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Posted on 08/02/2016 by David

Just ask anyone who has been; North Wales is full of hidden gems. From Llanfairfechan to Portmeirion, it’s a part of the United Kingdom that offers much to be explored and discovered. Here are 20 interesting facts that you may or may not know about North Wales:

 1. The longest running Punch and Judy show in the world is the one on Llandudno promenade. Passed down through the generations, this show has been running for over 150 years! 

1 Image Source: CC BY-SA 2.0 by Richard Hoare

2. Yew Tree in St Dygain’s Church in Llangernyw, Conwy, is the second or third (depends on the source – a fact that’s up for debate!) oldest known living organism in the world. The tree is over 4000 years old.

3. Cardigan Bay is home to the UK’s largest dolphin pod. They can be seen making their way up and down the North Wales coast all year round, but in order to see the most, summer-time is the recommended when you can expect to see 10-12 at a time!

4. North Wales is home to Zip World Velocity, the world’s fastest zip wire. Located in Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda, Zip World Velocity allows visitors to travel at speeds in excess of 100mph.

5. The longest place name in the UK can be found on the signs of North Wales. Try spelling (or pronouncing!) this one: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

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 Image source: CC0 1.0  by G1MFG 

6. Built in 1805 by Thomas Telford, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is the tallest aqueduct in the UK. It was once was the tallest boat crossing in the world.

7. The Menai Bridge in Anglesey was the world’s longest bridge when built in 1826. It was also the first suspension bridge that had the ability to take heavy traffic.

8. Britain’s first lager brewery was in fact opened in Wrexham by a German immigrant in 1882. Despite having 10 years where brewing ceased, it resumed as of 2011.  

9. Rhos-on-sea is home to the smallest chapel, measuring a meagre 11ft by 8ft. Within the chapel, there is space for just 6 people to sit. 

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Image Source: CC BY-SA 2.0 by David Dixon

10. It may not contain one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but all of the 7 Wonders of Wales are located in North Wales. These are: Pistyll Rhaeadr, St Giles’ Church, Overton yew trees, St Winefride’s Well, Llangollen Bridge, Gresford Bells and Snowdon. 

11. When writing ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Lewis Carroll took inspiration from Llandudno. Phillip Pullman, author of Dark Materials trilogy, “The Golden Compass” also settled with his family in North Wales after finding writing inspiration in its beauty. We knew it was a magical place! 

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Image source: CC0 1.0  by Hello Kitty

12. Back in 1873 at Nantclwyd House in Denbighshire, lawn tennis was discovered! If you love a spot of tennis, you have North Wales to thank. 

13. If you visit Beddgelert, the grave of Gelert, the faithful hound of Prince Llewelyn the Great can be found. The legend of Gelert is known throughout this part of Wales.

14. The Snowdonian Mountain Railway was seen as revolutionary engineering in its time. It is now over 100 years old. 

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Image Source: CC BY-SA 2.0 by Bert Kaufmann  

15. North Wales is home to the world-class opera singer, Bryn Terfel. He is a proud North Walian to this day living in Caernarfon! Of course, why would he leave? 

16. Caernarfon Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, meaning that it is has special cultural and physical significance. It is one of 29 UNESCO sites in the UK and its overseas territories, and is a must see for all visitors to North Wales.

17. The Llyn Peninsula is an area in Wales with a huge amount of Welsh speakers, and evidence that the language is alive and well; over 70% use Welsh as their first language.

18. The Tu Hwnt I’r Bont tea room in Llanwrst is set in a 15th century courthouse. It also home to a “secret” recipe Welsh rarebit which is a must try!

6Image Source: CC BY-SA 2.0 by Eirian Evans

19. North Wales could fit into Australia a whopping 1222.89 times! It may be relatively small, but full of wonderful charm and jam packed with things to do. 

20.The population of North Wales is around 700,000 which compares to the 10 million sheep in the entirety of Wales.

 Did you know any of these facts? If you have any more fun facts for us, let us know in the comments below!