North Wales (Welsh : Gogledd Cymru) is a region of Wales. Retail, transport and educational infrastructure are centred on Wrexham (the largest town), Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno and Bangor. It is bordered to the rest of Wales with the counties of Ceredigion and Powys, and to the east by the English counties of Shropshire, Merseyside, and Cheshire.
Welsh or y Gymraeg is a member of the Brittonic branch of the Celtic languages. It is spoken natively in Wales, by some in England, and in Y Wladfa. Historically, it has also been known in English as "Cambrian", "Cambric" and "Cymric".
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.
Wrexham is the largest town in the north of Wales and an administrative, commercial, retail and educational centre. Wrexham is situated between the Welsh mountains and the lower Dee Valley alongside the border with England. Historically part of Denbighshire, the town became part of Clwyd in 1974 and since 1996 has been the centre of the Wrexham County Borough.
North Wales was traditionally divided into three regions: Upper Gwynedd (or Gwynedd above the Conwy), defined as the area north of the River Dyfi and west of the River Conwy); Lower Gwynedd (or Gwynedd below the Conwy, also known as the Perfeddwlad and defined as the region east of the River Conwy and west of the River Dee; and Ynys Môn (or Anglesey), a large island off the north coast. The division with the rest of Wales is arbitrary and depends on the particular use being made. For example, the boundary of North Wales Police differs from the boundary of the North Wales area of the Natural Resources Wales and the North Wales Regional Transport Consortium (Taith).
The River Conwy is a river in north Wales. From its source to its discharge in Conwy Bay it is a little over 27 miles (43 km) long. "Conwy" was formerly Anglicised as "Conway."
Perfeddwlad or Y Berfeddwlad was the name during the 12th century for the territories in Wales lying between the River Conwy and the River Dee.
The River Dee is a river in the United Kingdom. It flows through parts of both Wales and England, forming part of the border between the two countries.
The historic boundary follows the pre-1996 county boundaries of Merionethshire and Denbighshire which in turn closely follows the geographic features of the river Dovey to Aran Fawddwy, then crossing the high moorlands following the watershed until reaching Cadair Berwyn and then following the river Rhaeadr and river Tanat to the Shropshire border.
The River Dyfi is a river in Mid Wales. The Dyfi estuary forms the border between the counties of Gwynedd and Ceredigion.
Aran Fawddwy is a mountain in southern Snowdonia, Wales, United Kingdom. It is the only peak in Wales outside North Snowdonia above 900m, and higher than anywhere in Great Britain outside Northern Snowdonia, the Scottish Highlands and the Lake District. The nearest urban centres to the mountain are Dinas Mawddwy to the south, Llanymawddwy to the southeast, Llanuwchllyn on the shores of Bala Lake to the north, and Rhydymain to the west. The nearest settlements with around 2,000 people are Bala and Dolgellau. On the eastern slopes of Aran Fawddwy is the small lake named Creiglyn Dyfi, the source of the River Dyfi. Its sister peak is Aran Benllyn at 885 metres (2,904 ft). There is also a middle peak- Erw y Ddafad-ddu.
Cadair Berwyn or Cader Berwyn is a mountain summit in north east Wales. It is the highest point in the Berwyn range, and the highest significant summit in Wales outside the National Parks. Cadair Berwyn and Cyrniau Nod to the west are the two Marilyns that form the Berwyn range.
Montgomeryshire, one of the historic counties of Wales, is sometimes referred to as being in North Wales.
Montgomeryshire, also known as Maldwyn is one of thirteen historic counties and a former administrative county of Wales. It is named after its county town, Montgomery, which in turn is named after one of William the Conqueror's main counsellors, Roger de Montgomerie, who was the 1st Earl of Shrewsbury.
The historic counties of Wales are sub-divisions of Wales. They were used for various functions for several hundred years, but have been largely superseded by contemporary sub-national divisions, some of which bear some limited similarity to the historic entities in name and extent. They are alternatively known as ancient counties.
The region is steeped in history and was for almost a millennium known as the Kingdom of Gwynedd. The mountainous stronghold of Snowdonia formed the nucleus of that realm and would become the last redoubt of independent Wales — only overcome in 1283. To this day it remains a stronghold of the Welsh language and a centre for Welsh national and cultural identity.
A millennium is a period equal to 1000 years, also called kiloyears. It derives from the Latin mille, thousand, and annus, year. It is often, but not always, related to a particular dating system.
The Principality or Kingdom of Gwynedd was a Roman Empire successor state that emerged in sub-Roman Britain in the 5th century during the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain.
Snowdonia is a mountainous region in northwestern Wales and a national park of 823 square miles (2,130 km2) in area. It was the first to be designated of the three national parks in Wales, in 1951. It contains the highest peaks in the United Kingdom outside of Scotland.
The area is home to two of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Wales. These are Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and canaland, collectively, the Edwardian castles and town walls of the region which comprise those at Caernarfon, Beaumaris, Conwy and Harlech. It also shares with Powys and Ceredigion the distinction of hosting the only UNESCO Biosphere (from Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme to promote sustainable development) reserve in Wales, namely, Biosffer Dyfi Biosphere.
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity.
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee in the Vale of Llangollen in north east Wales. The 18-arched stone and cast iron structure is for use by narrowboats and was completed in 1805 having taken ten years to design and build. It is the longest aqueduct in Great Britain and the highest canal aqueduct in the world.
The Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site located in Gwynedd, Wales. It includes the castles of Beaumaris and Harlech and the castles and town walls of Caernarfon and Conwy. UNESCO considers the sites to be the "finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe".
The region is made up of the following administrative areas:
In addition to the six Local Authority divisions, North Wales is also divided into the following preserved counties for various ceremonial purposes:
North Wales was a European Parliament constituency until 1999. Currently, there is an electoral region for the National Assembly for Wales with the name (used, in parallel with the smaller constituencies, to elect top-up members under the Additional Member System), which covers the northeast of Wales (specifically the entire area of the former pre-1996 county of Clwyd) as well as the northern-most coastal areas of north-western Wales; the rest of North Wales is covered by Mid and West Wales.
The area is mostly rural with many mountains and valleys. This, in combination with its coast (on the Irish Sea), means tourism is the principal industry. Farming, which was once the principal economic force in the area, is now much reduced in importance. The average income per capita of the local population is the lowest in the UK and much of the region has EU Objective 1 status.
The eastern part of North Wales contains the most populous areas, with more than 300,000 people living in the areas around Wrexham and Deeside. Wrexham, with a population of 63,084 in 2001 is the largest town. The total population of North Wales is 687,937 (2011). The majority of other settlements are along the coast, including some popular resort towns, such as Rhyl, Llandudno, Pwllheli and Tywyn. The A55 road links these towns to cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham and the port of Holyhead for ferries to Ireland; The A470 runs from Llandudno to Cardiff; and the A483 from Wrexham to Swansea. There are two cathedral cities – Bangor and St. Asaph –and a number of mediaeval castles (e.g., Criccieth, Dolbadarn, Dolwyddelan, Harlech, Caernarfon Castle, Beaumaris, Conwy) The area of North Wales is about 6,172 square kilometres, making it slightly larger than the country of Brunei, or the island of Bali.
The highest mountain in Wales, England and Ireland, is Snowdon in northwest Wales.
North Wales has a very diverse and complex geology with Precambrian schists along the Menai Strait and the great Cambrian dome behind Harlech and underlying much of western Snowdonia. In the Ordovician period much volcanism deposited a range of minerals and rocks over the north western parts of Gwynedd whilst to the east of the River Conwy lies a large area of upland rolling hills underlain by the Silurian mudstones and grits comprising the Denbigh and Migneint Moors. To the east, around Llangollen, to the north on Halkyn Mountain and the Great Orme and in eastern Anglesey are beds of limestone from which metals have been mined since pre-Roman times. Added to all this are the complexities posed by Parys Mountain and the outcrops of unusual minerals such as Jasper and Mona Marble which make the area of special interest to geologists.
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North Wales has a distinct regional identity.Its dialect of the Welsh language differs from that of other regions, such as South Wales, in some ways: for example llefrith is used in most of the North instead of llaeth for "milk"; a simple sentence such as go upstairs now might be Dos i fyny'r grisiau rŵan in North Wales, and Cer lan y stâr nawr in South Wales. Colloquially, a person from North Wales (especially one who speaks with this dialect or accent) is known as a North Walian, or a Gog (from the Welsh gogledd, meaning "north"). There are Welsh medium schools scattered all across North Wales, ranging from primary to secondary schools.
In 2016 the UK Government invited North Wales to submit a Growth Deal Bid, to "create thousands of jobs, boost the economy, improve transport and communication links, focus on renewable energy, support tourism and more". A bid was prepared by the North Wales Business Council, which consists of the Leaders and Chief Executives of the 6 councils, the Vice Chancellors of Wrexham Glyndŵr University and Bangor University the Chief Executives of Coleg Cambria and Grwp Llandrillo Menai, and North Wales Mersey Dee Business Council.In the 2018 budget Philip Hammond announced that £120M would be made available by the UK Government to support the Growth Deal. In December 2018, Ken Skates confirmed that the Welsh Government would match the UK Government funding, and also offered to match any additional funding support which the UK Government might make available.
Two daily newspapers are published in the region. The region-wide "North Wales edition" of the Daily Post , based at Bryn Eirias on Colwyn Bay’s Abergele Road,is distributed from Monday to Saturday, whilst The Leader (formerly the Evening Leader) publishes two editions for Wrexham and Flintshire and is based at the headquarters of Newsquest in Mold after NWN Media Ltd dissolved after existing since 1920
Additionally, nine weekly newspapers provide local and community news:
Reach PLC titles
The weekly Aberystwyth-based Cambrian News covers southern Gwynedd and publishes separate editions for the Arfon/Dwyfor and Meirionydd districts.
A weekly Welsh-language newspaper, Y Cymro is published each week by the Cambrian News from its Porthmadog office alongside two localised Welsh titles, Y Cyfnod (Bala) and Y Dydd (Dolgellau). Yr Herald Gymraeg is distributed by Trinity Mirror as a pull-out section in the Wednesday edition of the Daily Post. There are also 24 Papurau Bro (area papers) providing community news and generally published each month.
A number of hyper-local websites in the area provide locally sourced news online. In Conwy county, BaeColwyn.com gives Welsh language coverage of the Colwyn Bay area since 2011 and AbergelePost.com has been serving the Abergele area since 2010. Wrexham.com is a full-time operation covering Wrexham and the surrounding area, and is based at offices in Wrexham town centre. A full-time citizen led online news site Deeside.com started in early 2013 and covers Connah's Quay, Mancot, Pentre, Shotton, Queensferry, Sealand, Broughton, Hawarden, Ewloe, Sandycroft and parts of Saltney.
Although no BBC local radio stations exist in Wales, the Corporation's national services BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru cover the region from their broadcasting centres in Bangor, and Wrexham. The Bangor studios produce a large number of Radio Cymru programmes with some music and feature output for Radio Wales originating from Wrexham.
Three commercial radio stations serve the area — Capital North West and Wales broadcasts local breakfast and drivetime programming for Wrexham, Flintshire, Denbighshire and Conwy county as well as Cheshire and the Wirral with a Welsh language opt-out service for the former Coast FM area on 96.3 FM. Capital Cymru airs an extended local programming service, predominantly in the Welsh language, for Gwynedd and Anglesey. Across the entire region, Heart North Wales also airs local peak-time programming in English, including an extended news programme on weeknights. All three stations broadcast from studios in Gwersyllt on the outskirts of Wrexham.
Three community radio stations broadcast on FM — Calon FM serving Wrexham County Borough and parts of southern Flintshire, Tudno FM broadcasting to Llandudno & surrounding areas and Môn FM across the Isle of Anglesey and parts of Gwynedd. Radio Glan Clwyd - an extension of hospital service Radio Ysbyty Glan Clwyd - broadcasts on 1287 AM in the Bodelwyddan, St Asaph, Rhuddlan, Towyn and Kinmel Bay areas.
Towards the western side of North Wales, local hills mean national BBC FM coverage can be quite poor, often suffering interference from Irish stations from the west.
News coverage of North Wales is generally provided within the BBC's Wales Today , Newyddion and Ffeil programmes (the latter two broadcast on S4C) and on ITV's ITV News Cymru Wales . BBC Cymru Wales news teams are based at the Corporation's Bangor and Wrexham studios while ITV Cymru Wales runs a newsroom in Colwyn Bay.
S4C has an administrative office in Caernarfon, where a cluster of independent production companies are also based or partly based including Rondo Media, Cwmni Da, Antena, Owain Roberts Animations and Tinopolis.
Wrexham A.F.C. play in the English football league system; having been a member of the Football League for over 80 years, in 2008 they were relegated into the Conference National for the first time in their existence. They now play in the Vanarama National League. They remain the highest ranked team in the region, and play at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham and train at Colliers Park, Gresford. Colwyn Bay F.C. also play in the English pyramid at Northern Premier level.
There are a number of teams including Bangor City F.C. who have appeared in UEFA competitions, playing within the semi-professional domestic leagues the Welsh Premier League and the Cymru Alliance.
Due to the close proximity of North Wales to the North West of England, support for the English clubs of Liverpool F.C., Everton F.C. and Manchester United F.C. has been historically strong.
Wales was represented in the Super League by the Crusaders RL, they re-located to Wrexham for the 2010 season from south Wales. They played at the Racecourse Ground and trained at Stansty Park both in Wrexham before folding in 2011. They have now been replaced by the Championship 1 side, North Wales Crusaders.
North Wales has its own amateur league, the North Wales Championship.
In September 2008 it was announced by the Welsh Rugby Union that a development team based in North Wales would be created, with a long-term goal of becoming the fifth Welsh team in the Celtic League.It was envisaged that this would both help the growth of the game in the area, and provide a larger pool of players for the Welsh national team to be selected from. The team was named RGC 1404.
Gwynedd is a county in Wales, sharing borders with Powys, Conwy, Denbighshire, Anglesey over the Menai Strait, and Ceredigion over the River Dyfi. The scenic Llŷn Peninsula and most of Snowdonia National Park are in Gwynedd. Bangor is the home of Bangor University. In the northern part of the county, the other main settlements are Caernarfon, Bethesda, Ffestiniog, Llanddeiniolen, Llanllyfni, Porthmadog and Pwllheli. The largest settlement in the south is Tywyn.
Conwy County Borough is a unitary authority area in the north of Wales.
Denbighshire is a county in north-east Wales, named after the historic county of Denbighshire, but with substantially different borders. Denbighshire is the longest known inhabited part of Wales. Pontnewydd (Bontnewydd-Llanelwy) Palaeolithic site has Neanderthal remains from 225,000 years ago. Its several castles include Denbigh, Rhuddlan, Ruthin, Castell Dinas Bran and Bodelwyddan. St Asaph, one of the smallest cities in Britain, has one of the smallest Anglican cathedrals. Denbighshire has a length of coast to the north and hill ranges to the east, south and west. In the central part, the River Clwyd has created a broad fertile valley. It is primarily a rural county with little industry. Crops are grown in the Vale of Clwyd and cattle and sheep reared in the uplands. The coast attracts summer tourists, and hikers frequent the Clwydian Range, which forms an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with the upper Dee Valley. Llangollen hosts the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in each July.
Flintshire is a principal area of Wales, known as a county. It was created by the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994. It is in north-east Wales, bordering the English county of Cheshire to the east, Denbighshire to the west and Wrexham County Borough to the south. It is named after the historic county of Flintshire which has notably different borders. Flintshire is considered part of the Welsh Marches and formed part of the historic Earldom of Chester and Flint. The county is governed by Flintshire County Council based in county hall Mold.
Historic Denbighshire is one of thirteen traditional counties in Wales, a vice-county and a former administrative county, which covers an area in north east Wales. It is a maritime county, bounded to the north by the Irish Sea, to the east by Flintshire, Cheshire and Shropshire, to the south by Montgomeryshire and Merionethshire, and to the west by Caernarfonshire.
Clwyd is a preserved county of Wales, situated in the north-east corner of the country; it is named after the River Clwyd, which runs through the county. To the north lies the Irish Sea, with the English counties of Cheshire to the east and Shropshire to the south-east. The Welsh counties of Powys and Gwynedd lie to the south and west respectively. Clwyd also shares a maritime boundary with the English county of Merseyside along the River Dee. Between 1974 and 1996, it was a county with a county council, one of the eight counties into which Wales was divided, and was subdivided into six districts. In 1996, the county of Clwyd was abolished, and the new unitary authorities of Wrexham, Conwy County Borough, Denbighshire, and Flintshire were created; under this reorganisation, "Clwyd" became a preserved county, with the name being retained for certain ceremonial functions.
Capital Cymru is a local, bilingual radio station owned and operated by Global Radio as part of the Capital radio network. The station broadcasts to Gwynedd and Anglesey from studios in Gwersyllt, Wrexham via the Arfon transmitting station.
The North Wales Coast Line, also known as the North Wales Main Line, is the railway line from Crewe to Holyhead. Virgin Trains consider their services along it to be a spur of the West Coast Main Line.
North East Wales NHS Trust was an NHS Trust in Wales. The headquarters of the Trust were in the Maelor Hospital, in Wrexham. It was founded on 1 April 1999, when the NHS Trusts in Wales were reconfigured. The Trust provided secondary care services for the Wrexham and Flintshire Local Authority areas, including mental health care - a population of around 300,000 people, through one major acute hospital, five community hospitals, and a variety of clinics. The Trust reported a budget deficit of £3.6 million at the end of the 2005/06 financial year.
Ynys Môn (Anglesey) is a constituency of the National Assembly for Wales. It elects one Assembly Member by the first past the post method of election. Also, however, it is one of nine constituencies in the North Wales electoral region, which elects four additional members, in addition to nine constituency members, to produce a degree of proportional representation for the region as a whole.
Conwy & Denbighshire NHS Trust was an NHS Trust in Wales. The headquarters of the Trust were in Glan Clwyd Hospital, in Bodelwyddan, near Rhyl, Denbighshire. The Trust was named in the 'Top 40 Hospitals' in the UK for the fifth year running in 2006, a title conferred by CHKS.
The North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is the fire and rescue service covering the predominantly rural principal areas of Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd and Wrexham in the north of Wales.
The LL postcode area, also known as the Llandudno postcode area, is a large group of postcode districts covering north Wales. It excludes an area near the English border, roughly corresponding to the modern day county of Flintshire, and includes a small area of England near Chirk. It starts at eleven to stop confusion with Liverpool postcodes.
The North Wales Weekly News is one of a group of newspapers published weekly in Llandudno.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is a Local Health Board in north Wales. It is the largest health organisation in Wales, providing a full range of primary, community, mental health, and acute hospital services for a population of around 694,000 people across the six principal areas of north Wales as well as some parts of Mid Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire.
The North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent (NMWTRA) is responsible for managing trunk roads in north and mid Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government. Both the North Wales Trunk Road Agency and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agency was established on 1 April 2006, and by 1 April 2012 the two bodies merged and renamed to become the North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent. The North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent is responsible for the trunk roads in 8 Local Authorities Anglesey, Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Powys, and Wrexham.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for North Wales .|