It’s time to lace up your boots and go hiking in Wales.
Wales is a country within the United Kingdom that is best known for its rugged coastline, mountains and national parks. Cardiff, the capital of Wales, is situated along the coast and is known for its medieval castle. There are numerous castles throughout the country – in fact, it’s known as Europe’s Castle Capital. But perhaps one of the best things is all the opportunities for hiking in Wales in both both its coastal and mountainous areas.
Named as one of the top places to visit in 2020 by National Geographic, Wales is packed with trails suited for every outdoor enthusiast. While it’s true that you can walk the entire coastline of Wales on its 870-mile trail, there are endless hiking spots located throughout the country. Whether you’re looking for an outdoor family vacation with little ones or an epic hiking adventure, Wales has what you need.
Snowdonia National Park
The oldest and largest national park in Wales, Snowdonia has plenty to do – including spectacular hiking trails. For seasoned hikers, reaching the peak of Snowdon is the highest achievement as this is the largest mountain in both Wales and England. At 1,085 meters, you’ll be able to see Pembrokeshire, England Peak District and even Ireland. There are six trails you can choose from that run to the top of Snowdon as well as a shuttle in case you want to bypass the hike up (or down). To avoid crowds, the best time of year to visit is in the spring or fall seasons.
Cwm Idwal is another trail in Snowdonia National Park that also boasts stunning mountain views while being more accessible. This is a great option for outdoor enthusiasts who have mobility issues or even those with family. This area of the park was carved out by ice-sheets and is home to a glacier lake, world-famous rock formations and rare plant life.
Brecon Beacons National Park
If you’re looking for some spectacular waterfalls, look no further. Brecon Beacons National Park is home to three ranges: Berwyn Range, Offa’s Dyke and Ceredigion Coast Path. What’s better is that the majority of paths in this park can be completed by most hikers. For example, the Storey Arms is a 4-mile trail that will take you to the top of the highest peak, Pen y Fan, without needing to be a hiking expert. In Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, you can enjoy a family-friendly stroll complete with picnic areas and farmland and woodland views.
Pembrokeshire Coast Path
If you’re a beach lover, Wales is one of the best places to visit regardless of its hiking trails. But if you’re a hiker and a beach person, this is the trail for you. Pembrokeshire Coast Path is 186 miles long and offers some of the absolute best coast views in the British Isles. Not to worry, though – you can enjoy nature here without making the entire trek. It’s broken into sections accessible by a bus service. One spot to consider visiting is the Gower Peninsula, a section of Pembrokeshire with a variety of paths. Here, you can experience cliffs and coves, salt marshes and moorlands.
South Wales Valleys
Locals consider the South Wales Valleys the most underrated hiking and walking trails in the country. The history you’ll learn about here is an added bonus. Wye Valley is one such place where visitors can take their dogs with them to explore the woodlands and rivers from Brecon Beacons. There are more challenging paths as well, three of which intersect with the entire Wales Coast Path.
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You can learn more about the various walking regions in Wales here.