15 Interesting Facts About Wales

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Cardiff Bay, Wales
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Wales is a fascinating and beautiful country with great history and culture. Being a part of the island of Great Britain, Wales is known for its mountains, hills, natural beauty, and lots of rain. Numerous interesting facts about Wales set the country apart from the rest of the world.

15 Interesting Facts About Wales

The rugged coastline, scenic National Parks, ancient Celtic language, and some of the friendliest people on Earth are the specialty of Wales. If you are up to broadening your knowledge about Wales, learn some fun facts about Wales here:

1. North Wales

North Wales is a pretty unique place with exciting attractions and beaches overlooked by mountains.

North Wales has so many fun facts about Wales that may leave you awestruck.

i. Every person living in North Wales has more than three sheep.

ii. Here is the longest-running Punch and Jude show in the world.

2. South Wales

Interesting facts about Wales
Balazs Bezeczky / Pexels, Copyright 2020

Lying west of the Bristol Channel, South Wales includes areas like Cardiff, Swansea, and Newport. The famous landmarks of the southern part of Wales also include Snowdonia National Park. It is also home to several fun facts about wales.

3. Wales Has Only 7 Cities

There are seven cities in Wales including big and small ones. Each one of them tells some facts about Wales.

3.1. Cardiff

The southernmost region of the nation is where Cardiff, the capital of Wales, is situated. It is known for being the best city in the UK for cyclists as it has more green space in Britain than any other city.

Being home to the headquarters of various national organizations and government departments, Cardiff is among the most important administrative, shopping, and cultural centres.

3.2. Bangor

The oldest city in Wales is Bangor, which is located in the northwest. The founding of the monastic establishment on Bangor Cathedral’s site led to the city’s origin. The cathedral in Bangor is now dedicated to Celtic St. Deiniol, founder of the monastery. Bangor is in Gwynedd and is known for landmarks like Menai Suspension Bridge.

3.3. Swansea

Swansea is the second-largest city in Wales and is situated along Swansea Bay in southwest Wales. Swansea was given a fun nickname of ‘Copperopolis’ as it was the main centre of the copper industry in the 19th century. The earliest know name of this city is Sweynesse.

3.4. St. Davids

St. Davids is a tiny Cathedral city which is located in the west of Wales and lies close to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. There are numerous historical details concerning Wales.

The city was constructed on the site of the monastery that Wales’ patron saint St. David established in the sixth century. His birthplace is marked by a tiny chapel. It is believed that St. David had undergone baptism at Porthclais, which is now the city’s port.

3.5. St. Asaph

The Welsh city of St. Asaph, which is situated on the River Elwy, has views of the Vale of Clwyd and is surrounded by countryside. It is the second smallest city in Great Britain.

The remarkable history of the cathedral at St. Asaph is also one of the interesting facts about Wales. The cathedral was almost burnt by Edward 1 of England. Later, Owain Glyndwr’s troops attacked and damaged its interior. The property was utilized as a farm during the commonwealth.

3.6. Newport

Newport has so many fun facts about Wales. Newport is the sixth most populous in the United Kingdom and Wales’s third-largest authority with city status. During the Newport rising of 1839, it was the site of the last large-scale insurrection in Britain.

Since the Middle Ages, Newport on the River Usk has served as a port. Normans built the first Newport Castle.

3.7. Wrexham

Wrexham rose to become the seventh city in Wales (2022).Wrexham, which is in North East Wales, is home to numerous interesting Welsh facts.

Are you aware that the 3rd oldest football team in the world is Wrexham AFC? The first Miss World was a Wrexham native. Additionally, the city annually hosts the Focus Wales International New Music Festival.

4. There are 3 National Parks In Wales

Nearly 20% of Wales’ total land area is taken up by its three national parks, which are Snowdonia National Park, The Brecon Beacons National Park, and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

4.1. The Brecon Beacons National Park

The Brecon Beacons National Park, which straddles the Mid Wales and South Wales boundary, is home to stunning natural beauty, mountains that are perfect for hiking, amazing views, and of course, Welsh history.

Pen Y Fan, the tallest peak in South Wales is found here. The park covers a staggering 520 square miles and contains some unique wildlife habitats too.

4.2. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

With 420km of shoreline, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park essentially encompasses the entire Pembrokeshire Coast. Let’s discuss some fun facts:

Although Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is the UK’s smallest national park, it contains one of the most diverse landscapes. There are three offshore islands in this park: Skomer Island, Skokholm Island, and Grassholm Island.

4.3. The Snowdonia National park

Interesting facts about Wales
Dominic Howlett / Unsplash, Copyright 2022

The Snowdonia National Park is the oldest and biggest of all the national parks in Wales. It is home to Wales’s highest Peak, Mount Snowdon. The height of Mount Snowdon is 3560 feet.

Being established in 1951, It is the longest national park in Wales. The largest lake in Wales, Lake Bala, is located in this National Park. While its English name is derived from Snowdon, the Welsh name is Eryri, which is derived from Eryr (highlands).

5. Wales Has Various National Symbols

Wales has various national symbols that represent the nation’s cultural identity. Here are some facts about Wales and how it became synonymous with modern-day Wales.

5.1. Ddraig Goch(The Red Dragon)

Interesting facts about Wales
Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay, Copyright 2012

The Red Dragon is a popular Welsh symbol incorporated in its National flag as well, making wales one of only three countries with a dragon on its flag. Ddraig Goch, at the center of the flag, personifies the fearlessness of the nation.

Roman legions were the ones who introduced dragons as the national symbol. The Red Dragon first appeared as the royal badge for Wales after being used by Welsh soldiers as an insignia in a variety of forms. Later, it was officially recognized by the queen of Britain.

5.2. Daffodil

Daffodils have recently been recognized as a national flower of Wales due to their association with Leeks, which have been a symbol of Wales since before the 16th century. The flower’s Welsh name is Cenhinen Bedr which means ‘Peter’s leek.’

On St. David’s Day, the Welsh-born prime minister David Lloyd George donned a daffodil, elevating its importance. To honour the Prince of Wales’ investiture in Caernarfon, the flower was used at ceremonies in 1911.

5.3. Leek

Wearing a leek serves as a marker of Welsh heritage because this root vegetable is so revered there. Leek tells various interesting facts about Wales.

Why is it so important to wear leeks? It is claimed that St. David instructed his warriors to wear leeks on their helmets while fighting Saxons in the sixth century. In 1536, the leek’s significance was raised by Henry VIII when he gave it to his daughter on St. David’s Day.

5.4. The National Anthem Of Wales is ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’

Wales is world-famous for its adrenaline-pumping national anthem. Father and son duo, James and Evan wrote it in January 1856.

Elizabeth John, at 16 years old, gave the song its first public performance at the Vestry of Tabor Chapel in Maesteg. Soon, the song was accepted as Wales’ unofficial anthem, which is yet to be recognized officially.

5.5. The National Sport Is Rugby

The sport of Rugby has so many interesting facts about Wales to tell. Rugby is wrapped up in Welsh nationhood like anything.

Wales’ first international game of Rugby was played in 1881. The sport gained popularity in Wales in the last years of the 19th century and thrived in the 20th century. The success in this sport gave a chance to a small nation like Wales to come to the top. That’s why the game is still tied to nationhood.

6. Amazing Landforms Of Wales

6.1. Mount Snowdown Is The Highest Mountain In Wales

Mount Snowdon is Wales’s highest peak, with a height of 1085 meters. Its rare flora and fauna attract tourists from all over the world, making it among the third most visited place in Wales. A rare flower called Snowdon Lily can be found here.

One of the most important facts here is that Edmund Hillary used the mountain in training for the 1953 ascent of Mount Everest.

6.2. Mount Everest Was Named After Sir George Everest

Here is one of the most interesting facts! Sir George Everest was a surveyor who initially mapped Mount Everest. The peak was initially named ‘Gamma’ and eventually changed to ‘Peak in 1847.

After finding that it was the highest mountain in the world, the Royal Geographic Society changed the name to ‘Mount Everest.’ Sir George did not want the peak to be named after him because he believed that it was necessary to use some local name. But Nepal and Tibet were almost foreigners, and Waugh claimed names to be unknown and uncertain at that time.

6.3. Wales Has UK’s Deepest Cave

Wales Has the Deepest Cave in the UK. The second-longest and deepest cave in the UK is Ogof Ffynnon Ddu, which is situated beneath a hillside in the South Wales region of Penwyllt. The passage of the stream cuts through the black limestone, which produces waterfalls, rapids, and deep potholes.

6.4. The Most Visited Waterfall In The UK

Interesting facts about Wales
Wayne Gourley / Unsplash, Copyright 2022

Swallow Falls at Betws-y-Coed is one of the most beautiful places to give a try when you visit Wales. It is an area with an abundance of natural beauty, with conifer and birch trees forming a picturesque background.

The cave is 275 meters deep, which is three times the height of Big Ben. There is an underground stream flowing- stream way.

7. Facts About Famous Personalities Of Wales

7.1. The Invention Of The British Tennis

Lawn tennis was invented by a Welshman, Walter Clopton Wingfield, in 1873. But modern-day tennis is the result of the contributions of many cultures.

French monks developed a game in the 1st and 12th Centuries in which they hit a ball over a net to an opponent with the palm of their hand. The game soon gained popularity in every European country. Eventually, a racket and scoring system was added to it.

7.2. The First Aeroplane Was Designed By A Welshman

It is believed that Wilbur and Orville Wright were the first men to design and fly a power-driven plane. But in reality, there was a man in west Wales, Bill Frost, who deserves the epithet of “first man to fly.”

The Welsh inventor built his plane at his workshop in Saundersfoot. The locals claimed that they saw him flying in his airship, which travelled around 500 yards. But the problem is there are no photographs of his flight available.

8. Historical Facts About Wales

Being one of the important parts of the United Kingdom, Wales has a long and dynamic history and, hence, has many interesting facts.

8.1. Wales Used To Have Four Capitals

Cardiff was made the capital city of Wales in 1955. So, what was its capital before that? Well, various places in Wales held this title before 1955. They were:

  1. St. David’s is a religious hub and the location of Wale’s first cathedral.
  2. Aberystwyth is a neutral middle town boasting the National Library of Wales.
  3. In 1404, Owain Glyndwr’s Welsh Parliament met in Machynlleth.

8.2. Wales Had A Very Famous Pirate

Bartholomew Roberts was one of the most famous and successful pirates in Wales from the Golden Age of Piracy. It is believed that he took over 400 prizes from his captured vessels. When his crew was heavily drunk, his ship was invaded by the British. That was his final defeat.

8.3. Wales Is A Celtic Country

Today, Wales is seen as a Celtic nation, meaning it has its root in the Celt language and culture.

During the 18th century, people who spoke the Celtic language were known as Celts. The native Welsh language is also a Celtic language; hence, early inhabitants of Wales were called Celts.

9. Wales Has The Place With Second Longest Name In The World

There is a village on the Welsh island of Anglesey named Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, which is the second longest name of a place in the world.

10. Welsh Gold Is Used In Wedding Rings Of The British Royal Family

The tradition of using Welsh gold in the British Royal family’s wedding rings started in 1923. It was seen in the most recent Royal wedding of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, in May 2018. The wedding band that belonged to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was likewise crafted from a nugget of fine Welsh gold.

11. The Welsh language Is The Oldest In Britain

Welsh is among the oldest languages in Europe. It is believed that Welsh is originated from the Celtic language. Before the English invasion, it was spoken all over Great Britain.

Around 600BC, the Celtic language came to Britain. Brythonic, which serves as the foundation of Wales, develops from one of its variants.

12. Wales Is The Castle Capital Of The World

One of the best Interesting facts about Wales is that it has over 600 castles throughout the country. You might be shocked to learn that Wales features the highest density of castles per square kilometre in all of Europe.

13. Prince Charles Of Great Britain Is Also Prince Of Wales

Currently serving as prince of Wales is Prince Charles. He is the presumed heir to the British monarchy because he is the oldest son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Charles has held this position as the longest-reigning Prince of Wales since 1958. He also earned the title of Duke of Edinburgh.

 

14. Welshman was the Patron Saint Of Ireland

Among the most interesting facts about Wales is that – St. Patrick, who is revered as Ireland’s patron saint, was actually Welsh.

When he was about 16, Irish raiders captured him and took him to Ireland as an enslaved person. After escaping to his hometown, he entered the Church. Then, he returned to Ireland as an ordained bishop.

St. Patrick’s Day is honoured on March 17 because it is thought that he passed away on that day in the year 461 AD.

15. Wales’ Royal Mint Produces Coins For Several Countries

Royal Mint, located in Wales, is the world’s largest and most advanced mint and contains many interesting facts about Wales. Over 3.3 billion coins are produced at this mint every year for almost 80 countries. Royal mint has been contributing to the coin-making industry for 50 years.

Conclusion

That concludes the list of 15 Interesting Facts About Wales. The unique character and history of Wales set it apart from the rest of the world. Despite being small, this rugby-crazy country has a richer tradition than most others. Among all nations, it possesses one of the highest rates of dynamic growth.

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