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The ‘Land of Song’. You can hear the dulcet tones echo across the valleys. Cymru translates as ‘fellow countrymen’ which instils a great pride through those singing voices. With over half a million native speakers of Welsh you can see why. Wales, with sweeping coastlines that seem to go on forever. Rugged foreboding mountains. And lush green valleys has a contrast around every corner.

Wales wasn’t what we would call a manufacturing hub, during the industrial revolution, it didn’t have the dearth of craftspeople or artisans as say the workshops of Birmingham or Sheffield, but what it did possess was brute strength to use its natural resources at its disposal to power the industrial revolution. South Wales and in particularly Swansea and Merthyr Tydfil were the epicentre of smelting, be it copper or iron ore. North Wales had ‘The most Welsh of Welsh industries’ slate quarrying was and of course coal, was the black lifeblood that kept the wheels of industry turning.

Wales though has had a torrid time through the industrial years with massive growth and decline. With almost 40% of the male population work in heavy industry in the 1920’s the Great Depression hit hardest. And the downturn in the economy in the 1970’s also hit hard. But Wales is a country that reinvents itself over and over again.  In 2008 it was the first country to become a Fairtrade nation. It has become a global tourist hotspot;  with three national parks, Snowdonia National Park, Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park and Brecon Beacons National Park. It also holds claims to 45 blue flag beaches.

So, despite the bellowing, smokey past of Wales a fresh adventure awaits Wales.