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Wales, UK Description
Wales is a constituent unit of the United Kingdom that extends the island of Great Britain westward from its eastern border with the Republic of Ireland. Wales, renowned for its starkly rugged landscape, was one of Celtic Europe's most prominent political and cultural centers, and it retains aspects of its culture that are markedly different from those of its English neighbors. Wales was one of Celtic Europe's most prominent political and cultural centers, and it retains aspects of culture that are markedly different from those of its English neighbors.
Wales is a "country very strongly defended by high mountains, deep valleys, extensive woods, rivers, and marshes; insomuch that from the time the Saxons took possession of the island, the remnants of the Britons retiring into these regions could never be completely subdued either by the English or the Normans," the medieval chronicler Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales) had topography, history, and current events in mind. When Wales was finally subdued in 1536, it was formally admitted to the kingdom of England by the Act of Union of that year. Despite the fact that many of their compatriots worked at home to preserve cultural traditions and the Welsh language, which experienced a renaissance in the late twentieth century, Welsh engineers, linguists, musicians, writers, and soldiers made significant contributions to the development of the larger British Empire. With the support of the Welsh electorate, the British government granted Wales a measure of autonomy in 1997 by establishing the Welsh Assembly, which assumed decision-making authority over the vast majority of local matters.
Despite the decline of coal mining, which had been the country's economic mainstay for much of the twentieth century, Wales had developed a diversified economy, particularly in the cities of Cardiff and Swansea, while the countryside, which had been reliant on small farming, had attracted a large number of retirees from England. During the twentieth century, tourism developed into an economic mainstay, bringing tourists to Wales' stately parks and castles, as well as cultural events celebrating the country's celebrated musical and literary traditions, many of whom were descendants of Welsh expatriates. While facing constant change, Wales continues to strive for greater independence while also establishing its own distinct identity within an increasingly integrated European Union.
Geographical Description of Wales
Located in the United Kingdom, Wales is bordered on the north by the River Dee and Liverpool Bay, on the west by Irish Sea, on the south by Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel, and on the east by the country of England. Anglesey (Môn), the largest island in England and Wales and the largest in the United Kingdom, is located off the northwest coast of the country and is connected to the mainland by road and rail bridges. Wales' varied coastline stretches for approximately 600 miles and is rich in natural resources (970 km). Northern and southern borders are approximately 130 miles (210 kilometers) apart, and the country's east-west width varies significantly, reaching 90 miles (145 kilometers) in the north, narrowing to approximately 40 miles (65 kilometers) in the center, and widening again to more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) in the south.
Mountains, plateaus, and hills were deeply dissected by glaciers during the Pleistocene Epoch (approximately 2,600,000–11,700 years ago), including the north–south trending Cambrian Mountains, which are a region of plateaus and hills that are themselves fragmented by rivers. Glaciers carved much of the Welsh landscape during the Pleistocene Epoch (approximately 2,600,000–11,700 years ago) into In the south, the Brecon Beacons rise to 2,906 feet (886 metres) at Pen y Fan, and in the northwest, Snowdonia rises to 3,560 feet (1,085 metres) at Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales. Snowdonia's spectacular scenery is enhanced by stark and rugged rock formations, many of which are volcanic in origin, whereas the Beacons' scenery is characterized by softer contours and more gentle slopes. Uplands are surrounded by a series of steep-sided coastal plateaus that range in elevation from approximately 100 to 700 feet on the seaward side of the peninsula (30 to 210 metres). The sea has pounded many of them into spectacular step-like cliffs, which are now popular tourist attractions. Other plateaus give way to coastal flats that are derived from estuaries.
In traditional classifications, Wales is divided into six distinct regions: the rugged central heartland, the northern Welsh lowlands and Isle of Anglesey county, the Cardigan coast (Ceredigion county), the southwest lowlands, the industrial south of Wales, and the Welsh borderland. Located on the border of the counties of Powys, Denbighshire, and Gwynedd, the heartland spans the length of Wales, stretching from the Brecon Beacons in the south to Snowdonia in the north. It is home to two national parks named after mountain ranges in the region. The coastal lowlands, which include Gwynedd's Lleyn Peninsula (Penrhyn Lln) and Anglesey, are located to the north and northwest of the country.
The Cardigan Bay coastline, which lies to the west of the heartland in the county of Ceredigion, is characterized by numerous cliffs and coves, as well as pebble and sand-filled beaches, and is a popular tourist destination. Southwest of the heartland, the counties of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire are located. The land rises eastward from St. David's Head, through moorlands and uplands, to reach a height of 1,760 feet (536 metres) in the Preseli Hills. South Wales extends south of the heartland on an enormous coalfield that has been mostly depleted over the years. The Welsh border region with England, located to the east of the heartland, is predominantly agricultural, with occasional wooded hills and mountainous moorland interspersed throughout.
The Welsh economy, in general, reflects the national trends and patterns of the United Kingdom as a whole. While Wales employs a greater proportion of people in agriculture and forestry, manufacturing, and government than any other country in the world, it provides fewer jobs in financial and business services than any other. Wales' gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and employment rates are significantly lower than the national average in the United Kingdom, despite the fact that foreign investment is active in Welsh manufacturing, particularly in high-technology sectors. For the purpose of improving living conditions in areas of western and southern Wales, the European Union has committed substantial development assistance to those areas.