hikes in Wales
There are some incredible walking trails to be discovered in Wales. While National Parks such as the Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire Coast National Parks get all the attention, there is great walking throughout the country.
A walking holiday in Wales is not just about great walks, it’s about exploring the pretty countryside, savouring stops in charming little villages, a pint in a cozy local pub or a stunning drive along the coast. A little known fact, Wales is home to three National Parks, three National Trails and more designated Areas of Outstanding Beauty (AONBs) that any other area in the U.K. So walkers will be absolutely spoilt for choice while discovering the natural beauty of Wales by foot.
Within Wales, discover Britain's only coastal National Park––Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Frequently named one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines, take in the salty sea air, while admiring the crashing waves from high on a cliff. Or, perhaps follow in the footsteps of the ancient pilgrims who walked from Bangor to the treacherous crossing to Bardsey Island, also known as the “Isle of 20,000 saints”. Though, if you’re going to visit one of the more popular spots, you can’t miss the beauty of Snowdonia. This magical region is dotted with incredible, craggy mountain peaks and breathtaking wild moorelands. Considered one of the most underrated hiking destinations in all of Europe, you’re sure to find quiet walking trails bursting with natural beauty.
Have we convinced you? Start planning a walking holiday in Wales today!
10 Greatest Walks in Wales
Discover the beauty of the soft, rolling hills, pristine lakes and charming forests in Wales. Some of the best hikes in this region are family-friendly or perfect for beginners like Cwm Idwal Walk, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t mountains to get your blood pumping like the summit of Snowdon.
- Rhaeadr Ddu and Coed Ganllwyd: Set out on a riverside walk that strolls alongside the River Gamlan and takes you to the base of stunning Rhaeadr Ddu falls for a pleasant afternoon out.
- Llyn Ogwen: Follow the path to take in incredible mountain views of Tryfan and Glyderau. While the walk involves a little bit of scrambling to start, the rest of the hike follows an easy and enjoyable trail.
- Cwm Idwal Walk: This family-friendly walk is a breeze, delighting little ones with breathtaking waterfalls and incredible secret lakes that remain relatively untouched.
- Swallow Falls: For a quick afternoon stroll, visit the beautiful Swallow Falls. Start off following alongside the Llugwy River and continue until you reach a beautiful viewpoint overlooking the falls.
- Snowdon via the Watkin Path: Skip the crowds and discover a lesser-known route to the summit of Snowdon. This incredibly popular mountain is worth summiting for the incredible views at the top, but on our secret path––seek out a secondary lookout point at Bwlch Ciliau.
- Dolmelynllyn Estate: Discover epic abandoned gold mines on this walk through an incredible estate. You’ll also pass waterfalls, ruins and plenty of historic Welsh historical sites. This walk is not only beautiful, but plenty educational!
- Barmouth Panorama: This hike is great for beginner hikers who want incredible views without the technical challenge. Once at the summit of Barmouth, you can look out over the Afon Mawddach estuary, up and down the Welsh coast, and out to Cardigan Bay.
- Pyg Track to Snowdon and Miner’s Track: This path makes for the shortest walk in Snowdonia, but it’s far from the easiest! Prepare for a very steep ascent and a usually very busy summit, but it’s worth it to take in the incredible mountain views. If you can’t climb, there’s a train that can take you to the tip top!
- Moel Siabod - A Stunning Walk in Snowdonia National Park: Adventure out on a naturally stunning trail that provides a little ascent at the end to get the heart pumping! While not overly difficult, the trail passes plenty of picturesque hamlets and old quarries on the way to the top.
- Snowdon Horseshoe: One of the trickier trails in Snowdonia, this path is not for the inexperienced. Tackle the famed Crib Goch to take in one of the most beautiful ridgelines in Wales on this walk––though come prepared for crazy high winds at the top.
When is the Best Time to Walk in Wales
We particularly love hiking the shoulder season in Wales, between late summer and early fall for incredible temperatures and smaller crowds. If you plan on tackling any of the surrounding mountain ranges, it’s important to do so when there is no snow, as it can become dangerous to hike in icy conditions.
More than that, the shoulder season offers stunning wildflowers, which bloom late into the fall season. You’ll also be rewarded with quieter hiking trails, as most tourists depart at the end of summer––leaving more to enjoy the cozy lodges and lauded restaurants without having to fight for reservations.
Best Regions to Walk in Wales
Wales offers some amazing hidden gem hiking destinations that continue to fly under the radar and make for incredible wilderness walks. We’ve always had a soft spot for Snowdonia National Park, which features stunning mountain trails and plenty of pristine lakes. Brecon Beacons National Park dazzles with plenty of hidden waterfalls, incredible cave complexes for exploring and even the romantic ruins of a 13th-century castle stand on display. For a unique national park, visit the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park for the only coastal park in the U.K. Find dramatic cliff faces, beautiful deserted beaches and outstanding natural wildlife, like puffins.
Other Activities in Wales
Visitors are often surprised and the plentiful outdoor activities on offer in Wales. It’s one of the best kept secrets in our opinion, leaving plenty of natural beauty to be discovered! Caving is a popular activity in Wales, with some incredible underground worlds waiting to be discovered. For a water-based adventure activity, grab a board and hit the waves for surfing, which you can do in the world’s first inland lagoon that makes for perfect beginner waves. There are also plenty of breathtaking mountains to tackle on two-wheels for an unforgettable mountain biking experience.
How to Plan a Trip to Wales
Ready to hit the trails in Wales? We’re here to help make planning your trip easy as 1-2-3! We’ve rounded up all the best places to stay, shop, eat and play in our complete guide to planning a trip to the Snowdonia area in Wales. Now all that’s left is time spent daydreaming and packing your bag!Read More