Wales - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Wales


For such a small country, Wales has a lot to offer. With dramatic mountains, spectacular seashores, tumbling rivers, fresh green valleys and Europe's largest concentration of medieval fortresses, it is a real gem that is often overlooked by tourists.

With a name that springs from the Anglo-Saxon term 'waleas' meaning 'foreigner', it is hardly surprising that the Welsh have a unique culture, language and heritage that distinguish them from the English, though as part of the United Kingdom Wales is still subject to its laws and regulations. Although best known for their unpronounceable place names, roaring men's choirs and fierce rugby teams - this is a friendly and hospitable nation.

Though its largest city, Cardiff, has only 350,000 residents, cities in Wales are home to interesting urban atmospheres that retain a certain historical quaintness while providing all the modern amenities one could ask for. Resort towns like Llandudno, Swansea and Tenby provide elegant seaside escapes, and medieval fortifications such as Caernarfon and Conwy offer glimpses into Wales' thousand-year history.

Wales is a land of nature and legend with stunning natural, unspoiled scenery that is protected by a series of large National Parks. Headline attractions include majestic parks like Brecon Beacons and Mount Snowdon, and scenic seaside communities tucked into craggy shorelines. For lovers of nature and the great outdoors Wales can be the perfect destination.

Information & Facts


Wales has a temperate climate, with temperatures rarely reaching extremes. As with the rest of the UK, the weather is highly unpredictable. Coastal areas are warm in summer, although the country receives more rain and less sunshine than England. Conditions can be changeable, particularly inland, while May to August is the best time to travel to Wales as it is sunny and dry.


Etiquette in Wales tends to follow British customs. Men and women will shake hands upon meeting, although good friends may hug and exchange a kiss on the cheek. Politeness is important, to the point that many Welsh will be indirect. Bluntness can be considered rude. During conversation, a distance of 2-3 feet is kept. It is considered rude to look away while someone is speaking. The Welsh are prompt, and it is not polite to keep a person waiting in business or social settings. True to British form, cutting to the front of queues or creating a public spectacle are major taboos in Wales. The Welsh are fiercely proud of their language and culture, and will be offended if referred to as British or English. Wales is a predominantly Protestant nation, with Methodism and Anglicanism the largest denominations.

Getting Around

Getting around in Wales is relatively easy thanks to its small size. There are three major railways lines, running to Holyhead in the north, Aberystwyth in central Wales, and South Wales. The rail lines link to the British system, which means that you can take the train all the way to London. There are also railways linking Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, running every half hour or more. Coach bus company Traws Cambria operates buses that crisscross all of Wales.

English is the official language, though visitors will be astonished by the variety of regional accents.

The currency is the pound (GBP), which is divided into 100 pence. ATMs are available in all towns and Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted; visitors with other cards should check with their credit card companies in advance. Foreign currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change and large hotels, however better exchange rates are likely to be found at banks. Travellers cheques are accepted in all areas frequented by tourists; they are best taken in Pounds Sterling to avoid additional charges.

Local time in the United Kingdom is GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).
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