Welcome to Britain! We at Adeo Travel are chuffed to hear you’ve got your bespoke holiday sorted.
Didn’t understand that? Let me translate for you – what I meant was ‘We are happy to hear you’ve got your custom-made vacation organised.’ Congratulations, you’ve just had your first lesson in British slang!
That’s right, even though we may speak English, there can often be a language barrier in every day conversation during your stay in Britain – this blog will aim to make you an expert in British slang!
Below is a list of our 20 favourite British slang words and their definitions:
Biscuit – Cookie
Bloody – Damn
Blimey – My Goodness
Chap – Man
Chips – French Fries
Dodgy – Suspicious
Fancy – Like
Fortnight – Two Weeks
Fiver – £5
Fit – Attractive
Knackered – Tired
Loo – Toilet
Lorry – Truck
Mate – Friend
Mobile Phone – Cell Phone
Motorway – Freeway
Nicked – Stolen
Pants – Underwear
Petrol – Gasoline
Plastered – Drunk
Quid – Pounds Sterling (£)
Rubbish – Garbage
Shambles – Disaster
Telly – TV
Tenner – £10
As you can see this is quite an elaborate list and these are only our favourites! Of course, we are exaggerating slightly – conversation with British folk will be a breeze. British people are renowned for being welcoming and polite individuals so there is no need to worry!
If you’ve read any of my other blog posts you’ll know that I’m something of an outdoors enthusiast. So living in Wales is ideal for me – there’s so much to do, from climbing to surfing; coasteering to kayaking. And hiking – most definitely hiking!
Wales is a bit of a walker’s paradise with wild moorlands, rugged mountain peaks and scenic coastal trails. And hiking is definitely the best way to get off the beaten track and explore the hidden beauty of the Welsh countryside.
Here, in no particular order, are the top 10 walks to try on your holiday in Wales:
I plan to spend our next Bank Holiday weekend, coming up in just a few weeks’ time, exploring this section of the Welsh Coast Path. This spectacular stretch of coastline boasts golden beaches, ragged sea cliffs and an abundance of wildlife including seals and puffins!
This path through Happy Valley is an adventurous trek which leads to the Great Orme summit, a massive chunk of limestone rising out of the sea. You can reach the summit by cable car or tram but how much more satisfying to join the famous Kashmir goats in a scramble to the top?
Isle of Anglesey Coast, Anglesey
The beautiful Isle of Anglesey is a walker’s haven, criss-crossed with tranquil lanes and paths. The coastal path is not for the faint hearted, climbing 4,174 metres during its journey, but is undoubtedly the best way to experience the wild coastal beauty first hand.
The Branwen Walk, Snowdonia
Harlech castle is so impressive that they wrote a song about it: ‘Men of Harlech’. This walk through Snowdonia National Park is steeped in history and legend, taking in the mighty medieval fortresses, the town of Harlech, beach and dunes as well.
The Dylan Thomas Walk, Laugharne
Track a ‘heron priested shore’ en route around the estuary where you’ll find the boathouse where Wale’s most famous poet wrote. With luck you’ll avoid ‘the pale rain over the dwindling harbour’, as you explore the ruins of medieval Laugharne Castle.
Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia
There are many paths up Wales’ highest peak including the Pig and Miner’s path which both turn into motorways on a sunny day. If you’re feeling lazy you could hop on the Snowdon Mountain Railway Line and stop for tea and cake at the summit café.
The name Pen-y-Fan roughly translates as Top Spot. The regulars call the four-mile circular walk from the Storey Arms Outdoor Centre to the top of the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons National Park ‘The Motorway’, but the spectacular views bring them back for more.
The Taff Trail and Cardiff Bay, Cardiff
Arguably the most popular walk in South Wales, the Taff Trail follows the River Taff all the way from Brecon, through the Brecon Beacons National Park, down to the Bristol Channel at Cardiff Bay.
So called because of the resemblance of the rocks to the head of a dragon, the Worms Head walk is spectacular but requires careful planning. It is only possible to cross the causeway to Worms Head for 2.5 hours between tides. Never be tempted to swim the causeway if you are cut off; many people have lost their lives in the attempt.
Elidir Trail, Brecon Beacons
The entrance to a fairy kingdom is reputed to be somewhere along the Elidir Trail, a tranquil walk which meanders among cascading and gushing waterfalls in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
With more historic fortresses per square mile than any other country in Europe, it is little wonder that Wales is known as the “Land of Castles”. In fact, the mountains, borders and coastlines of this small but varied nation were once home to more than 400 forts; whilst many are vanished remaining only as ruins or earthworks,today there still exists more than 100 historic monuments, fortresses and manor houses. And for the modern traveller they make for a trove of historic treasures just waiting to be discovered. Here are our top ten Castles of Wales!
10. Carreg Cennen Castle
A site dating back to 1300, Carreg Cennen Castle makes for an impressive sight towering some 900ft on a limestone precipice overlooking the Preseli Hills on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park in mid-Wales.
9. Raglan Castle
Unlike many of the Wales’ other medieval Castles, this Norman fort has a unique design, styled to appear like an elegant French chateau. But don’t be fooled, it still offered fierce defences with its hill-top position and moat tower.
8. Powis Castle
Dating back to circa 1200, this castle in mid Wales evolved over the following four centuries and today is home to exquisite interiors and antique collections to include paintings, sculpture, furniture and tapestries. And all surrounded by stunning grounds of classic Italian and French-inspired manicured gardens.
7. Chepstow Castle
Chepstow Castle is an imposing border fort overlooking the scenic estuary of the River Wye in South East Wales; the town where JK Rowling grew up, it is possible to see how the fortress may have influenced her works of fantasy and potentially inspired parts of Hogwarts Castle.
6. Castle Coch
Commissioned by the 19th century coal baron, the Marquess of Bute, Castell Coch is far more recent than many of Wales’ forts and offers a stunning Victorian gothic-revival, fairy-tale castle of spires and turrets scenically set amidst thick woodlands on the outskirts of Cardiff.
5. Harlech Castle
A UNESCO World Heritage Fortress, Harlech Castle perches on a hill-top on the North Wales coast overlooking the Irish Sea and offers a unique history; originally constructed to oppress the Welsh the Castle later fell to Welsh ruler Owain Glyndwr who held a parliament here in the early 1400’s.
4. Caerphilly Castle
Second in size only to Windsor Castle in Britain, Caerphilly Castle near Cardiff covers a site of 30 acres and demonstrates sophisticated 13th century military design with concentric ringed walls and extensive water defences.
3. Caernarfon Castle
One of Edward I’s “ring of steel” around North Wales and with unique polygonal towers, Caernarfon is a beautiful and well-preserved 13th century fortress which received more recent notoriety as the venue of Prince Charles’ investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969.
2. Conwy Castle
“One of the greatest fortresses of Medieval Europe” Conwy Castle today holds UNESCO World Heritage status. Impressive and imposing, the fort remains linked to the Conwy town walls which almost completely encircle this beautiful medieval market town to this day.
1. Cardiff Castle
An utterly unique castle located in the heart of Wales’ bustling capital city of Cardiff and overlooking acres of open parkland, Cardiff Castle combines Roman history, a Norman Motte and a glorious mock gothic Victorian manor complete with clock tower and opulent living quarters.
To explore the beautiful landscapes, cities, coasts and castles of Wales why not do so on the Wales Explorer self-drive itinerary as featured on our website here. You can add the CADW Wales explorer pass which offers free admission to dozens of castles and historic sites across Wales.
From ancient castles to stunning scenery, there is so much to see in Wales that you could easily spend a week or two touring here; however if you have a limited time-frame and want to see England and Scotland too, many people spare just a couple of nights to get their taste of Welsh culture, and head for Cardiff, the Welsh capital city. If this is the case for you then make sure you visit St Fagans National History Museum.
I had been to St Fagans several years ago, but only recently re-visited when some family friends were in the area. Upon arrival, I was instantly reminded that it is a museum with a difference – there’s no peering at fossils through glass here! In fact it is Wales‘ leading open-air, living museum located in over 100 acres of its own beautiful parkland and gardens in the grounds of St Fagans Castle, a 16th century manor house, on the outskirts of Cardiff and a stone’s throw from Cardiff Castle itself.
St Fagans aim is to provide visitors with a history of Wales throughout the ages from the earliest Celtic settlements through medieval history to our more recent industrial heritage. And it does this not through stuffy exhibitions but by allowing you to actually walk through some forty real historic buildings, each of which was originally constructed in a different era of Welsh history and in a different corner of the country but painstakingly moved and re-erected brick by brick in the grounds of St Fagans. The fact you can enter these buildings, restored to how they would have originally appeared with superb attention to detail, allows you to literally step back in time and immerse yourself in what life was like for the people of Wales.
Some of the highlights include traditional farm buildings (complete with their own animals!), functioning watermills, peasant cottages, a chapel, a school and various Victorian period shops including an operational bakery which still offers local Welsh treats prepared using traditional methods. My favourite attraction however was the row of terraced workman’s cottages, typical of those you’ll find in communities throughout the valleys of South East Wales to this day. At St Fagans however each of these six tiny identical houses has been laid-out and furnished to a different generation since the beginning of the industrial revolution. As you wander into each cottage, into their little gardens and vegetable patches and along the changing cobbled path you can literally walk through the ages from the early 1800’s right through to present day and get a glimpse of Welsh life from previous generations and see how it has changed in such a short time.
So if you find yourself on a time budget in Wales next Summer, head to St Fagans National History Museum in Cardiff where you can experience centuries in half a day!
What do leeks, small onion-like vegetables, and daffodils, beautiful glowing yellow flowers, have in common? Well, quite a lot if you’re Welsh actually.
Last Friday the little nation of Wales celebrated its National Day as it does every year on 1st March. Whilst not as internationally well known as the celebrations of St Patricks Day, which come around just shortly afterwards, the festival of St David is celebrated just as vigorously by the Welsh, who are certainly a proud and patriotic bunch. So who was St David and how do the Welsh celebrate?
A 6th century Welsh Bishop of Minevia, legend has it that St David made his way from Wales on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem where he was made an archbishop and returned home to become a renowned preacher and teacher setting up monastic settlements throughout the country. His miracles include moving the earth itself as it rose up beneath him whilst he was giving one of his speeches.
Almost 900 years later, St David was pronounced a saint and today St David’s Day, which is celebrated on the date of his death, marks an unmissable highlight of spring-time in Wales. Celebrations take place across the country in every town and village of this little nation but the centrepiece of the festival takes place in the capital city of Cardiff. Here there are master-classes in Welsh culture and cuisine with language workshops of the ancient Welsh tongue and culinary expositions taking place offering tasty treats such as the traditional Welsh cakes, Cawl and Welsh Rarebit. The hi
ghlight is a vibrant parade of red and yellow which marches through the city past the stunning Cardiff Castle and on to St David’s Hall. Dancers and theatrical performers come together to create a grand spectacle showing off the symbols of Wales such as giant dancing red dragons, and children in the traditional dress of black chimney hats, frilly skirts and white shawls. And of course no Welsh celebration would be complete without some fine Welsh music whether from the national orchestra, a rendition of the stirring national anthem, the traditional dulcet tones of
some of Wales’ world renowned male-voice choirs or some the country’s best known international divas such as Tom Jones or Shirley Bassey.
And of course the locals are out in force wearing their national symbols of Wales proudly on their breast – the lowly leek or the beautiful daffodil.
A blog about all things British, brought to you by adeo Travel, your Britain travel experts!