With St David’s Day fast approaching, take a peek at our list of 7 things you (probably) didn’t know about Wales…
1. Wales is often regarded as having the largest number of castles in the world.
There are approximately 400 castles, with around 100 still standing! Of these, some of the most popular to visit are Caernarfon Castle, Denbigh Castle, Conwy Castle, Raglan Castle and Beaumaris Castle.
2. The country is home to the Lesser Horseshoe Bat.
This odd-looking critter gets its name from its distinctive horseshoe-shaped nose, and can be found chilling out in caves along the Welsh Coast. There’s around 28,000 of them living in Wales, and a further 22,000 hiding in the rest of the UK!
3. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch is an actual town in North Wales.
This veritable tongue-twizzler translates as ‘The church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio’s of the red cave’ (Catchy, right?) Legend has it that it’s the longest place name in the world. We can well believe it!
4. The original national emblem of Wales was the Leek (Cenhinen).
Over the years this was often confused with a very similar Welsh word ‘Cehhinen Bedr’ which means daffodils. Due to this confusion, the daffodil was adopted as a second emblem of Wales.
5. The population sheep in Wales is four times greater than the Welsh population of humans.
Quite remarkable, eh? The reason behind this phenomenon is the sheer amount of mountains in Wales. While crops and vegetables struggle to grow on such land, and cows can’t handle the terrain, sheep are naturals at living on bumpier climbs.
6. Wales is often termed ‘the land of song’ as the country is known for its talented harpists, male choirs, and solo artists.
Superstar Welsh alumni include Shirley Bassey, Aled Jones, Bonnie Tyler, Shakin’ Stevens, Duffy, Charlotte Church and Tom Jones. The Welsh aren’t too shabby at acting either, as Anthony Hopkins, Michael Sheen and Catherine Zeta-Jones helm from the country, too.
7. Only 21% of the entire Welsh population of Wales can speak the native language.
Another fun fact regarding the Welsh language is that the letters K, Q, V and Z do not appear in the Welsh alphabet at all! Instead of these, ‘mega-consonants’ are formed by sticking two consonants together, for example ‘Ff’.