50 Facts About Wales

Wales, a country that’s part of the United Kingdom, is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Grass dusted hills, meandering valleys, and cloud-piercing mountains, this is one country you’ll want to learn all about. So read on to discover 50 facts about the Country of Wales.

Fact 1: As of 2017, there are 3.125 million people living in Wales, UK.

  • The majority of this number live in the City and County of Cardiff which has a population of approximately 350,000.
  • The lowest populated area is Merthyr Tydfil which has a population of approximately 64,000.

Fact 2: Over 560,000 people can speak Welsh: Wales’ native language.

  • That’s roughly 1 in every 6 people in the country.
  • In comparison, only 57,000 people in Scotland can speak Gaelic: Scotland’s Native language.  

Fact 3: Wales’ total land area is 20,779 square Kilometers.

  • Wales is mostly mountainous and is home to some of the tallest peaks in the UK.
  • Wales only makes up 8.6% of the UK’s total land area which is 242,400 Square kilometers.  

Fact 4: Wales is listed among the modern Celtic nations.

  • Other Celtic nations and areas include Scotland, Ireland, and Cornwall in southwest England.
  • The Celts originated from central Europe.

Fact 5: The Royal Dog of choice, the Corgi, originated from Wales.

  • They’ve been the Royal Family’s dog of choice for generations.
  • The name is derived from “Cor-ci” which is Welsh for Dwarf Dog.

Fact 6: St. Davids, a city on the Welsh west coast, is the smallest city in the UK.

  • It has a population of 1,841 people as of 2011.
  • St. Asaph is the next smallest city in the UK which has 3,355 inhabitants.

Fact 7: Wales once had over 600 Castles within its borders.

  • Only around 100 are still standing.
  • Wales has the highest number of castles per square kilometre than any other nation in the world.

Fact 8: There are 4 times as many sheep in Wales as there are people.

  • That’s a staggering 12.5 million sheep!
  • But that’s nothing compared to New Zealand which has over 30 million sheep.

Fact 9: Wales is not shown on the UK Flag.

  • England, Scotland, and Ireland are all part of the UK Flag.
  • Wales was not included because when the first UK flag was created Wales was principality of England.

Fact 10: Cardiff is the capital city of Wales.

  • It has a population of nearly 500,000 people.
  • This makes Cardiff the 10th most populated city in the United Kingdom.

Fact 11: Wales’ tallest mountain is Mt. Snowdon which stands 1085 meters tall.

  • This makes Snowdon a full 260 meters shorter than the UK’s tallest mountain Ben Nevis which stands 1345 meters tall.
  • The second tallest mountain in Wales is Carnedd Llewelyn which stands at 1064 metres.

Fact 12: The deepest cave in Britain is Ogof Ffynnon Dddu which is near Abercraf in Wales.

  • It’s over 274 meters deep.
  • And, it’s over 50 kilometers long with much of it yet to be explored.

Fact 13: The actor Anthony Hopkins was born in Port Talbot Wales.

  • Other Welsh actors include Richard Burton and Christian Bale.
  • Welsh actresses include Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Fact 14: Cardiff City’s Principality Stadium has the largest retractable stadium roof in the UK.

  • The roof takes 20 minutes to open or close.
  • The opening size is 108 meters by 80 meters.

Fact 15: Offa’s Dyke was the first official boundary between England and Wales.

  • It was created in 784 AD by King Offa of Mercia.
  • The dyke is 283 kilometers long.

Fact 16: At one point, Wales made up 40% of the UK’s total coal production.

  • The South Wales coal fields are known for producing some of the finest coal in the world.
  • You can travel 90 meters down into a Welsh coal mine at the Big Pit Welsh National Coal Mining Museum.

Fact 17: Mount Everest is named after Welshman Sir George Everest.

  • He was born in Gwernvale, Breconshire, Mid-Wales, in 1790.
  • He was a British surveyor and geographer.

Fact 18: St. David, or Dewi Sant in Welsh, is the patron saint of Wales.

  • He was a Bishop in the City of St. Davids in the 6th Century AD
  • His birth date is not precisely known. His birth year is said to range between 462 and 512 AD.

Fact 19: Joseph ‘Job’ Daniels, a Welsh man who emigrated to America, was the grandfather of Jack Daniels, the American whiskey maker.

  • Joseph was born in Aberystwyth on the west coast of Wales.
  • He emigrated to America in the early 18th Century.

Fact 20: Robert Recorde Invented the mathematical Equals sign (=).

  • He was born in Tenby, Pembrokeshire in 1512.
  • He also introduced the english speaking world to the mathematical plus sign (+).

Fact 21: Craig-y-Nos Castle was once the home of Adelina Patti.

  • She bought the castle in 1878 and lived there for over 40 years.
  • The castle was originally built by Captain Rice Davies Powell between 1841 and 1843.

Fact 22: Howell Powell was officially the first ever welsh settler in America.

  • Howell originally came from Brecon in Mid-Wales.
  • He eventually settled in Virginia in 1642.

Fact 23:  Thomas Telford designed and built the Menai Suspension Bridge that spans the Menai Strait between Bangor and Anglesey.

  • The Bridge was built in 1826.
  • When the bridge was built it had the longest span in the world at 176 meters.

Fact 24: Wales is home to one of the world oldest known trees: The Llangernyw Yew

  • The tree is found in the garden of St Digain’s in Llangernyw close to Conwy town.
  • Amazingly, the tree is thought to be over 4,000 years old!

Fact 25: The National Botanical Garden of Wales’ glass domed greenhouse is the largest single-span glass roof in the world.

  • It is nearly 100 meters long and hosts 4 different climates so different plates can grow!
  • The glass house can be found in Carmarthenshire, South Wales.

Fact 26: Lawn Tennis was invented by Welshman Major Walter Wingfield in the gardens Nantclwyd Hall, near Ruthin.

  • It is said he invented an interpretation of what was then called ‘Real Tennis’.
  • He invented the sport after much experimentation in the 1860s

Fact 27: Guglielmo Marconi sent the first ever radio message from Lavernock Point, South Wales.

  • The message was sent to a small island in the middle of the Bristol Channel called Flat Holm
  • The transmission was made on May 11th 1897.

Fact 28: In 1907, the world’s first 1 million pound deal was struck in the Cardiff Coal Exchange.

  • The exchange was where the world-wide price of coal was set.
  • The exchange was built in 1888 and has since been renovated and turned into a luxury hotel.

Fact 29: Wales’ national sport is Rugby and they have a fierce rivalry with England.

  • The first game to ever take place between Wales and England was in 1881.
  • There is a reputed 79,800 register Rugby players in Wales which is more per capita for a country of Wales’ size than anywhere else in the world.

Fact 30: Llewellyn Humphreys, from Powis, Mid-Wales, was Al Capone’s accountant.

  • His nickname was ‘Murray the Camel’ or ‘Murray the Hump’.
  • When Capone was eventually sent to Jail, Humphreys was entrusted with control over the mob.

Fact 31: Microsoft have created a version of its Windows operating system just for the Welsh

  • It’s aptly called Welsh Windows.
  • Welsh was used as a representative of the Celtic languages because of its popularity.

Fact 32: Every year the Eisteddfod, which is a celebration of poetry, music and song, is held in Wales.

  • It is moved around Wales every year so people from across the country can easily attend.
  • The first ever Eisteddfod was held in Cardigan Castle in 1176.

Fact 33: Swansea is the second largest city in Wales.

  • The surrounding area is home to nearly quarter of a million people.
  • Swansea is the gateway to the Gower Peninsula: a designated area of outstanding natural beauty.

Fact 34: Wrexham Lager was the first lager brewers to open in Britain

  • Wrexham Lager was opened by German immigrants in 1881.
  • The brewery was the only known lager exported from the UK for many years because, while being transported by boat, beer and bitter were affected by the motion of the waves while.

Fact 35: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is the longest place name in Europe

  • It’s found on the island of Anglesey.
  • But it’s not the longest place name. That record is held by, wait for it, Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwh, in New Zealand

Fact 36: There is a Total of 55,514 kilometers of roads in Wales.

  • That works out as 2.6 Kilometers of road per square kilometer of land.
  • That’s compared to 3 kilometers of road per square kilometer in England.

Fact 37: Angeles is the largest Welsh Island.

  • It has a total area of 714 square kilometers.
  • Holy Island is the second largest Welsh island with a land area just under 40 square kilometers.

Fact 38: The oldest monastery in Britain is on the outskirts of Wrexham, North Wales.

  • The monastery’s name is Bangor-on-Dee.
  • It was founded nearly 1500 years ago in 560 AD.

Fact 39: There is an unbroken walkable coastal path that stretches the entire Welsh coast.

  • It is called the Welsh National Coastal Path.
  • It is just over 1400 kilometers long in total.

Fact 40: Wales is said to be the home of the mythical King Arthur.

  • In the heart of the Gower Peninsula, you can find King Arthur’s stone. A huge boulder sat upon other rocks.
  • Excalibur, Arthur’s magical sword, was said to be tossed into one of the lakes in Wales.

Fact 41: Swansea was once considered the copper capital of the world.

  • Its nickname was Copperopolis.
  • Copper is not native to South Wales. It was shipped in because it took far more coal to smelt the copper. Making it cheaper to bring the Copper to Swansea.

Fact 42: On St. Davids day, the 1st March 2014, a group of cooks from the town of Bala cooked the biggest ever Welsh cake.

  • A welsh cake is a griddled Flatbread filled with fruit and/or currants.
  • The massive cake measured 1.5 meters in diameter.

Fact 43: Dylan Thomas was a famous poet born in Swansea on October 27th 1914.

  • His most famous work a play called Under Milkwood.
  • Dylan was only 39 years old when he died in New York on the 9th November 1953.

Fact 44: The population of Haverfordwest was the last area in the UK to suffer from the plague.

  • This was recorded in 1652.
  • At the time, death rates from the plague were 3 times the normal amount in the UK.

Fact 45: The Welsh Love Spoon was, unsurprisingly, first created in Wales.

  • They are carved from wood with interlocking knots and hearts embedded in the wood to represent a couples love for each other.
  • Welsh Love Spoons are known throughout the world and are exported to nearly every country.

Fact 46: Unlike the south, there are no cities in North Wales.

  • Wrexham is the largest town with a population of 63,000 people.
  • That’s nearly 1 tenth the population of North wales which stands at 688,000 people.

Fact 47: The River Severn runs along the border between England and Wales before turning into Mid Wales.

  • It’s the longest river in the UK at 354 kilometers.
  • In comparison, the second longest river, the River Thames, is only 8 kilometers shorter at 346 kilometers.

Fact 48: Cardiff International Airport is the only international airport in Wales

  • It serves over 1 million passengers a year and it’s the 20th largest airport in the UK.
  • The second largest airport in Wales is Swansea Airport. It’s not used commercially.

Fact 49: Wales isn’t just known for its coal. It also produces some of the finest Slate in the world.

  • At the height of the Slate industry’s output, it employed over 17,000 workers.
  • And it produced over half a million tons of slate annually.

Fact 50: Not even the Romans could beat the Welsh.

  • Some parts of the south namely Swansea and Cardiff were conquered.
  • However, the Romans encountered stiff Guerrilla warfare tactics in the hills of Breconshire and so abandoned plans to invade.

Recent Posts