30 Interesting Facts About Wales

Did you know that Sir George Everest, a Welshman, is the reason why Mount Everest has its name?

Wales is a beautiful country that many people may not know about. Although it is part of the UK, it is distinct from England.

Originally known as the Celtic nation of Cymru, Wales has been dominated by larger powers like the Romans and English throughout history.

Despite being annexed by the English crown for almost three centuries, Wales remained a proud and determined nation. Today, it is a principality.

The Welsh landscape, culture, and rugby are impressive, despite the frequent rain and hilly terrain. Welsh people are also known for their resilience and honesty.

Here are 30 fascinating facts about Wales:

1. Wales has more castles per square mile than any other European country. Caerphilly is the largest castle in Wales and the second largest in Europe after Windsor Castle.

2. The corgi dog, which is the Queen’s favorite breed, originates from Wales. The word “corgi” means “dwarf-dog” or “cor-ci”.

3. Felinfoel Brewery in South Wales was the first brewery outside of the US to sell beer in cans, starting in 1931.

4. The first boundary between England and Wales was created in 784AD with the construction of Offa’s Dyke by King Offa of Mercia.

5. Welsh inventor Bill Frost reportedly flew his “Flying Machine” in Saundersfoot in 1895, eight years before the Wright brothers’ successful flight.

6. Blackadder III once joked that “You need half a pint of phlegm in your throat just to pronounce the place names” in Wales.

7. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a Welsh village with the second longest place name in the world. It translates to “St Mary’s church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of Llantysilio of the red cave.”

8. Jack Daniels whiskey was created by Jack Daniel, whose grandfather Joseph “Job” Daniels emigrated from Aberystwyth, West Wales to the US in the 18th century.

9. Welsh, or Cymraeg, is the Welsh language, but only 11% of Welsh people were fluent in it in 2014, though 23% could speak some Welsh.

10. Despite years of extraction, Wales still has significant natural resources, from coal and slate to copper and steel. At one point, South Wales produced 40% of the UK’s coal exports.

11. Rugby is the national sport of Wales, and the first international game was played between Wales and England in 1881. Welsh teams were undefeated throughout 1907 and 1910.

12. The world’s first radio message was sent by Guglielmo Marconi in 1897 from Larvernock Point, south of Penarth, Wales, to Flat Holm in the Bristol Channel.

13. Anthony Hopkins, the actor famous for his role as Hannibal Lecter, was born in Wales in 1937.

Murray the Hump, Al Capone’s accountant, who came from a Powys family, became America’s most wanted man at one point. After Capone’s imprisonment, he took control of the mob. Microsoft offers a version of Windows called ‘Welsh Windows’, recognizing Welsh as the most popular Celtic language and its linguistic diversity. The Welsh were the first nation to win the Rugby Grand Slam in 1908 when they beat Ireland in Belfast while wearing trial jerseys without the Prince of Wales feathers. The British royal family uses Welsh gold for their wedding rings, and this tradition continued in the royal wedding of 2011 by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Every year, an Eisteddfod festival of poetry, literature, and music is held across Wales, with the first one held by Lord Rhys at Cardigian Castle in 1176. The Welsh flag of red, green, and white was officially recognized from 1959, and the dragon on the flag originated from an Arthurian legend that tells of wizard Merlin’s vision of a red dragon fighting a white, representing the battle between the native Britons and Saxon invaders. St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was from Banwen in the Dulais Valley and was taken to Ireland by Irish slavers. Welsh is spoken by ¾ million people across England, the US, Canada, and Argentina, and Welsh speakers in Wales benefit from legally enshrined bilingual road signs and the Welsh-exclusive TV channel, S4C. Donald Davies, a computer pioneer, played a significant role in paving the way for the internet by creating packet-switched networking. The Welsh voted for the creation of the National Assembly for Wales in 1997, and Wales was legally recognized as a distinct constitutional entity within the UK. Dylan Thomas, the world-renowned poet and writer of ‘Under the Milk Wood,’ was born in Wales in 1914. Mount Everest is named after Welshman Sir George Everest. The Welsh love-spoon is an iconic symbol across the world, representing a sign of a man’s capability and skill with his hands as he carved it for his lover’s family. Spillers Records, located in Cardiff, South Wales, claims to be the oldest record shop in the world and originally specialized in phonographs, wax phonograph cylinders, and shellac phonograph discs.

Roald Dahl, the renowned author of many beloved children’s stories such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Matilda”, and “The BFG”, was born in Cardiff in 1916. His work has introduced countless readers to the fantastical world of Wales. Whether you’re drawn to the food, culture, landscape, or history of this magnificent country, you’re sure to discover countless wonders you never knew existed. Who knows, you might even pick up a few Welsh phrases along the way! And despite the fact that many Welsh residents don’t speak their native language, don’t let that deter you from exploring all that Wales has to offer. So go ahead and indulge in a Welsh cake or some half and half (rice and chips, a Welsh staple) and raise a glass of Jack Daniels and coke in a toast to this amazing country. Iechyd da! (Cheers!)


1. What is the significance of the Welsh flag’s red dragon?

The red dragon on the Welsh flag represents the ancient Welsh king Cadwaladr, who was known for his bravery and strength. The flag itself dates back to the 15th century and has been used as a symbol of Welsh identity ever since.

2. Why is the town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch famous?

This town in north-west Wales has the longest place name in Europe, with 58 letters. It was given this name in the 19th century as a way to attract tourists to the area, and it has certainly worked! Visitors come from all over the world to take photos with the town’s famous sign.

3. What is the story behind the Welsh love spoon tradition?

The Welsh love spoon tradition dates back to the 17th century, when young men would carve intricate spoons to give to their sweethearts as a symbol of their affection. Each design had a different meaning, such as a heart for love or a horseshoe for good luck. Today, love spoons are still popular in Wales and make a unique souvenir for visitors.

4. What is the connection between Wales and the sport of rugby?

Rugby is a hugely popular sport in Wales, with the national team having won the Six Nations tournament more times than any other team. The sport has a long history in Wales, dating back to the 19th century when it was first introduced by students at Rugby School in England. Today, rugby is an important part of Welsh culture and identity.

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