Wales boasts a rugged but mesmerising landscape. It has three national parks – the Brecon Beacons, the Pembrokeshire Coast and Snowdonia. Here you can find Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales standing at 1,085m.
A quarter of its population speaks Welsh, or ‘Cymraeg’ in Welsh. It’s a Celtic language, and you can hear it in several local dialects.
The Welsh economy reflects the national trends and patterns of the UK; however more people in Wales work in agriculture, forestry, manufacturing and government services.
Wales is often referred to as ’the land of song’. Notable singers include Sir Tom Jones, Bryn Terfel, Charlotte Church, Katherine Jenkins and Dame Shirley Bassey.
During the 1958 FIFA World Cup, Wales reached the quarter finals. The then 17-year-old Pele scored his first international goal against Wales, and Brazil went on to win the tournament.
Wales made its Commonwealth Games debut in 1930, and is one of only six nations that have taken part in every Games since.
Having won three medals on its debut, it was the Sydney 1938 British Empire Games that brought Wales its first Gold, with Athletics and Boxing providing the honours.
The capital city of Wales –Cardiff – hosted the Games in 1958 which featured the first Queen’s Baton Relay. In that year, Howard Winstone won the Men's Bantamweight division in the boxing ring.
At the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, Wales was captained by one of the world's leading paralympians, Tani Grey-Thompson. The team enjoyed a haul of 19 medals.
Fun fact: The name of the Welsh town Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch means ‘Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St Tysilio of the red cave’.
Sport fact: Wales won the Six Nations several times and it hosted the Rugby World Cup in 1999. The opening of the 72,500-seat Millennium Stadium in Cardiff put rugby at the heart of national and sporting life.