Wales is a generally mountainous country on the western side of central southern Great Britain. Much of Wales’ diverse landscape is mountainous, particularly in the north and central regions. The mountains were shaped during the last ice age, the Devensian glaciation. The highest mountains in Wales are in Snowdonia of which five are over 1,000 m. The highest of these is Snowdon.
Wales has three national parks Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Pemborokeshire Coast.
The south and west coasts of Wales, along with the Irish and Cornish coasts, are frequently blasted by Atlantic westerlies/south westerlies that, over the years, have sunk and wrecked many vessels. Wales lies within the north temperate zone. It has a changeable, maritime climate and is one of the wettest countries in Europe. Welsh weather is often cloudy, wet and windy, with warm summers and mild winters. The long summer days and short winter days result from Wales’ northerly latitudes. Daylight at midwinter there falls to just over seven and a half hours. The country’s wide geographic variations cause localised differences in sunshine, rainfall and temperature. At low elevations, summers tend to be warm and sunny. Winters tend to be fairly wet, but rainfall is rarely excessive and the temperature usually stays above freezing. Spring and autumn feel quite similar and the temperatures tend to stay above 14 °C, also the average annual daytime temperature. The sunniest time of year tends to be between May and August. The south-western coast is the sunniest part of Wales.
Wales’ wildlife is typical of Britain with several distinctions. Due to its long coastline Wales hosts a variety of seabirds. The coasts and surrounding islands are home to colonies of gannets, puffins, kittiwakes, shags and razorbills. Like Cornwall, Brittany and Ireland, the waters of South-west Wales of Gower, Pembrokeshire and Cardigan Bay attract marine animals including basking sharks, Atlantic grey seals, leatherback turtles, dolphins, porpoises, jellyfish, crabs and lobsters.