||Wales still retains its own
language, spoken mainly in the north by about one-fifth of the population. The Cambrian
Mountains stand between Wales and England to the east.
The country was largely rural until the 19th century, when a rich seam of coal was
discovered in Glamorgan, bringing an influx of people from other parts of Wales and the
rest of Britain. A thriving steel industry was also established. There are some fine beach
resorts, and scope for such activities as sailing, climbing, and observing wildlife.
Welsh are a Celtic people, with a tradition of choral singing. Every year a large national
eisteddfod, or festival, is held at which the best choirs compete for honours. Wales has a
climate that ranges from mild on the coast to quite severe on the hills, the high rainfall
underpinning a long tradition of dairy farming.
Many areas in Wales kept their pubs closed on Sundays for religious reasons although this
has generally stopped now. Pubs and Inns in Wales are improving but due to the lower
population than England, there are fewer around.