Wales is one of the countries that make up the United Kingdom. It is also part of Great Britain. As such it uses the official currency of this country, which is the British pound, sometimes referred to as the pound sterling.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
The pound is represented by the ISO code GBP, which makes it easy to find on a currency converter if you ever need to do so. The pound is split into 100 pennies, and there are coins available for both pence values and pound values. The smallest coins are the 1p, 2p and 5p coins, followed by the 10p, 20p and 50p coins, and there is in addition the £1 and £2 coins.
Aside from these we also have the banknotes of the British pound. The smallest used to be the £1 note but this has long since been consigned to history. Nowadays the smallest note is the £5. Aside from this you will also find the £10, £20 and £50 notes. The latter is actually quite rare and it can be counterfeited at times, although this isn’t as common as you might think, thanks to the anti-counterfeiting measures built into the notes.
From past to present – the history of the Welsh pound
Wales, in common with all other parts of Britain, has used the pound for centuries. Indeed this currency now stands as the oldest one the world knows that is still in use.
How to get hold of the Welsh pound
The Welsh pound, or to give it its proper name the British pound, can be found quite easily. If you are looking to exchange another currency for the pound you can do so by going to any good bureau de change. They should be able to exchange your own currency for the pound without notice, unless you want a significant amount. However just to be safe you might want to make the exchange with notice, just in case.
It is also easy to find the pound once you are in Wales. There are many cash machines in cities and towns and other built-up areas, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting what you need. If you are visiting from abroad, just make sure your own bank card will work in the machines before you travel. If you have one that is part of a large network you should be fine. Mastercard and Visa cards are also widely accepted and can be used to withdraw cash too. However you should note that these withdrawals will very likely incur a fee, so make sure you know what that fee will be before you take out money in this way. A debit card is typically much cheaper.
You might also like to take some traveller’s cheques if it works well for you to do so. You can buy these at the same time as your hard currency. Just be sure to jot down all the serial numbers and keep them in a safe place. If your cheques go missing or they are stolen, you will then be able to replace them. You should get information on how to do this when you buy them.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Welsh pound
This is straightforward to do if you use any currency other than the British pound. You can use any currency converter to do this, since the pound is one of the most popular currencies the world has today. As such it should be found on any converter. It might even appear at the top of the drop-down list of currencies you will usually see in these circumstances.
If you want the most up-to-date exchange rate find a converter that updates its rates every few minutes. Otherwise find an accurate one that updates once daily. This might be enough to give you an idea of the conversion rate if you want to exchange your own currency when you go on holiday to Wales. Remember though that exchange rates will vary depending on the bureau de change you choose, so it is worth shopping around to see how much you can get in return for exchanging your own currency.
If you are travelling from abroad to reach Wales, you may want to find out whether you will need a visa in order to enter the country. All the information you would need in this respect can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visas-and-immigration for your convenience.
Travelling safely with the Welsh pound
Wales is on the whole a very safe place to be. Of course it consists of rural areas as well as towns and cities, so it is wise to be aware of where you are. Crime levels are not particularly high but you should take appropriate precautions whenever you travel and wherever you go.
For example it makes sense to keep a close eye on any valuables you have, including your cash and jewellery. If you stay in a hotel that gives you access to your own safe, you should use it rather than keeping everything with you at all times. It makes life easier rather than anything else!
It is also wise not to stray into quiet areas by yourself at night, particularly in cities. If you do not know where you are it is easy to get lost and to run into problems, even if these are not of a criminal kind. Really, taking a few practical precautions should be all you need to do here.
Where to spend your pounds in Wales – and what to spend them on
Wales is part of Britain and shares a border with just one other country – England. The remainder of its border faces water – the Bristol Channel to the south and the Irish Sea from the northern reaches of the country round to the west towards the south.
The capital of Wales is Cardiff, which is known as Caerdydd in Welsh. While most people in Wales speak English, around 20% or so do speak Welsh. As such it is not that unusual to hear it being spoken when you are in the country.
You could easily spend a weekend or more in Cardiff alone when you visit the country. As you would expect of a capital city there are many attractions here to visit. Cardiff Castle is popular among these, but there are many other options as well. One of the highlights has to be the National History Museum at St Fagans. This is an open-air museum that consists of many different buildings hailing from all parts of Wales’ history. Indeed this museum is one of the highlights of the entire country, and indeed of the UK, such is the history that is available to see here.
Moving back to castles for a moment, Cardiff has more than just one too. St Fagan’s has a castle of its own, while you can also see Castell Coch and Bishop’s Palace if you wish. Clearly if you have a thing for castles you won’t be disappointed by visiting the Welsh capital!
Wales is about far more than just its capital though. As you might expect it has a generous amount of coastline and as such you can head to the coast to explore beaches or even take a few steps along the Wales Coast Path. This is 870 miles long from end to end so you shouldn’t expect to complete it in a day! However you can pick out chunks of it that are close to where you are staying. South Stack at Anglesey is a good section to try and there is a nature reserve on the way too if you want to make a detour.
Wales does tend to attract a lot of walkers who are keen to explore both the coastal and countryside regions available. If you like the idea of getting out into the rugged scenery, head for Snowdonia. You’ll see some snow here at the right time of the year too, since the mountains are among the most famous on offer in the UK. This is where you’ll find Snowdon and various paths that are just waiting to be explored. Wales is certainly a place to come for budding mountain climbers.
Wales has so much to offer it can treat everyone to the type of holiday they really enjoy. From mountain climbers to coastal walkers, from city slickers to those with a penchant for history, there is so much to see and do across the country that it pays to have a plan ahead of time. As such you can plan to have a long weekend in Cardiff or another city, or head into the wilds of Snowdonia for a week spent enjoying the great outdoors. There are many delightful places to stay at too, so make sure you book your accommodation in advance.
As you can see, Wales has a lot to offer. The only question now is where you will begin your exploration of this amazing country.