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There's not so much left these days of Offa's Dyke, the large earthwork built to separate the Celts of Wales from the Anglo-Saxons of the Dark Age's Kingdom of Mercia, but once across the Welsh border you are clearly in a different country with a proud tradition and clear identity very different from the dominant English to the east.


Wales has its own language, signposts and road markings written in it everywhere you go and cultural highlights up and down this small principality ranging from the universal festivals of song, the 'Eisteddfodds' to the closely knit former mining communities of the Rhondda Valleys in the South, opening up into Mid Wales and the panoramic Brecon Beacons and on to the Welsh speaking rural communities of Gwynedd with its high mountains and rugged coastline.

In the South, the capital Cardiff (Caerdydd) houses the Welsh assembly, the first of many fine Norman castles and the renowned Millenium Stadium, home of Welsh rugby.

Heading out to the Pembrokeshire Peninsula past the City of Swansea and the nearby Gower Peninsula, you can take a ferry to Ireland or continue around the coast to the University town of Aberystwyth (where they sent Prince Charles to learn the language).

In the north you can climb Mount Snowdon - or even take a small train to the top, visit the walled town of Caernarvon with its fine castle, or Conwy with its fine castle or Harlech, with its fine...well, you get the picture.


Across the Menai Straits is Wales's largest island, Anglesey, home to the ancient Druids, Holyhead, the main ferry port for Dublin, the famous Moelfre Lifeboat Station and the countries longest town name 'Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychdrwnrobbellllantisiliogogogoch' and I wrote that without checking the spelling!


Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is one of our less popular travel locations. Not just because half the holiday is spent driving past the signpost, but because there's so many other things to do in Wales that groups often don't get round to it. But on a rainy day on Anglesey what else is there to do - when the Electric mountain is fully booked, the National Slate museum is oversubscribed and the Holyhead to Dublin ferry has just left.



Two Slovenian schools joined together with Bridgwater International for a short tour of Wales which took them from the Snowdonian peaks to Tiger Bay before finally popping over the Severn bridge to Somerset.

The schools, from Koper on the Adriatic Coast and Jesenice up in the Julian Alps, landed at Birmingham Airport from Trieste, visited Shrewsbury and stayed for two nights at Betws y Coed.