Travel Trade Wales

Culture & Heritage

Culture & Heritage - Travel Trade Wales

Culture & Heritage

Wales has a rich culture and heritage shaped through major periods in history. The Romans came to Wales for its gold, the Normans built castles and the Tudor dynasty was founded here.

While you’re here take a ride on one of our steam trains, visit one of our many castles, museums or gardens. Listen to one of our world famous male voice choirs or even trace your ancestors, you might be surprised what you find.

 
Steam train journeys

Steam Train Journeys
We have 14 scenic railways in Wales. They were built years ago to transport Welsh slate and people and share a common charm of old time steam trains with plenty of paintwork and polished brass. Most of them are pretty old which is why they go so slow but at least it means you can enjoy the magnificent scenery.

Castles of Wales

Castles of Wales
With 641 castles in Wales, you’ve got plenty to choose from. Beaumaris, Conwy, Caernarfon, and Harlech in the North have all been named World Heritage Sites; whilst Powis in mid Wales is a mecca for garden lovers. Caerphilly in the South is one of Britain’s largest medieval fortresses, but if you like your castles a bit closer to the shops, why not try Cardiff right in the middle of the city. If you’re out West, don’t miss Carreg Cennen which sits on a limestone crag 91metres above a river, it’s a bit of a climb but the views are well worth the effort.

 

Museums of Wales
 

National Museums of Wales
As Wales is so steeped in history we have several National Museums all of which tell a different story about our arts, language, and incredible diversity of our natural environment.

Go underground with a real miner and hear tales of Wales’ industrial past or visit a living open air museum and explore Welsh lifestyles and traditions. You’ll have a great day out and the best bit is they are all free to visit.

Music & Male Voice Choirs
 

Music & Male Voice Choirs
Wales is often referred to as The Land of Song. We’re famous for our Eisteddfodau – cultural competitions involving singing, dancing reciting and acting; and if you’ve ever watched Wales play rugby you’ll notice we tend to win hands down when it comes to singing. Probably our most famous are our male voice choirs which listening to is a unique and moving experience. Other Welsh greats include Sir Tom Jones, Dame Shirley Bassey, Bryn Terfel, Katherine Jenkins, Duffy and bands such as the Manic Streeet Preachers and Stereophonics. Those of us not blessed with great singing voices could opt for an instrument instead. The harp is most traditionally associated with Wales and today artists such as Catrin Finch are bringing it right up-to-date.

 

 

Gardens of Wales
 

Gardens of Wales
Large and small - Wales has varieties of the least discovered and most beautiful. Tucked away in our valleys are some fine parks and gardens, both ancient and modern and each location offers its own picturesque garden of quality and breathtaking scope, mirroring the landscape in which they are set.

 

Tracing your Ancestors
 

Tracing your Ancestors
Is your surname Davies, Jones, Evans or Williams? Or perhaps over the years you’ve heard your parents or grandparents talking of their Welsh ancestry? If so, you may have Welsh ancestry. It’s easier than you think to start looking into your family history and find out about your family roots. You’ll be in good company as Tom Cruise, Susan Sarandon, Russell Crowe and Kylie Minogue have all been tracing their Welsh ancestry.

 

Gardens of Wales
 

Shopping in Wales
From bluestone and slate to fine timber and wool, Wales is blessed with natural treasures aplenty. For a real taste of Wales back home, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to buy some locally grown produce. Whether it’s the fresh air, unpolluted soils or the old fashioned care and attention that’s commonplace here, nothing tastes quite like it. As well as bustling modern centres, Wales is famous for it’s independent shops. Why not try Abergavenny for it’s well stocked weekly food markets, Betws-y-Coed for outdoor shops a plenty, Cardiff for it’s compact city mix of high street and Victorian arcades, Hay-on-Wye for books and boutiques, Cowbridge for high-octane glamour, Narberth for antiques and stylish crafts or Welshpool for fine wines.

Tracing your Ancestors
 

Literary Greats
As we love to talk, it’s not surprising that all our literature stems from the storytelling tradition. We have a thriving literary culture in both the Welsh and English language and just to make sure we celebrate our literature we’re home to the world’s most famous literary festival Hay–on-Wye. Our oldest surviving poetry dates from the sixth century, but perhaps Wales’ greatest contribution to European literature is The Mabinogion - medieval Welsh folk tales came to prominence in the mid 19th century. Our most famous literary figure is Dylan Thomas who wrote poems and short stories including ‘Under Milk Wood’. Other writers to come from Wales include children’s favourite Roald Dahl who was born in Cardiff to Norwegian parents and Sarah Waters shortlisted for the Booker and Orange prize for her novel ‘Fingersmith’.

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