Facts of Wales UK
.Wales is a small Principality of the U.K. It covers an area of 20,000 sq km, 250km North to South, and 200km East to West.
Wales population in 2022 is estimated to be 3.19 million,20% of whom speak Welsh. The capital city is Cardiff in the south east. Near the city is Cardiff Wales Airport, but the majority of visitors arrive via London Heathrow airport or cross channel ferries from mainland Europe.
There is one thing that drivers from the continent find strange and possibly rather difficult is that all road signs and public building signs are bi-lingual English/Welsh, but I can assure tourists that after about 2 years you will find them easy to understand.
Wales may be a small country, but it is rich in natural beauty from the rugged coastline of Pemrokeshire in the South, to the mountains of Snowdonia in the North, Mt Snowden itself at 3,560ft being the highest mountain in England and Wales.
There are 732 miles of coastline of unspoilt beaches, coves and rugged cliffs to explore, and over 400 castles and ancient monuments to visit.
There are forests, woodlands, canals and lakes, and there are also magnificent gardens including the National Botanic Garden of Wales which boasts the largest single span glass house in the world.There are many museums to visit one of the most popular being the Museum of Welsh Life near Cardiff.
There is a variety of accomodation from self catering seaside cottages, farmhouses, country house hotels, to the luxury of 5 star city hotels.
The Welsh Dragon
The exact origin of the Welsh Dragon is shrouded in the mists of time,and there is still much debate as to it's source.
One of the earliest mentions of the Dragon dates to about 800A.D when it was linked with Wales in the writings of Nennius. References to the Dragon frequently occur in Welsh medieval poetry,where the creature was used to symbolise the country.
The Red Dragon was recognised as the badge of Wales on 10th December,1901, at which time it was added to the arms of the Prince of Wales.On 11th March,1953,the Dragon was again sanctioned, this time being made the official badge of Wales. It was only after this, that it became the authorised Welsh National flag.
Some more Facts
Jack Daniels of American whiskey fame was of Welsh descent, his family came from Aberystwyth!
Our turbulent history involved battles with the Romans,Saxons,Vikings, Normans, followed by the English. In the middle ages our battles with the English took hold and dragged on for centuries (and still does, but only on the rugby fields).
Wales comes from the Anglo-saxon word Waleas meaning "foreigner"
Charles Stewart Rolls, of "Rolls Royce" was born in Monmouth.
A Welshman Harri Tudur founded the Tudor dynasty, and later became Henry V11.
There are more castles per sq mile than any country in Western Europe!
In Wales, May13th 1897, Marconi made the world's first wireless broadcast between Lavernock near Penarth, and Flat Holm island in the Bristol channel
The Welsh Society of Philadelpha claims to be the oldest ethnic society in the United States. In 1729 a group of Welsh people living in the city founded the society of ancient Britons to honour St David, patron saint of Wales. Benjamin Franklin often attended their banquets. After the revolution in which many Welshman fought for independance,the group reorganised under it's present name, and has been active in Welsh / American affairs for the past 260 years.
Village names in Wales are normally descriptive eg: Mynydd Bach means small mountain. The longest village name in Wales is on Anglesey and is:-
GOGOGOCH. Try saying that after a few drinks! In English it means :- The church of Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the fierce whirlpool and the church of Tysilio by the red cave.
But it is normally known as Llanfair PG.
Traditional welsh Costume