abbey marks the start of the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way. The route leads through woodland and over rivers, up mountains and along coast paths, through wilderness and into villages. It celebrates the heritage of those Celtic saints whose stories are lost in the mists of time but whose memory reverberates in ancient churches and at holy wells along the way.
Holywell town has the surroundings of outstanding beauty from Halkyn Mountain to the Dee Estuary with views across to the Wirral and Liverpool. Stunning landscape that this unique town full of history is nestled between.
The Town itself is part pedestrianized with a number of shops, cafes, restaurants and public houses making it a perfect place to socialize. It has a traditional street market on a Thursday in the Town which has a variety of traders and Holywell hosts many events throughout the year.
Holywell has a stunning Golf course situated on Brynford common, a mile up the hill from the town of Holywell – fondly known as the “Lourdes of Wales” – this inland links type course is a fair and sporting test for golfers of all abilities. It’s one of the highest courses in Wales and, at 800 feet above sea level, its invigorating air (and unpredictable breezes!) enhance the quality of the experience.
Add in the warmth of the welcome – you’ll go far to find a friendlier club- the glorious views to the Clwydian Range and Snowdonia, the competitive fees, the first class professional service, the excellent catering and its accessibility just off the A 55 and you really have something to savour.
Then, of course, there’s the fascination of the course itself. Established over a hundred years ago, the softness of the turf and the limestone subsoil combine to provide an arena which is never fatiguing. There are no tiring uphill holes and, whilst the course is compact, it succeeds in providing 18 holes of real golfing challenge.
For more information on Holywell visit Destination Holywell.
North East Wales has its own dedicated trail app, for more information click here.
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