Welcome to Wales, a place rich in natural beauty and adventure. Wales is a hiker's dream because of its untamed landscape, stunning scenery, and breathtaking coastal vistas. Wales provides a wide variety of hiking opportunities that are suitable for hikers of all fitness levels and experience levels, from the imposing peaks of Snowdonia to the serene trails of the Wye Valley. The country is home to numerous nature walks and hiking paths that enable tourists to discover the nation's rich cultural and natural heritage. The southwest country in the United Kingdom has more than 870 kilometres of coastline and three national parks.
Wales has something to offer everyone, whether you're an experienced hiker or just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The nation is also rich in myths and legends, and many of its most well-known sites and natural wonders have ties to fables and legends from the past. So put your hiking boots on, pack your backpack, and get ready to explore some of Europe's most beautiful natural settings. Let's explore the top 18 hiking and nature paths Wales has to offer!
1. Llanthony Path
The Llanthony Path is a popular walking trail in Wales that follows the ancient route of medieval pilgrims, monks, and drovers from Llanthony Priory to Abergavenny. The trail, which is around 8 miles (13 kilometres) long, leads walkers through the breathtaking Black Mountains scenery. The walk, which starts from Llanthony Priory, takes hikers past high hillsides covered in heather and bracken as well as beautiful green valleys and gurgling brooks. The breathtaking vista from Hatterrall Hill's summit, where walkers can take in a comprehensive panorama of the Welsh countryside, is unquestionably the walk's high point.
Hikers can stop at a number of interesting locations along the route, such as the Holy Well, which is supposed to have healing properties, and the Skirrid Mountain Inn, one of Wales's oldest inns. Although it can be rather steep in some spots, the trail is well-marked and generally simple to follow. Anybody wishing to discover Wales's natural beauty and the area's history should take a walk along the Llanthony Path. All levels of hikers can enjoy the trail, while certain parts might be difficult. The Llanthony Path is a must-do for anybody travelling to Wales because of its breathtaking beauty, fascinating history, and varied wildlife.
2. The Snowdon Horseshoe
The tallest mountain in both Wales and England, Snowdon, is encircled by the Snowdon Horseshoe, a well-known hiking circuit in Wales. For seasoned hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, the trek is a must-do because of its breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery and difficult terrain. The Pen-y-Pass parking lot serves as both the beginning and end of the Snowdon Horseshoe. The Crib Goch ridge, which is used by the trail to get to Snowdon's summit, is renowned for its jagged, exposed ridges that call for cautious navigation and climbing abilities. After ascending Snowdon, you'll continue along the Horseshoe, which circles the peaks of Garnedd Ugain, Crib-y-Ddysgl, and Y Lliwedd before returning to your starting point.
The Snowdon Horseshoe is a challenging hike that necessitates a high degree of physical fitness as well as previous ridge walking and scrambling experience. It's crucial to come prepared for the walk with the right equipment, lots of water, and food. Checking the weather forecast is also advised before leaving, since the exposed ridges can be hazardous in inclement weather. Overall, the Snowdon Horseshoe is a rewarding and thrilling climb that provides some of Snowdonia National Park's most breathtaking views. It's absolutely worth adding to your hiking bucket list if you're up for the challenge.
3. Pen Y Fan Horseshoe
The Pen Y Fan Horseshoe is a challenging hiking trail in South Wales' Brecon Beacons National Park. The hike is named after Pen Y Fan, which is South Wales' tallest mountain at 886 metres (2,907 feet). The Corn Du and Cribyn are just two of the peaks that make up the Pen Y Fan Horseshoe, a round circuit that provides breathtaking views of the surrounding Welsh countryside. About 11 kilometres (7 miles) in length, the walk takes 4-5 hours to complete.
The path ascends steeply to the summit of Corn Du from the parking lot at Pont ar Daf, close to the town of Storey Arms. The trail then continues on to Pen Y Fan before descending to the col between Pen Y Fan and Cribyn. The route then climbs once more to reach Cribyn's summit before descending back to the start.
Places to Stay:
Quietly situated within 15 acres of ancient woodland, the YHA Brecon Beacons is in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Dating back to the 19th century, this farmhouse hostel has access to scenic countryside walks and overlooks the River Tarell, towards Y Gyrn.
The Lodge Brecon B&B features mountain views, free WiFi and free private parking, set in Brecon, 3.4 miles from Brecon Cathedral. The bed and breakfast offers a seating area with a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with free toiletries, a hair dryer and shower. A fridge and kettle are also featured.
The Shepherd's Bothy on Blaenbrynich Farm is located in Brecon and free WiFi is provided throughout the property and private parking is available on site. The holiday home features 2 bedrooms, a TV, an equipped kitchen with a fridge and a microwave, a washing machine, and 2 bathrooms with a shower.
4. Pembrokeshire Coastal Path
The 186-mile Pembrokeshire Coastal Path is a well-known hiking route that follows the breathtaking Welsh coastline in Pembrokeshire. One of the best coastal walks in the world, the track has been designated a National Trail and offers stunning vistas of rocky cliffs, sandy beaches, secret coves, and unspoiled landscapes. The route, which takes around two weeks to complete, runs from St. Dogmaels in the north to Amroth in the south. The 14-stage trail offers a variety of possibilities for hikers of all levels and ranges from casual walks to more difficult hikes. You'll come across a variety of wildlife along the trip, including uncommon birds, flora, and animals like seals and dolphins. The rocky cliffs of St. David's Head, the isolated bays of the Stackpole Estate, and the charming villages of Tenby and Saundersfoot are just a few of the highlights of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. The trail also passes through several historical locations, including Iron Age forts, medieval castles, and prehistoric graveyards.
One of the best things about the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path is that it can be reached from several coastal towns and villages, making it simple to organise a walking holiday that meets your needs. Along the journey, there are also several facilities, such as accommodations, cafes, and bars. The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path has some of the best coastline views in the world and is a fantastic hiking trail. Whether you're an experienced hiker or a complete beginner, this trail is a must-see location that will leave you in awe of the Welsh coastline's magnificence.
5. Glyder’s Ridge Walk
Wales' Snowdonia National Park is home to the Glyder's Ridge Walk, a well-liked hiking trail. It has the name of the Glyderau mountain range, which is home to some of the UK's most beautiful and dramatic landscapes. Depending on your pace and the weather, the walk will take you between 4-6 hours to finish and is about 11 kilometres (7 miles) long. The hike begins at the Ogwen Valley parking lot and climbs steeply to the summit of Glyder Fach, the lower peak on the ridge walk at 994 metres (3,261 ft). From there, the trail continues up a ridge to Glyder Fawr (1,001 meters/3,284 feet), where it provides amazing views of the mountains in the area, including Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales. The Cantilever Stone, a large boulder perched precariously on a smaller rock, is one of the unusual geological features of the Glyderau that hikers can admire along the trip.
The rough and steep descent from Glyder Fawr eventually brings you to the serene Llyn Idwal, a glacial lake encircled by towering cliffs and waterfalls. The route then continues along the lake's edge before making its way back to Ogwen Valley, where it all began. The Glyder's Ridge Walk is a strenuous and thrilling walk that provides some of Snowdonia National Park's most breathtaking views. It is appropriate for seasoned hikers who are comfortable with rough, exposed terrain, steep ascents, and descents. The weather in Snowdonia can be unpredictable, so hikers should pack proper clothing, food, and drink.
Places to Stay:
The Menai Hotel and Bar offers accommodation, a restaurant, a garden, a terrace and a bar. Both WiFi and private parking are accessible at the bed and breakfast free of charge. A continental breakfast is available every morning at The Menai Hotel and Bar.
Boasting a garden and a terrace, Dolwen Snowdonia Home by PolkaDot offers accommodation in Caernarfon with free WiFi and garden views. Featuring free private parking, the holiday home is in an area where guests can engage in activities such as hiking, skiing and darts. This holiday home is fitted with 3 bedrooms, a kitchen with a fridge and an oven, a flat-screen TV, a seating area and 1 bathroom equipped with a shower. Towels and bed linen are featured in the holiday home.
Boasting garden views, Lletyr Bugail offers accommodation with a balcony and a kettle. This chalet features a garden, barbecue facilities, free WiFi and free private parking. The chalet with a terrace and mountain views has 2 bedrooms, a living room, a flat-screen TV, an equipped kitchen with a fridge and an oven, and 1 bathroom with a shower. A children's playground is available on site and hiking can be enjoyed within close proximity of the chalet.
6. Dolgellau to Barmouth
Dolgellau to Barmouth is a beautiful and well-travelled walking route in Wales. The route travels along the lovely Mawddach Estuary from the market town of Dolgellau to the seaside resort of Barmouth. The distance is roughly 9 miles (14.5 km), and it's rated as an easy to moderate walk. The path is a fantastic option for walkers of all levels because it is well-maintained and relatively flat.
Walkers may take in breathtaking views of the estuary, as well as the nearby mountains and countryside, while they are out on the trail. Due to the variety of wildlife and ecosystems present, the Mawddach Estuary is both a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The Mawddach Bridge, a magnificent wooden railway viaduct that spans the estuary, is one of the walk's highlights. The bridge was constructed in the 1860s, and now daily trains still travel over it. The Blue Lake, a former slate quarry that has filled with water to produce a lovely, deep blue lake, is another well-liked destination along the path.
7. Llanberis to Cwm Idwal
In North Wales, there is a beautiful and challenging walking route from Llanberis to Cwm Idwal. The journey begins in Llanberis and concludes at the breathtaking Cwm Idwal, a glacier valley tucked away in the middle of Snowdonia National Park. The path is around 9 miles (14.5 km) long and is regarded as a challenging walk because of its steep ascents and descents and some rocky terrain. Though the route is clearly marked, walkers should be experienced and equipped, notably with solid hiking footwear.
Walkers can bask in breathtaking vistas of the nearby mountains, including Snowdon, Wales' highest peak, as they proceed. Before climbing steeply to the rocky ridge of Y Garn, the trail winds through lovely forests and through waterfalls. There, walkers can enjoy the gorgeous views of the Ogwen Valley and the nearby highlands. The glacial valley of Cwm Idwal, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and National Nature Reserve, is one of the walk's highlights. A wide variety of plants and animals, including uncommon Arctic-Alpine species, can be found in the valley.
8. Llyn Peninsula
The Llŷn Peninsula is a stunning and rugged stretch of coastline in North Wales. In addition to its rich history and culture, the region is renowned for its beautiful beaches, steep cliffs, and charming villages. The peninsula is a well-liked location for beachgoers, walkers, and hikers and is roughly 30 miles (50 km) long and 8 miles (13 km) wide. The shoreline is speckled with little coves and beaches that are ideal for a peaceful afternoon of swimming or tanning.
The Llŷn Coastal Path, which circles the peninsula for more than 80 miles (130 km), is one of the most popular hikes in the area. The route travels through charming towns and important historical sites, such as the Iron Age hillfort at Tre'r Ceiri, and gives breathtaking views of the coastline. The Llŷn Peninsula is also home to a rich Welsh language and cultural heritage. The region is renowned for its authentic cuisine, which features regional shellfish and Welsh lamb, as well as its traditional Welsh music and dance.
9. Glyndwr’s Way
Named for Owain Glyndwr, a Welsh prince and the leader of the Welsh uprising against the English in the early 15th century, Glyndŵr's Way is a long-distance hiking trail that traverses the centre of Wales. The trail, which is about 135 miles (217 km) long, passes through some of Wales' most stunning and remote regions. The trail travels from Knighton, a small market town on the border of Wales and England, to Welshpool, where it ends, passing through undulating hills, verdant valleys, and rocky mountains. Hikers will pass beautiful scenery, quaint towns, and historical sites along the route, including the castle ruins of Glyndŵr.
In honour of Owain Glyndŵr's significance in Welsh history and his ties to the regions the road traverses, the trail bears his name. Welsh nobleman Glyndŵr is revered as a national hero for organising a rebellion against the English in the early 15th century. A wonderful way to appreciate Wales' stunning scenery and fascinating history is to walk along Glyndŵr's Way. The trail is clearly marked, well-maintained, and provides hikers with a variety of lodging options, including campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, and pubs.
10. Wye Valley
The Wye Valley, a scenic region that straddles the boundary between England and Wales for more than 100 miles, is situated there. The region is renowned for its spectacular natural beauty, with its rolling hills, thick forests, and meandering river providing a wealth of chances for water sports, biking, and hiking. The Wye Valley is also rich in history, with numerous castles, abbeys, and old ruin sites dotting the countryside. One of the most well-known sites in the region is Tintern Abbey, a 12th-century Cistercian abbey that is now in ruins. The impressive Chepstow Castle and the breathtaking Raglan Castle are two more noteworthy locations.
The Wye Valley is known for its regional cuisine and beverages in addition to its historical and natural attractions. The area has a large number of farms and food producers in addition to breweries, distilleries, and vineyards. Visitors can try cheese, honey, cider, and other delectable foods produced locally. The Wye Valley has something to offer everyone, whether they are looking for outdoor activities, opportunities to learn more about culture, or simply a chance to unwind and take in the landscape. Feel free to take a Guided River Walk through Wye Valley or take a Wye Valley and Brecon Beacons Day Trip from Cardiff.
11. Source of the Severn Trail, Hafren Forest
Located in the heart of Wales, the Source of the Severn Trail is a magnificent 16-mile footpath that ascends to the source of the River Severn, the longest river in Great Britain, from the Hafren Forest. The well-marked, simple-to-follow path leads walkers past some of the nation's most magnificent vistas.
The trail ascends into the open moorland of the Cambrian Mountains from the Hafren Forest after winding its way through forested slopes and valleys, past trickling streams, and waterfalls. The views are really breathtaking, and the terrain is varied, ranging from easy wooded pathways to hard, rocky ascents.
Some of Wales' most spectacular views are on display for walkers as the path gets closer to the Severn's source. The source itself is a wonderfully magical location to visit, marked by a little pool of water and a memorial plaque. The Source of the Severn Trail is a must-do experience whether you're an experienced hiker or just seeking a leisurely stroll through some of Wales' most breathtaking landscapes. This route is the ideal approach to explore the heart of Wales and learn about the charm of the River Severn because of its rocky landscapes, breathtaking views, and intriguing history.
12. The Golden Road
The Berwyn Mountains in North Wales are home to an ancient trackway known as The Golden Road, or ‘Ffordd y Bryniau Aur’, in Welsh. The road is thought to have been in use since prehistoric times, and its path includes remnants of Roman and mediaeval activity. The Golden Road offers stunning vistas of the Welsh countryside and is now a well-travelled walking path. The trail begins close to Llangynog and ends in Penybontfawr, covering a distance of around 10 kilometres. Hikers will come across undulating hills, glistening rivers, and serene woodlands on their journey.
One of the highlights of the Golden Road is the Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfall, which is one of the tallest waterfalls in the UK. The trail also passes through the Tanat Valley, an area known for its rich history and natural beauty. The Golden Road is a great way to experience the rugged beauty of North Wales while also learning about the area's rich cultural heritage. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, this historic trail offers something for everyone.
13. Marloes to Broad Haven
A beautiful coastline hike from Marloes to Broad Haven may be found in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The 6-mile-long hike provides breathtaking views of the Pembrokeshire coastline. The trek begins at Marloes Sands, a popular swimming and surfing area. From there, the route goes to Deer Park, where you may see deer and seals as well as other animals. You'll come across some historic burial cairns and a coastguard lookout post as you proceed down the path.
The wonderful views of the coastline, which include the tall sea cliffs and the glistening waves of the Atlantic Ocean, are the walk's high point. The route travels by Little Haven and Musselwick Beaches, two of the region's most picturesque beaches. The walk concludes in the quaint town of Broad Haven, where you may unwind and eat some traditional Welsh cuisine in one of the local pubs or cafes. Overall, the coastal walk from Marloes to Broad Haven in Wales is a must-do since it provides stunning vistas and the chance to discover Pembrokeshire's unspoiled beauty.
In the centre of the Welsh Cambrian Mountains is the lovely woods known as Coed-y-Rhaiadr. For hikers, photographers, and those who enjoy the outdoors, it is a popular location. Red kites, buzzards, and peregrine falcons, as well as otters, badgers, and foxes, are among the many animals that call the woodland home. Coed-y-Rhaiadr has a variety of walking paths, from basic strolls to strenuous excursions. The trails meander through the forest, edging the River Wye and passing pools and cascading waterfalls. The Waterfall Walk, one of the most well-liked pathways, leads tourists past a number of breathtaking waterfalls, including the spectacular Pistyll Rhaeadr, the highest waterfall in Wales.
Coed-y-Rhaiadr is renowned for having a long past. There are numerous Iron Age hillforts and standing stones inside the woodland's limits, which formerly housed a bustling colony of Celts. Visitors can explore these historic locations and discover more about the region's rich cultural heritage. Coed-y-Rhaiadr is a must-see location for everyone travelling to Wales, in general. This wonderful woodland's natural beauty and historical history will attract you whether you're a nature lover, hiker, or history enthusiast.
15. Ynyslas Dunes
In Wales' Ceredigion region, Ynyslas Dunes is a magnificent natural preserve home to some of the nation's most exquisite sand dunes. The Irish Sea's persistent winds and tides have moulded the dunes' sandy peaks and troughs as they stretch for miles along the shore. The fact that the Ynyslas Dunes are constantly moving and changing as a result of the effect of the elements is one of its most distinctive characteristics. As a result, each time you go, the scenery is probably going to be a little bit different. Rare orchids and a variety of bird species, including the Skylark and the Stonechat, can be found among the dunes along with other uncommon plant and animal species.
A walk along one of the many routes that crisscross the reserve is one of the best ways to enjoy the Ynyslas Dunes. Sand dunes, as well as other natural elements of the area, including the estuary and salt marshes, can all be seen up close and personal thanks to the well-marked pathways. Sand-boarding, which includes sliding down the dunes on specially-made boards, is another well-liked pastime at Ynyslas Dunes. It's a thrilling pastime for adrenaline enthusiasts and a terrific opportunity to appreciate the area's distinctive terrain.
16. Dinas Island
In Pembrokeshire, Wales, there is a breathtaking coastal feature called Dinas Island. It is a promontory jutting out into the sea, surrounded by picturesque beaches and coves. A walk to the summit of the island provides stunning views of the coastline, and it is connected to the mainland by a short causeway. One of the most well-liked and excellent coastal walks in Wales is the one that circles Dinas Island. The path offers a variety of grassy fields, coastal cliffs, and sandy beaches and is well-maintained. You'll come across rocky cliffs, undiscovered coves, and breathtaking sea views as you stroll around the island. Dolphins and seals are known to frequent the region, so keep a look out for them.
An Iron Age hillfort that was supposed to have been constructed some 2,500 years ago can be found at the peak of Dinas Island. It is one of Wales' best-preserved hillforts, so it is worthwhile to climb to the island's summit to see it. It takes around two hours to walk the entire perimeter of Dinas Island, which is about 4.5 miles (7.2 kilometres) long. It is advised that more seasoned walkers use the path because it can be steep and rough in some areas.
A town in Wales' Brecon Beacons National Park called Ystradfellte is well-known for its astounding natural beauty and outdoor activities. Due to the village's proximity to mountains, forests, and rivers, it is a well-liked spot for kayakers, cyclists, and hikers. The Four Waterfalls Trail, a beautiful walk that passes four magnificent waterfalls, Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr, and Sgwd-yr-Eira, is one of the main attractions of Ystradfellte. The track is clearly marked, fairly simple to follow, and offers breathtaking vistas at every bend.
Ystradfellte has many options for people seeking a more difficult walk, including Pen y Fan, the highest peak in South Wales. The Beacons Way, a long-distance trail that traverses the Brecon Beacons, and the Black Mountain Range are two further well-liked walks. Ystradfellte is a well-liked location for hiking as well as kayaking and canoeing, with several rivers in the region providing excellent chances for white water paddling. There are a number of guided tours offered for individuals interested in exploring underground in the area's caverns and underground rivers.
Places to Stay:
Set in Pont-Nedd-Fechan, Sgwd Gwladys Lodge offers accommodation with free WiFi and flat-screen TV, as well as a garden and a bar. There is a fully equipped private bathroom with a shower and a hairdryer.
The holiday home is fitted with 5 bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen with a fridge and a dishwasher, and 2 bathrooms with a shower. Offering free private parking, this 4-star holiday home also features free WiFi throughout the property.
Gorgeous 2-Bed Cottage in Penderyn Brecon Beacons provides accommodation with mountain views, free WiFi and free private parking. The holiday home is equipped with a TV, 2 bedrooms and a living room. Towels and bed linen are provided in the holiday home.
18. Nash Point Loop Walk, Heritage Coast
The Heritage Coast in Wales is traversed by the picturesque Nash Point Loop Trail. At Nash Point, a stunning lighthouse built in the 19th century, the walk begins and ends. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the Bristol Channel as you continue along the coastal route from here along the precipitous cliffs. You will go past fields of wildflowers, historic woodland, and little villages with charming bars and stores as you stroll along the trail. A shipwreck's remnants can be seen, and there are educational signposts that explain the region's history.
The opportunity to see wildlife, like dolphins, porpoises, and seals in the water below, is one of the walk's attractions. Although the route is quite simple, there are a few steep sections, so make sure to wear supportive footwear and pack lots of water and food. Ultimately, anyone visiting Wales' Heritage Coast should take the Nash Point Circle Walk. It is a spectacular experience because of the breathtaking coastal views, extensive history, and potential for wildlife sightings.