Learn About Wales

Learn about Wales , its land, its history and its people with our fun range of worksheets and printables.

Snowdonia
Snowdonia

A Little Geography

  • Wales is on the west of the island of Great Britain. Alongside England, Scotland and Northern Ireland it makes up the country of the United Kingdom.
  • Wales is borderd by England in the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west and the Bristol Channel to the south. The border with England runs for 160 miles from the Dee Estuary in the north to the Severn Estuary in the south. It has largely remained unchanged since the 8th century and is marked by Offa's Dyke, a long earth wall and ditch built around 780 and named after Offa, an Anglo-Saxon king. 
  • Wales is mostly mountainous in the mid and north regions, with valleys and a coastal plain to the south. The highest mountains are in Snowdonia to the north-west, with Mount Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) being the highest at 1,085m
  • The largest Welsh island is Anglesey off the north-west coast. It is separated from the mainland by the Menai Strait.
  • Wales has 3 national parks and 5 areas of outstanding natural beauty, which cover a quarter of the land mass.

A Little History

  • Neanderthals lived in what is now Wales at least 230,000 years ago with Homo Sapiens arriving around 31,000BC. The Red Lady of Paviland, a skeleton dyed with red ochre and discovered in caves on the Gower Peninsula in 1823, is believed to date from this time. The skeleton was assumed at first to be fairly recent and a woman but it was found to be a young male hunter buried with jewellery of seashells and ivory and a mammoth skull.   
  • The largest Bronze Age mines in the world can be found on the Great Orme at Llandudno in North Wales. Coppermining began on the site around 4000 years ago.  
  • The Romans came to Wales in AD 48 and by AD 78 had conquered the country. The only town established by the Romans in Wales was Caerwent near Newport. 
  • Wales had become Christian under the Romans and in the period 500-700 AD, known as the 'Age of Saints' religious leaders such as St David and Teilo helped establish many monastic settlements.
  • Following the departure of the Romans in the 4th Century Wales was split into separate kingdoms, the largest of which were Gwynydd in the North and Powys in the South. The only ruler to unite Wales under one ruler was Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, King of Gwynydd from 1055–1063. After Gruffydd was killed the country once more split into traditional kingdoms.
  • While the Normans conquered England in 1066 they never achieved complete dominance in Wales and by 1267 Llywelyn ap Gruffudd was in control of much of Wales and calling himself Prince of Wales. This led to war with the English King Edward I who conquered Wales, defeated and executed Llewelyn and built a ring of impressive stone castles to control the country. 
  • Owain Glyndŵr was the last native Welshman to use the title Prince of Wales when he led a rebellion against Henry IV in 1400. 
  • The Tudor Dynasty claimed Welsh descent and Henry VII landed at Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire when he returned from exile to claim the throne.
  • During the Industrial Revolution the valleys of South Wales became heavily industrialised as coal mining lead to a huge growth in population.
  • In 2006 the National Assembly for Wales was set up to allow Wales limited law making powers.

And Some Interesting Facts

  • Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfall in the Berwyn Mountains is the highest single drop waterfall in the UK. At 80m it is considerably taller than the Niagara Falls.
  •  Cardiff became the capital city of Wales in 1955. Until then Wales had no recognised capital city.
  • The flag of Wales or the Y Ddraig Goch (the red dragon) was not adopted until 1959. Although the red dragon has been linked to Wales for so long that the origins have become myths, some link it to King Arthur.
  • Wales has been ruled by England since 1284. In 1301 Edward I proclaimed his newborn eldest son 'Prince of Wales' a tradition that exists to this day.
  • The union between Wales and England established Wales as a principality ruled by England. This is why there is no red dragon or flag of St David on the Union Flag.
  • In 1904 the Coal Exchange in Cardiff was the centre of the international coal trade and it was where the first "million pound deal" and the first million pound cheque was signed. Welsh coal was so valuable that it was known as Black Gold.
  • Wales is sometimes known as the 'Land of Song' due to its choirs and harpists.
  • Legend says that St David ordered his Welsh soldiers to identify themselves by wearing a leek on their helmets during a battle against the Saxons. This lead to the leek becoming the national emblem of Wales. Daffodils are known as Pete's leek, 'cenhinen Bedr' in Welsh leading to it becoming the national flower.
  • Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is both the longest place name and railway station name in Europe. In English it means 'St Mary's Church in a hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool and St Tysil's Church of the red cave.'

Our "Learn About Wales" Resources

A Day In Wales Diary

A Day In Wales Diary

Can you imagine what a day living in Wales is like? Do some research into life in Wales then write a diary entry on this worksheet.

Climate Of Wales Worksheet

Climate Of Wales Worksheet

Do some research into the climate of Wales and write about it on this worksheet. Then have some fun filling in the 'phone app' template with the forecast in Wales today!

Culture In Wales

Culture In Wales

Did you know that the world's largest arts and literary event is held in Hay-on-Wye, Wales each spring? Find out about more aspects of culture in Wales, and write them down on this worksheet.

Design A Tourism Poster For Wales

Design A Tourism Poster For Wales

Choose an interesting slogan to attract tourists to Wales and use it as the focal point for a tourism poster. You might want to add some pictures, too...

Food From Wales Worksheet

Food From Wales Worksheet

Find out about the types of food grown and eaten in Wales, then draw a special meal on the plate. You could try looking at our Welsh Recipes for some inspiration, too!

Introduction to Wales

Introduction to Wales

Wales has both amazing scenery and fascinating history. Find out a little more by reading our 'Introduction to Wales' factsheet - and you might learn a few fun facts too...

Packing For Wales Worksheet

Packing For Wales Worksheet

Wales is a beautiful country to visit, but the weather can vary quite a lot! Think about what you would need for a trip there, then 'fill' the suitcase...

Wales Compare And Contrast Venn Diagram

Wales Compare And Contrast Venn Diagram

A Venn diagram is a great tool for brainstorming and creating a comparison between two or more things. Use this Venn diagram to compare and contrast your own life with life in Wales!

Wales Fact Worksheet

Wales Fact Worksheet

This Wales worksheet prompts children to find out some facts about Wales, and study its location in the United Kingdom.

Wales Location Worksheet

Wales Location Worksheet

Find Wales on a map of Europe on this location worksheet. Choose from the very difficult blank version, or the guided worksheet which has all the countries of Europe (and their capital cities) marked on it.

Wales On Map Of Europe

Wales on Map of Europe

Here is a printable map of Europe (simplified) with countries and capital marked, and the position of Wales highlighted in red.

Wales Picture Gallery

Wales Picture Gallery

This Wales picture gallery printable would be great for creating memories of a holiday, and there's space for 5 drawings or photos...

Wales Postcard 1

Wales Postcard 1

We've provided a stunning photograph of Wales on this printable postcard template, so you just need to write the content of the postcard and the address (don't forget the stamp!)...

Wales Postcard 2

Wales Postcard 2

This fun printable has everything you need to create your own postcard from Wales. There's space for a picture, writing, an address and of course the stamp!

Wales Poster 1

Wales Poster 1

Here's a stunning poster of some mountains and a lake in Wales. Print using the borderless settings on your printer for the best results, then use in displays.

Wales Poster 2

Wales Poster 2

We've combined the unusual flag of Wales with the outline shape of the country on this simple but effective poster.

Wales Royal Badge Worksheet

Wales Royal Badge Worksheet

The Royal Badge of Wales is very intricate and quite pretty! Can the kids find out about the badge, including when it was adopted and the meaning of the different parts?

Wales Story Paper

Wales Story Paper

Write a mystical tale of dragons set in the Welsh mountains on this story paper perhaps? Or write about a holiday you might have been on in Wales.

Wales Study Pack

Wales Study Pack

Take a trip to beautiful Wales with our fun study pack! It's full of educational resources and fun creative activities.

Wales Tourist Leaflet

Wales Tourist Leaflet

This fun printable allows the children to come up with a design for a professional-looking 3-fold tourist leaflet all about Wales.

Wales Travel Brochure Worksheet

Wales Travel Brochure Worksheet

There are lots of fantastic reasons to visit Wales! Can the children include some of them in a Travel Brochure, and draw a picture to go along with the text?

Wales Word Search

Wales Word Search

Can you find the hidden daffodils, valleys and other Wales-themed words that we've placed inside our Wales wordsearch grid? Solution available below...

Wales Worksheet

Wales Worksheet

Find out some simple facts about Wales and record them on this worksheet, which includes a location activity.

Wildlife Of Wales Worksheet

Wildlife Of Wales Worksheet

We were lucky enough to see a lizard on a camping trip to Wales last year, and of course, Wales is famous for beautiful daffodils, but can you write about the other animals and plants found in Wales?

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