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Living and Working in Wales

Joanna Clare

If you have ever been so captivated and enchanted by a beautiful fairy tale and then imagined yourself actually in that magical world, then you are already familiar with Wales, or Cymru in Welsh.

Part of the United Kingdom, Wales is a small country of approximately 20,779 square kilometres and has just over 3 million inhabitants. Situated on the north west, it is bordered by England, the Bristol Channel and the Irish Sea.

Although the majority of residents do speak English, more than a quarter of the population regularly speak Welsh, demonstrating how proud the Welsh are of their Celtic heritage and go to great lengths to pass their unique traditions from generation to generation.

Cardiff is the capital city and it is in the larger towns and cities where the majority of ‘white collar’ jobs are to be found with numerous positions in finance, logistics, retail, media and tourism. A considerable number of larger companies are based here such as the Admiral Group, Spartan Motor Factors, Companies House,, iTeach and Network Rail.

The second largest city is Swansea which attracts students from all over the globe to its high achieving university who choose to study by the sea within a thriving, cultural and diverse yet friendly community.

The ever changing manufacturing and infrastructure sectors are key for Wales, now that sadly the traditional roles of slate and coal mining have disappeared. Livestock, farming and forestry ( with a strong emphasis on self sufficiency) are also highlighted. Additionally, the much anticipated Global Centre of Rail Excellence is expected to attract major investment and expansion in the near future. Inward investments have remained steady, despite the pandemic, with manufacturing being a constant. Last year, Wales secured 23 direct foreign investments which was only one less than the previous year which is very positive news.

With over 1400 kilometres of stunning coastline, you can explore the whole length of it courtesy of the Wales Coast Path, whilst breathing in the clean air and enjoying the dramatic views of forests and mountains, Snowdon being the highest point.

It is hard to believe there are five designated areas of outstanding beauty, three national parks, countless beaches of which a staggering forty five have been awarded the blue flag and six hundred castles. If you are a star gazer you will be spoilt for choice with the dark sky reserves and dark sky parks which are free from light pollution.

Covid forced many people to rethink their lifestyles and priorities. Countryside and coastlines have seen an upward trend and many have made a decision to relocate here as Wales has it all...and more. Despite an 8.4% increase in house prices, the average property is selling for a little over £179,000 making it hugely affordable for all. If you prefer to venture further out into the tiny villages, hamlets and valleys then it is even cheaper.

If there is one thing that the Welsh are skilled at, it is making you feel welcome and there is one word in Welsh that you will often see and hear…croeso, meaning ‘welcome’.

‘Welsh is of this soil, this island, the senior language of the men of Britain; and Welsh is beautiful’. JRR Tolkien - a man who created fairy tales.

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