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260 Wales Trivia Questions, Answers, and Fun Facts

How much do you know about Wales? This category is for trivia questions and answers related to Wales (Geography). Each one is filled with fun facts and interesting information.
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1 Yes, I have counted them! In which city in far western Wales, the smallest in Britain, can be found a lesser known flight of thirty-nine steps other than those made famous in the novel by John Buchan?
Answer: St. David's

Approaching St. David's Cathedral from the south-east, visitors descending into the hollow in which the building is set will negotiate a flight of thirty-nine steps. Over the centuries, these steps have been worn almost as smooth as mirrors so care needs to be taken when ascending or descending to and from this beautiful building. The current cathedral is believed to be the fourth on the site upon which Saint David, the Patron Saint of Wales, established a shrine in the sixth century. To the north of the cathedral stand the ruins of the Bishop's Palace; this building was destroyed during King Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. It is believed that the earlier buildings on the site were constructed in the hollow in order to prevent the cathedral from being seen from the sea by marauding Vikings, but local legend has it that the ground surrounding the site rose up during a sermon that was being delivered at the site by Saint David himself.
    Your options: [ Conway ] [ St. David's ] [ Wrexham ] [ Cardigan ]
  From Quiz: Croeso i Sir Benfro! - Pembrokeshire
2 As with most geographical locations, Cardiff's design and functionality was heavily influenced by the local geology. At one point, Cardiff was the largest port in the world that exported a certain geological product. What product was this?
Answer: Coal

The history of south Wales is, in many respects, defined by coal and copper and the methods used to extract and process it. Historically it was Swansea that dealt with copper, hence its nickname "Copperopolis", and Cardiff dealt with coal. Coal was such a massive part of the Welsh economy and this is illustrated best by the effect that mine closures had on the people of Wales. Under the government of Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990) many Welsh mines were closed and this led to the iconic strikes and massive unemployment in the area.
  From Quiz: Cardiff: Historic City, New Capital
3 How far away from Cardiff is Neath?
Answer: 40 miles

Cardiff, the Welsh capital city, is 40 miles southeast of Neath. Travel along the A4 should take about three-quarters of an hour, but that is without traffic delays.
  From Quiz: Neath
4 The local inhabitants call Machynlleth 'Mach'. According to the 2001 census, roughly how many local inhabitants are there?
Answer: 2000

Machynlleth has been around for centuries. Archaeologists have unearthed artifacts that have been radiocarbon-dated at 2,750 years old, the time of the Early Bronze Age. At that time, the inhabitants were kept busy mining copper. As the years progressed, the economy became more agrarian, and when I lived there, there were probably more sheep than people in the area. Nowadays, Machynlleth is something of an arts centre and home to many fine artists, artisans and craftspeople.
  From Quiz: Mach in the Middle
5 What is the name of the body of water that separates Anglesey from the rest of Wales?
Answer: Menai Strait

The island of Anglesey is connected to the mainland by two bridges, the Menai Suspension Bridge and the Britannia Bridge. The first time I saw a photo of the suspension bridge, I was awestruck by the natural beauty of the shoreline on both sides. Unbelievable!
  From Quiz: Anglesey-The Island Amongst Islands
6 What was the approximate population of Cardiff in the 2001 census?
Answer: 275,000

The census of the United Kingdom carried out in 2001 gave 275,000 as the population of the City of Cardiff, which is low for a nation's capital.
  From Quiz: More about Cardiff
7 The strait that lies between the Welsh mainland and the island of Anglesey was first bridged in 1825. What is the name of this strait?
Answer: Menai Strait

The chain bridge built by Thomas Telford over the Menai Strait was completed in 1825, and was the world's longest suspension bridge at that time.
  From Quiz: 9 for 10 - Wales
8 Newport stands on a river said to have the second highest tidal rise and fall in the world. What is the name of the river?
Answer: Usk

The highest in the world is in the Bay of Fundy in Newfoundland. The Severn, into which the Usk flows, also has a very high tidal range, a result of which is the famous "Severn Bore".
  From Quiz: Newport - The Newest City in Wales
9 Which famous children's author grew up in Cardiff?
Answer: Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl grew up in Cardiff in a Norwegian family and was christened in the little Norwegian church in Cardiff Bay. Dahl's semi-autobiographical book 'Boy' is set in Wales.
    Your options: [ J.K. Rowling ] [ Roald Dahl ] [ Enid Blyton ] [ Elinor M Brent-Dyer ]
  From Quiz: Facts on Cardiff
10 In the National Eisteddfod, the highest prize is awarded for a poem in strict metre. What is this prize?
Answer: A Chair

Eisteddfod Chairs are individually carved and are highly prized.
  From Quiz: Welsh Culture
11 What language (apart from English) is spoken in Wales?
Answer: Welsh

According to the 2001 Census over 20% of the population of Wales are classed as fluent in Welsh. Officially the Welsh and English language have equal status in Wales and all signs are bilingual in both Welsh and English.
  From Quiz: Wales Basics
12 Which Pembrokeshire coastal town was the location for the film production 'Under Milk Wood', a literary work by the popular Welsh poet Dylan Thomas?
Answer: Fishguard

Fishguard, or Abergwaun as it is known in the Welsh language, was chosen as the location for the filming of this 1972 adaptation of Dylan Thomas' most famous radio play. The film, directed by Andrew Sinclair, features a stellar cast which includes Welsh actors Richard Burton, Sîan Phillips and Angharad Rees and other international stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O'Toole. There are many village locations in Wales that could have been chosen, but the area known locally as Lower Town fitted the bill perfectly possessing a charming harbour and being surrounded by low but steep cliffs, all of which are heavily wooded. This location was also used to film a very small number of scenes in the 1956 film production of Herman Melville's novel 'Moby Dick' starring Gregory Peck. A visit to The Ship Inn, a public house at the heart of the community, reveals many items of memorabilia of both films.
    Your options: [ Newport ] [ Fishguard ] [ Swansea ] [ Cardiff ]
  From Quiz: Croeso i Sir Benfro! - Pembrokeshire
13 The summit of Carn Menyn in the Preseli Hills is famous as being the source of what?
Answer: The bluestones at Stonehenge

The Preseli Hills are in north Pembrokeshire and are full of prehistoric remains including stone circles, cairns and settlements. The bluestones, which form the inner circle at Stonehenge, have been matched chemically to the rocky outcrop of Carn Meyni.
  From Quiz: A Journey Around Pembrokeshire
14 What road lies on the outskirts of Neath?
Answer: A465

The A465 is often referred to as the 'Heads of the Valleys Road' because it joins together the heads of the South Wales Valleys. The road runs from Bromyard to Hereford. The highest point (1,350ft) is located on the Ebbw Vale section.
  From Quiz: Neath
15 Bangor takes its name from a Welsh word meaning what?
Answer: Wattle fence

Bangor was the site of a monastery founded by the Celtic Saint Deiniol in the 6th century. The word for a wattle fence surrounding monastic lands became the word for the grounds within and ultimately, the city that developed on the site. Bangor Cathedral is on the site of the original monastery.

Bangor in Northern Ireland was a daughter foundation of the one in Wales. The abbey in this Irish Bangor gave its name to a hymn which, in 1791, inspired Reverend Seth Noble to give the name Bangor to what became a major city and lumber port in Maine, USA.
  From Quiz: Day Trip To Bangor
16 Part of the City and County of Swansea includes the Gower peninsula. What body of water does this stunning piece of land, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AoNB), protrude into?
Answer: Bristol Channel

The Bristol Channel stretches from the mouth of the River Severn to the massive expanse of water that is the Atlantic Ocean. It is not just the Gower peninsula that has a coast along the Bristol Channel as most of the south coast of Wales borders the stretch of water. Welsh speakers know the Bristol Channel as 'Môr Hafren' which actually translates as the 'Severn Sea'.
  From Quiz: The City of Swansea
17 In amongst the expanse of Welsh rurality and at the centre of the west Wales agricultural industry lay a farm-cum-theme park. What was the name of this park which attracted visitors from across the UK and beyond?
Answer: Oakwood Park

The pičce de résistance of Oakwood Park was the wooden behemoth that was 'Megafobia', an encroaching roller coaster that was built in 1996. I only went on this ride once (I am prone to motion sickness...honestly!) and it really was exhilarating. The slow rise to the top of the colossus which builds up the tension before you begin to feel the carriage tip over the edge as it plummets back to Earth. As it was a wooden roller coaster the creaking just added to that authenticity and perhaps pushed the adrenaline levels that little bit further.
    Your options: [ Beechwood Park ] [ Ashwood Park ] [ Pinewood Park ] [ Oakwood Park ]
  From Quiz: Wales: 'The Big Country'
18 Some 10-15 miles out of Cardiff, another "Llan" is to be found - literally translated, this small town west of Pontypridd means "Church of the Three Saints". What is this village called?
Answer: Llantrisant

Llan is church again in this context, "tri" is the Welsh word for "three" and "sant" is "saint".
In case you wanted to know, the three saints were St Illtyd, St Gwynno and St Dyfodwg. There we are - the Welsh language suddenly becomes an exercise in tongue twisting once more.

Dr William Price is associated with this town - generally regarded as being the person who introduced the idea of cremating the dead into the UK. His story merits another quiz or ten in itself mind!
  From Quiz: An Awful Lot of "L's" in Llan
19 Which direction would you head, to travel from Brecon, to Abergavenny?
Answer: south east

By road, the most direct route would be via the A40.
    Your options: [ north west ] [ south east ] [ north ] [ south ]
  From Quiz: Which Way to Cardiff?
20 One of the earliest references to Machynlleth is the charter granted to Owen de la Pole by Edward 1. One of the rights granted under the charter is still in effect today. What was it?
Answer: The right to hold a market every Wednesday in perpetuity

Owen de la Pole, Lord of Powys, received his charter in 1291. Under its terms, he was entitled to hold a market every Wednesday and a fair twice a year. The Wednesday market is still a big draw, with stalls featuring everything from fruit and vegetables, plants and cheese, and local art and handcrafts.
  From Quiz: Mach in the Middle
21 In terms of population, how many times larger is the city of Casnewydd than the entire island of Anglesey?
Answer: Two times

As my friend in Casnewydd (Newport) is fond of telling me, Newport is a city. Its population crossed 139,000 in 2004 and the island of Anglesey totalled less than 69,000 in that same year.
  From Quiz: Anglesey-The Island Amongst Islands
22 Cardiff has a team in European and Celtic countries rugby union competitions. It's named after the plural of which colour?
Answer: Blue

Teams playing at the level of the Blues were meant to be amalgamations with other clubs but the Cardiff club, one of the top clubs in Wales for a long time, got away with remaining largely as it was although promising to consider players from the valleys outside Cardiff.
    Your options: [ Red ] [ Amber ] [ White ] [ Blue ]
  From Quiz: More about Cardiff
23 The Welsh are known for their love of choral music. What is the name given to the special music festivals that are held in Wales?
Answer: Eisteddfod

An eisteddfod is the coming together of musicians and bards in a celebration of music and poetry. Wales is known especially for it choral singing. Welsh Men's choirs, or Welsh Male Voice choirs as they are also known, can be found in places all over the world, not only in Wales.
  From Quiz: 9 for 10 - Wales
24 Which famous comedian's parents were married in Cardiff?
Answer: Bob Hope

Bob Hope's parents married in Cardiff in April 1891. Bob's mother was Welsh, his father English.
    Your options: [ Robin Williams ] [ Bob Hope ] [ Tommy Cooper ] [ Eddie Murphy ]
  From Quiz: Facts on Cardiff
25 According to a 1991 census what percentage of people living in Wales could speak their native tongue, Welsh?
Answer: 18.5%
  From Quiz: Wales
26 Written poetry in the Welsh language has been around for how long?
Answer: Since the 5th century AD

The oldest known examples were written by Aneurin and Taliesin and related the stories of ancient battles.
  From Quiz: Welsh Culture
27 Who is the patron saint of Wales?
Answer: St David

Unlike St Andrew (the patron saint of Scotland) and St George (the patron saint of England), St David is actually a native of the country he is patron saint of. Little is known about this patron saint, who is celebrated on the 1st March, except that he was a church official who became a saint and then a patron saint. Even the year he was born is unknown with suggestions ranging from 462 to 512. It is claimed that David lived for over 100 years and died on March the 1st which is why his patron saint day is celebrated on that day.
  From Quiz: Wales Basics
28 Located a short distance from Pembrokeshire's coast are three small islands. Each are of scientific interest and of national and international importance with regard to the wildlife found there. By what names are these islands known?
Answer: Skomer, Skokholm and Grassholm

Skomer is less than a mile offshore. It is estimated that around half of the world's entire population of Manx shearwaters, some 315,000 pairs, nest on both Skomer and nearby Skokholm. In addition to these numbers of shearwaters, Skomer is also home to around 6,000 breeding pairs of puffins. With some of the richest seas to be found anywhere around the coast of Great Britain, these islands are a must visit destination for both birdwatchers and dolphin watchers.

Skomer takes its name from two old Viking words, 'skalm' which means cleft or cut, and '-ey' which means island. Skokholm derives its name from Viking words meaning wooded island and is around two and a half miles out at the southern edge of Saint Bride's Bay. Skokholm was the site of the first seabird observatory in the British Isles. Grassholm is the smallest of the three and is entirely uninhabited. Lying eleven miles out, it is the most westerly point of Wales and appears to be white in colour. Grassholm is home to around ten percent of the world's population of gannets, around 39,000 breeding pairs, and there are no prizes for guessing what gives this poor island its white colour!
  From Quiz: Croeso i Sir Benfro! - Pembrokeshire
29 Pembrokeshire has many castles, but which one was the birthplace of the future Henry VII?
Answer: Pembroke

Born Henry Tudor in 1457, he amassed an army in France which landed at Mill Bay in Pembrokeshire. He eventually fought Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth claiming victory and the crown of England in 1485.
    Your options: [ Manorbier ] [ Pembroke ] [ Narbeth ] [ Roch ]
  From Quiz: A Journey Around Pembrokeshire
30 The Welsh capital, Cardiff, has its fair share of rivers but its main waterway flows in a beautifully meandering fashion through the centre of the city and has a mouth in Cardiff Bay. What is the name of this river?
Answer: River Taff

The River Taff traverses most of the Welsh capital and is used for university and regional rowing teams to practise. Whilst the rowers integrate with the local waterfowl the imposing Millennium Stadium, the national sports stadium designed like a sailing vessel, appears to disembark on a journey to the Atlantic Ocean.

The River Taff is one of the two main reasons proffered in order to explain the origins of the Welsh nickname "Taffy". The other reason suggested is that it comes from the pronunciation of the Welsh name Dafydd. The name was popularised in the UK by the comedy show 'Little Britain' where the "only gay in the village" was called Dafydd.
  From Quiz: Cardiff: Historic City, New Capital
31 When was Neath Little Theatre formed?
Answer: 1935

Neath Little Theatre was formed in 1935 with a small headquarters on Water Street. Actors performed plays in the Gwyn Hall. Many years later Neath Little Theatre moved to larger premises on Westernmoor Road.
  From Quiz: Neath
32 What is the height above sea level of the dubiously named Bangor Mountain which, from November to March, casts a shadow over the city's High Street?
Answer: 384 ft

The so-called mountain is a hilly outcrop whose grassy slope is largely covered by the St Deiniol's Golf Club. It acts as a watershed for the River Adda, which has been culverted under the city.

Incidentally, the High Street claims to be the longest in Wales.
    Your options: [ 1,384 ft ] [ 3,884 ft ] [ 2,384 ft ] [ 384 ft ]
  From Quiz: Day Trip To Bangor
33 A couple of miles south of Llantrisant are the Llanerch Vineyards. If the Welsh word for "vineyard" was written in Welsh, it would also include the word "llan" in it - so what is the Welsh word for a vineyard?
Answer: Gwinllan

The "llan" in "Gwinllan" is a slightly different use of the word - "a piece of land set aside for wine" would be a literal translation here. The shop at Llanerch is open every day for visitors and for sampling - so a pleasant little diversion, if not the first thing that would come to the mind of a tourist to Wales - so feel free to go and visit Gwinllan Llanerch - if there aren't too many "llan's" for you to deal with, of course.

"Perllan" is a collection of fruit trees - or an orchard - whilst "corlan" (the double "l" is mutated to a single "l" - and mutation in Welsh is another long essay in itself) is a sheep pen - or a place to keep sheep.

Llanplonc was just an option I made up.
  From Quiz: An Awful Lot of "L's" in Llan
34 From 1859 to 1948 a narrow gauge railway brought what commodity into the town for distribution to wider markets?
Answer: Slate

The railway ran from the slate quarries in nearby Corris and Aberllefeni to Machynlleth, from whence it was shipped by rail to markets all over the world. Prior to the First World War my Taid (grandfather) was an engineer at the slate quarry in Corris. Unfortunately, it was his very skill with explosives that got him killed in 1916 in Flanders, so I never knew him. The main-line railway connects Machynlleth to the Cambrian coast and Aberystwyth to the west and Newtown and Shrewsbury to the east. Coal was mined mostly in the south. While the Welsh have always been involved in the wool business (they eat tons of lamb, so they have to do something with the fleeces!), there's not much wool produced in slate quarries. Same goes for meat.
  From Quiz: Mach in the Middle
35 From where in the county of Anglesey would someone depart if they intended to ferry across the Irish Sea to Dublin?
Answer: Holyhead

Holyhead, or Caergybi in Welsh, is at the western end of the A55. Holyhead is actually on its own island, Holyhead Island naturally...
  From Quiz: Anglesey-The Island Amongst Islands
36 Most citizens of Cardiff use an unusual form of thanks to bus drivers when alighting from the vehicle. What is it?
Answer: Thanks Drive!

I always thought that the phrase was unique to Cardiff but learnt recently from a radio programme on dialects and accents that it is also used in Kingston-on-Hull. Natural reserve prevents me from using it but my kids have easily fallen into the habit. Unlike the other offerings, it also conforms with political correctness as there are some lady bus drivers in Cardiff.
  From Quiz: More about Cardiff
37 In slang an Englishman is a Limey, a New Zealander a Kiwi. What's the slang word for a person from south Wales?
Answer: Taffy

Taffy is the nickname of a Welsh person. The origin is unknown, but might be a form of Dyffyd (David) which is a very popular Welsh name.

"Taffy was a Welshman,
Taffy was a thief.
Taffy came to my house
And stole a leg of beef.
I went to Taffy's house,
Taffy was in bed.
I picked up the leg of beef
And hit him on the head."
There are lots of verses to this rhyme. They all start with the same lines but have different endings!
  From Quiz: 9 for 10 - Wales
38 Newport's cathedral, situated at the top of a hill overlooking the city, is dedicated to which Welsh Saint?
Answer: St. Woolos

The name "Woolo" comes from Gwynllyw, a Welsh saint of the 5th century who founded a religious establishment in Newport.
Although the building dates back to pre Norman times it has been added to and modified many times in its history. As well as being the seat of the Archbishop of Wales, the last of which, Dr. Rowan Williams, went on to become Archbishop of Canterbury, it is also a normal parish church.
    Your options: [ St. Cybi ] [ St. David ] [ St. Woolos ] [ St. Teilo ]
  From Quiz: Newport - The Newest City in Wales
39 Cardiff was the first UK city to be twinned with a city in which country?
Answer: China

Cardiff was the first UK city to be twinned with a Chinese city when it was twinned with Xiamen in 1983. Cardiff is also twinned with Stuttgart (Germany), Nantes (France), Baltimore (USA), Lugansk (Ukraine) and Hordaland (Netherlands).
    Your options: [ France ] [ China ] [ Indonesia ] [ Poland ]
  From Quiz: Facts on Cardiff
40 What is the longest river completely in Wales?
Answer: Tywi

The Tywi is 64 miles long. The Severn runs through England, so it is not completely in Wales.
  From Quiz: The Mystical Land of Wales!
The rest of the questions and answers can be found in our quizzes here:
Wales Quizzes