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Wales is a land of water – it rains here!

Britain’s longest river – Severn (Hafren) – begins here before running away over the border, and two others – the Dee (Dyfrdwy) in the north and the Wye (Gwy) in the south – form part of the border with England.

Wales' longest river – that runs its entire length within the boundaries of Wales – is the River Tywi. It is 121 kilometres (75 miles) long, beginning in the mountains of Mid Wales and running south to the sea near the ancient town of Carmarthen (Caerfyrddin). 

The River Teifi is famous for its salmon, trout and ‘sewin’ (sea trout) and for coracle fishing. The River Conwy is known for its beauty and the River Tryweryn as a place to enjoy the thrills of wild water canoeing and rafting.

The River Taf isn’t a long river and it won’t win any beauty prizes, but this is the river that flows through the capital – Cardiff (Caerdydd).

For those who enjoy watery spills and thrills, we have more than our fair share of waterfalls and water spouts. Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall –near Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant in Powys – is one of the tranditional 'Seven Wonders of Wales'. The Ystradfellte area in Brecon Beacons National Park is known as 'waterfall Country'; this is where the rivers Mellte and Neath (Nedd) have created a series of beautiful waterfalls.

The more adventurous can experience the effects of water on our underground landscape in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Here also, near the village of Abercraf, are the famous Dan yr Ogof Showcaves.


Photographs copyright on this page:© Crown copyright (2011) Visit Wales

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Afon Gwy - River Wye

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Vocabulary: Rivers

hiraf – longest
cychwyn – to start (journey)
ffurfio – to form
ffin – border
eog – salmon
brithyll – trout
harddwch – beauty
tasgu – to splash
rhaeadr – waterfalls
sgwd; pistyll – cascade; fall
rhyfeddod – wonder
tirlun – landsacpe
tanddaearol – underground
ogof/-au – cave/-s

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