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“Ghost town”

Ruthin Craft Centre
Ranked #3 of 18 things to do in Ruthin
Attraction details
Reviewed April 18, 2013

Remembering the Craft Centre that used to be on site, i cannot help but feel this was a waste of money. After parking in front of the centre, and walking through some modern metal gates is a courtyard, with mostly empty units. Of the units that are occupied, one feels very unwelcome when you dare venture in....i suspect they get fed up with people looking in but not buying perhaps. The Gallery itself has some rather unusual pieces, not all gallery worthy to be honest (thats just my personal taste) but occasionally there are some gorgeous pieces of ceramic art. The Cafe is sparsely decorated and quite clinical. The acoustics are dreadful, unfortunately you can hear everyones conversation if you so wish! The food is always good, well presented and a menu that has some more interesting food from the norm, a tad pricey at times, but on the whole worth the extra spent. The staff, I have found, are always friendly, polite yet professional. They do sometimes look under pressure when a coach party visit, and its worth remembering that on the days they offer a reduced rate on the menu for the elderly, obtaining a table on these days can be murder. We have walked in many times, only to have to turn around and walk straight back out. Perhaps phoning ahead and booking a table would be advisable to avoid any disappointment. Toilets are clean and easily accessed.

1  Thank LittleMoonBird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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123 - 127 of 181 reviews

Reviewed April 3, 2013

I noted with some surprise a recommendation in one of the Saturday papers that Ruthin Craft Centre is one of the best, heritage places to visit. Not sure where they were coming from but that is sadly not the case. The craft centre is a small collection of shops, units and workshops of local artists, some of which are empty. There is a cafe, Cafe R, it’s OK, nothing more and a gallery in 3 sections with a shop selling expensive glass etc. The gallery is a pleasant space, but not special at all. There is good parking and access. However in truth Ruthin is a lovely town to visit, with an interesting history, old world feel, some great buildings and a very interesting Victorian gaol which is worth visiting, so ironically although I certainly wouldn’t recommend a trip to the craft centre I would certainly recommend a visit to Ruthin. If there and you have the time then obviously visit the craft centre, but make that the last on your list, not the first and perhaps don’t have your expectations too high.

1  Thank salochin8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2013

I really enjoyed the current exhibition, Rodney Peppe, and the whole atmosphere.

There is an excellent gift shop and the Cafe is excellent, a more than pleasant way to spend an afternoon, and on a freezing day very warm and cosy.

1  Thank Carol B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2013

I visited last Saturday to see the Rodney Peppe exhibition currently being held here - I would thoroughly recommend going to see it, it's wonderful.
There was a workshop going on the day of my visit and the cafe was choc-a-bloc so unfortunately we were unable to get a table but it was nice to see it so busy.
Some people describe the venue as sterile but I disagree. The design to me means that nothing detracts from the art.
I always enjoy my visits and will keep coming back.

3  Thank Erin J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

4  Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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