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Leisure & Shopping

Leisure

Wrexham's leisure facilities include a recently modernised swimming pool and leisure centre, its own racecourse at Bangor-on-Dee, an athletics stadium, a new football stadium, a theatre and a multiplex cinema.

There is an excellent selection of hotels, some of which offer attractive period accommodation and décor, there are also a number of good restaurants and café bars.

Wrexham has two spectacular National Trust properties - Erddig and Chirk Castle and a small museum and Art Gallery.

It is surrounded by unexpectedly pretty countryside - good for walking - and the River Dee is famous for its fishing. For a relatively small town, Wrexham is very ambitious in the way in which it promotes itself through leisure activities which have a regional or national focus. It has a regular Arts Festival, it hosts the Vauxhall Rally of Wales and it is also the home of the Wrexham International Science and Technology Festival.

Wrexham is situated within a 20 minute drive of Snowdonia - one of the UK's most famous and spectacular National Parks. Snowdonia itself offers endless possibilities for outdoor leisure activities and, taken together with Mid Wales and the adjoining areas of North West England, the area must cater for almost every possible outdoor pursuit. The coast is also easy to reach and again there is something for all tastes within an easy drive of Wrexham.

As a relatively small town, Wrexham undoubtedly benefits from its proximity to a number of major cities which are large enough to have the sort of facilities that can only be sustained by major centres of population. The ancient city of Chester is just 12 miles away and the cities of Liverpool and Manchester can both be reached within an hour. Between them these three offer the best in music, theatre, ballet and The Arts - on a permanent and regular basis. Wrexham's central location also makes it an ideal starting point for those looking for access to the increasingly wide range of leisure activities available throughout the northwest and the north midlands.

Shopping

Wrexham, as already mentioned, is the premiere shopping centre in North Wales. It has a good mix of small privately owned stores and large national chain stores. There are two new multi-million pound town centre developments and a good out-of-town retail park. From a local shopper's point-of-view Wrexham has improved immeasurably in recent years and the trend is continuing. It will always be the first choice for everyday shopping for people drawn from a very wide area and is increasingly better equipped to deal with demands for more specialised goods. However the fact has to be faced that, as shopping becomes more of a leisure activity, shoppers expect to go further afield and Wrexham people do feel fortunate in having such an array of easily accessible retail centres to choose from in the neighbouring counties. Whilst the shopkeepers of Wrexham might not appreciate this, it is something which adds to Wrexham's attraction as a place to live.

Chester is very popular with Wrexham people, both because of its proximity and mediaeval charm and because of the vast number of small specialist shops and major chain-stores it contains. On a much larger scale, Liverpool and Manchester have the full range of prime retail outlets and both can be reached easily by car or by rail.

In line with the growing trend towards out-of-town shopping, there are a number of large retail park developments in the northwest. Of particular note are the Broughton Retail Park in neighbouring Flintshire (still in Wales) and the Designer Outlet Village near to Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.