Wales with a population of more than 3 million is a country in the UK. It is located in southwest Great Britain and has a coastline of 1,680 miles. This country is famous for its rugged coastline and mountains.
We have travelled to Wales many times and luckily, we were welcomed with good weather during most of our trips, while Wales is wetter than England with slightly less sunshine.
In this post, I share some fun facts about Wales, which helps you to learn more about the Welsh culture, language and food.
1. The flag of Wales is really cool
Wales national flag is unlike any other national flags you know. It has a big dragon on it. The dragon has been the symbol of Wales for centuries, but it was not put on the Welsh flag until 1959.
Only three countries in the world have dragons on their national flags.
2. The flag of Wales doesn’t appear in the UK flag
Wales is one of the four nations in the United Kingdom, but its flag doesn’t appear in the UK’s flag, also known as the Union Flag.
As a quick reminder, the UK flag is made up of Scotland, Northern Ireland and England’s flags but not Wales. You might ask why was the Welsh flag excluded? The reason is that when the Union Flag was created, England and Wales were already united and Wales was not a separate principality.
3. Mount Everest is named after a Welshman
I assume you all know Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, but have you ever thought about where the name might be coming from?
It was actually named after George Everest, a Welsh geographer who served as Surveyor General of India.
4. Wales has more sheep than humans
It’s hard to visit Wales and not see a flock of sheep. They are almost everywhere. There are 10 million sheep while the population of Wales is only 3 million.
5. Cardiff is the youngest capital in Europe
Cardiff, the largest city in Wales, is one of the most vibrant cities in the UK. This city became the capital in 1955 and it is the youngest capital city in Europe.
6. The village with the longest name in Europe is in Wales
Wales, after New Zealand, is home to the place with the longest name in the world.
This one: “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch”.
Yes, it is just one single name, but please don’t ask me to pronounce it. This is the name of a village in Wales and it translates to: “The church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio of the red cave”.
7. K, Q, V and Z are missing
As you know there are 26 letters in the English alphabet, but Welsh has even more: 29. An interesting fact about the Welsh alphabet is that K, Q, V and Z are not included.
8. There are castles everywhere in Wales
Wales has more castles per square mile than any other country in the world. There is no way to tell how many castles have been built in Wales since some of them are now ruined. But there are more than 600 castles in the country.
9. You can summit the highest peak in Wales by train
The highest peak in Wales is Snowdon at an elevation of 1,085 metres above sea level. This mountain is located in the north of Snowdonia National Park, one of the best places to visit in Wales. You can hike to the summit, but if you feel lazy, you can take a train to the top.
I highly recommend you to walk up there though, you will have amazing views across the national park.
10. The first mail-order business was started in Wales
Ordering online is a vital part of our daily lives, and it has been especially true in the past year. But did you know how the mail-order shopping industry, which is now worth billions, began?
Pryce Jones, a Welsh draper who lived in the middle of nowhere and had a little store developed the idea in 1861. He used the Post Office and the new railway links to send out catalogues and his goods to people in remote rural areas.
11. Laverbread is not actual bread
Laverbread, known as the “Welshman's caviar” is part of Welsh traditional cuisine, which is usually served for breakfast or as a snack. If you are not familiar with Laverbread, you might think it’s some kind of bread or fish eggs, but it is actually seaweed. I personally haven’t tried it yet, but it is widely consumed in Wales.
12. Only 23% of Wales population speaks Welsh
There are two national languages in Wales: English and Welsh. According to a survey, only 23% of the entire population of Wales say that they can speak some of their native language, while only 11% are fluent in Welsh.
13. The Royal Wedding rings are made from Welsh Gold
Members of the British Royal Family have used pure Welsh gold to make their wedding rings, since 1923. The tradition was started by the Queen Mother.
Welsh gold is considered to be the rarest in the world and it can be valued up to 30 times more than standard gold.
14. Wales is home to the smallest city in the UK
St Davids, on the west coast of Wales, is the smallest city in Britain with a population of less than 2000. This city might be small but it has a lot to offer. It is home to St David Cathedral and the ruins of St Davids Bishops Palace. When you are in Wales, make sure to check this city out.
In summary, Wales is a beautiful country, if you haven’t visited yet, I highly recommend you to add it to your bucket list.