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15 juin 2011 3 15 /06 /juin /2011 09:12

Geography and natural history

Wales is a generally mountainous country on the western side of central southern Great Britain.Dell Inspiron 6400 Adapter

It is about 274 km (170 mi) north–south and 97 km (60 mi) east–west.  The oft-quoted 'size of Wales' is about 20,779 km² (8,023 sq mi).  Wales is bordered by England to the east and by sea in all other directions: the Irish Sea (Môr Iwerddon) to the north and west, St George's Channel (Sianel San Siôr) and the Celtic Sea (Y Môr Celtaidd) Toshiba PA3534U-1BRS Battery

to the southwest and the Bristol Channel (Môr Hafren) to the south. Altogether, Wales has over 1,180 km (733 mi) of coastline. Over 50 islands lie off the Welsh mainland; the largest being Anglesey (Ynys Môn), in the northwest.

Much of Wales' diverse landscape is mountainous, particularly in the north and central regions.Sony NP-FP50 Battery

The mountains were shaped during the last ice age, the Devensian glaciation. The highest mountains in Wales are in Snowdonia(Eryri), of which five are over 1,000 m (3,281 ft); known as 'super-mountains'. The highest of these is Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), at 1,085 m (3,560 ft).HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

The 14 (or 15 if including Garnedd Uchaf; often discounted due to its lowtopographic prominence) Welsh mountains over 3,000 feet (914 m) high are known collectively as the Welsh 3000sand are located in a small area in the north-west. Dell Latitude D820 Adapter

The highest outside the 3000s is Aran Fawddwy, at 905 metres (2,969 ft), in the south of Snowdonia. The Brecon Beacons (Welsh: Bannau Brycheiniog) are in the south (highest point Pen-y-Fan, at 886 metres (2,907 ft)), and are joined by the Cambrian Mountains in Mid Wales. The highest pint beingPumlumon at 752 metres (2,467 ft).Toshiba PA3399U-1BRS Battery

Wales has three national parks: Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast. It has fiveAreas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.These areas include Anglesey, the Clwydian Range, theGower Peninsula and the Wye Valley. The Gower Peninsula was the first area in the United Kingdom to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in 1956. Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery

Forty two percent of the coastline of South and West Wales is designated as Heritage Coast, with 13 specific designated strips of coastline maintained by the Countryside Council of Wales. As from 2010 the coastline of Wales has 45 Blue Flag beaches and five Blue Flag marinas.Dell Latitude D830 Battery

Despite its Heritage and award winning beaches; the south and west coasts of Wales, along with the Irish and Cornish coasts, are frequently blasted by Atlantic westerlies/south westerlies that, over the years, have sunk and wrecked many vessels. On the night of 25 October 1859, over 110 ships were destroyed off the coast of Wales when a hurricane blew in from the Atlantic.Dell Inspiron E1505 Adapter

More than 800 lives were lost across Britain due to the storm but the greatest tragedy was the sinking of the Royal Charter of the coast of Anglesey in which 459 people died.The number of shipwrecks around the coast of Wales reached a peak in the 19th century with over 100 craft losses and an average loss of life of about 78 sailors per year.Asus Eee PC 1201PN battery

Wartime action caused losses near Holyhead, Milford Haven and Swansea. Due to offshore rocks and unlit islands, Anglesey and Pembrokeshire are still notorious for shipwrecks, most notably the Sea Empress Disaster in 1996.

The first border between Wales and England was zonal, apart from around the River Wye, which was the first accepted boundary.Dell PA-12 Adapter

Offa's Dyke was supposed to form an early distinct line but this was thwarted by Gruffudd ap Llewellyn, who reclaimed swathes of land beyond the dyke. The Act of Union of 1536 formed a linear border stretching from the mouth of the Dee to the mouth of the Wye.Asus Eee PC 701 Adapter

Even after the Act of Union, many of the borders remained vague and moveable until the Welsh Sunday Closing act of 1881, which forced local businesses to decide which country they fell within to accept either the Welsh or English law.

The Seven Wonders of Wales is a list in doggerel verse of seven geographic and cultural landmarks in Wales probably composed in the late 18th century under the influence of tourism from England.Dell XPS M1330 Battery

All the "wonders" are in north Wales: Snowdon (the highest mountain), the Gresfordbells (the peal of bells in the medieval church of All Saints at Gresford), the Llangollen bridge (built in 1347 over the River Dee, St Winefride's Well (a pilgrimage site at Holywell) in Flintshire, the Wrexham (Wrecsam) steeple (16th-century tower of St Giles' Church, Wrexham),fujifilm np95 battery

the Overton Yew trees (ancient yew trees in the churchyard of St. Mary's at Overton-on-Dee) and Pistyll Rhaeadr – a tall waterfall, at 240 ft (73 m). The wonders are part of the rhyme:Pistyll Rhaeadr and Wrexham steeple,Snowdon's mountain without its people,Overton yew trees, St Winefride's Wells,Llangollen bridge and Gresford bells.Asus Eee PC 900 Adapter


The earliest geological period of the Paleozoic era, the Cambrian, takes its name from the Cambrian Mountains in mid-Wales where geologists first identified Cambrian remnants. In evolutionary studies the Cambrian is the period when most major groups of complex animals appeared (the Cambrian explosion).Sony VAIO PCG-713 Battery

The older rocks underlying the Cambrian rocks in Wales lacked fossils which could be used to differentiate their various groups and were referred to as Pre-cambrian.

In the mid-19th century, two prominent geologists, Roderick Murchison and Adam Sedgwick Dell Latitude D830 Adapter

(who first proposed the name of the Cambrian period), independently used their studies of the geology of Wales to establish certain principles of stratigraphy and palaeontology. The next two periods of the Paleozoic era, the Ordovician and Silurian, were named after ancient Celtic tribes from this area based on Murchison's and Sedgwick's work. Dell Studio XPS 1640 battery


Wales lies within the north temperate zone. It has a changeable, maritime climate and is one of the wettest countries in Europe.Welsh weather is often cloudy, wet and windy, with warm summers and mild winters. The long summer days and short winter days are due to Wales' northerly latitudes(between 53° 43? N and 51° 38? N). Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ4S  Battery

Aberystwyth, at the mid point of the country's west coast, has nearly 17 hours of daylight at the summer solstice. Daylight at midwinter there falls to just over seven and a half hours.The country's wide geographic variations cause localised differences in sunshine, rainfall and temperature.HP Compaq Business NX6320 Battery

Average annual coastal temperatures are 10.5 °C (50.9 °F) and in low lying inland areas, 1 °C (34 °F) lower. It becomes cooler at higher altitudes; annual temperatures decrease on average approximately 0.5 °C (32.9 °F) each 100 metres (330 ft) of altitude. Consequently, the higher parts of Snowdoniaexperience average annual temperatures of 5 °C (41 °F).Canon POWERSHOT G2 Battery

Temperatures in Wales are kept higher than would otherwise be expected at its latitude by theNorth Atlantic Drift, a branch of the Gulf Stream. The ocean current, bringing warmer water to northerly latitudes, has a similar effect on most of north west Europe.Dell Latitude E6500 battery

As well as its influence on Wales' coastal areas, air warmed by the Gulf Stream is carried further inland by the prevailing winds.

At low elevations, summers tend to be warm and sunny. Average maximum temperatures range between 19 °C (66 °F) and 22 °C (72 °F). Winters tend to be fairly wet, but rainfall is rarely excessive and the temperature usually stays above freezing. Dell LATITUDE D630 Battery

Spring and autumn feel quite similar and the temperatures tend to stay above 14 °C (57 °F) – also the average annual daytime temperature.

The sunniest time of year tends to be between May and August. The south-western coast is the sunniest part of Wales, averaging over 1700 hours of sunshine annually. Asus R33030 Adapter

Wales' sunniest town is Tenby, Pembrokeshire. The dullest time of year tends to be between November and January. The least sunny areas are the mountains, some parts of which average less than 1200 hours of sunshine annually.The prevailing wind is south-westerly. Dell Mini 1011 battery

Coastal areas are the windiest, gales occur most often during winter, on average between 15 and 30 days each year, depending on location. Inland, gales average fewer than six days annually.

Rainfall patterns show significant variation. The further west, the higher the expected rainfall; up to 40% more.toshiba pa3332u-1brs battery

At low elevations, rain is unpredictable at any time of year, although the showers tend to be shorter in summer.The uplands of Wales have most rain, normally more than 50 days of rain during the winter months (December to February), falling to around 35 rainy days during the summer months (June to August).HP Compaq 6710b Adapter

Annual rainfall in Snowdonia averages between 3,000 millimetres (120 in) (Blaenau Ffestiniog) and 5,000 millimetres (200 in) (Snowdon's summit). The likelihood is that it will fall as sleet or snow when the temperature falls below 5 °C (41 °F), and snow tends to be lying on the ground there for an average of 30 days a year. HP Compaq nx6325 Adapter

Snow falls several times each winter in inland areas, but is relatively uncommon around the coast. Average annual rainfall in those areas can be less than 1,000 millimetres (39 in). Met Office statistics show Swansea to be the wettest city in Great Britain, with an average annual rainfall of 1,360.8 millimetres (53.57 in).Acer Aspire 5720 Adapter

This has led to the old adage "If you can see Mumbles Head it is going to rain – if you can't, it is raining". Cardiff is Great Britain's fifth wettest city, with 908 millimetres (35.7 in). Rhyl is Wales' driest town, its average annual rainfall 640 millimetres (25 in). Toshiba Equium A110-252 Battery

  • Highest maximum temperature: 35.2 °C (95.4 °F) at Hawarden Bridge, Flintshire on 2 August 1990.
  • Lowest minimum temperature: ?23.3 °C (?9.9 °F) at Rhayader, Radnorshire (now Powys) on 21 January 1940.
  • Maximum number of hours of sunshine in a month: 354.3 hours at Dale Fort, Pembrokeshire in July 1955.Acer Aspire 5052ANWXMi Battery
  • Minimum number of hours of sunshine in a month: 2.7 hours at Llwynon, Brecknockshire in January 1962.
  • Maximum rainfall in a day (0900 UTC – 0900 UTC): 211 millimetres (8 in) at Rhondda, Glamorgan, on 11 November 1929.Dell Mini 1011v battery
  • Wettest spot – an average of 4,473 millimetres (176 in) rain a year at Crib Goch in Snowdonia, Gwynedd (making it also the wettest spot in the United Kingdom).

Flora and fauna

Wales’ wildlife is typical of Britain with several distinctions. Due to its long coastline Wales hosts a variety of seabirds. HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

The coasts and surrounding islands are home to colonies of gannets, Manx Shearwater, puffins, kittiwakes, shags and razorbills. In comparison, with 60% of Wales above the 150m contour, the country also supports a variety of upland habitat birds, including raven and ring ouzel.Dell Vostro 1510 Battery

Birds of prey include the merlin, hen harrier and the red kite, a national symbol of Welsh wildlife. In total, more than 200 different species of bird have been seen at the RSPB reserve at Conwy, including seasonal visitors.

The larger Welsh mammals died out during the Norman period, including the brown bear, wolf and the wildcat.Toshiba PA3534U-1BRS Battery

Today, mammals of note include shrews, voles, badgers, otters, hedgehogs and fifteen species of bat.Two species of small rodent, the yellow-necked mouse and the dormouse, are of special Welsh note being found at the historically undisturbed border area. Other animals of note include, otter, stoat and weasel.Asus M50 battery

The Pine Marten which has the occasional sighting, has not been officially recorded since the 1950s. The polecat was nearly driven to extinction in Britain, but hung on in Wales and is now rapidly spreading. Feral goats can be found in Snowdonia.Asus Eee PC 901 Battery

Like Cornwall, Brittany and Ireland, the waters of South-west Wales of Gower, Pembrokeshire and Cardigan Bay attract marine animals including basking sharks, Atlantic grey seals, leatherback turtles, dolphins, porpoises, jellyfish, crabs and lobsters.Dell Inspiron 6400 Battery

Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion in particular are recognised as an area of international importance for Bottlenose dolphins, and New Quay has the only summer residence of bottlenose dolphins in the whole of the UK. River fish of note include char, eel, salmon, shad, sparling and Arctic char, whilst the Gwyniad is unique to Wales, found only in Bala Lake.HP Compaq Business NC6220 Battery

Wales is also known for its shellfish, including cockles, limpet, mussels and periwinkles. Herring, mackerel and hake are the more common of the country's seafish.

The north facing high grounds of Snowdonia support a relict pre-glacial flora including the iconic Snowdon lily -Lloydia serotina – and other alpine species such as Saxifraga cespitosa, Sony VGP-BPS9 battery

Saxifraga oppositifolia and Silene acaulis – an eco-system not found elsewhere in the UK. Wales also hosts a number of plant species not found elsewhere in the UK including the Spotted Rock-rose Tuberaria guttata on Anglesey and Draba aizoides on the Gower.Sony VGP-BPS13 battery


A distinct education system has developed in Wales. Formal education before the 18th century was the preserve of the elite. The first grammar schools were established in Welsh towns such as Ruthin, Brecon and Cowbridge.One of the first successful schooling systems was started by Griffiths Jones, who introduced the circulating schools in the 1730s; HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

believed to have taught half the country's population to read. In the 19th century, with increasing state involvement in education, Wales was forced to adopt an education system that was English in ethos even though the country was predominantly Non-conformist, Welsh speaking and demographically uneven due to the economic expansion in the south.HP Compaq 2510p Adapter

In some schools, to ensure Welsh children spoke English at school, the Welsh Not was used; a policy seen as a hated symbol of English oppression.The "not", a piece of wood hung round the neck by string, was given to any child overheard speaking Welsh, who would pass it to a different child if overheard speaking Welsh.Dell Studio PP39L battery

At the end of the day, the wearer of the "not" would be beaten. The extent of its practice, however, is difficult to determine. State and local governmental edicts resulted in schooling in the English language which, following Brad y Llyfrau Gleision (the Treachery of the Blue Books), was seen as more academic and worthwhile for children.Nikon COOLPIX 5700  Battery

The University College of Wales opened in Aberystwyth in 1872. Cardiff and Bangor followed, and the three colleges came together in 1893 to form the University of Wales. The Welsh Intermediate Education Act of 1889 created 95 secondary schools. The Welsh Department for the Board of Education followed in 1907, which gave Wales its first significant educational devolution.Dell Studio XPS 16 battery

A resurgence in Welsh language schools in the later half of the 20th century at nursery and primary level saw attitudes shift towards teaching in the medium of Welsh.In schools where English is the first language, Welsh is a compulsory subject until the age of 16.HP Compaq nx7400 Adapter

However, there has never been a Welsh-language college, and in the University of Wales, at the start of the 21st century only 100 of its 5000 academic staff were teaching through the medium of Welsh. In 2006 there were 33 nursery, 1555 primary, 244 secondary comprehensive and 43 special schools with 56 independent schools in Wales.HP Pavilion DV6500 Adapter

In 2004 the country had 505,208 pupils taught by 27,378 teachers.


Over the last 250 years, Wales has been transformed first from a predominantly agricultural country to an industrial, and now a post-industrialeconomy.Dell T117C battery

Since the Second World War, the service sector has come to account for the majority of jobs, a feature typifying most advanced economies. Total headline Gross Value Added (GVA) in Wales in 2009 was £44.5 billion, or £14,842 per head of population; 74.3 per cent of the UK average.Acer PA-1650-02 Adapter

In the three months to July 2010, the employment rate for working-age adults in Wales was 67 per cent, compared to 70.7 per cent across the UK as a whole.

From the middle of the 19th century until the post-war era, the mining and export of coal was a dominant industry.Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

At its peak of production in 1913, nearly 233,000 men and women were employed in the South Wales coalfield, mining 56 million tons of coal. Cardiff was once the largest coal-exporting port in the world and, for a few years before the First World War, handled a greater tonnage of cargo than either London or Liverpool.Asus S1 Adapter

In the 1920s, over 40% of the male Welsh population worked in heavy industry. According to Professor Phil Williams, the Great Depression "devastated Wales", north and south, due to its "overwhelming dependence on coal and steel".From the mid 1970s, HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery

the Welsh economy faced massive restructuring with large numbers of jobs in traditional heavy industry disappearing and being replaced eventually by new ones in light industry and in services. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Wales was successful in attracting an above average share of foreign direct investment in the UK.Ibm Thinkpad T30 Battery

However, much of the new industry was essentially of a "branch factory" ("screwdriver factory") type where a manufacturing plant or call centre is located in Wales but the most highly-paid jobs in the company are retained elsewhere.

Due to poor-quality soil, much of Wales is unsuitable for crop-growing and livestock farming has traditionally been the focus of agriculture. Dell Studio PP39L battery

The Welsh landscape (protected by three national parks) and 45 Blue Flag beaches, as well as the unique culture of Wales, attract large numbers of tourists, who play an especially vital role in the economy of rural areas. Wales has struggled to develop or attract high value-added employment in sectors such as finance and research and development, HP Pavilion dv5 Adapter

attributable in part to a comparative lack of 'economic mass' (i.e. population) – Wales lacks a large metropolitan centre. The lack of high value-added employment is reflected in lower economic output per head relative to other regions of the UK – in 2002 it stood at 90% of the EU25 average and around 80% of the UK average.HP Compaq Business NC6400 Battery

In June 2008, Wales made history by becoming the first nation in the world to be awarded Fairtrade Status.

The pound sterling is the currency used in Wales. Numerous Welsh banks issued their own banknotes in the 19th century. HP Compaq 490306-001 battery

The last bank to do so closed in 1908, since when, although banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland continue to have the right to issue banknotes in their own countries, the Bank of England has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in Wales. The Commercial Bank of Wales, established in Cardiff by Sir Julian Hodge in 1971, was taken over by the Bank of Scotlandin 1988 and absorbed into its parent company in 2002.Compaq Presario CQ35-100 battery

The Royal Mint, who issue the coinage circulated through the whole of the UK, have been based at a single site in Llantrisant since 1980. Since decimalisation, in 1971, at least one of the coins in UK circulation has depicted a Welsh design, e.g. the 1995 and 2000 one Pound coin (shown left). However, Wales has not been represented on any coin minted from 2008.HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51 battery


Public healthcare in Wales is provided by NHS Wales (GIG Cymru), which was originally formed as part of the NHS structure for England and Wales created by the National Health Service Act 1946, but with powers over the NHS in Wales coming under the Secretary of State for Wales in 1969.HP Pavilion ZE4500 battery

In turn, responsibility for NHS Wales was passed to the Welsh Assembly and Executive under devolution in 1999. Historically, Wales was served by smaller 'cottage' hospitals, built as voluntary institutions.As newer more expensive diagnostic techniques and treatments became available through medical advancement, much of the clinical work of the country has been concentrated in newer, larger district hospitals.HP G62-100EB battery

As of 2006, there were seventeen district hospitals in Wales, although none situated in Powys.NHS Wales provides public healthcare in Wales and employs some 90,000 staff, making it Wales’ biggest employer. The Minister for Health and Social Services is the person within the Welsh Assembly Government who holds cabinet responsibilities for both health and social care in Wales.HP Pavilion DV6-1211AX battery

A 2009 Welsh health survey, conducted by the Welsh Assembly, reported that 51% of adults reported their health good or excellent, while 21% described their health as fair or poor. The survey also recorded that 27% of Welsh adults had a long-term chronic illness, such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes and heart disease.HP Pavilion DV6-1220SO battery

Enquiries into health related lifestyle choices report 27% of the adult population are smokers, 45% admit drinking alcohol above recommended guidelines at least once a week, while 29% undertake the recommended weekly physical activity.


The United Kingdom Census 2001 reported a population in Wales of 2,903,085, which has risen to 2,958,876 according to 2005 estimates.HP EliteBook 6930P battery

The main population and industrial areas are in South Wales, consisting of the cities of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport and surrounding areas, with another significant population in the north-east around Wrexham. According to the 2001 census, 96% of the population was White British, and 2.1% non-white (mainly of British Asian origin).HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA battery

Most non-white groups were concentrated in the southern port cities of Cardiff, Newport and Swansea. Welsh Asian and African communities developed mainly through immigration since the Second World War. In the early 21st century, parts of Wales saw an increased number of immigrants settle from recent EU accession countries such as Poland;Compaq Presario CQ71 battery

though a 2007 study showed a relatively low number of employed immigrant workers from the former Eastern bloc countries in Wales compared to other regions of the United Kingdom. HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO battery

In the 2001 Labour Force Survey, 72% of adults in Wales considered their national identity as wholly Welsh and another 7% considered themselves to be partly Welsh (Welsh and British were the most common combination). A recent study estimated that 35% of the Welsh population have surnames of Welsh originHP G6000 battery

(5.4% of the English and 1.6% of the Scottish population also bore 'Welsh' names). However, many modern surnames derived from old Welsh personal names actually arose in England. In 2001, a quarter of the Welsh population were born outside Wales, mainly in England; about 3% were born outside the UK.HP HDX X18-1005EA battery

The proportion of people who were born in Wales differs across the country, with the highest percentages in the South Wales Valleys and the lowest in Mid Wales and parts of the north-east. In both Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil, 92% were Welsh-born, compared to only 51% and 56% in the border counties of Flintshire andPowys.HP Pavilion DV6-3013SL battery

Just over 1.75 million Americans report themselves to have Welsh ancestry, as did 440,965 Canadians in Canada's 2006 census.


In his 1707 work Archaeologia Britannica Edward Lhuyd, Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, noted the similarity between the two Celtic language families:Brythonic or P–Celtic (Breton, Cornish and Welsh);HP Compaq HSTNN-IB62 battery

and Goidelic or Q–Celtic (Irish, Manx and Scottish Gaelic). He argued that the Brythonic languages originated in Gaul (France), and that the Goidelic languages originated in the Iberian Peninsula. Lhuyd concluded that as the languages had been of Celticorigin, the people who spoke those languages were Celts. HP Pavilion DV6100 battery

(According to a more recent hypothesis, also widely embraced today, Goidelic and Brythonic languages, collectively known as Insular Celtic languages, evolved together for some time separately from Continental Celtic languages such as Gaulish and Celtiberian.)HP EliteBook 2730P battery

From the 18th century, the peoples of Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales were known increasingly as Celts, and they are regarded as the modern Celtic nations today.

The Welsh Language Act 1993 and the Government of Wales Act 1998 provide that the English and Welsh languages be treated on a basis of equality.HP Pavilion DV9000 battery

English is spoken by almost all people in Wales and is the de facto main language. Code-switching is common in all parts of Wales and is known by various terms, though none is recognised by professional linguists. "Wenglish" is the Welsh English language dialect. It has been influenced significantly by Welsh grammar and includes words derived from Welsh.HP Pavilion DV7 battery

According to John Davies, Wenglish has "been the object of far greater prejudice than anything suffered by Welsh". Northern and western Wales retain many areas where Welsh is spoken as a first language by the majority of the population, and English learnt as a second language. HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO battery

The 2001 census showed 582,400 people, 20.8% of the Welsh population, were able to speak Welsh, an increase from the 19.0% shown in the 1981 census. According to language surveys conducted in 2004 and 2006, that number has dropped slightly to 20.5%, and the number of fluent speakers dropped by 3% between 1992 and 2006.HP Compaq Business 6735S battery

Although monoglotism in young children continues, life-long monoglotism in Welsh is recognised to be a thing of the past.

Road signs in Wales are generally in both English and Welsh; where place names differ in the two languages, both versions are used (e.g. "Cardiff" and "Caerdydd"). HP 540 battery

The decision as to which is placed first being that of the local authority. During the 20th century, a number of small communities of speakers of languages other than Welsh or English, such as Bengali or Cantonese, established themselves in Wales as a result of immigration.HP Compaq Business NW9440 battery


The largest religion in Wales is Christianity, with 71.9% of the population describing themselves as Christian in the 2001 census. The Church in Wales with 56,000 adherents has the largest attendance of the denominations.HP Compaq Business  TC4400 battery

It is a province of the Anglican Communion, and was part of the Church of England until disestablishment in 1920 under the Welsh Church Act 1914. The Presbyterian Church of Wales was born out of the Welsh Methodist revival in the 18th century and seceded from the Church of England in 1811. HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

The second largest attending faith in Wales is Roman Catholic, with an estimated 43,000 members. Non-Christian religions are small in Wales, making up approximately 1.5% of the population.The 2001 census recorded 18.5% of people declaring no religion, while 8% did not reply to the question.HP HSTNN-LB31 battery

The patron saint of Wales is Saint David (Dewi Sant), with St David's Day (Dydd G?yl Dewi Sant) celebrated annually on 1 March.

In 1904, there was a religious revival (known by some as the 1904-1905 Welsh Revival or simply The 1904 Revival) which started through the evangelism of Evan Roberts and saw large numbers of people converting to nonconformist and Anglican ChristianityHP Pavilion DV5-1211EM  battery

, sometimes whole communities. Robert's style of preaching became the blueprint for new religious bodies such as Pentacostalism and the Apostolic Church. The Apostolic Church holds its annual Apostolic Conference in Swansea each year, usually in August.HP Pavilion DV3-4000  battery

Islam is the largest non-Christian religion in Wales, with more than 30,000 reported Muslims in the 2001 census. There are also communities of Hindus and Sikhsmainly in the South Wales cities of Newport, Cardiff and Swansea, while the largest concentration of Buddhists is in the western rural county of Ceredigion.HP Pavilion TX1000 battery

Judaism was the first non-Christian faith (excluding pre-Roman animism) to be established in Wales however, as of the year 2001, the community has declined to approximately 2,000. Paganism and Wicca are also growing in Wales. According to the 2001 Census, there are 7,000-recorded Wiccans in England and Wales, with 31,000 Pagans. HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA  battery


Wales has a distinctive culture including its own language, customs, holidays and music.

Wales has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Castles and Town walls of King Edward I in Gwynedd; Pontcysyllte Aqueduct; and the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape.HP 448007-001 battery


The remnants of the native Celtic mythology of the pre-Christian Britons was passed down orally, in much altered form, by the cynfeirdd (the early poets). Some of their work survives in much later medieval Welsh manuscripts, known as: the Black Book of Carmarthen and the Book of Aneirin (both 13th century);HP Compaq Business  6530B  battery

the Book of Taliesin and the White Book of Rhydderch (both 14th century); and the Red Book of Hergest (c. 1400).  The prose stories from the White and Red Books are known as the Mabinogion, a title given to them by their first translator, Lady Charlotte Guest, and also used by subsequent translators.HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM  battery

Poems such as Cad Goddeu (The Battle of the Trees) and mnemonic list-texts like the Welsh Triads and the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain, also contain mythological material.These texts also include the earliest forms of the Arthurian legend and the traditional history of post-Roman Britain. HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA  battery

Other sources of Welsh folklore include the 9th century Latin historical compilation Historia Britonum (the History of the Britons) and Geoffrey of Monmouth's 12th century Latin chronicle Historia Regum Britanniae (the History of the Kings of Britain), as well as later folklore, such as The Welsh Fairy Book by W. Jenkyn Thomas. HP Pavilion DV6-1230SB battery

Visual arts

Many works of Celtic art have been found in Wales. In the Early Medieval period, the Celtic Christianity of Wales was part of the Insular art of the British Isles. A number of illuminated manuscripts from Wales survive, of which the 8th century Hereford Gospels and Lichfield Gospels are the most notable. HP Pavilion ZD8181EA  battery

The 11th centuryRicemarch Psalter (now in Dublin) is certainly Welsh, made in St David's, and shows a late Insular style with unusual Viking influence.

The best of the few Welsh artists of the 16th–18th centuries tended to leave the country to work, many of them moving to London and Italy.HP Pavilion DV9500  battery

Richard Wilson (1714–82) is arguably the first major British landscapist. Although more notable for his Italian scenes, he painted several Welsh scenes on visits from London. By the late 18th century, the popularity of landscape art grew and clients were found in the larger Welsh towns, allowing more Welsh artists to stay in their homeland. HP Pavilion DV4-1125BR  battery

Artists from outside Wales were also drawn to paint Welsh scenery, at first due to the Celtic Revival. Then in the early 19th century, the Napoleonic Wars preventing theGrand Tour to continental Europe, travel through Wales came to be considered more accessible.HP Pavilion DV5-1111EA Battery

An Act of Parliament in 1857 provided for the establishment of a number of art schools throughout the United Kingdom and the Cardiff School of Art opened in 1865. Graduates still very often had to leave Wales to work but Betws-y-Coed became a popular centre for artists and its artist's colony helped form the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art in 1881.HP Pavilion DV6-1234TX battery

The sculptor Sir William Goscombe John made many works for Welsh commissions, although he had settled in London. Christopher Williams, whose subjects were mostly resolutely Welsh, was also based in London. Thomas E. Stephens and Andrew Vicari had very successful careers as portraitists based respectively in the United States and France.HP Pavilion DV3-2008TX  battery

Sir Frank Brangwyn was Welsh by origin but spent little time in Wales.

Many Welsh painters gravitated towards the art capitals of Europe. Augustus John and his sisterGwen John, lived mostly in London and Paris. HP Pavilion DV8  battery

However the landscapists Sir Kyffin Williams andPeter Prendergast lived in Wales for most of their lives, though remaining in touch with the wider art world. Ceri Richards was very engaged in the Welsh art scene; as a teacher in Cardiff and even after moving to London. He was a figurative painter in international styles including Surrealism. HP Pavilion DV6-1215SA  battery

Various artists have moved to Wales, including Eric Gill, the London-Welshman David Jones and the sculptor Jonah Jones. The Kardomah Gang was a intellectual circle centred on the poet Dylan Thomas and poet and artist Vernon Watkins in Swansea, which also included the painter Alfred Janes. HP Compaq 490306-001  battery

South Wales had several notable potteries, one of the first important sites being the Ewenny Pottery in Bridgend, which began producing earthenware in the 17th century. In the 18th and 19th centuries, with more scientific methods becoming available more refined ceramics were produced led by the Cambrian Pottery.Compaq Presario CQ50  battery

(1764–1870, also known as "Swansea pottery") and later Nantgarw Pottery near Cardiff, which was in operation from 1813 to 1822 making fine porcelain and then utilitarian pottery until 1920. Portmeirion Pottery, founded in 1960 bySusan Williams-Ellis, daughter of Clough Williams-Ellis, creator of the italianate village of Portmeirion, Gwynedd, is based in Stoke-on-Trent, England.HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO  battery

Literature in Wales

Wales can claim one of the oldest unbroken literary traditions in Europe.  The literary tradition of Wales stretches back to the sixth century and, with the inclusion of Geoffrey of Monmouth andGerald of Wales, boasts two of the finest Latin authors of the Middle Ages.HP Compaq 490306-001  battery

The earliest body of Welsh verse, by poets Taliesin and Aneirin, survive not in their original form, but in medieval versions and have undergone significant linguistic changes. Welsh poetry and native lore and learning survived the Dark Ages, through the era of the Poets of the Princes (c1100–1280) and then the Poets of the Gentry (c1350-1650). Compaq Presario CQ35-100 battery

The Poets of the Princes were professional poets who composed eulogies and elegies to the Welsh princes while the Poets of the Gentry where a school of poets that favoured the cywydd metre. The period is notable for producing one of Wales' greatest poets, Dafydd ap Gwilym.HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51  battery

After the Anglicisation of the gentry the tradition declined.

Despite the extinction of the professional poet, the integration of the native elite into a wider cultural world did bring other literary benefits.HP Pavilion ZE4500  battery

Humanists such as William Salesbury and John Daviesbrought Renaissance ideals from English universities when they returned to Wales. While in 1588 William Morgan became the first person to translate the Bible into Welsh. From the 16th Century onwards the proliferation of the 'free-metre' verse became the most important development in Welsh poetry, HP G62-100EB  battery

but from the middle of the 17th century a host of imported accentual metres from England became very popular. By the 19th century the creation of a Welsh epic, fuelled by the eisteddfod, became an obsession with Welsh language writers. The output of this period was prolific in quantity but unequal in quality.HP Pavilion DV6-1211AX  battery

Initially the eisteddfod was askance with the religious denominations, but in time these bodies came to dominate the competitions, with the bardic themes becoming increasingly scriptural and didactic. The period is notable for the adoption by Welsh poets of bardic names, made popular by the eisteddfod movement.HP EliteBook 6930P battery

Major developments in 19th century Welsh literature include Lady Charlotte Guest's translation of the Mabinogion, one of the most important medieval Welsh prose tales of Celtic mythology, into English. 1885 saw the publication of Rhys Lewis by Daniel Owen, credited as the first novel written in the Welsh language. HP Pavilion DV9500  battery

The 20th century experienced an important shift away from the stilted and long-winded Victorian Welsh prose, with Thomas Gwynn Jones leading the way with his 1902 work Ymadawiad Arthur. The slaughter in the trenches of the First World War, had a profound effect on Welsh literature with a more pessimistic style of prose championed by Compaq Evo N610C  battery

T. H. Parry-Williams and R. Williams Parry. The industrialisation of south Wales saw a further shift with the likes of Rhydwen Williams who used the poetry and metre of a bygone rural Wales but in the context of an industrial landscape. Though the inter-war period is dominated by Saunders Lewis, for his political and reactionary views as much as his plays, poetry and criticism.HP Pavilion DM3-1050EO battery

After the end of the Second World War, several Welsh poets and writers in the English language came to note. These included Alexander Cordell, whose novels are often set within a historic Wales, while Gwyn Thomas became the voice of the English speaking Welsh valleys with his humorous take on grim lives. Compaq Presario 1245  battery

At the same time the post war period saw the emergence of one of the most notable and popular Welsh writers of the 20th century; Dylan Thomas one of the most innovative poets of his time. Other important authors born in Wales, but not writing in the Welsh language or with a 'Welsh' style, include Nobel Prize winner Bertrand Russell and children's writer Roald Dahl.HP G6000  battery


Over fifty national governing bodies regulate and organise their sports in Wales. Most of those involved in competitive sports select, organise and manage individuals or teams to represent their country at international events or fixtures against other countries.HP Compaq 451086-661  battery

Wales is represented at major world sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games. At the Olympics Games, Welsh athletes compete alongside those of Scotland, England and Northern Ireland as part of a Great Britain team.HP Pavilion DV2166EA  battery

Although football has traditionally been the more popular sport in North Wales, rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness. The Welsh national rugby union team takes part in the annual Six Nations Championship and has also competed in every Rugby World Cup, hosting the tournament in 1999.HP Compaq 464119-143  battery

The five professional sides that replaced the traditional club sides in major competitions in 2003 were replaced in 2004 by the four regions: Scarlets; Cardiff Blues; Newport Gwent Dragons; and the Ospreys. The Welsh regional teams play in the Magners League, the Anglo-Welsh Cup (LV Cup), the European Heineken Cup and the European (Amlin) Challenge Cup.Compaq Presario CQ71  battery

Wales has had its own football league since 1992. For historical reasons, two Welsh clubs (Cardiff City, and Swansea City) play in the English Football League. Another four Welsh clubs play in English football's feeder leagues:

 Wrexham, Newport County, Merthyr Town and Colwyn Bay.HP Pavilion DV9565EA  battery

In international cricket, Wales and England field a single representative team, administered by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), called theEngland cricket team, or simply 'England'. Occasionally, a separate Wales team play limited-overs competitions. HP Pavilion DV6203TX battery

Glamorgan County Cricket Club is the only Welsh participant in the England and Wales County Championship.

Wales has produced several world-class participants of individual sports including snooker players Ray Reardon, Terry Griffiths, Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens.HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO  battery

Track athletes who have made a mark on the world stage, including the 110-metre hurdler Colin Jackson who is a former world record holder and the winner of numerous Olympic, World and European medals as well as Tanni Grey-Thompson who has won 11 Paralympic gold medals.HP HSTNN-OB51  battery

Wales also has a tradition of producing world-class boxers. Joe Calzaghe was WBO World Super-Middleweight Champion who then won the WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine super middleweight and Ring Magazine Light-Heavyweight titles. Other former boxing World champions include Enzo Maccarinelli, Freddie Welsh, Howard Winstone, Percy Jones, Jimmy Wilde, Steve Robinson and Robbie Regan.HP Pavilion DV7-2185DX  battery


All Welsh television broadcasts are digital. The last of the analogue transmitters ceased broadcasts in April 2010, and Wales became the UK's first digital nation. Cardiff is home to the television output of Wales. BBC Cymru Wales is the national broadcaster.HP Compaq Business  6830S  battery

Based in Llandaff, Cardiff, it produces Welsh-oriented English and Welsh language television for BBC ONE Wales, BBC TWO Wales and S4C channels. BBC Cymru Wales has also produced programmes, such as Life on Mars, Dr Who and Torchwood, shown worldwide.HP PP2200 battery

ITV the UK's main commercial broadcaster has a Welsh-oriented service branded as ITV Wales, whose studios are in Culverhouse Cross, Cardiff. S4C, based in Llanishen, Cardiff, first broadcast on 1 November 1982. Its output was mostly Welsh language at peak hours, but shared English language content with Channel 4 at other times. Compaq CQ50 battery

Since the digital switchover in April 2010, the channel has broadcast exclusively in Welsh. BBC Cymru Wales provide S4C with ten hours of programming per week. Their remaining output is commissioned from ITV and independent producers.

BBC Cymru Wales is Wales' only national radio broadcaster. HP Pavilion DV8 battery

BBC Radio Wales is their English language radio service, broadcasting throughout Wales in English. BBC Radio Cymru is their Welsh language radio service, broadcasting throughout Wales in Welsh. A number of independent radio stations broadcast to the Welsh regions, predominantly in English. Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

Several regional radio stations broadcast in Welsh: output ranges from two, two minute news bulletins each weekday (Radio Maldwyn), through over 14 hours of Welsh language programmes weekly (Swansea Sound), to essentually bilingual stations offering between 37% and 44% of programme content (Heart Cymru (formerly Champion 103) and Radio Ceredigion respectively).HP DV9700 battery

Most of the newspapers sold and read in Wales are national newspapers available throughout Britain, unlike in Scotland where many newspapers have rebranded into Scottish based titles. The Western Mail is Wales' only national daily newspaper. Wales-based regional daily newspapers include: Daily Post (which covers north Wales); Compaq CQ35-100 battery

South Wales Evening Post (Swansea); South Wales Echo(Cardiff); and South Wales Argus (Newport). Y Cymro is a Welsh language newspaper, published weekly. Wales on Sunday is the only Welsh Sunday newspaper to cover the whole of Wales.

The Welsh Books Council (WBC) is the Welsh Assembly Government funded body tasked with promoting Welsh literature.HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO Battery

The WBC provides publishing grants for qualifying English and Welsh language publications. Around 600–650 books are published each year, by some of the dozens of Welsh publishers. Wales' main publishing houses include Gomer Press, Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, Honno, the University of Wales Press and Y Lolfa.Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

Magazines published in Welsh and English cover general and specialist subjects. Cambria, a Welsh affairs magazine published bi-monthly in English, has subscribers in over 30 countries. Titles published quarterly in English include Planet and Poetry Wales.HP 448007-001 battery

Welsh language magazines include the current affairs titles Golwg (View) (published weekly) and Barn (Opinion) (monthly). Among the specialist magazines, Y Wawr (The Dawn) is published quarterly by Merched y Wawr, the national organisation for women.Y Traethodydd (The Essayist), a quarterly publication by The Presbyterian Church of Wales, first appeared in 1845; the oldest Welsh publication still in print.Sony Vaio VGN-CR190E/L Battery


About 78% of the land surface of Wales is given over to agricultural use. However, very little of this is arable land; the vast majority consists of permanent grass pasture or rough grazing for herd animals such as sheep and cows. Although both beef and dairy cattle are raised widely, especially in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, Dell Inspiron 6400 AC Adapter

Wales is more well-known for its sheep farming and thus lamb is the meat traditionally associated with Welsh cooking.

Traditional dishes include laverbread (made from laver (porphyra umbilicalis), an edible seaweed); bara brith (fruit bread); Cawl (a lamb stew); cawl cennin (leek soup); Welsh cakes; and Welsh lamb.Dell LATITUDE D800 battery

Cockles are sometimes served as a traditional breakfast with bacon and laverbread.

Although Wales has its own traditional food, and has absorbed much of the cuisine of England, Welsh diets now owe more to the countries of India, China and the United States.Apple A1280 battery

Chicken Tikka Masala is the country's favourite dish while hamburgers and Chinese food outsell fish and chips as a takeaway.

Performing arts

Wales is often referred to as "the land of song", and is notable for its harpists, male choirs, and solo artists. Apple A1281 battery

The principal Welsh festival of music and poetry is the annual National Eisteddfod. The Llangollen International Eisteddfod echoes the National Eisteddfod but provides an opportunity for the singers and musicians of the world to perform. Traditional music and dance in Wales is supported by a myriad of societies. HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO battery

The Welsh Folk Song Society has published a number of collections of songs and tunes.

Traditional instruments of Wales include telyn deires (triple harp), fiddle, crwth, pibgorn (hornpipe) and other instruments. The Cerdd Dant Society promotes its specific singing art primarily through an annual one-day festival.HP Pavilion DV6-1020ED Battery

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales performs in Wales and internationally. The Welsh National Opera is based at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, while the National Youth Orchestra of Wales was the first of its type in the world.Dell Latitude E6400 Battery Battery

Wales has a tradition for producing notable singing artists including Sir Geraint Evans, Dame Gwyneth Jones, Dame Anne Evans, Dame Margaret Price, Ivor Novello, John Cale, Sir Tom Jones, Bonnie Tyler, Bryn Terfel, Mary Hopkin, Charlotte Church, Katherine Jenkins, Meic Stevens, Dame Shirley Bassey and Duffy.HP Pavilion DM4 Battery

Popular bands to have emerged from Wales have included the Beatles-nurtured power pop group Badfinger in the 1960s, Man and Budgie in the 1970s and The Alarm in the 1980s. Wales experienced a strong emergence of groups during the 1990s led by Manic Street Preachers, followed by the likes of the Stereophonicsand Feeder; Apple MB772LL/A battery

notable during this period were Catatonia, Super Furry Animals, and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci who gained popular success as dual-language artists. Recently successful Welsh bands include Lostprophets, Bullet for My Valentine, Funeral for a Friend and Kids in Glass Houses. Dell LATITUDE D800 battery

The Welsh traditional and folk music scene is in resurgence with performers and bands such as Crasdant, Carreg Lafar, Fernhill, Siân James and The Hennessys.

The emergence of male voice choirs in the 19th century, has remained a lasting tradition in Wales.Dell Inspiron 6400 AC Adapter

Originally these choirs where formed as the tenor and bass sections of chapel choirs, and embraced the popular secular hymns of the day. Many of the historic choirs continue to survive in modern Wales singing a mixture of traditional and popular songs.Sony Vaio VGN-CR190E/L Battery


The earliest surviving Welsh plays are two medieval miracle plays, Y Tri Brenin o Gwlen and Y Dioddefaint a'r Atgyfodiad. A recognised Welsh tradition of theatre emerged on the 18th century, in the form of an interlude, a metrical play performed at fairs and markets.HP 448007-001 battery

The larger Welsh towns began building theatres during the 19th century, and drew in the likes of James Sheridan Knowlesand William Charles Macready to Wales. Along with the playhouses, there existed mobile companies at visiting fairs, though from 1912, most of these travelling theatres settled, purchasing theatres to perform in.Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

Drama in the early 20th century thrived, but the country failed to produce a Welsh National Theatre company. After the Second World War the substantial number of amateur companies that existed before the outbreak of hostilities, reduced by two thirds.HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO Battery

Though the increasing competition of television in the 1950s and 1960s, saw a need for greater professionalism in the theatre. The result of which saw the plays of the likes of Emlyn Williams and Alun Owen staged, while Welsh actors, including Richard Burton, Rachel Roberts, Donald Houston and Stanley Baker were establishing themselves as artistic talents.Compaq CQ35-100 battery

Welsh actors to have crossed the Atlantic more recently to star in Hollywood films include: Ioan Gruffudd; Anthony Hopkins; Matthew Rhys; Michael Sheen; andCatherine Zeta-Jones.

Welsh comedians include Tommy Cooper, Griff Rhys Jones, Harry Secombe and Paul Whitehouse.HP DV9700 battery


Dance as a pastime is a popular hobby in Wales, while the country's traditional dance lie in folk dancing and clog dancing. The first mention of dancing in Wales was recorded in a 12th Century account by Giraldus Cambrensis, but by the 19th Century traditional dance had all but died out;Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

attributed to the influence of Nonconformists and their belief that any physical diversion was worthless and satanic, especially mixed dancing. These ancient dances, orally passed down, were almost single-handedly rescued by Lois Blake (1890–1974) who recorded them in numerous instruction pamphlets, recording both steps and music.HP Pavilion DV8 battery

In a similar vein, clog dancing was preserved and developed by the likes of Howel Wood (1882–1967) who perpetuated the art at local and national stages. Clog dancing, traditionally a male dominated art, is now a common part of eisteddfodau. In 2010, a 30 year traditional dance festival held in Caernarvon came to an end after a lack of attending participants, Compaq CQ50 battery

though clog dancing has seen a revival during the early part of the 21st century.

The Welsh Folk Dance Society was founded in 1949, and it supports a network of national amateur dance teams and publishes support material. Contemporary dance grew out of the capital in the 1970s, one of the earliest companies, Moving Being, came from London to Cardiff in 1973.HP DV6-1120SA battery

Jumpers Dance Company was formed in 1978, eventually becoming The Dance Company of Wales. Conversely, Wales does not have its own national ballet company.

Museums and libraries

The National Museum [of] Wales was founded by royal charter in 1907 and is now an Welsh Government sponsored body. HP Pavilion DV7 battery

The National Museum is made up of seven sites across the country, including the National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans National History Museum and Big Pit National Coal Museum. In April 2001, the attractions attached to the National Museum were granted free entry by the Assembly, and this action saw the visitor numbers to the sites increase during 2001–2002 by 87.8% to 1,430,428.HP Pavilion DV6-1020ED Battery

Aberystwyth is home to the National Library of Wales, which houses some of the most important collections in Wales, including the John William's Library and the Shirburn Castle collection. As well as its printed collection the Library holds important Welsh art collections including portraits and photographs, ephemera such as postcards, posters and Ordnance Survey maps.HP NX8200 battery


As well as celebrating many of the traditional religious festivals of Great Britain, such as Easter and Christmas, Wales has its own unique celebratory days. An early festivity was Mabsant, where local parishes would celebrate the patron saint of their local church.HP NX7400 battery

This celebration died out in the 19th century, to be replaced by Saint David's Day; celebrated on 1 March throughout Wales, and by Welsh expats around the world.

Commemorating the patron saint of friendship and love, Dydd Santes Dwynwen's popularity has been increasing recently. HP NW8440 battery

It is celebrated on 25 January in a similar way to St Valentine's Day; by exchanging cards and by holding parties and concerts.

Calan Gaeaf, associated with the supernatural and the dead, is observed on 1 November. It has largely been replaced by Hallowe'en. Other festivities include Calan Mai, celebrating the beginning of summer, Calan Awst and G?yl Fair y Canhwyllau. HP NW8200 battery


The main road artery linking cities and other settlements along the south Wales coast is the M4 motorway. It also provides a link to England and eventually, London. The Welsh section of the motorway, managed by the Welsh Assembly Government, runs from the Second Severn Crossing to Pont Abraham,HP NC6400 battery

Carmarthenshire, connecting the cities of Cardiff, Newport and Swansea. In north Wales the A55 expressway performs a similar role along the north Wales coast providing connections between Holyhead and Bangor, and Wrexham and Flintshire. It also links to England, principally Chester. HP NC6200 battery

The main north-south Wales link is the A470, which runs from Cardiff to Llandudno.

Cardiff International Airport is the only large and international airport in Wales. Providing links to European and North American destinations, it is about 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Cardiff city centre, in the Vale of Glamorgan.HP NC6100 battery

Highland Airways ran internal flights between Anglesey (Valley) and Cardiff, from May 2007 until March 2010, until the company went into administration. The service (dubbed "Ieaun Air" after Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones, AM forYnys Môn) resumed on 10 May 2010, with Isle of Man airline Manx2 the carrier.HP NC6000 battery

The country also has a significant railway network managed by the Welsh Assembly Government, which reopened old railway lines to extend rail usage. Cardiff Central and Cardiff Queen Street are the busiest and the major hubs on the internal and national network. HP NC4400 battery

Beeching cuts in the 1960s mean that most of the remaining network is geared toward east-west travel to or from England. Services between north and south Wales operate through the English towns of Chester and Shrewsbury. Valley Lines services operate in Cardiff, the South Wales Valleys and surrounding area and are heavily used as commuter lines.HP 6710B battery

Arriva Trains Wales is the major operator of rail services within Wales. It also operates routes from within Wales to Crewe, Manchester, Birmingham and Cheltenham. Virgin Trains operate services from north Wales to London as part of the West Coast Main Line. HP 6530B battery

First Great Western operate services from London to Newport and Cardiff every half hour, with an hourly continuation to Swansea. It also runs services from Cardiff and Newport to southern England. CrossCountry offer services from Cardiff to Nottingham and Newcastle upon Tynevia the West Midlands, East Midlands and Yorkshire.HP 6510B battery

Wales is served by four commercial ferry ports. Regular ferry services to Ireland operate from Holyhead, Pembroke and Fishguard. The Swansea to Cork service, cancelled in 2006, was reinstated in March 2010. HP Pavilion DM4T-1000 Battery

National symbols

The Flag of Wales incorporates the red dragon (Y Ddraig Goch) of Prince Cadwalader along with the Tudor colours of green and white. It was used byHenry VII at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 after which it was carried in state to St. Paul's Cathedral.HP Pavilion DM4T Battery

The red dragon was then included in the Tudor royal arms to signify their Welsh descent. It was officially recognised as the Welsh national flag in 1959. The British Union Flag incorporates the flags of Scotland, Ireland and England, but has no Welsh representation.HP Pavilion DM4-1090LA Battery

Technically it is represented by the flag of England, as the Laws in Wales act of 1535 annexed Wales to England, following the 13th-century conquest.

The daffodil and the leek are also symbols of Wales. HP Pavilion DM4-1065DX Battery

The origins of the leek can be traced to the 16th century, while the daffodil became popular in the 19th century, encouraged by David Lloyd-George. This is attributed to confusion of the Welsh for leek, cenhinen, and that for daffodil, cenhinen Bedr or St. Peter's leek. A report in 1916 gave preference to the leek, which has appeared on British pound coins.HP Pavilion DM4-1030EZ Battery

The Prince of Wales' heraldic badge is sometimes used to symbolise Wales. The badge, known as the Prince of Wales's feathers, consists of three white feathers emerging from a gold coronet. A ribbon below the coronet bears the German motto Ich dien (I serve).HP Pavilion DM4-1019TX Battery

Several Welsh representative teams, including the Welsh rugby union, and Welsh regiments in the British Army (the Royal Welsh, for example) use the badge, or a stylised version of it. However, its use is controversial and rejected by some as a symbol of the British monarchy, rather than of Wales.HP Pavilion DM4-1017TX Battery

"Hen Wlad fy Nhadau" (English: Land of My Fathers) is the National Anthem of Wales, and is played at events such as football or rugby matches involving the Wales national team as well as the opening of the Welsh Assembly and other official occasions.HP Pavilion DM4-1000 Battery

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