New homes in Wales
Welcome to Wales
From rugged mountains in the north to idyllic beaches in the south, Wales is a true land of contrasts. So whether you love exploring historic castles, hiking through rolling countryside or discovering vibrant towns and cities, there’s plenty to do see and do just a short distance from your new home in Wales.
A quick history
Agriculture is a way of life in many parts of Wales, with the earliest farms dating all the way back to 4,000 BC. From 600 BC, Wales was the land of the Celts, and there are still Celtic hill forts dotted throughout the country to this day. The Romans finally conquered Wales around 78 AD, forming settlements including modern-day Caernarfon, Carmarthen and Caerwent. During the Middle Ages the country eventually came under English rule after invasions by Henry II and Edward I.
In the 18th century Wales became more prosperous, continuing into the 19th century when coal mining and iron works became widespread. Then, during the Second World War, Cardiff and Swansea were heavily bombed by the Germans, while the collieries began to close in the 1950s and 1960s. The Welsh Assembly - now known as Welsh Government - was created in 1999, giving the country extra powers separate from Westminster.
Businesses and industry
Welsh industry historically centres on coal mining, especially in the South Wales Valleys. Port Talbot is home to the UK’s largest steel works, while agriculture is prominent in the more sparsely populated areas of Mid Wales including Brecon, Crickhowell, Builth Wells and Llandrindod Wells. Tourism is a major contributor to the Welsh economy, especially in Cardiff, Swansea, the Brecon Beacons, Pembrokeshire and North Wales, while growing sectors include technology and digital.
One of the most prominent employers in Wales is Welsh Government, while other big employers include The Royal Mint in Pontyclun, Arriva Trains Wales in Cardiff, Principality Building Society in Cardiff, and Gocompare.com in Newport. Iceland Foods, Admiral Group, GE Aircraft Engine Services, Dwr Cymru, Wales & West Utilities and Dow Corning also have bases in Wales. Most big-business is concentrated in the south of the country, along the M4 corridor which connects West Wales with London.
Things to do in the area
From the great outdoors to cultural cities and historic sites, Wales has a huge range of things to do within easy reach of your new home. Explore the beaches of the Gower Peninsula near Swansea, take a hike up Pen-y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons, or visit the family-friendly attractions in Pembrokeshire including Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, Oakwood Park, and Tenby Beach.
If you love all-out adventure, Snowdonia National Park is a great place to scale high peaks, go white water rafting or hit the mountain biking trails. For more relaxing days out, go and wander through the National Botanic Garden of Wales, enjoy lunch at one of the restaurants in Cardiff Bay, or take in the Italian-style streets of Portmeirion. Other great places to visit include the Millennium Stadium, Powis Castle, Castell Coch and Conwy RSPB Reserve.
Travel and commuting
Wales’ largest cities - Cardiff and Swansea - are connected by the M4 motorway, which extends all the way to London. The rest of the country is connected by A roads, including the A40 between Pembrokeshire and Monmouth and the A470 between Cardiff and Snowdonia.
As for public transport, there are train lines between Newport, Cardiff and Swansea, with local lines extending into the Welsh valleys. The north to south rail route runs through Abergavenny and onward to Chester, branching west to Llandudno and Holyhead on the island of Anglesey. The only major international airport in the country is Cardiff Airport, with regional flights from Swansea, Anglesey and Haverfordwest. Ferries to Ireland depart regularly from Anglesey and Pembrokeshire.