New Homes in Wales
A land of rolling hills, vibrant cities and beautiful beaches
Whether you’re visiting museums in Cardiff, walking along the Gower coastal paths, hiking through the Brecon Beacons or enjoying the seaside at Llandudno, your new home in Wales will never be far from natural sites, cultural attractions and iconic historic architecture. With excellent educational institutions, good transport links in the south and a thriving business scene, it’s no surprise that Wales has become such a popular place to set up home.
Wales through the ages
Wales has a colourful and complex history, stretching back to 4,000BC when ancient tribes worked the land and began an agricultural industry that is still going strong to this day. The country is most commonly associated with the Celts, a people who lived in Wales from around 600BC before being defeated by the Romans who built some of the most important towns in the UK, including Caerwent near Newport and Carmarthen in the west.
The country eventually fell to the English in the Middle Ages, becoming part of modern Great Britain. Wales has a very strong mining heritage, which began in the 18th and 19th centuries with coal and iron. Nowadays most of the mines have shut, but many small towns and villages are still proud of their mining heritage.
In the Second World War, the biggest cities in Wales - Cardiff and Swansea - were heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe, but today they are some of the most thriving places in the UK and Europe. Later in the twentieth century in 1999, the Welsh Assembly was formed and Wales had greater powers to govern itself with devolution from Westminster.
Must-know info for families
If you’re moving to your new home in Wales with a young, growing family, it’s good to know that the country is home to a number of excellent schools. Top-rated institutions in the country include Cardiff High School, Olchfa School in Swansea, Stanwell School Vale of Glamorgan, Bryntirion Comprehensive in Bridgend, Llantwit Major School in the Vale of Glamorgan and Corpus Christi in Cardiff.
In Mid and North Wales, the best schools include Bishop Hedley High School in Merthyr Tydfil, Builth Wells High, Crickhowell High, Ysgol y Preseli in Crymych and Ysgol Ardudwy in Gwynedd. If you want your child to have a bilingual education with both English and Welsh, there are many options in towns and cities throughout the country.
If your children are entering into higher education, there are lots of universities in Wales including Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, the University of South Wales, Swansea University, University of Wales Trinity St David, Bangor University, Wrexham Glyndwr University and Aberystwyth University.
Places to see and things to do
For family entertainment, there’s all sorts to see and do across the length and breadth of Wales. If you and your children love exploring the great outdoors, there are mountain biking trails at Cwmcarn, Afan Forest Park, Brechfa and Coed y Brenin, gentle walks through Merthyr Mawr sand dunes, and adventurous hiking routes through the mountains of Snowdonia. For young children, attractions such as Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, Cosmeston Country Park, the Welsh Mountain Zoo and the Magic of Life Butterfly House are always popular.
If you enjoy discovering historic sites, there are lots of child-friendly places of interest in Wales including Caerleon Roman Fortress, Castell Coch, St Fagans National History Museum and Caernarfon Castle. And, if you’re a family of sports fans, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff regularly hosts big sporting events, while Swansea City FC play top-flight football at the Liberty Stadium and the Cardiff Devils ice hockey team play at the Ice Arena Wales.
What about business?
Welsh Government employs a large number of people in Wales, while other big employers include local councils, hospitals and universities. Well-known businesses include Admiral Group PLC, Arriva Trains Wales and the Principality Building Society in Cardiff, The Royal Mint in Pontyclun, Iceland Foods in Deeside and Gocompare.com in Newport. Traditional industries are still important in Wales, with Port Talbot being home to the biggest steelworks in the UK, and Mid Wales still being an active farming region.
For commuters, South Wales has good transport links between the largest towns and cities in the region, especially via the M4 motorway which connects West Wales with London. There are no motorways in Mid or North Wales, but major A roads including the A40 and A470 provide good routes for car journeys.
There are also good train services for commuters, with rail routes between Swansea, Cardiff and Newport, and regional train lines connecting the cities to the valleys and towns in the North of the country. If you’re travelling further afield, the train to London from Cardiff Central Station takes just 2 hours 5 minutes, while Cardiff Airport has both domestic and international flights. There are also regular ferry services to Ireland from Pembrokeshire in the south and Anglesey in the north.