Wales (Welsh: Cymru [ˈkəm.rɨ] (About this soundlisten)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.

Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century. The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party. Welsh national feeling grew over the century; Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, Senedd Cymru – the Welsh Parliament, formerly known as the National Assembly for Wales – is responsible for a range of devolved policy matters.

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Aerial view of four carriage train, on single curved track, at station. Passengers wait to board. Lush wooded mountains make up the background on all sides. To the right, foreground, a walkway leads down to the platform.
The Ebbw Valley Railway (Welsh: Rheilffordd Cwm Ebwy) is a branch line of the Great Western Main Line in Wales. Arriva Trains Wales provide an hourly passenger service each way, between Ebbw Vale Parkway and Cardiff Central. The Great Western Railway operated a passenger service on the line from the 1850s between Ebbw Vale and Newport. The line became part of British Railways' Western Region in 1948, following the nationalisation of the railways. Passenger services ceased on the line in 1962 under the Beeching Axe, but the route continued to be used to carry freight to and from the Corus steelworks in Ebbw Vale until its closure in 2002.

Proposals to re-open the existing freight railway line to passenger services were first mooted in 1998. The Welsh Assembly Government announced their commitment to the project in 2002, as part of a package of measures to help the steel communities. Passenger services were restored to the line in February 2008, using Class 150 diesel multiple units. Predominantly single track, the Ebbw Valley Railway runs 18 miles (29 km) along the Ebbw River valley from Ebbw Vale, before joining the South Wales Main Line at Ebbw Junction, Newport. The line's stations and services are managed by Arriva Trains Wales.

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Credit: Broneiron

Gregynog Hall is a large country mansion in the village of Tregynon, 4 miles northwest of Newtown, Powys. The Blayney and Hanbury-Tracy families lived on the site from the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries; in 1920 the current house was bought by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, who turned it into an important cultural centre. During their ownership Gregynog hosted music festivals, gave its name to a printing press and, until the sisters' respective bequests to the National Museum of Wales, a housed significant collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. In 1960 the house was transferred to the University of Wales as a conference and study centre.

Did you know...?/A wyddwch...?

Selected biography/Bywgraffiad dethol

Guto Pryderi Puw (born 1971) is a Welsh composer, university lecturer and conductor. He is considered to be one of the most promising Welsh composers of his generation and a key figure in current Welsh music. Puw's music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and been featured on television programmes for the BBC and S4C. He has twice been awarded the Composer's Medal at the National Eisteddfod.

Puw's works include pieces for unusual combinations of instruments, such as a tuba quartet or a trio consisting of harp, cello and double-bass, as well as more traditional forces such as solo baritone and piano, choir or orchestra. He was associated with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales as its Resident Composer, the first holder of this title, from 2006 to 2009. Puw wrote an oboe concerto as part of this association, and his latest composition for the orchestra was premiered at the 2007 Proms. Puw's own Welsh identity is a recurrent theme in his music: some of his pieces set Welsh-language poetry to music and one of his pieces, Reservoirs, is written about the flooding of Welsh valleys to provide water for England.

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Selected quote/Dyfyniad dethol

We were four dickheads from Wales. No other dickheads from Wales were making music at that point. And we were kind of pretentious beyond belief.

Wales topics/Topigau Cymru

Featured content/Prif gynnwys

Featured articles:King Arthur · Asser · William Cragh · Russell T Davies · John Dee · Rhys ap Gruffydd · Tom Pryce · Sasha (DJ) · Senghenydd colliery disaster · Slate industry in Wales · Talyllyn Railway · Wales national rugby union team · Alfred Russel Wallace

Featured lists:List of alumni of Jesus College, Oxford: Clergy · List of alumni of Jesus College, Oxford: Law and government · List of alumni of Jesus College, Oxford: Mathematics, medicine and science · List of alumni of Jesus College, Oxford · Friends of Friendless Churches · List of Honorary Fellows of Jesus College, Oxford · List of founding Fellows, Scholars and Commissioners of Jesus College, Oxford · List of County Court venues in England and Wales · List of former county courts in Wales · List of Principals and Fellows of Jesus College, Oxford · List of Wales international footballers · List of Wales national football team hat-tricks

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1899 recording of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau

Good articles:A4232 road · Aberdaron · Anglesey Central Railway · Rakie Ayola · Norman Biggs · Bullet for My Valentine · Caernarfon Castle · Caernarfon town walls · Caffo · Capel Lligwy · Cardiff Arms Park · Cardiff Castle · Conwy town walls · Andrew Crofts (footballer) · (Drawing) Rings Around the World · Ebbw Valley Railway · Timothy Everest · Flat Holm · Golden Retriever (song) · Arthur Gould (rugby player) · Hello Sunshine · The Holy Bible (album) · It's Not the End of the World? · Herbert Armitage James · Barry John · Gethin Jones · Juxtapozed with U · Kidwelly and Llanelly Canal · Llanishen Reservoir · Llantwit Major · John McFall (athlete) · Milford Haven · Millennium Stadium · Neath and Tennant Canal · Old Bridge, Pontypridd · Old Church of St Gwenllwyfo, Llanwenllwyfo · Our Lady Star of the Sea and St Winefride, Amlwch · Parc Cwm long cairn · Penmon · Phantom Phorce · Phantom Power (Super Furry Animals album) · Pont-y-Cafnau · Guto Puw · Raglan Castle · Rhondda · Rings Around the World · Senedd · Sibyl de Neufmarché · Slow Life · Snowdon · St Caian's Church, Tregaian · St Beuno's Church, Trefdraeth · St Ceidio's Church, Rhodogeidio · St Cristiolus's Church, Llangristiolus · St Cwyllog's Church, Llangwyllog · St Deiniol's Church, Llanddaniel Fab · St Eleth's Church, Amlwch · St Fflewin's Church, Llanfflewin · St Gallgo's Church, Llanallgo · St Gwenllwyfo's Church, Llanwenllwyfo · St Iestyn's Church, Llaniestyn · St Llibio's Church, Llanllibio · St Mary's Church, Bodewryd · St Mary's Church, Llanfair Mathafarn Eithaf · St Mary's Church, Pentraeth · St Mary's Church, Rhodogeidio · St Mary's Church, Tal-y-llyn · St Pabo's Church, Llanbabo · St Peirio's Church, Rhosbeirio · St Peulan's Church, Llanbeulan · St Twrog's Church, Bodwrog · St Tyfrydog's Church, Llandyfrydog · The Tale of The Flopsy Bunnies · Wales · Wales Millennium Centre · David Watts Morgan · Welsh Springer Spaniel · Y Gododdin

Things you can do/Pethau y gallech eu gwneud

Welsh things you can do
Carmarthen Bay · Clwydian Range · Glyn Daniel · List of places in Anglesey · List of places in Ceredigion · List of places in Gwynedd · List of places in Monmouthshire · List of places in Pembrokeshire · List of places in Powys · Pembroke River · River Cothi · River Dwyryd · River Ebbw · River Honddu · River Ithon · River Llynfi · River Mawddach · River Mynach · River Neath · River Ogwen · River Rheidol · River Taff · River Vyrnwy · River Ystwyth
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cy:Capel Seion, Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant (Capel Seion, Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant), Grade II* listed building · cy:Trefeurig (Trefeurig)
Aberfan Cemetery · East Glamorgan General Hospital · Military of Wales · River Gyffin · Welsh Folk Music Revival
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