Beautiful Wales!   The mountains and valleys, beaches, villages and ports are just beautiful.   Wales makes me think of what the northwest US must have looked like hundreds of years ago.   Without all the people and industry.   

This is not a well populated area with just 3 million people in 8,000 square miles . In fact, most of the people live along the southern coast in the larger cities of Cardiff, Newport and Swansea, but there are miles and miles of roads in Central Wales without a building in sight except for a little cottage here and there.   The 1,680 miles of coast line surround the country on 3 sides, only connecting to England on the east.   The land stretches about 170 miles north to south and 60 miles east to west.  Most of Wales is mountain terrain and has a maritime climate with winters averaging about 45 F and summers up into the 70’s F.   Just over 1.75 million Americans report themselves to have Welsh ancestry.  

There are 200+ golf courses, fishing galore, plenty of hiking and exploring. If you’d like to live in Wales, if only for a little while, here’s what we found.   Wales enjoys some of the lowest cost of living indexes in the UK.   Rent on a one-bedroom flat in Cardiff (in the South), Conwy (in the North) and Llangollen (in the east) runs about $800 US per month.   The Welsh Language Act of 1993 and the Government of Wales Act in 1998 require that English and the Welsh language are treated equally.  Although English is spoken by most everyone, many people switch to Welsh when among themselves and the language, as a matter of national pride, is gaining ground.   All public signs are in both English and Welsh. 

A Celtic nation, Wales is an ancient land with standing stones and Neolithic sites.  It is thought that Wales has been inhabited at least since the ice age.  Then came the Romans for 300 years or so who extracted gold, copper and lead.  After the Romans left, Wales  had a long tumultuous relationship with England and was incorporated, like it or not, in 1535.  England needed Wales originally for its wool and farming, but with the Industrial Revolution, it became more valuable for its rich mining of slate,  coal, and copper.    Wales is a land rich in mythology, literature, history, and the arts.   The Welsh are known world-wide for their men’s choirs, but also for Rugby, Soccer, and cricket.   Wales is a favorite filming spot for the BBC and shows such as Dr. Who and Torchwood have been filmed there. 

Retire in Wales?  Youbetcha!

Porthmadog, Wales Photo By Andrew Bowden via

Living in Wales

Pros: Cost of living, Culture, History, Wide open Spaces
Cons: Pretty Isolated
Best Places to Live: Abererystwyth
Favorite Inexpensive Events: Hay-on-Wye Bookstore Browsing!
Did You Know: the letters K, Q, V and Z do not appear in the Welsh alphabet at all!  There are 4 times more sheep in Wales than people!

Visit Wales!
This video is a great introduction to what you will discover in Wales and hear a bit of the language. 

Visions of Wales
The beautiful landscapes of Wales. 

The Welsh National Anthem
The Welsh love to sing!   This is at a soccer match.


Only Boys Allowed
Here’s how you keep the kids off the streets in Wales!

Snowdonia National Park
We rode this little train several years ago.  There are a number of really fine preserved train excursions in Wales.

Portmeirion – North Wales
Surprise!  An Italian (?) village in Wales?



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