Wales – key figures
Land Area: 20,779 square kilometers
Population: 3.0 million (2008 estimate). White British 95.99%, other whites 1.89%, Asians 0.88%, mixed races 0.61%, blacks 0.24%, Chinese 0.22%, others 0.18% (2001 census).
Population density: 145 residents per square kilometer
Capital: Cardiff (321,000 residents, 2007 estimate)
Highest point: Snowdon, 1,085 m
Lowest point: Irish Sea, 0 m
Form of government: Wales is a constitutional parliamentary monarchy and a part of the United Kingdom (United Kingdom, UK). The Welsh Parliament (National Assembly for Wales, 60 members elected every 4 years) has been legislating for Wales since July 1st, 1999, but does not have full legislative powers. Parliament elects the First Minister, the Head of Government of Wales, from among its members.
Administrative division: 22 Unitary Authorities: Merthyr Tydfil, Caerffili / Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Sir Fynwy / Monmouthshire, Casnewydd / Newport, Caerdydd / Cardiff, Bro Morgannwg / Vale of Glamorgan, Penybont-ar-Ogwr / Bridgendon, Rhond Castell Nedd Port Talbot / Neath Port Talbot, Abertawe / Swansea, Sir Gaerfyrddin / Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Powys, Wrecsam / Wrexham, Sir y Fflint / Flintshire, Sir Ddinbych / Denbighshire, Conwy, GwynedYnys Môn / Angleshirey / and.
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II (since February 6, 1952)
Head of Government: First Minister Carwyn Jones (since December 10, 2009)
Language: English and Welsh have been formally equated since 1993 (Welsh Language Act). However, English is the main language in Wales. 21.7% of the Welsh population can speak or write Welsh (2001). Ethnic minority languages include Bengali and Cantonese.
R eligion: Christian 72% (including Presbyterian, Church of Wales, Roman Catholic), Other (especially Islam) 1.5%, no religion 18.5%, unspecified 8.1% (2001 census).
Local time: CET -1 h. Wales has daylight saving time (CET) between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October.
The time difference to Central Europe is -1 hour in both winter and summer.
International phone code: +44
Mains voltage: 240 V, 50 Hz
Wales is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; the Welsh Peninsula juts out into the Irish Sea between the deeply cut mouths of the Dee in the north and the Severn in the south and forms roughly the shape of a rough rectangle. With a total area of 20,720 square kilometers, Wales is about half the size of that Netherlands and is enclosed on three sides by the sea.
The predominantly mountainous landscape of Wales is only seen in some areas along the waycoast and somewhat shallower at the mouth of the Severn and Wye rivers. The Welsh coast offers a very varied and impressive appearance with dunes, salt marshes, offshore rock islands and rugged steep slopes. The variety of rock types is also remarkable here. Nowhere else can you find such a large number of colorful stones washed by the sea as on the beaches of Wales.
Wales is the most mountainous region of the British Isles after Scotland, as it consists almost entirely of low mountain ranges that gradually lower from north to south. Most of Wales is over 200 meters high, a quarter of the total area even over 300 meters. At 1,085 meters Mount Snowdon is the second largest mountain in Great Britain after Ben Nevis in Scotland. The most important mountain ranges are the Cambrian Mountains, which run in a north-south direction through the country from which they owe their name: Cambria means Wales. The Cambrian Mountains rise to an impressive 900 to 1000 meters in the north and become noticeably lower towards the south. Such are the Plynlimon Mountains, in the ridge of which the rivers Severn and Wye arise, only 750 meters high. The Cambrian Mountains are also the watershed of Wales; here the rivers “decide” whether they flow to Wales or England. The rivers remaining on Welsh territory reach the sea relatively quickly and without detours, while the watercourses that change to the English side flow into the Bristol Channel after many detours and loops.
The landscape of Snowdonia in north Wales owes its unmistakably alpine character to the immediate rise of the Welsh mountains to up to 1000 meters. In contrast, the hill country of Mid Wales presents itselfless rugged and inhospitable; this region, which is dominated by mostly forestless hills covered with fern and grass, is also called “the rolling hills of Wales”. Millions of sheep graze on these elevations, which are around 400 to 500 meters high.
Further south, the Cambrian Mountains flatter and run out into the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountain. At 886 meters, Pen y Fan is the highest mountain in southern Great Britain. Wales can with the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Snowdonia National Park as well as the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the only coastal national park in Great Britain, have particularly beautiful natural landscapes. The Llyn Peninsula, Anglesey Island, the Wye Valley and the Clwydian Range are also under protection.
According to Bridgat, October to January are the wettest months. However, it can rain at any time of the year, but summers are generally mild and average maximum temperatures of just under 20 ° C. In general, the coast is the driest region in Wales and the mountains are wettest. It snows on Mount Snowdon several weeks a year.
That weather in Wales is unpredictable and conditions can change in a matter of hours. So it would be wise to prepare for anything.