Tag: United Kingdom

Check constructmaterials for United Kingdom in 1998.

Valley of the Rocks

Valley of the Rocks

Dramatic idyll: The Valley of the Rocks

For some hikers, the Valley of the Rocks in Exmoor National Park has almost dramatic features. Others are so fascinated by the idyllic landscape in the “Valley of the Rocks” that it takes their breath away. Most outdoor freaks among holidaymakers choose the twin cities of Lynmouth and Lynton as the starting point for their excursions through one of the most impressive nature reserves in England.

Wild goat territory

The Valley of the Rocks was the declared territory of a herd of wild goats for a long time before the coast of the Bristol Channel was discovered by nature lovers. One of the most interesting and varied hikes through the labyrinth of rocks leads from Lynton along the banks of the East River Lyn to the so-called South West Coast Path. This leads right along the cliffs in a spectacular section. Those who take on the hardships of this demanding tour will be rewarded with spectacular views.

Roaring sea and steep cliffs

After the difficult climb, a trip on the Cliff Railway is recommended, which commutes between Lynmouth and Lynton and which has earned the reputation of being the steepest water-operated railway on the globe. The romantic coast with the “valley of the rocks” is visited by connoisseurs of this region especially in the weeks of spring. Then the meadows are green and the omnipresent gorse opens its yellow flowers. And all of this from the perspective of the often roaring sea at the foot of the steep cliffs.

A treasure trove for geologists

For geologists, this area not far from Exmoor is a real treasure trove, as the Devonian rocks are rich in fossils. The valley found its way into literature as early as 1797 when, after a joint visit, the writers William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote a prosaic story they called “The Wanderings of Cain”. The wife of the Australian composer Miriam Hyde was so taken with the idyll of the Valley of the Rocks in 1974 that she subsequently put an important piano piece on the sheet music.

Why Porthcurno Beach is worth a visit

A beach for everyone
Porthcurno Beach is in the Cornwall region of southern England, near the town of Penzance. The beach has been convincing young and old for decades with its white, clean sand and turquoise-blue water. If the conditions are right, surfers get their money’s worth. The beach is also extremely popular with families with children or study travelers.

Fascinating wildlife up close

Observing animals in the wild is certainly a formative experience. On the beach of Porthcurno it is not uncommon to see dolphins in the immediate vicinity of the beach. With a little luck you can spot porpoises or minke whales. Bird lovers will delight in the rare chough birds that breed around Porthcurno Beach each year.

Numerous attractions around Porthcurno

The gardens of Penberth and Chygurno in Lamorna are in the immediate vicinity of the beautiful sandy beach. A visit to the historic Minack open-air theater from 1932 is worthwhile on the one hand because of the fabulous view and on the other hand because of the open-air theater performances.

After about 30 minutes on foot, you will reach the granite rock Logan Rock.

The best travel time

In the summer months, a day trip to Porthcurno Beach is most worthwhile. Whether swimming, bathing or paddling – everyone gets their money’s worth here! There is also a lot to discover in the colder months: For example, seals can be observed near the beach all year round. Millions of rare birds reside around the picturesque landscape of Porthcurno Beach in autumn and spring. Regardless of the season, moderate hikes to the nearby Lands End headland are ideal.

Swaledale

Wild Yorkshire countryside

Swaledale is very interesting for study tour participants as it has a history that goes back to prehistoric times. The special wildflower pastures on which the Swaledale sheep graze are interesting for botanists.

Swaledale: In the footsteps of the Vikings

Danish Vikings once settled in Swaledale. All places in the valley are named after the Viking families who lived and worked there. Travelers will find their traces throughout the region and the ruins of abbeys of the monks who succeeded the Vikings in the Middle Ages. The small museum in Reeth has an interesting exhibition about Swaledale in the former school. The old forge at Gunnerside reports on the mining of lead in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Swaledale is a prime hiking area between May and the end of September. The starting point for many circular hiking trails, mountain bike trails and the Coast-to-Coast Walk is the village of Reeth. In August the Swaledale Festival and the mountain bike festival “Ard Rock” take place. The motorcycle off-road race “Scott Trial” is known nationwide.

Valley of the Rocks

England Landmarks

England Landmarks

Detailed description of many of the major or interesting landmarks of England, which is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK)

Opera and theater

Georgian Theater in Richmond
In the old market town of Richmond is the second oldest theater that is still played today: the Georgian Theater. It was built in 1788 and has been preserved in its original form.

Royal Exchange Theater Manchester
The Royal Exchange Theater in Manchester is one of the oldest and most famous theaters in the city.

Minack Theater in Porthcurno
The Minack Theater in the small town of Porthcurno is located between granite cliffs directly above the sea, which allows for a breathtaking view. It was based on the model of a Greek amphitheater. Many demonstrations take place here in the summer months.

The two famous universities

Oxford University
The traditional university city of Oxford has a total of 35 colleges, which together form the undisputed number 1 attraction in the city. Many of the buildings are no longer accessible to the public, as the large number of visitors were incompatible with teaching. Others have certain opening times and can be viewed in small groups.

University College is the oldest in Oxford and was founded under Alfred the Great in the 9th century.

The bell tower, which has become the city’s landmark, dates from the 15th century. Across from University College is Queen’s College, which was founded in 1340; at the entrance the eminent architect Sir Christopher Wren erected a statue of Queen Caroline.

The main library in Oxford, the Bodleian Library, is on Broad Street and houses over 6 million books. Balliol College, Magdalen College and New College are also particularly worth seeing. The testimony takes place in the venerable Sheldion Theater, also built by Cjristopher Wren. The building is round and, with its fence decorated with busts, looks like a Roman theater.

Oxford University

Cambridge University
The second famous university in England is the University of Cambridge, an institution founded in 1209 that is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. According to the Times Ranking of 2009, it is in second place. This reputation is well deserved, as the university has produced more Nobel Prize winners than any other university on earth. It is in strong rivalry with Oxford, which is evident every year through the Boat Race when the respective university teams organize their eight races on the Thames (since 1829, by the way). Cambridge University is made up of 31 colleges, each of which has a certain degree of independence. The oldest of the colleges is Peterhouse, founded in 1284.

Ascot horse racing

The Ascot horse race is certainly the most famous horse race in the world. The third day of the Ascot racing week is the most important day of the event. This race covers a distance of 4,022 m for the Ascot Gold Cup, which was awarded for the first time in 1807. The Royal Ascot horse race has been held at Ascot Racecourse in Ascot since August 11, 1711. The racecourse is in Berkshire, south of Windsor Castle. The race was initiated by Queen Anne Stuart (1665-1714) and has been under the patronage of the British royal family ever since.
Special attention is always drawn to the incredibly imaginative hats worn by the women who attend the race and, for many, are often more exciting than the races themselves.

Ports

Boston Harbor
The former most important harbor for British textile exports is in Boston, 55 km from Lincoln. From here the Pilgrim Fathers set out to explore the New World in 1630.

Albert Dock in Liverpool
Since the Albert Dock in Liverpool was renovated and reopened in the 1980s, the city’s port has been revitalized both in terms of tourism and culture. In and around the warehouses, originally designed by Jesse Hartley in 1846, visitors now cavort in restaurants, shopping centers, museums and galleries.

Royal Dockyards in Brighton
The Navy shares this area with an exhibition on the historic port city; Even in the Middle Ages, sailing schooners were equipped here for sea battles.

Channels

The Central England Canal System The Central England Canal System was built in 1761 and was the primary route for freight across England until it was replaced by the railroad in 1963. It connects the natural rivers of the Midlands. Around 1805 the canal network covered a total of 4800 km, of which 3200 km are still navigable today and used for private transport and tourism. Many of the canals and locks are so narrow that they can only be navigated by the typical so-called narrow boats, which are now mostly private houseboats or are rented out to holidaymakers on a daily basis.

United Kingdom Business

United Kingdom Business

According to abbreviationfinder, UK is the 2 letter abbreviation for the country of United Kingdom.

The UK and Northern Ireland have undergone significant restructuring in the last fifty years. In the 1970s and 1980s, traditional industrial regions experienced an economic downturn, partly because large parts of the machinery and textile industries were closed down or redeployed as a result of competition from import goods. The traditional mining industry was greatly reduced in the 1980s. Newer industries, such as the production of electronic equipment, food and service industries, have created new growth, especially in the southeast (around London) and along the south coast. Administration and support have had the greatest growth, while finance and insurance has had the greatest decline. The number of companies closed in 2016 was 328,000, while the number established was 414,000. The London area tops both statistics.

In 2018, 6,961,000 were employed in public enterprises, while 25,199,000 were employed in the private sector.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United Kingdom

The proportion of employees in the service sector has increased steadily over the last fifty years. In London and the surrounding area, the service industry is completely dominant. Financial activity has grown the most, but this business has also been more exposed to external crises, such as financial crises and unrest following the UK’s decision in 2015 in a referendum to withdraw from the EU (Brexit). For a long period, the finance business has contributed approx. 30 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), but has shown a slight decline from 2009 to 2018. The London Stock Exchange is one of the world’s foremost, and many foreign banks are established in the capital. Since 2015, the uncertainty associated with Britain’s imminent exit from the EU has weakened London’s position in the financial world somewhat.

With Margaret Thatcher as prime minister in the 1980s, a policy was pursued to make the UK business community more modern and market-oriented. Large parts of industry, energy supply and petroleum extraction, transport, telecommunications and more were privatized during the 1980s. The Labor Party governments from 1997 to 2010 have largely pursued this policy. Since Scotland gained internal autonomy in 1999, the Scottish Government has to some extent worked for the public sector to have a somewhat larger role in business and in public business than the British governments, regardless of party background, have wished.

In the 2000s and 2010s, the UK economy is one of the strongest in Europe. Inflation, interest rates and unemployment are low. The uncertainty following the referendum, which in 2016 gave a majority for the UK to leave the EU, has weakened the economy somewhat in recent years (per 2018).

Northern Ireland has in many respects been regarded as an economic problem area, with internal turmoil and peripheral location. Various support schemes have been established, both for local and foreign enterprises, with a view to gaining greater industrial breadth.

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

Agriculture, forestry and fishing employed 351,000 people in 2018.

Agriculture

About 69 percent of the UK’s land is grazing or agricultural land; 25 percent is cultivated land. Agriculture is mainly intensive, with a high degree of mechanization and the overall degree of self-sufficiency is high, especially when it comes to products such as eggs, milk, meat, potatoes, wheat and barley, while fruits and vegetables have to a large extent been introduced. The UK produces 60 percent of the food consumed.

Since World War II, there has been a shift in agriculture towards greater farming and more emphasis on animal husbandry. Following membership in the EU, large farms have received financial assistance at the expense of small family farms, which has contributed to a significant increase in productivity. However, agriculture is largely run in combination with other occupations.

A large part of marginal arable land has been laid out for grazing land, which today accounts for almost 70 per cent of the total agricultural area.

In Scotland, Wales and western England, livestock farming is the dominant mode of operation, and lowland pastures can be used mostly year-round. The large areas of rough grazing land in the Highlands of Wales and Scotland as well as Northern Ireland, are mainly used for sheep grazing. The number of employed in Irish agriculture has fallen sharply over the past 20-25 years, but the merger of farms has provided better living conditions for the remaining farmers. Main agricultural products are meat, milk and eggs as well as flax and malt barley.

Eastern England has rich soil, relatively dry and sunny climates and is more cultivated than the areas in the west and north. Wheat, barley and sugar beets are mainly grown in East Anglia and the East Midlands, while oats are grown in the humid areas of western England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is a surplus area for potatoes. Hops for breweries and fruit are grown especially in Kent, Sussex and Hereford and Worcester. Nurseries often occupy areas close to the big cities and tomatoes, vegetables and flowers are important greenhouse products.

Forestry

The forestry industry is modest, but a fairly extensive forestry over several decades is gradually increasing. The forest covers about thirteen percent of the land area. The woods in England are mostly deciduous forests; in Scotland larger elements of coniferous forest. The replanting takes place to a significant extent in Scotland and Wales; mainly of conifers.

Fishing

The fishing industry is particularly important for the coastal areas of Scotland and the North Sea ports of England. Fisheries have declined since 1970, partly due to overfishing, but also reduced catch areas as a result of the establishment of economic zones in the sea around the coastal states. EU membership meant opening their own waters to other countries’ fishing fleets. Restrictive quotas were also introduced. From the first part of the 1990s, catches increased again. Coastal fishing is conducted along the entire coast, but mostly in the north. The most important fish species are mackerel, herring, haddock and cod.

Farming of salmon, trout and shellfish has become a growth industry after the reduction in deep sea fishing, especially in the western parts of Scotland. Hull, Grimsby, Lowestoft and Fleetwood, North Shields (England), Milford Haven (Wales) and Aberdeen, Mallaig, Lerwick and Peterhead (Scotland) are the main fishing ports. The United Kingdom was among the leading whaling countries until the cessation ceased in 1963.

Mining and energy

Mining, energy and water supply employed 587,000 people in 2018.

Mining

Mining has long traditions in the United Kingdom, and the coal deposits formed the basis for the country’s industrial development towards the end of the 18th century. In the early 1800s came around 3/4 of world production of coal from the United Kingdom. Since World War II, coal production has declined, partly as a result of competition from other energy sources, and many mines have been closed down. In 1994, the coal industry was privatized and the Coal Authority took over from British Coal. The workforce was greatly reduced.

Besides coal, crude oil and natural gas are the country’s most important mineral resources. Gas production started in the late 1960s, while petroleum extraction first began in 1975. The North Sea gas comes mainly from fields in the southern part of the North Sea, east of Norfolk and Lincolnshire; the oil fields are further north, east of Scotland and Shetland.

Tin and tungsten are also extracted in Cornwall, copper in Wales and Scotland, zinc in Wales and basalt, gravel and limestone in Northern Ireland. By the way, building blocks (limestone, slate, granite), some salt, clay for bricks and ceramic products, kaolin for the porcelain industry are extracted. Iron ore production ceased in the 1990s.

Energy

The UK’s petroleum fields in the North Sea are an important source of income. The picture shows one of British Petroleum’s platforms on the British Continental Shelf. The image is taken from the paper lexicon Store Norwegian Lexicon, published 2005-2007.

In 2016, gas power accounted for 40.2 percent of energy consumption, nuclear power 20.1 percent, wind power 10.6 percent, coal 8.6 percent, bioenergy 8.4 percent, oil 7.8 percent, solar energy 2.8 percent, and hydropower 1.5 percent. In the last couple of decades there has been a significant transition from fossil power to renewable energy in the UK. As recently as 1990, as much as 67 percent of energy consumption was coal-based, and 12 percent was oil-based. Gas, wind, solar and bio-energy, which together cover almost 2/3 of UK energy consumption, were virtually non-existent as energy sources in 1990.

Industry

A number of technical innovations in the latter half of the 18th century gave rise to the industrial revolution and made Britain the world’s first industrialized country. In addition to the technical inventions, the economic foundation was created through colonial trade and shipping, as well as a rich supply of raw materials both in the home country and from the colonies. After World War II, the United Kingdom struggled with much obsolete and heavy industry, and experienced a marked decline in industrial employment, especially in the heavy and textile industries. This particularly affected the industry in Northern England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where they received the highest unemployment figures. The industry’s share of GDP fell from 36 percent in 1960 to 25.1 percent in 2005.

In the latter part of the 1980s, the United Kingdom again saw industry growth, partly because the rationalizations had contributed to modernization and made the industry more competitive, but also as a result of increased focus on new and more market-oriented products. During the 1980s, the industry was significantly privatized. During the period 1979-1991, state ownership of the industry was reduced by about 65 percent.

England’s traditionally most important ” Manufacturing Belt” is located on an axis between Lancashire and Yorkshire in the north, via the Midlands to the London area in the south. In the north, the industry was built around the coal and iron ore clay at the Pennines, and there is still considerable industry here, but today far more versatile. The most important cities are Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Bradford. To the south are Sheffield (steel industry), Nottingham, Derby and Leicester (knitwear). To the west, in the West Midlands, with Birmingham, as its most important city, developed into a versatile workshop industry early on. Its central location gave the area a favorable market position, and part of the London area’s growth was channeled here. Northwest of Birmingham lies The Potteries with its center of gravity in Stoke. The clay deposits here formed an early basis for the area’s clay and porcelain industry.

In the north-east of England there are important industrial areas around the cities of Newcastle and Sunderland. Teesside has a landing terminal for oil from the Norwegian sector (Ekofisk) in the North Sea as well as oil refineries. Scotland’s industry is mainly located in the central parts of the country, with Glasgow and Edinburgh as the main industrial centers. The previously so large-scale heavy industry has been significantly reduced, as are the many yards between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde.

Higher tech-based industry is now investing in industrial development. Scotland has some traditional export-oriented industries, such as the textile industry (knitwear, tweed), the food industry and whiskey.

Northern Ireland has its industrial center of gravity in Belfast. The most important is the production of food and beverages as well as tobacco products, textiles, clothing, means of transport and equipment. The traditionally important industries such as the textile industry and the shipbuilding business have slowed down.

Southern Wales, with Cardiff as its center, has traditionally had industry built up around the rich coal and iron ore clays in the area. Today’s industry is far more differentiated with food, graphic and other lighter industries.

By commodity value, the engineering industry, with large military production, is the chemical, electronic and textile industry most important.

Tourism

The tourism industry employed 1 667 000 people in 2011.

Most tourists leave London with its many and varied cultural and entertainment offerings, but cities such as Winchester, Canterbury, Oxford, Cambridge, Hastings, Edinburgh and Glasgow are tourist destinations, as are the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey. In 2017, the UK was visited by 39.9 million tourists, which led to a sharp rise in British luxury products such as Burberry and higher rental costs on Bond Street than on the Champs-Élysées. Stonehenge’s past memory north of Salisbury had 1,582,500 visitors in 2017.

The UK has significant car, bike and hiking tourism. The country has fifteen national parks: Brecon Beacons, Broads, Cairngorms, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, New Forest, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District, Pembrokeshire Coast, Snowdonia, South Downs and Yorkshire Dales.

In 2016, historic sites, buildings and similar sites traded for £ 574 million.

Foreign Trade

According to Countryaah, the UK’s foreign trade has traditionally been high, which is partly due to the lack of many commodities and the necessity of export for specialized industrial products. Trade relations with the Commonwealth have long been of fundamental importance, but have declined sharply since the 1960s, especially at the expense of trade with industrialized countries in Western Europe and the United States. From being a commodity importer, the UK is now a net importer of finished goods from cheaper producing countries.

For a long time, the United Kingdom has had regular deficits in trade in goods abroad. The loss is covered, among other things, by foreign exchange income from services and transport and by interest and other financial income.

Transport and Communications

The transport network is well developed in the UK, especially in England, which has one of the densest road and rail networks in the world. Large parts of the transport sector are privatized, including British Airways and the railways.

Roads

The United Kingdom today has a very dense road network; a shift in both freight and passenger traffic from rail to road has also led to strong expansion of the motorway network. The main road network forms a star pattern with London as the center, and most of the motorways are on the main road connections to and from London. In total, the road network is 422 100 kilometers.

Railways

The world’s first regular railroad was opened in 1825 between Stockton and Darlington west of Middlesbrough. Throughout the 19th century, there was an intense railway development which outperformed the other means of transport, in most cases also channel transport. The railways were developed privately, often with competing companies on the same routes, and were completely dominant in land transport until around 1920, when car transport began to take effect. Since then, the railways have had a significant reduction in the share of total transport, and the line network has been significantly reduced, especially after the railways were nationalized and combined into one company in 1948. In 1961 the UK had almost 29,000 kilometers of rail, in 2017 the total the line length reduced to 15 799 kilometers. However, competition from road and air transport has been met with the introduction of ever faster trains. In 1994, a rail link was established with France via the Eurotunnel. London has a very well-developed subway network.

Aviation

Air traffic carried about 236 million passengers in 2017, a figure that is expected to rise to 465 million by 2030. About one-fifth of the journeys were made domestically, a figure that drops due to competition with rail, especially on the main routes, such as between London and Manchester.. Domestic air traffic is well developed, with close to 50 airports with scheduled traffic. The main airports are Heathrow and Gatwick outside London (both among the world’s busiest), Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham. In 1991, a new terminal opened at Stansted outside London. Read more in the London airports article .

Shipping

The United Kingdom is an ancient maritime nation and has over 400 ports. The main ports by volume are London (Tilbury), Forth, Grimsby and Immingham, Tees and Hartlepool, Sullom Voe, Milford Haven, Liverpool and Southampton. Dover is the main port for the English Channel. The UK has a number of boat connections with the continent.

There is a fairly extensive network of channels. Canal construction started with the construction of the Bridgewater Canal at Manchester in 1761, and canal transport played a significant role in the first phase of the industrial development of the country. The canals were nationalized and put under joint management in 1948 (from the 1962 British Waterways Board, closed in 2012). Commercial canal traffic is quite modest today, but there is some yacht and tourist traffic on inland waterways.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Foreign trade as a percentage by country 2017

Export Import
United States 14.3 8.0
Germany 11.0 14.5
France 7.6 5.7
Netherlands 6.2 8.5
Belgium/Luxembourg 4.1 5.4
China 5.3 9.1
Italy 3.1 4.0
Norway 0.9 4.1

Percentage EXPORT by main product groups 2017

Commodity Percent
Machines and transport equipment 14.0
cars 9.5
Electrical machinery 8.4
Medicines and pharmaceutical products 7.7
crude oil 5.7
Aircraft 4.7
Miscellaneous products 4.6
Scientific and photographic products 3.7
Refined oil 3.3
food 2.2

PERCENTAGE Import by main product groups 2017

Commodity Percent
Electrical machinery 13.0
Mechanical machinery 9.6
cars 7.1
Miscellaneous products 6.2
Medicines and pharmaceutical products 6.1
Vehicles except cars 4.6
Clothes 4.1
Refined oil 3.9
crude oil 3.3
Scientific and photographic products 2.7
Traveling in Wales

Traveling in Wales

Rail: like the rest of the UK is that too welsh Railway network has been privatized. Most of the routes in Wales are operated by Arriva Wales. Exceptions are the routes London-Cardiff-Swansea (operated by First Great Western) and London-Chester-Holyhead (operated by Virgin Trains).

The rail operator is the National Rail Inquiry Service. Reservations can also be made there by telephone and tickets can be bought. Much of the north-south line in Wales serves to connect the English rail network to the seaports of Swansea, Pembroke, Fishguard and Holyhead. In the interior of the country, on the other hand, there are a few tourist routes that are worthwhile for tourists, on which an astonishingly large number of old steam locomotives and narrow-gauge railways wrong. Wales’ most beautiful railway line begins in Shrewsbury, England. The line called the “Heart of Wales” runs along the Cambrian Line across Mid Wales, then along the coast and finally ends in Swansea. Another gem is the railway line along the scenic Conwy Valley in the north of the country.

There are first and second class trains on the Welsh rail network. Each train operator sets its own tariffs and its own discount system.

Automobile: if you want to see as much of Wales as possible in the shortest possible time, you should travel the country by car or motorcycle. However, gasoline is quite expensive. Driving is uncomplicated in both the north and south of the country. In the mountainous areas inland, on the other hand, the country roads are often very narrow and have their pitfalls, especially in winter. However, those who face the winding, narrow streets will be rewarded with the view of a breathtaking landscape.

Automobile Clubs
The main automobile clubs in the UK are the Auto-Cycle Union, Automobile Association, Bike Tours UK and the Royal Atomobile Club.

insurance
If you arrive with your own vehicle, you should make sure in advance that your insurance cover also applies to Great Britain. The minimum requirement is liability insurance.

Rental
Cars are expensive in the UK. If you want to rent a car, you have to be between 23 and 65 years old. Anyone who falls below or exceeds the age limit must pay surcharges. In addition, tenants need a credit card, both for the reservation and for the deposit. The main car rental companies are Alamo, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Fat Quote, Hertz and Holiday Autos.

Bus: There are few long-haul bus routes in Wales. A few providers, however, have become a Traws Cambria network. Routes operated by TrawsCambria include Bangor-Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth-Cardiff and Aberystwyth-Cardigan-Brecon-Newtown.

Most other bus routes travelers have to put together from bus connections from more than 70 private bus companies. Traveline Cymru is the central point of contact for all bus route and timetable information.

The largest bus companies in Wales are Arriva Cymru with services in the north and west of the country, First Cymru (south west Wales), National Express (across the UK) and Stagecaoch with services in south east Wales.

A trip on the Royal Mail Postbus offers an authentic view of rural Wales. Post buses are often the only means of public transport in remote areas. They can carry between four and ten people and can be stopped anywhere on their route.

Bike: if you are a cycling enthusiast, the rural areas of Wales are a great destination. There is little traffic on the back roads and there are numerous hiking trails. The distances between individual points of contact are usually short. There are also three long-distance cycle routes running through Wales, which are part of the National Cycle Network. If you want to cover longer distances by bike, you should be an experienced cyclist in the partly hilly or mountainous terrain.

In the cities there are few bike paths and sometimes ruthless drivers. Parked bicycles should always be well secured, especially in cities. Many hotels and pensions have a safe bicycle storage facility ready for their guests.

Renting and buying
bikes There are bike rentals in larger cities. Otherwise, travelers can buy a bike on arrival in Wales and negotiate with the seller to buy it back later on departure.

Transport
Bicycles can be taken on most trains. However, space is limited and on many train connections a place must be reserved 24 hours in advance to take a bike with you. Such connections are marked with an “R” on the timetables.

Arriva Trains Wales operates most of the railways in the country and publishes an annual brochure entitled “Cycling by Train”, which can also be downloaded from the company’s website.

Traveling in Wales