The coastline from Prestatyn to Bangor was, before the coming of the railways, littered with small fishing villages. During the 19th century, as the hours of mill workers from the industrial towns of Lancashire and the Midlands were reduced, the concept of an annual holiday, albeit in some cases just the odd day at the seaside, became widespread. Served by the newly-built railway network, the fishing villages expanded to accommodate visitors. Boarding houses and hotels were built for society visitors coming to take the sea air, and amusements and entertainment were soon a regular feature. Llandudno still retains much of its Victorian and Edwardian charm, while other resorts, such as Rhyl, have tried to counter the unsettled British summer weather with the creation of indoor complexes. The coast of North Wales draws visitors in their thousands to its holiday resorts, but this very traditional region, where Welsh is still spoken on a daily basis, has many other treasures, both man-made and natural.
Prestatyn, to the east, lies at one end of Offa’s Dyke (see Prestatyn in the guide). Built more as a line of demarcation rather than a fortification, the dyke runs from the coast southwards to Chepstow. Still substantially marking the border with England, many sections of the ancient earthwork are visible and can be seen from the waymarked footpath that runs the length of the dyke.
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