After all the rain we have been having it was nice to have a lovely sunny day with big blue skies and lots of those white wispy clouds. As the evening came on it was pretty obvious that we were in for a reasonable sunset and therefore a good photo opportunity for me. Now I’m really lucky. I live a couple of minutes drive from Ffrith beach and best of all that’s where the sun sets.
Ffrith Beach, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, North Wales (Postal code LL19 7AR) is one of three sandy beaches along the Prestatyn coastline – Barkby Beach, Central Beach and Ffrith Beach. A promenade joins the three beaches, and, at around 4-miles in length, is popular for leisurely strolls and cycling. It has recently been incorporated into the new National Cycle Network. There are spectacular views right along the promenade, extending from the Snowdonian Mountains, the Great Orme of Llandudno and Anglesey to the west, through to The Wirral to the east, and Prestatyn Hillside to the south. On very clear days, glimpses can also be caught of the Isle of Man, the Cumbrian Mountains and Blackpool Tower, while the BHP Billiton Petroleum Douglas oil and gas platform in Liverpool Bay is usually clearly visible.
Ffrith Beach was first developed, in modern times, in 1935.
“My first memories of Ffrith beach are of my grandfather who started the fun fair, which had an arcade, bingo and fair ground. There was also two boating ponds, cafe, ice cream kiosks etc. Many good days were spent on the beach, it’s a shame that the Ffrith is no longer a family oriented place to be. Back in my grandfather’s day the Ffrith was packed with holiday makers and day trippers, what happened? Later on in the 70’s there was a go-kart track added, I can’t remember who had the go-karts.”
A memory of Prestatyn contributed by Barry Howden
In the latter part of the 20th century there was a great deal of controversy surrounding the Ffrith Beach which had remained empty and derelict since 1993. On 25 October 2006 Denbighshire County Council announced that it is:
“… to start working with a company to regenerate Prestatyn’s Ffrith Beach. The Asset Management Committee yesterday (Tuesday) saw presentations from two companies bidding to develop the site. A preferred bidder was chosen, but for commercial reasons cannot yet be named. Cllr Julian Thompson-Hill, Committee Chairman, said: ‘Denbighshire is committed to ensuring that the Ffrith is restored as a site which is an attraction to local people and the county as a whole. This is a major step forward and we are looking forward to working with the preferred bidder to make the most of this important asset.’ Denbighshire officers will now work with the preferred bidder over the coming months to develop their initial proposals.”
However, whilst negotiations were well underway, arsonists set fire to the derelict complex on 1 March 2007
Ffrith Beach Fun Park
In September 2007, the Ffrith Beach Fun Park was being developed on Ffrith Beach with the dunes and its wildlife managed by Denbighshire County Council in conjunction with the developers Ffrith Leisure Ltd. The first new unit to open on Ffrith Beach was La Freccia Ristorante . The development included a fun fair with some of the rides from the closed-down Ocean Beach fun fair at Rhyl being transferred to the site. Last time I looked most of the fun fair rides had been removed and some transferred to the rear of the buildings. These rides included the Pepsi Loop coaster which is rumoured to have been sold to a buyer in Holland.
The fun park is open, but to be honest I’ve never used it. According to their Facebook site;
“Ffrith Beach Festival Gardens has everything you need for a fun family day out. Acres of parkland with direct access to the beach, and we are easy to find midway between Rhyl & Prestatyn on the A548 Coast Road. Set in 25 acres of beautiful North Wales coastline with direct access to a lovely sandy beach, promenade,cycle path and dunes. On site we have the fabulous “Lakeside restaurant”, a state of the art ten pin bowling alley, the conservatory bar and cafe-bar 300 showing SKY sports, outdoor beer garden and our new Ice rink. We have regular special events and live entertainment. There really is something for everyone here at the Ffrith Beach Festival Gardens and much more planned for the future!”
Personally, I have never used any of the facilities so I really cannot comment on how good they are. But when I do walk through the very run-down gardens, on my way towards the beach, it doesn’t fill me with confidence to see that the car-park never looks full.