They may have been defeated 2-0 by Portugal in the Euro semi-finals last night, but the Welsh national football team have certainly stirred a great deal of national pride in the last few weeks – even amongst the English. During the first half it looked like they still might be in with a shot, but two quick successive goals a few minutes into the second half effectively dashed the Welsh hopes even though they fought like the champions we know they are. With #HowWelshAreYou trending on Twitter in the lead up to the match, we were all scrambling to stake our Welsh claims no matter how tenuous. So in the wake of that noble defeat here are some reasons why you should still love Wales and all it holds dear despite the result we weren't all hoping for…
The Welsh Rarebit
How can you NOT love a country where the national dish is basically cheese on toast? A dish as universal as it is delicious and easy to prepare. We can’t imagine many people perfecting the ideal Yorkshire pudding, but pretty much anyone can whack a Welsh Rarebit under the grill and have in bubbling in under 5 minutes. Just get 2 slices of bread, grill one side until light brown and then butter the none toasted side, sprinkle some grated tasty Welsh cheese on top, put back under the grill for 3-5 minutes until cheese is bubbling and then remove. It is that simple!
The Gorgeous Portmeirion
It has to be seen to be believed, but this unique ‘village’ on the North Wales coast was the used as a set for ‘The Prisoner’ in the 1960s and is now a tourist attraction, holiday village and a venue for the Festival No. 6 music event. Think small Italian-influenced cottages in various shades of pastel.
The Welsh Flag - Voted Coolest on the Planet
The Welsh flag is better than your flag. Wherever you come from. It has a dragon on for goodness sake and nothing beats a dragon.
The Wild National Parks
And now we get on to the serious business of scenery. Reeling off a list of Welsh National Parks is like reeling off a list of dream holidays destinations – Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire, The Brecon Beacons… And talking of Pembrokeshire, did you know that Pembrokeshire National Park is the only UK National Park that is made almost entirely of coastline? And what a coastline!
Here in the UK we all tend to get rather excited at the first sign of blooming daffodils in the spring, so think how it is for the Welsh, where the sight of your national flower is guaranteed to raise a smile wherever it is. And it’s pretty much everywhere.
The Historic Castles
When we say history, we mean castles. Wales has over 600 castles, which makes it the country with more castles per square mile than any other country in the world. Famous names include Cardiff Castle, Caernarfon Castle and Conwy Castle. And yes, a lot of them do begin with C.
Welsh Travel Voucher Codes
So they may have fallen at the last-but-one hurdle, but we still love Wales and not because they have a much better football team than anywhere else in the UK right now. In fact, we love it so much we’d quite like to go there as soon as possible. It’s easy to save on Welsh family holiday deals with voucher codes from Bluestone Wales and Park Holidays, or if you want to get up close and personal with that National Park scenery yourself, YHA England and Wales have special YHA England and Wales voucher codes available right now that gets you an extra 10% off your booking. And once you’ve visited you might be able to up that #HowWelshAreYou percentage by a not-insignificant amount…
By Anna Scott, 7th July 2016