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Listed below are a selection of information about Wales

They written by independent contributors and welshcottagerental.com - jml Property Services takes no responsibilty for their accuracy

 

Anglesey is now on the Map Find out more here

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The City Of Cardiff: Europe's Youngest Capital
By Alan Belth

The origin of the name of the city of Cardiff is subject to much ambiguity. Cardiff is the Anglicised version of the Welsh name “Caerdydd”. “Caerdydd” is split into two words; “Caer”meaning ‘fort, and “Dydd” or “Diff”, which is thought by some to refer to the river Taff on which the castle of Cardiff stands. Others, however, take it to refer to the Roman general Didius, who was governor of nearby provinces. Although it is Europe’s youngest capital, having only been made the Welsh capital in 1955, the earliest evidence of habitation in Cardiff can be traced all the way back to 600BC, with the European Celts, but it was in AD 75, when the Romans came and built a fort in Cardiff that it became renowned. The relics of a Roman wall can still be found beneath Cardiff Castle. Cardiff was attacked in AD 850 by the Vikings followed by a Norman takeover in the 12th century, and it was the Normans who built the Cardiff Castle, on the same site as the Roman fort.

The following centuries brought no enhancements of Cardiff’s fame, although conflicts with English rulers were recurrent, as were foreign attacks by the Saxons and the Irish. The city relied on coal and iron industries like most of South Wales. In 1536 came the First Act of Union which aligned English and Welsh law, and made English the official language, a decision leading to a great deal of conflict until very recently.

The nineteenth century brought with itself the construction of a canal, and the opening of the Taff Vale Railway in 1841, which linked Cardiff with Merthyr Tydfil - the largest iron producing area in the world - enabling goods to be transported in less than an hour. This revolutionised the exportation of Welsh coal and propelled Cardiff to the front of the industry. 1859 saw the opening of the East Dock in Cardiff, augmenting Cardiff’s status as a city of trade and industry and causing a steep rise in the population, and by the time it was made a city in 1905 by Edward VII, Cardiff had become a major exporter of coal and the population of Cardiff had risen by nearly 150,000 in the nineteenth century’s last decade alone. The early 20th century saw the decline of the coal industry but the building of the civic buildings of Cathays Park such as the City Hall and the National Museum of Wales, which have come to be part of the city’s character now.

With the Welsh language having been made official in 1942, Cardiff was designated the Welsh capital in 1955. With the growth of new industries and businesses, the increase in popularity of Cardiff as a university city and the formation of the new Welsh Assembly, Cardiff progressed significantly in the latter decades of the 20th century. The old dock area was transformed, and the new Cardiff Bay consists of various shops, restaurants and bars, giving the waterfront the most festive feel. The city is now home to two popular universities; Cardiff University and UWIC, and the vibrancy and the love of sport in the city certainly attracts a great number of students.

A number of new buildings such as the purpose-built Millennium Centre and the highly impressive Millennium Stadium have been brilliant complements to the somewhat archaic structures of Cardiff Castle and the Llandaff Cathedral where a Church has stood since St. Teilo is thought to have founded a simple wooden building in the 6th century. These buildings, the vivid city centre, the lively bars juxtaposed with the serenity of the various parks such as Bute Park and the beautiful Roath Park make Cardiff an extremely diverse and exciting place to live in.

http://www.CardiffWorld.com Alan Belth comments on Cardiff and Mortgages. http://www.eMortgageDomain.com Please feel free to use this article with proper referencing and outgoing links.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alan_Belth

N.B. This information should not be relied on for accuracy and is presented here without the responsibility of jml Property Service and the website it is being displayed at. ©jml property Services 01-06

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Anglesey - Experience its Award Winning Beaches
By David M Phillips

The beautiful island of Anglesey is found off the North West coast of Wales. One of its main attractions are its exceptionally fine sandy beaches and sea views. In fact the beaches are perfect for swimming, sailing and a whole range of water sports.

Here you will find clean, blue waters which can attract even the most sceptical of beach visitors. The highly respected European Blue Flag Award Scheme has again given top marks to a number of Anglesey beaches.

So whether you are an international traveller or from elsewhere in the UK, when you see the Blue Flag you can be confident the waters are of the highest standards for bathing. And support facilities are also excellent which means a visitor can have further confidence in what’s on offer.

On Holy Island, a smaller island off the West coast of Anglesey, is Trearddur Bay beach. This vast south-west facing beach is popular with swimmers and sailors. If you prefer a swim, that’s fine. You’re safe from power boats and jet skis which have to observe speed restrictions and stay outside a line marked by buoys.

Behind the concrete promenade is the Millennium Cross which was erected to commemorate AD 2000. The cross bears the name St. Ffraid, the patron Saint of Trearddur. Originally, from Faughart in Ireland, legend has it that St. Ffraid was carried across the Irish Sea on a green square turf.

Moving further along to a smaller beach called Porth Diana you will find a slipway for the sailing dinghies and other craft which use these coastal waters. One of the most spectacular sights is when all the different sail boats gather during the Annual Regatta in August. The sea is full of colour.

Here you will see different shaped sail boats, white, green, and yellow sails and spinnakers against a steady blue horizon to the west. It was the red sails of these boats that inspired the famous song “Red Sails at Sunset”.

To the south of the island is another Blue Flag winning beach called Llanddwyn. Approaching from the famous village of Newborough, you can choose to walk through a fascinating coniferous forest with its abundant wildlife a stimulus to the senses.

Emerging from the forest, you will witness a wide panorama with the blue sea before you and the soft earthy browns and greens of the Snowdon mountain range touching the horizon to your left.

Then there is the famous Llanddwyn Island, with its old church ruins and a white lighthouse at the southernmost point. This is where Dwynwen, patron saint of lovers is said to have been buried. And it was here that Demi Moore filmed “Half Light”, a film soon to be released.

On the eastern side of Anglesey is the Blue Flag Beach at Llanddona. To approach this beach you need to drive down some narrow country lanes, as the village by the same name is one of the highest points on the island.

It’s well worth taking the time to appreciate the magnificent and breathtaking views from the top before you descend to the beach itself. To the left is the red Wharf Bay and the nearby coastal village of Benllech. Looking further north along the coast, the eye reaches Moelfre, famous over the years for the heroics of its Lifeboat crew in some mammoth sea conditions.

Facing the east, Llanddona beach is sheltered from the prevailing south westerly winds, and its great for family watersports. From here you may well see on the horizon a distant ship on passage to Liverpool.

So, whether you want to swim, sail, jet ski or just visit interesting sites and take in the beautiful sea views, Anglesey’s clean, quality beaches have much to offer the international traveller.

David M Phillips is with Anglesey Today, a journal and news resource on Anglesey life at http://www.anglesey-today.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_M_Phillips

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Anglesey is now on the Map Find out more here

N.B. This information should not be relied on for accuracy and is presented here without the responsibility of jml Property Service and the website it is being displayed at. ©jml property Services 11-06

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Wales - White Castle
By Michael Russell

Your first impression of Monmouthshires's White Castle is of awe mixed with disbelief. Situated in the middle of green fields, age-old hedgerows and a scattering of well-kept homes, the stone fortress seems almost out of place. Yet with views as far distant as the Brecon Beacons, the hilltop upon which White Castle stands was an ideal setting for a castle. Admirers have long described White Castle in Llantilio as "the dreamers' fairy-tale castle". Deservedly so, because this masonry masterpiece possesses all the features anyone would expect from a medieval stronghold - a huge twin-towered gatehouse preceded by a wooden bridge crossing a grassy mound, encircled by a deep, water-filled moat and commanding vistas of the countryside. During the Middle Ages, the effect would have dazzled the eyes, for the castle received its name from its white plaster walls, which must have gleamed on sunny days.

Even in ruin, the castle of Llantilio conveys power and stability. Although it centered a large manorial estate, White Castle served chiefly as a military base rather than a regal residence. Henry II initiated the castle's transition from a primitive earth-and-timber fortification into a well defended fortress during the 1180s. Remodelling the stronghold using a design typical of the times, the builder, Ralph of Grosmont, supervised the construction of a square keep and stone curtain wall. A simple gateway alongside the keep served as the main entry point. Anyone wanting access had to cross the hornwork, a crescent-shaped chunk of land enclosed by water, to enter the castle.

Although frequently granted to loyal subjects, White Castle remained predominantly a royal stronghold. During the early 13th century, Hubert de Burgh, King John's justiciar, controlled White Castle and its sister fortresses at Skenfrith and Grosmont. De Burgh fell in and out of the king's good graces more than once, losing his castles repeatedly and making only minor repairs to the castle of Llantilio.

On de Burgh's death, Henry III granted the three castles to his sons, Edward and Edmund as lords in their own right. They immediately began a major building program in 1243, transforming the fairly basic castle at Llantilio into a fairy-tale fortress.

During the rebuilding campaign, not only was the main gate turned into a postern gate, but also the entire focus of the castle was shifted 180 degrees to the north. Builders added two new gatehouses to the northern walls and attached four drum towers to the hundred-year-old curtain wall. When finished, the castle of Llantilio featured three complementary sections. First was an outer bailey enclosed by a dry ditch and towered curtain wall and fronted with its own gateway, this acted as a first line of defense should an assault occur. Second was the inner moated castle with its massive towers, intimidating gatehouse and domestic buildings. Finally the hornwork, which provided a barrier to unwanted access from the south.

The best way to experience White Castle is with your imagination coupled with the ruins that remain. You can wander the area of the outer bailey, where scores of soldiers set up their tents and stabled their horses as they did centuries ago. Visualize the vanished buildings and ruined towers completely rebuilt, plastered with a lustrous white and the whole dominated by the castle lord. Even as an empty shell, White Castle can change dreams into reality.

Today, White Castle is maintained by Cadw and is open throughout the year; a fee is charged during the summer.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Tourism

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Russell

N.B. This information should not be relied on for accuracy and is presented here without the responsibility of jml Property Service and the website it is being displayed at. ©jml property Services 11-06

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Cardiff-Capital of Wales Travel Guide
By Dara Ward

Cardiff is the capital city of Wales in the United Kingdom. The population of Cardiff is a little over 300000 and the currency in use is the pound sterling.

As a city, Cardiff really began with the Roman invasion in AD43. Indeed the city’s name derives from the Roman general Aulus Didius; ‘Caer Didi’ means ‘Fort of Didius’ and in time became Cardiff. In the eleventh century, the Normans marched on the city, and by Elizabethan times, Cardiff was a lawless town peopled by pirates and gangsters. By the beginning of the seventeenth century, the population had dwindled to a handful and the future of the city was bleak. However, the Industrial Revolution reinvigorated the city of Cardiff, and by start of the twentieth century, the city was thriving with the export of coal the main industry.

Modern day Cardiff is a buzzing city with plenty to interest the visitor whether it be sightseeing, shopping or socializing. Like the rest of the British Isles, the weather is not always the best, but in general the climate is temperate and not something that would prevent the visitor having a happy stay in the city.

The National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff is proud to house the best collection of Impressionist works outside of Paris, as well as a whole host of fascinating exhibits and is well worth a visit.

Cardiff Bay has recently undergone a makeover, and is now a hub of social activity with a range of attractions and leisure facilities along the waterfront. The Spirit of Cardiff visitor centre is situated at this location in a most unique building known locally as ‘The Tube’. It is worth a visit to Cardiff Bay just to see this structure in itself!

Shopping in Cardiff is an enjoyable experience, and a bit different with the combination of the usual high-street stores and also the many little arcades where an unusual bargain can often be picked up.

For a relatively small city, Cardiff is not short of bars and restaurants with 350 places to drink and over 250 eateries within the metropolitan area. A wide variety of ethnic cuisine is on offer in the city from Italian to Indian to Greek, but many visitors wish to sample the local dishes and the best way to find a restaurant specializing in Welsh food is to keep an eye out for the ‘hungry dragon’ sign which indicates that it is served.

The nightlife is good in Cardiff with everything from opera to pop usually going on a one of the many entertainment venues in the city. The Wales Millennium Centre is home to many of the international acts who stop off in the Welsh capital when they are on tour.

Whether its cultural heritage sites, family attractions or the dancefloor, Cardiff has something for everyone and is a great place to visit.

Dara Ward operates a large network of over 150 travel sites. He is based in Ireland. Some of his sites include Hotels in Boston and Hotels in Milan

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dara_Ward

N.B. This information should not be relied on for accuracy and is presented here without the responsibility of jml Property Service and the website it is being displayed at. ©jml property Services 01-06

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Interesting facts about Mount Snowdon, Wales
By Pat Ransom

If you plan to visit Snowdon in Wales this summer, here is some interesting information about the mountain that you might like to know.

Snowdon, in Welsh, is Yr Wyddfa, which means tomb or monument. Legend has it that it is the tomb of Rhita Gawr, an ogre who would kill kings and make cloaks out of their beards. He supposedly met his end when King Arthur climbed to the top of Mount Snowdon and killed him.

No one knows who first conquered Snowdon, but ascents of the mountain became popular when Thomas Pennant published 'Tours' in 1781 and included his visit to the summit.

Snowdon, as indeed the surrounding area, has been mined since the Bronze Age, and evidence of copper mining can be seen all over the mountain, from old mine buildings, to old tramways. Care should be taken around these old buildings.

Facts and Figures of Snowdon

Snowdon stands 1,085 metres (3,560 feet) high. Each year 350,000 people reach the summit, some on foot and some by train. The summit has 200 inches(508 cm) of rain per year, and can reach temperatures of 30 centigrade in high summer, and plummet to - 20 centigrade in the winter. Add to this winds of up to 150 mph and the temperature can feel more like - 50. The summit buildings at the top can by covered by ice and snow between November and April.

Snowdon Mountain Railway

Before the railway, ponies used to take tourists to the summit of Snowdon. Sir Richard Moon and Mr George Assheton Smith were responsible for the idea of the Snowdon Railway - Sir Moon as a way of boosting tourists using his standard gauge lines, and Mr Smith as he realised that tourist cash may compensate him from the loss of income from his declining mines.

They imported a fully working 800mm gauge mountain railway from Switzerland. The railway remains the only rack and pinion railway in the UK. It has tooted racks in the centre of the track that engage with cogs under the carriages.

The only accident on the railway occurred on the day it opened to the public in 1896. Engine #1, Ladas, derailed and plummeted down a slope. The crew jumped from the engine and survived, and the guard applied the hand brake to the carriages and brought them to a halt. Unfortunately, one of the passengers panicked and jumped from the carriage, falling onto the tracks and under the wheels. He later died from his injuries. The saga wasn't quite over, as just as the carriages stopped, the engine following behind (Enid - still operating today) hit them from behind!

The railway was closed. Since it reopened the following year there have been no further accidents! And since that date there has never been another Engine #1 on the Snowdon Railway!

The cost of the train trip is not cheap (apart from being a good walk in itself, another reason for trying to make the summit on foot!), but is a great way for those who cannot make the climb to travel to the top. However, good weather cannot be guaranteed, and you may start the trip on a clear day, only to find yourself in cloud as you reach the top.

If you choose to take the train up Mount Snowdon, you can walk back down via the Llanberis Path. You can get some wonderful views of the trains puffing their way up and down from the path. Not all trains are steam - there are also diesel engines.

If you plan to take the train up to the top of Snowdon beware that the trains get very crowded in the summer, and it is best to arrive early or even more advisable to book in advance by ringing 0870 458 0033 at least the day before. If you don't you may have a long wait. A board by the ticket office will tell you which is the next train with available seats. You can buy a return, or a single to the top. Single tickets for the journey down are sold on standby basis only.

Weather permitting the trains run from mid May to the end of October right to the summit, but from mid March, and a little way into November, stop at Clogwyn. Trains start running at 9am and continue until late afternoon.

Buildings on Snowdon Summit

In 1820 the first stone shelter was built at the summit by a guide named Lloyd. A copper miner, William Morris, had the idea of selling refreshments from the shelter - an idea which continues to the present day. Having walked up the mountain it is probably as welcome today, as it was to the earlier tourist, to be able to have something to eat and drink before tackling the descent.

Two hotels were opened on the summit, one called Roberts Hotel, the other the Cold Club. Both were in fierce competition with each other. There were often more visitors then beds though, and conditions were not the best. By 1898 the Snowdon Mountain Railway and Hotels Company had taken over the hotels, and started to rebuild them - the fierce conditions on the top of Mount Snowdon means that any building had a limited live. By the 1930s it was decided to replace the summit buildings with a multipurpose hotel, cafe and station. With little regard to conservation, the builders simply pushed the derelict old huts over the side of the mountain to make way for the new build (imagine the uproar today!). Sir Clough William-Ellis, the architect and designer of nearby Portmerion, designed the new building, complete with huge picture windows so visitors could best enjoy the panoramic views. Unfortunately the windows lasted only six months before they were blown in and had to be replaced with much smaller ones.

During the war years the summit buildings were used by the Ministry of Supply for experimental radio work, and subsequently by Air Ministry, Admiralty and Armed forces, and the mountain top was closed to tourists. The hotel did not reopen to tourists after the war.

In 2004 it was agreed that the summit buildings would undergo a total refurbishment. Demolition is due to start in the autumn of 2006, with the new centre being ready in 2007. There has been much debate about the form of the new buildings, but one thing is certain - whatever the new buildings look like, they will always be a welcome sight to walkers who have struggled their way to the top of the mountain!

Pat Ransom has walked both Snowden and Ben Nevis and encourages others to do the same on the website http://www.mountainwalk.co.uk. Being a keen photographer the site is full of photos of both mountains and the surrounding areas.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Pat_Ransom

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Mid Wales - Put it on your Holiday List
By Adrienne Boxhall

Wales is visited for many reasons; Mountains and river valleys, beaches and stunning coastlines.There are ten national parks which include Snowdonia with its miles of breathtaking mountains,forests and lakes and the Brecon Beacons with its fine moorland scenery and high peaks.

There are marvellous coastlines on the Gower Peninsular and in Pembrokeshire .There is so much to do in Wales to please all. A whole culture waiting to be explored from the valleys to the hills, from the Welsh choirs to the industrial wasteland of the coal mines.

It is a slower pace of life and ideal for a faily holiday. Speciality holidays are popular with cycling and walking holidays a big favourite.

There are many places to visit including Hay on Wye famous for its book shops and antique markets or Cardiff for the shopping and of course the rugby.

Visit the stunning caves www.showcaves.co.uk near Brecon. For family visits,the Knighton Observatory has just been fully refurbished and holds visits in the evenings.The Judges Lodgings in Presteigne also holds activity days and is well worth a visit especially at christmas time.

With plenty of places to stay, from Camp sites to luxury hotels, Wales has something for all the family to provide an excellent holiday any time of the year.

Written by Adrenne of http://www.weaccommodate.co.uk. Visit our site to see a selection of properties in Wales and read about other locations in the travel journal.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Adrienne_Boxhall

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Walking in Pembrokeshire- Wales
By Peter Sparks

Wales - Pembrokeshire Walks – (Narberth Circular Walk) 5 miles (Landranger Map 158)

1) Start the walk at the car park at the top end of Narberth town. Walk down the main street passing to the left of the Town Hall into Market Street past Commercial Hotel towards Narberth Castle. Where the road bends sharply to the right in front of the castle turn left. 2)After 50 yards there is a small metal gate set back on your right – go through this. Head down some rough wooden steps, which lead below the castle walls into a wooded valley.

3) Turn left at the bottom to cross a stream bearing right to climb a stone stile then immediately a wooden stile into a field. Walk to the right at 45 degrees to the top corner of the field to a wooden stile, cross this stile turning left to walk through a short wooded area to a second wooden stile then along a track past a corrugated iron ‘Nissen’ type barn. Follow on down this track; the track shortly turns sharp right (ignore the way marked footpath sign on this bend). After 50 yards cross a footbridge over a stream then immediately fork left to join a tarmac track going between two stone pillars by Forest Farm.

4) A track leads onto a tree-lined lane; follow this for 500 yards to a way marked signpost. Turn sharp right uphill along a track between steep banks past Myrtle Farm to reach a road.

5) Cross this and continue along a wide track then a tree lined way for about 500 yards to reach a road. Turn left then after 50 yards turn right (by mobile mast) along a track then uphill passing a farm and houses walking between steep banks. At a junction turn right (clearly marked)to join The Knights Way downhill for well over half a mile to a road. Turn right along this quiet road for half a mile to Peters Lake Bridge.

6) Over the small bridge then start going uphill. About halfway, turn left along a bridleway, which is narrow and enclosed by trees. The track descends to a lane, turn left along this for about half a mile. After going round a slight left hand bend turn right in front of a house along a broad track which leads downhill. At the bottom turn left at a footpath sign, soon going right to cross a stream, keeping straight on uphill between banks and hedges after half a mile arriving at a picnic area which adjoins the car park from where you started.

Walked in January 2006 by Peter Sparks owners of Brambles Lodge Guest House

Peter runs Brambles Lodge Guest House in Penally near Tenby, Pembrokeshire. A keen countryside walker and welcomes visitors walking the coastal footpath and inland countryside walkers. Brambles Lodge can also sometimes offer guided walks in the are. Oh! and of course provide fine accommodation. http://www.tenbyguesthouse.co.uk

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Peter_Sparks

N.B. This information should not be relied on for accuracy and is presented here without the responsibility of jml Property Service and the website it is being displayed at. ©jml property Services 11-06

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Articles and information about Wales - Click here for Part Two

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