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“£3 million White Elephant? Very disappointing.”

Ruthin Craft Centre
Ranked #3 of 13 things to do in Ruthin
Attraction details
Shropshire
Level Contributor
261 reviews
118 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
“£3 million White Elephant? Very disappointing.”
Reviewed March 20, 2013

I very rarely leave poor reviews and hesitated before posting this one. My wife and I had highlighted the Craft Centre as a place we were looking forward to visiting but, in the event, we came away feeling cheated.

Nicely situated on the edge of the town centre and with reasonable signage, wwe were surprised to find the ample car park almost empty. Parking is free. The modern 'warehouse' type design is not my favourite and blended in with the depressingly cold, grey day.

We were immediately struck by the large number of empty 'shops' or exhibition units - giving the whole place a sad and deserted feel. The large exhibition halls were warmer and better lighted but here again art & craft pieces looked comparatively small and expensive, with too little variety. vibrancy, inspiration and interest, although quality was matched by high prices. Staff here, and in the shop, seemed distant and faintly bored.

The shop was quite well stocked but expensive and uninspired. Thank goodness for the cafe which was good value, busy and cheerful - with pleasant food and service.

We came away feeling conned by the reviews, the expectations and the large sum of money that has been invested here. It could and should do better if it is to avoid being written off as a white elephant. There is plenty of room for improvement.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Yorkshire Dales National Park, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Disappointing to see the centre so empty”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

This centre has the potential to thrive but somehow on both our visits it has had many empty units, empty car parking spaces and has been low on visitors. However, the units that are occupied are very interesting and it is wonderful to see the art and craft of local people displayed and for sale. I do think that this centre would benefit from more variety to attract a wider customer base. How about having a craft shop which sells items to help people do their own crafts? It seems too oriented at the high end of the market. I think it needs to be made more commercial - it is too elitist and i think there is room for more variety. The marketing of it could also be vastly improved. We drove past it twice - it is not obvious from the 'R' logo that you are at the craft centre! Also the security gates were half closed so it did not look welcoming at all. While I want to be excited about visiting this type of place - its left me feeling uninspired twice now.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank yorkshirehorserider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tenby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
219 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
“Great resourse for Ruthin”
Reviewed February 8, 2013

The art centre was a great surprise. A lovely big space with some excellent art pieces. It also offers a shop and lovely cafe as well as intimate studios around a court yard selling unique pieces by resident artists.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank JJ25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ruthin, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Nice little cafe - Family Friendly”
Reviewed January 13, 2013

I've been here a few times. It's a nice little cafe with good parking and plenty of space - ideal for families / pushchairs. Good variety of food on the menu at fairly reasonable prices. Homecooked feel to the food. :-).

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank ZoeJones90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wales
Level Contributor
86 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“STERILE”
Reviewed January 12, 2013

This is local to me ,so have known it over many years. I find it is characterless and sterile. The buildings look like factory units ...no warmth ...
I do go to see the exhibitions and find them usually "odd" sometimes they have a gem so is worth the going to look.
The shop is very expensive though they have nice cards. Some of the stock is sold it needs a pension.
Food in the cafe is good, though not amazing, service abrupt and verging on rude. Price average. Acoustics dreadful, it reminds me of old fashioned canteens. Loos good and clean. Overall not impressed.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank LlandyrnogLasWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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