Project BritainProject Britain

British Life and Culture

by Mandy Barrow

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British life and culture - England, Scotland and Wales
Welsh flagFacts about Wales
Wales is about the size of Massachusetts
To find out more click here

Wales mapWalesWhere is Wales?

Wales is in north-west Europe and is part of Great Britain, an island country ( See map ) and the United Kingdom (UK) .

The name Wales comes from the Cymraeg word Gwalia, meaning in English "Homeland". It later became Latinized as Walia, then by the Normans to something like Wal~es....then Wales.

  • Wales (Cymru in Welsh) is a mountainous country on the western side of Great Britain.
  • Wales is bordered by England to the east, the Bristol Channel to the south, St George's Channel in the west, and the Irish Sea to the north.
Technically, Wales is a principality. This means that it is ruled by a prince. Traditionally the Prince of Wales is the eldest son of the English monarch.

Great Britain

  • Wales has not been politically independent since 1282, when it was conquered by King Edward I of England.
  • Until 1999, Wales was ruled directly from London; that year saw the first elections to the National Assembly of Wales, which has limited domestic powers and cannot make law.
  • Wales does not issue its own currency and is not in control of any armed forces. These are the powers of the national government of the UK.
  • The national game of Wales is Rugby

The National Flag of Wales

flag of Wales

Why doesn't the Welsh dragon appear on the Union Flag?
What would it look like if it did?
Click here to find out

Famous Welsh people

Wales is known for its great actors - Richard Burton, and today Sir Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta Jones. It is also known for its Celtic traditions and the Red Dragon (Y Ddraig Goch) on its flag.

  • Laura Ashley - famous fashion creator.
  • David Lloyd George - past British Prime Minister,
  • Sir George Everest - famous traveler and explorer, The highest peak in the world is named after him.

Writers and poets

  • Roald Dahl (1916–1990), author
  • Dick Francis (born 1920), jockey and author
  • Dylan Thomas (1914–1953), poet
  • Ronald Stuart Thomas (1913–2000), poet
  • David Jones (1895–1974), artist and poet


  • Tom Jones
  • Shirley Bassey.

Musical groups:

  • Catatonia,
  • Super Furry Animals,
  • The Stereophonics,
  • Manic Street Preachers.

Country Facts

Cymru am byth (Wales for ever)
Red dragon on a green and white field.
National Day:
 20,779 sq km
 2,918,700 (2002)
Capital City:
Cardiff (Caerdydd)
Major Cities:
Cardiff, Swansea (Abertawe) and Newport (Casnewydd)
Official Language:
 English and Cymraeg (Welsh)
Nationality : Welsh and British
Find out more
Anthem (Song): Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau
(Land Of My Fathers)
Main religions:
 Anglicanism, Methodism
Highest point:
 Snowdon 1085 metres (3559 ft)
Longest river:
Towy (Tywi) 103 km (64 miles)
Largest Lake:
 Bala (4.4 sq km)
Official Animal Dragon


  • Coal, copper, iron, lead, and gold have been mined in Wales, and slate has been quarried.
  • Much of Wales, due to poor soil, is unsuitable for crop-growing, and so livestock farming has traditionally been the focus of agriculture.
  • The Welsh landscape, protected by three National Parks, and the unique Welsh culture bring in tourism, which is especially vital for rural areas.

Traditional Welsh Food

  • Welsh food is usually made from local ingredients.
  • Some traditional dishes include laverbread (made from seaweed), bara brith (fruit cake), cawl cennin (leek stew), Welsh cakes, Welsh Rarebit, and Welsh lamb.
  • A type of shellfish, cockles, is often served with breakfast.

The Isle of Man next

Questions about Great Britain

What is Great Britain?
Is Britain the same as Great Britain?
Which countries are in Great Britain?

Find out about Great Britain next

Questions about the United Kingdom

Where is the UK?
What countries make up the UK?
What is the official title (name) of the UK?
Why is the whole of Ireland not part of the UK?
How and why was the UK formed?

Find out about the UK next

Questions about the British Isles

What are the British Isles?

Find out about the British Isles next

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email© Copyright - please read
All the materials on these pages are free for homework and classroom use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place the content of this page on any other website or blog without written permission from the Mandy Barrow.

© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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