The city of Cardiff is the county town of the historic county of Glamorgan (and later South Glamorgan). Cardiff is part of the Eurocities network of the largest European cities. The Cardiff Urban Area covers a slightly larger area outside the county boundary, and includes the towns of Dinas Powys and Penarth. A small town until the early 19th century, its prominence as a major port for the transport of coal following the arrival of industry in the region contributed to its rise as a major city.
The English name for the area derives from Snowdon, which is the highest mountain in Wales at 3,560 ft (1,085 m). In Welsh, the area is named Eryri. One assumption is that the name is derived from eryr (“eagle”), but others state that it means quite simply Highlands, as leading Welsh scholar Sir Ifor Williams proved. In the Middle Ages the title Prince of Wales and Lord of Snowdonia (Tywysog Cymru ac Arglwydd Eryri) was used by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd; his grandfather Llywelyn Fawr used the title Prince of north Wales and Lord of Snowdonia.
Llandudno, “Queen of the Welsh Resorts”, a title first applied as early as 1864, is now the largest seaside resort in Wales, and lies on a flat isthmus of sand between the Welsh mainland and the Great Orme. Historically a part of Caernarfonshire, Llandudno was formerly in the district of Aberconwy within Gwynedd.
The historic and dazzling town of Chester dates back to Romano-British times, and is surrounded by ancient Roman walls. Its medieval town centre is little changed on the outside, and is sure to keep your camera clicking all day. One of the great military bases for the Romans, it also has an ancient amphitheatre and gardens. The winding riverside promenade of The Groves, the multitude of irresistible shops, and the sprawling Grosvenor Park are also must sees.
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