Fiercely protective of its reputation as a land of song, Wales demonstrates its fine voice most affectingly in its ranks of male voice choirs. Although found all over the country, it is in the southern, industrial heartland that they are loudest and strongest. Their roots lie in the Nonconformist religious traditions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when Methodism in particular swept the country, and singing was a free and potent way of cherishing the often persecuted faith. Classic hymns like Cwm Rhondda and the Welsh national anthem, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of My Fathers), are synonymous with the choirs. Each Valleys town still has its own choir, most of whom welcome visitors to sit in on rehearsals. Ask at the local tourist office or library, and take the chance to hear one of the world’s most distinctive choral traditions in full, roof-raising splendour.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Wales features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Exploring the new Wales Way

Exploring the new Wales Way

The new Wales Way is a trio of action-packed routes that snake their way through the glorious Welsh landscape. Tackled on a cycling, driving or trekking advent…

30 Jan 2018 • Norm Longley local_activity Special feature
6 must-visit places in Wales you've probably never heard of

6 must-visit places in Wales you've probably never heard of

For a small country, Wales offers incredible diversity – so much so that it's one of our top travel destinations for 2018. Even better, many of Wales' (b…

09 Jan 2018 • Emma Gibbs insert_drive_file Article
8 alternative UK winter breaks

8 alternative UK winter breaks

The UK gets pretty grim during the winter, with its dark, early nights and splutteringly cold weather. But if you can’t wait until spring to start having fun …

06 Nov 2017 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right