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Location of North Wales

North Wales ( ) is the northernmost unofficial region of Walesmarker, bordered to the south by Mid Walesmarker and to the east by Englandmarker.

It comprises the island of Angleseymarker, the Llŷn peninsula and the Snowdoniamarker mountain range, together with the catchments of the Rivers Conwymarker, Clwydmarker and Dee with the River Dyfimarker often said to form the southern boundary along part of its course.

However, northern Powysmarker is the same distance north as south Gwyneddmarker so that could also be classed as North Wales.


North Wales is steeped in history. In 1210, English King John invaded Gwyneddmarker a county of North Wales, Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, one of the greatest of the medieval Welsh kings was forced to retreat to the mountainous areas to the West. When John found himself embroiled in struggles with his Barons and the Pope, Llywelyn was able to reassert his authority in North Wales. In 1216, Llywelyn went on to preside over a Welsh Parliament, a position confirmed at the Peace of Worcester in 1218, by Henry III.

World Heritage Sites

North Wales is home to five of the six UNESCO World Heritage sites in Wales, including:Caernarfon Castlemarker, Beaumaris Castlemarker, Conwy Castlemarker, Harlech Castlemarker and Pontcysyllte aqueductmarker.

Political divisions

Traditionally, most of North Wales was covered by the kingdom of Gwyneddmarker.

The region is approximately made up of the following administrative areas:

Related Constituencies

North Wales was a European Parliamentmarker 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 North-East 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 Seamarker), has ensured that 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 UKmarker and much of the region has EU Objective 1 status [69996].

The eastern part of North Wales contains the most populous areas, with more than 300,000 people living in the areas around Wrexhammarker and Deeside. Wrexham is North Wales' largest town, with a population of 68,000 in 2005. The majority of other settlements are along the coast, including some popular resort towns, such as Rhylmarker, Llandudnomarker and Pwllhelimarker. The A55 expressway links these towns with the north of Englandmarker and the port of Holyheadmarker for ferries to Irelandmarker; few routes connect North Wales with South Walesmarker. There are two cathedral cities — Bangormarker and St. Asaphmarker, and a number of mediaeval castles (e.g.: Cricciethmarker, Dolbadarnmarker, Harlechmarker, Caernarfonmarker, Beaumarismarker, Conwymarker).


North Wales has a very diverse and complex geology with precambrian schists along the Menai Straitmarker and the great Cambrian dome behind Harlechmarker and underlying much of western Snowdoniamarker. 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 Conwymarker lies a large area of upland rolling hills underlain by the Silurian mud-stones and grits comprising the Denbighmarker and Migneintmarker moors.To the east, around Llangollenmarker,to the north on Halkynmarker mountain and the Great Ormemarker and in eastern Anglesey are deep beds of limestone from which metals have been mines since pre-Roman times. Added to all this are the complexities posed by Parys Mountainmarker and the outcrops of unusual minerals such as Jasper and Mona Marble which make the area of special interest to Geologists.


North Wales has a distinct regional identity. Its dialect of the Welsh language differs from that of other regions such as South Walesmarker 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 rwan in North Wales, where it might be 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").

Local media


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 Region 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.


In 2000, The Wales Tourist Board tourist identified the top 10 most visited attractions in the region, these included:

See also


External links

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