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Wales is a walker’s paradise with some truly staggering landscapes, so it is no surprise that its capital city has a plethora of fantastic options of its own. Walks around Cardiff reward with stunning coast, beautiful woodland and rich industrial heritage, whilst the city itself is green, compact and a pleasure to explore.
Experience the atmosphere of Cardiff Bay, with trails that mix gorgeous seaside views with modern culture and architecture. The historic River Taff meanders through some of the city's many delightful parks, perfect for an easy ramble. More seasoned hikers can follow the river to fairytale castles and ancient beech woodland.For coastal hikes around Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan will lure your boots west with dramatic cliffs, castle ruins, iconic lighthouses and breathtaking scenery. Inland are many country parks and green spaces to wander, whilst vineyards have even been founded here, such is a mild climate in summer.
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Cardiff benefits from the usual buzz of a capital city but all squeezed into a compact space. The impressive walls, gargoyles and grand towers of the castle rub shoulders with the muscular, white stanchions of the 74,000-capacity national stadium, both standing proud above verdant parkland. You can take in these sights by the river in Bute Park, the green heart of the city, with its urban woodland and arboretum.
Only a short hop away, many of the finest walks in Cardiff explore the rejuvenated bay area, where vestiges of an industrial past go hand in hand with modern architecture. The gorgeous maritime setting of Cardiff Bay Barrage links the city to pretty Penarth Marina with the charm and character of its quaint shops and picturesque pier.
For longer hikes around Cardiff, the trails that follow the historic River Taff upriver are an absolute delight. Experience a sumptuous journey on foot from one fairytale castle to another, where salmon leap from the water and you can watch kingfishers and grey heron eyeing prey from their perches.
Victorian masterpiece Castell Coch, with its distinctive cone-shaped turrets, is a fantastic objective. The castle is dominated by the stunning backdrop of Fforest Fawr, woodland that is well-deserving of your hiking boots. Beech woodland, an abundance of orchids, wood anemone and wild garlic all promise a colourful ramble.
The Taff was the major industrial and economic artery into the city from the coal mining valleys to the north. When roaming this land, you get a true sense of this proud heritage. For an unforgettable multi-day adventure, you can follow the Taff right into the upland heart of South Wales – the astonishing beauty of the Brecon Beacons.
Explore more of Wales: Browse the best Hikes in other regions.