Ask people what they like most about Wales, and you’re likely to receive numerous answers. From the mountainous national parks, challenging golf courses, Welsh language, and the football teams we love, it’s hard to decide what to love best about Wales. It’s an interesting place to live with a remarkable history. We uncovered some fun facts about Wales. How many of these fun facts do you know?
City and Village Facts
Some names of locations can be difficult to pronounce, especially if they are in Welsh. Can you say the longest village name? It’s Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch which is Welsh for “St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the red cave.”
The city with the largest population is Cardiff with 361,468 people according to WalesOnline.co.uk. In contrast, the town with the smallest population is Llanwrtyd Wells with 850 people.
The oldest city in Wales is Bangor. This city in Gwynedd has been dated to the early 6th century. While it was officially organized as a city in 1886, the origin of the city lies with a monastic establishment centuries earlier. Bangor is also one of the smallest cities in the UK.
Have you ever wondered what street name is the most popular? The most common street name in Wales is High Street. Second place belongs to Station Road.
The Severn Tunnel is the longest tunnel in Wales. It was opened in 1886. The Severn Tunnel is 4 miles and 624 yards long and links Monmouthshire in South Wales to South Gloucestershire. Approximately 2.25 miles of the tunnel are under the River Severn.
The Newport Transporter Bridge is one of only six operational transporter bridges in the world. Transporter bridges hold a suspended gondola that moves from one side of the river to the other bank. The Newport Transporter Bridge crosses the River Usk. The bridge is open to visitors from 21 March to 30 September 2018. Visitors can cross the bridge on the gondola and have access to the high-level walkway during operating hours.
The steepest street in Wales is in Harlech in Snowdonia National Park. Ffordd Pen Llech has signs posted that indicate the gradient is 40%. Some say this has been rounded up from an actual gradient measure of 36.63%. In certain sections, driving cars is banned since they get stuck due to the gradient. It is believed to be the steepest public, paved road in the UK.
In Conwy, Wales, there’s a tiny house known as the smallest house in Wales. The Quay House is a mere 72 inches wide and 122 inches high. The house was last occupied in 1900 by a fisherman names Robert Jones. Mr. Jones was 6 foot, 3 inches tall. It’s a wonder how he managed in such a confined space. Visitors can tour Quay house during the opening times from 25 Mar 2018 to 4 Nov 2018.
Caerphilly is the largest castle in Wales. The castle was built by Gilbert de Clare in the 13th century. Caerphilly Castle sits on a 30-acre site. The only castle in the UK that is bigger than Caerphilly Castle is Windsor Castle.
Conwy may know more about how great things can come in small packages than other parts of Wales. Not only do they have the smallest house, but Conwy is also home to the smallest chapel in Wales. St Trillo’s Chapel at Rhos-on-Sea measures only 8 feet by 11 feet inside.
The oldest surviving castle in Wales is Chepstow Castle in Monmouthshire. It was built in 1067, though it continued to be altered and updated until 1690. This stone fortress also has the oldest castle doors in all of Europe. The Great Door at the entrance of the castle is 800 years old.
Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales. It rises to 3,560 ft above sea level at its peak. Swowdon is located in Snowdonia National Park. On a clear day, someone at the peak can see beyond the Wales location to Ireland, Scotland, England, and the Isle of Man. Visitors can hike to the summit along many footpaths.
Pistyll Rhaeadr in Powys is the tallest waterfall in Wales. It stands at 80m. Visitors can see the falls at the base or take a 20-minute hike to the top of the falls. In winter, the falls sometimes freezes which creates the most stunning ice sculpture.
The River Severn is the longest river in Wales and all of Britain. The river measures 220 miles long. It stretches from its source in the Welsh Cambrian mountains and empties into the Bristol Channel.
In comparison, the shortest river is only 5 miles long. This diminutive body of water is the Cadoxton River in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Interesting Welsh Place Names
Several names of places in Wales are quite unusual. Some Welsh towns have interesting stories behind their unique names. Some of the most unusual names of locations in Wales are: Plwmp. Three Cocks, Lord Herford’s Knob, Backside Wood, Sili, Llanllwni, Penisarwaun, and Mwnt.
The word “Plwmp” is Welsh for “pump.” There was a local farm that had a pump which supplied water for travellers on the turnpike road. “Sili” is Welsh for “fast-running stream.” Though Mwnt is known for its beautiful beach, it gets its name from a steep hill. Can you think of some other interesting place names in Wales?
“Bangor, Gwynedd.” En.wikipedia.org. N. p., 2018. Web. 30 May 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangor,_Gwynedd
“BBC – Shropshire – Severn – History of The River Severn.” Bbc.co.uk. N. p., 2018. Web. 30 May 2018. http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/content/articles/2008/09/26/river_severn_feature.shtml
“Chepstow Castle.” Cadw.gov.wales. N. p., 2018. Web. 30 May 2018. http://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/chepstow-castle/?lang=en
“City Bridge Is A ‘Historical Curiosity’.” BBC News. N. p., 2018. Web. 30 May 2018. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-39515192
Hayden Smith, Press Association. “This Is How Many People Now Live in Wales’ Biggest Cities.” walesonline. N. p., 2017. Web. 30 May 2018. https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/how-many-people-now-live-13223518
“Life on Wales’ Steepest Streets.” BBC News. N. p., 2018. Web. 30 May 2018. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-38520457
“Standedge Tunnel.” Forgottenrelics.co.uk. N. p., 2018. Web. 30 May 2018. http://www.forgottenrelics.co.uk/tunnels/standedge.html
Studio, Sugar. “Caerphilly Castle.” Visitcaerphilly.com. N. p., 2018. Web. 30 May 2018. http://www.visitcaerphilly.com/destination-directory/visitor-attractions-country-parks/caerphilly-castle/
“The Smallest House in Great Britain – Visit Llandudno & Conwy.” Visitllandudno.org.uk. N. p., 2018. Web. 30 May 2018. http://www.visitllandudno.org.uk/things-to-do/the-smallest-house-in-great-britain-p277171
“Walking Snowdon, The Highest Mountain In Wales.” Best of Wales. N. p., 2017. Web. 30 May 2018. https://www.bestofwales.co.uk/snowdonia-places/walking/walking-snowdon-the-highest-mountain-in-wales
“Waterfalls In Wales, The Most Beautiful Welsh Falls | Visit Wales .” Visitwales.com. N. p., 2018. Web. 30 May 2018. http://www.visitwales.com/things-to-do/activities/walking-hiking/family-waterfall-walks