BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in July 2007We've left it here for reference.More information

16 September 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Wales - Society & CultureWales at a glance

BBC Homepage
Wales home

Society and Culture

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 
The geography of Wales

The geography of Wales

Where is Wales? How big is it? What's its geography? Some questions answered.

Where is Wales?

Map of British IslesOn the west of the island called Great Britain, Wales is a member of the United Kingdom. It's to the west of England.

How big is Wales?

Wales is just over 20,000 square kilometres in size. At its widest it's 200 kilometres east to west, and 250 Kilometres north to south.

What's the geography of Wales?

Wales has a varied geography with strong contrasts. In the south, flat coastal plains gives way to valleys, then to ranges of hills and mountains in mid and north Wales.

There are three national parks and five areas of outstanding natural beauty, which cover a quarter of the land mass of Wales. 80% of the land is dedicated to agriculture, ranging from crops to livestock.

The largest mountains in the north are part of the Snowdonia range, with the largest mountain being Snowdon at 1,085 metres. There are over 1300 kilometres of coastline ranging from long flat sandy beaches to towering cliffs.

Is there a place in Wales that has a very long name?

Yes. It's Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, which in English means 'St Mary's Church in a hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool and St Tysil's Church of the red cave.'

It's both the longest place name and railway station name in Europe. According to the Guiness Book of Records, it's also the longest valid web domain name in the world, though www.llanfair.wales.com is a more memorable alternative.

Locals commonly know the village, situated on the island of Anglesey in North West Wales, as Llanfair PG.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy