Few things evoke as much passion and tribal instinct as sport. Sport is war … without the consequences.
Wrexham is a competitive place. Not in a brash way, but quietly competitive. So it's no surprise that we're big on sport. Both playing it and watching it.
Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium. This local sporting icon is the world’s oldest serving international football venue.
It’s also the largest stadium in North Wales (around 10,000 seats) and the fifth largest in Wales.
It’s a place that’s tasted both sporting glory and heartbreak over the years.
Victory and defeat. And that’s what makes it such a special part of Wrexham.
Take Wrexham Football Club for example. ‘The Dragons’ have played out their story on the turf of the Racecourse for many years.
There are giant-killings that linger in our memory like they were yesterday –Arsenal, Middlesbrough, Tottenham, West Ham, FC Porto. Just some of the scalps we’ve claimed.
And then there’s the pain of relegation in years gone by. Being a football fan is to experience extremes.
The stadium is also home to another kind of football. The kind that uses a different type of ball.
In fact, Wrexham beat off stiff competition from other towns and cities to host matches during the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
Maybe you’re a hardcore rugby fan and maybe you’re not. It doesn’t matter. 2013 will be a chance to experience the atmosphere, the passion and everything else that’s great about sport.
Don’t miss out.
Horse racing at Bangor-on-Dee started more than 150 years ago when a couple of chaps from the local hunt galloped across the meadows for a £50 prize.
And they still haven’t got around to putting in a grandstand. Because the views are so stunning from the grass banks of this natural amphitheatre, there really isn’t any need.
It was also thriller writer and ex-jockey Dick Francis’ favourite course. Although things have changed a bit since he rode his first ever winner here back in 1947.
“Over the last 20 years the racecourse has progressed from being all wooden buildings to having superb facilities – not only for race days, but also for private parties, weddings and conferences,” explains general manager Jeannie Chantler.
So what’s the attraction? Pure entertainment. “You can’t beat the spectacle and colour of seeing horses and jockeys close up, the bustle around the betting ring and adrenalin rush of the race itself,” says Jeannie.
Go to www.twitter.com and follow @BangorOnDeeRace
For the slightly apprehensive, Chirk Golf Club’s course can play as short as 5,525 yards. But if the force is with you, the so-called ‘Tiger Tees’ can extend this to a whopping 7,045 yards.
This 200-acre course, bounded by the Llangollen Canal and with superb views of Chirk Castle, offers the typical Wrexham golfing experience. A true test. A friendly welcome. Competitive green fees. And something just that little bit different.
There’s also an 18-hole championship course at Wrexham Golf Club. And scenic nine-hole courses at Darland, Alyn Waters, Moss Valley and the Plassey.
And if you’re not quite hitting it straight, a fancy bit of kit at Clays Golf Centre in Wrexham might help. Pros at the Mizuno National Fitting Centre there use a £20,000 radar system to analyse your swing. They can even work out your ‘smash factor’.
You really earn your breakfast at Coed Llandegla Forest in neighbouring Denbighshire.
Its colour-coded mountain bike trails are set in 650 acres of sustainably managed woodland.
The green route is great for families and the blue route perfect for beginners – and you can hire bikes if you don’t have your own.
But Llandegla also attracts the aficionado. The 11-mile red route contains unsurfaced single-track, bermed switchbacks and water crossings. As for the black route… well, let’s just say you need strong legs and nerves of steel.
01978 751656 www.oneplanetadventure.com
Shame to waste all that fresh air. Wrexham offers a wide range of white-knuckle activities to turn our great outdoors into one big adventure playground.
Motor Safari do the lot. Rally skid driving, off-roading, power boating, falconry,
white-water rafting. As featured on TV shows like Top Gear, Blue Peter and The Holiday Programme.
The climbing wall at Plas Power Adventure should also get your adrenalin going. It’s big – more than 6,000 square feet.
And it’s very popular with kids, who often outstrip their parents. Both here and on the ropes course – which contains a 100- foot zip wire, an abseil platform and something worryingly known as ‘the leap of faith’.
Want to keep everything looking trim – including your bank balance? Just flash the Pure card at one of our public leisure centres.
It will save you money on most activities including swimming, gym sessions and fitness classes.
Waterworld is an aquatic centre (the clue is in the name). With a 25-metre competition pool, a learner pool, a 65-metre flume and a rapid-river ride.
In the Tropical Lagoon at Plas Madoc, you can walk the surf, ride the crocodile, slide down the snake and play in the waves.
And you can let the kids have a go as well, if you must.
Chirk has a pool, too. The perfect place to cool down after a stint in the sauna or steam room. A game of squash. Or a little Tae Kwon Do.
Plas Madoc Leisure and Activity Centre
Chirk Leisure and Activity Centre
We love our tennis. And not just during Wimbledon fortnight. The six indoor and 10 outdoor courts at the Wrexham Tennis. Centre in Wrexham are international class.
Our coaches will help you live up to them. And any time you fancy a knockabout, you can play at the courts at Acton Park and Bellevue Park in Wrexham or Ponciau Park in Rhos. Absolutely free.
Wrexham Tennis Centre 01978 265260 www.nwrtc.co.uk
Top athletes come to Queensway Stadium. Including Olympic stars past and present like Colin Jackson, Jamie Baulch, Iwan Thomas and Christian Malcolm.
But it also hosts school sports days and local fun runs. And it’s the home of Wrexham Athletics Club, which helps budding stars from eight years upwards to get in shape.