Wales is the land of Richard Burton, The Manic Street Preachers, Tom Jones, Dylan Thomas, Charlotte Church, and The Leek. The home of Rugby, the Millennium Stadium, Gareth Williams, or Snowdonia National Park, Welsh Rarebit and the cultural Eisteddfod.
These are some of the things you will remember or observe when you are in Wales. Of course your own list will be interesting and we would love to read it.
But on a practical note, we have listed some information below to help you relax and enjoy your tour
Many Welsh towns have interesting history and Aberystwyth, perched on surrounding hills is located beside the remnants of a massive Iron Age fortress. The remains of the first Norman castle built in Wales can also be found in the town of Aberystwyth.
Caernarfon meanwhile is best known for its 13th-century castle, which is considered one of the best preserved fortresses in all of Wales. Hay-on-Wye is a small town on the River Wye, is very close to the English border, in the Brecon Beacons National Park. The national book town, with at least two dozen bookshops, Hay-on-Wye is probably best known as the location of a prestigious annual Hay Festival.
Pembrokeshire is know as the City of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales. St. David’s Cathedral is a beautiful example of religious architecture in the Middle Ages. The Brecon Beacons feature a landscape of rolling hills, rocky river valleys, grasslands and water meadows. The park is dotted with archeological remnants of Wales long history, including Neolithic cairns, Bronze Age standing stones, Iron Age forts and crumbling Norman castles.
Cardiff, is Wales ancient port capital city has many attractions including, the Millennium sports stadium. The futuristic Wales Millennium Centre for performing and of course Cardiff Castle. Conwy is located in North Wales on the Conwy Estuary near the forests of Snowdonia. The dark-stoned fortress of 12th century Conwy Castle dominates the cityscape. Pembrokeshire county encompasses the country’s southwestern peninsula and offshore islands, overlooking the craggy shoreline is famed for its wildlife too.
Llandudno is the country’s largest seaside resort and arguably its most charming. Built during the 1950s by the wealthy Mostyn family, Llandudno has all the attributes that wealthy Victorians looked for in a summer resort. It featured a promenade that stretched along the town’s northern beach with a 700-meter (2,300-foot) pier jutting into the bay at the end. Snowdonia National Park in North Wales is one of the most popular places to visit in Wales with the main peak of Snowdonia itself, providing a stunning backdrop to the park’s estuaries, lakes, rivers, slate mines and villages. Hiking is a popular activity in Snowdonia, and there are Neolithic burial cairns and Roman ruins to explore in the park too.
The regions of Wales are Cardiff, Mid Wales, North Wales, Ceredigion, Southern Wales, South West Wales, Swansea,
Coming from the States you do not need a visa to enter Wales. As a visitor you can stay up to six months without any restrictions.
The currency is The Pound and this is generally the only currency accepted, except in rare circumstances. In most places you can also pay with Visa or MasterCard. American Express is less accepted so check in advance. 1 USD is equivalent to approximately .70 Pound Sterling and there are 100 pence in one Pound.
Wales has a reputation for being wet and dull but this is not entirely true! In Wales temperatures are very moderate. Winters are mild, with snow, usually around -5 to 5 degrees in Winter. Some summer months are moderate, the country experiences some warm spells and temperatures, particularly around Swansea, and temperatures can reach up to 21- 25 degrees. The wettest months are in Autumn and Winter
In Wales the main language is English and you have Welsh spoken in the south of Wales mainly in the valleys.
There is a multicultural society in Wales and the restaurants, especially in the large cities, most certainly reflect this. French, Italian, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine can be found everywhere.
However, the Welsh still love their traditional Welsh recipes! Lamb, Potatoes, and Leeks feature high on the menus in pubs and restaurants. Welsh breakfast is also a staple part of the diet and is served in most hotels as the standard breakfast. This consists of bacon, sausages, fried eggs, tomatoes and the ever curious white & black puddings (see Dictionary below!)
Once you have reached the legal age for drinking alcohol, that is 18 years, you can wander into one of the many pubs and experiment with one of the beers. Typically you will find that each pub sells Lager, Ale, Whiskey and Bitter and a friendly barman will be happy to inform you of the differences between them all! You are usually never more than five minutes away from a pub in Wales and often these pubs serve a mixture of traditional and international food dishes. Most pubs close at 11 or 11.30pm.
With regards to non-alcoholic drinks, tea is still the favoured hot cup of the day, although American influences such as Starbucks are now to be found in most large cities and towns.
Electricity and Phone-Wales
Bring a power converter ! The British electrical system uses a huge three-prong flat head plug and a currency of 230/240 volts. With regards to your cell phone, it may be cheaper to buy a local number and use this for the duration of your stay. Your hotel/guesthouse receptionist can advise you on this. If you are only staying for a short period and planning on using mostly Wi-Fi, then your current sim will suit best-
We have listed a few common differences in language between English and the U.S English
Lavy = restroom Lift = elevator Dustbin = trashcan Jumper = sweater
Mobile = cellphone Petrol = gas Boot = trunk Wardrobe = closet Trousers = pants
Black/white pudding = a type of blood sausage
Welsh Fry = traditional Irish fried breakfast with bacon, sausage, egg, pudding
Welsh Rarebit = is a dish made with a savoury sauce of melted cheese.
Leeks = Traditional vegetable
Pies = beef or liver and vegetables in a pastry case
Scones = cupcake
Chips = fries
Courgette = zucchini