Wales has about 3 million residents and together with England, Ireland and Scotland, it forms the United Kingdom. Along the entire coastline, there is a hiking trail of more than 1000 KM! But there are also several other long-distance walks that allow you to explore the north and south of Wales. Take a walk in Wales and you'll find beautiful scenery around you at all times. Whether it's the coast, the mountains, the valleys, or the hills. In Wales, you'll often find well-marked national trails for some of the UK's most extraordinary walks. In this blog post, you can read all the tips about a wonderful walking holiday in Wales. Get out and about!
The best season for your walking holiday in Wales?
Just as the Dutch are always busy with the weather, so is the Welsh. The climate here is temperate, with Welsh summers rarely getting warm and in winter it doesn't get very cold anywhere except for the mountain peaks.
Temperatures vary little, but the proximity of the mountains is another matter: Llanberis, at the foot of Snowdon, is flooded with more than twice as much rain as Caernarfon, nine kilometers away and is always a few degrees cooler. Much of the summer Wales - particularly the coast - can bathe in the sun, which is worth considering when determining the best time for your walking holiday along one of the coastal trails. Between June and September, the coast of Pembrokeshire, washed up by the Gulf Stream, can be as warm as anywhere in Britain. Yet it's impossible to say with any degree of certainty that the weather will be pleasant in any given month. It can be wet and grey one year and sunny the next, and the same goes for the autumn months. November has just as much chance of being fresh and bright or foggy and stormy. For dry and sunny weather, you are most likely between June and September, a period when you should book accommodation as far in advance as possible. For reasonably good weather and less crowded you go in April, May, September, or October.
The Right of Way
Like Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland, Wales has the right of way It requires landowners to keep a footpath clear across their land. This makes it possible to make long journeys. The cream of the crop is the National Trails. These are the previously mentioned well-maintained national trails that show you the way on some of the most special walks in the United Kingdom.
What should I bring for my hike in Wales?
Only you know exactly what to bring for your walk. Nevertheless, we recommend that you take a number of specific things with you that are useful for a (possibly rainy) multi-day hike.
Equipment: Investing in trekking poles or a walking stick is a good idea, and make sure you bring a compass and a durable backpack. For long-distance hikes we recommend a 60-litre backpack or a sturdy backpack/day rucksack. You'll need something big enough to carry your food and drink essentials and your extra layers of clothing and rain gear.
Clothing: A good pair of trekking shoes is mandatory (preferably in leather), as is clothing for cold weather (even if you travel in spring, autumn or summer) to protect you from stormy weather. As mentioned above, plan for rain. Make sure as much of your gear as possible is waterproof, and invest in a waterproof jacket and pants. Your waterproof clothing should be breathable and make sure the jacket has a good hood and neck collar.
Maps: If you travel on your own, you can get hiking maps from the tourist offices in the specific province of your route.
Hiking in Wales by region
You could walk the whole length/width/ girth of Wales on our national trails. But for an overview, let's split up the hiking areas in Wales. Each region has its own hiking charms.
Walks in North Wales - Hiking in Snowdonia
When you think of hiking in Wales, you think of Snowdonia first. And with good reason: the largest national park revolves around high mountains, glacial lakes and dense forests. In other words, it's a perfect hiking area. Everyone wants to climb Mount Snowdon themselves (1085 metres), but there are dozens of other peaks in the area that are eager to be climbed.
The Snowdonia Way is a long-distance walking route that takes you along the entire length of the National Park, from Machynlleth in the south to Conwy in the north. The route runs between the two major rivers that mark the southern and eastern edges of the region, the Dyfi and the Conwy. Here you can choose between a 'high' and 'low' route and the distance is about 151 km.
Walks in Central Wales - Hiking in Brecon Beacon National Park
The south of the region is dominated by the Brecon Beacons National Park, which consists of three different areas. The actual Beacons themselves are Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in the south of Great Britain. Pen y Fan is flanked by Black Mountain range and the Black Mountains (plural) which lies more close towards England.
Walks in West Wales - Hike the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path
Have you always dreamed about wandering along the wild and rugged coastline of Wales? Then this is your chance! Walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path along Wales' western peninsula. You'll find remote beaches, castle ruins, old fishing villages, and traditional Welsh towns. Follow the cliff-top trails and listen to the Atlantic waves crashing into sea caves below. Spot puffins and seals enjoying this coastal habitat.
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a long-distance walk in Wales. The entire route is 300 km long, or 186 miles, and leads you through some of Britain's most breathtaking coastal landscapes in around two weeks. You will walk almost entirely through the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park - Britain's only coastal park. If two weeks is too much for you, you can also choose to walk the best part in 5 or 6 days.
Walks in South Wales - Discover paradise
Of all the hiking areas in Wales, the South Wales Valleys are the most underestimated (at least by visitors; locals know how good they are). Walking down the Rivers which start in Brecon Beacons National Park is an amazing experience. Those rivers run through a series of deep valleys as they flow south to the sea. Their names became famous during the Industrial Revolution: Rhondda, Taff, Rhymney, Sirhowy, Ebbw. The mines from that era have disappeared, but the mining villages along the valley plains still exist. It's amazing how quickly the valleys have turned green again: the steep walls are thickly forested and crowned by pristine moorland.
The best multi-day walks in Wales
1. Pembrokeshire Coast Path
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path winds its way through 186 miles (300km) of Britain's most breathtaking coastal landscape. From St Dogmaels in the north to Amroth in the south, the path covers almost every type of maritime landscape, from rugged cliff tops and sheltered bays to wide-open beaches, winding riversides, old harbours and fishing villages. It takes about two weeks to do the whole route, but you can also choose to walk the best part of this route in only 5 or 6 days!
2. Offa's Dyke Path
The 8th-century king of Mercia built this mighty dyke to keep out the Welsh and it still marks roughly the current border between England and Wales. The Offa's Dyke Path National Trail runs from coast to coast for 285 km through beautiful border areas, a changing landscape of mountain ranges and remote valleys and some very pretty market towns along the way.
3. Glyndwr's Way
Owain Glyndwr was the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales and led a major uprising against the English in the early 1400s. The 135 miles (217 km) Glynder's Way trail follows in his footsteps on a loop from Knighton to Welshpool, through rolling farmland and open heathland, along lakes and forests, through one of the least inhabited parts of Britain. The centre is Machynlleth, where Glyndrr held his first parliament in 1404.
4. Wales Coast Path
In 2012 Wales created the world's first uninterrupted route along a national coastline. The Wales Coast Path covers all the famous stretches of the 870 miles (1,400 km) odyssey: Gower, Pembrokeshire, the Cambrian coast and the Lien peninsula. There are numerous beaches, estuaries, cliff tops and forests. Town waterfronts, castles and the occasional industrial area between nature reserves, but that's also part of Wales.
5. North Wales Pilgrim's Way
The recently created North Wales Pilgrim's Way follows a 155km long signposted walking trail, between Basingwerk Abbey near Holywell and Bardsey. The route connects 6th-century churches and places of religious significance throughout North Wales, taking in mountains, waterfalls, thousand-year-old crosses and stone circles. You can walk the route on your own or take part in the annual pilgrimage, which begins on Saturdays during the May holiday each year.
Can I book my hiking holiday in Wales with Bookatrekking.com?
Yes, you can book your walking holiday in Wales right here at Bookatrekking.com! We have packages for the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Contact our Trekking Experts today for free advice!
Would you like to read more about hiking in the United Kingdom? Have a look at our following blog posts:
- Hiking in England
- Hiking holidays Northern Ireland
- Hiking in Scotland
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