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A Closer Look at Wales

Welsh is an old Celtic language that is still spoken. If you look at the place names in this presentation, you’ll get an impression of the language. Pronouncing them is a tongue twister, but have a go..!


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A small town on the northwest coast with a huge castle. This is one of the castles built in the 13th century by Edward I of England to control the Welsh. The British monarch’s eldest son is traditionally crowned Prince of Wales here.


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The second largest city in Wales. It was the centre of the copper industry until WWII, but heavy industry has now declined and been replaced by service industries. Catherine Zeta Jones was born here.


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Llangollen harp, the musical symbol of Wales

A small town in northeast Wales which is famous for the International Eisteddfod which takes place here every year. It is a festival of music and poetry.


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Cardiff rugby stadium

The capital and largest city in Wales and the centre of the Welsh government. It was an important port for exporting Welsh coal until the industry declined, but other goods are still exported through the port here today. The new Millenium Stadium is a location for international rugby union and football games.


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Snowdon, mountain railway

In the north of the country, this is the highest mountain in Wales and the second highest in the British Isles. Snowdon is popular with rock climbers and walkers. For those who prefer a less demanding trip, there is a rack railway to the top.


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Beddgelert is a small village located south of Snowdon. Beddgelert means “the Grave of Gellert” and refers to a folk tale depicting a faithful dog by the name of Gelert and his owner Prince Llewelyn ap Lorwerth. After a hunting trip the Prince was welcomed by his dog as always, only this time the dog’s muzzle was bloodstained. The Prince’s infant son had vanished, and suspecting that Gelert had killed his son, the furious Prince slaughtered his dog. Later the toddler was found safe and sound. By his cradle lay the dead body of a wolf. Gelert had done his uttermost to defend the child. In commemoration of Gelert, the regretful Prince raised a tombstone. Apart from the tombstone, one of the biggest tourist attractions is the ice cream, which the village boasts to be the best to be found in the British Isles.


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Llanfairpwllgwyngyll. . .

This small town lies on Angelsey in northern Wales. I cannot tell you how to pronounce it, but if you click on the following link to Wikipedia, you can listen to a Welshman saying the name. Welsh Pronunciation

It means "St Mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio of the red cave". The name is a big tourist attraction, but is not the longest place name in the world. However, it is the longest single word .com domain name in the world.

Tasks and Activities

Pair Work/Discussion

Based on the information in the text, where would you go if you were interested in (there can be more than one answer):

  1. music festivals
  2. magnificent scenery
  3. the Welsh language
  4. delicious ice cream
  5. castles and history
  6. the Welsh parliament
  7. city experiences

Choose from: Caernarfon, Swansea, Llangollen, Cardiff, Snowdon, Beddgelert and/or Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Suggested Solution

Solution: 1. Llangollen, 2. Snowdon, 3. Llangollen and Llanfair ----, 4. Beddgelert, 5. Caernarfon, 6. Cardiff, 7. Cardiff and Swansea.

Learning content

The British Isles

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