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Wales

Hiking in Wales

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Photo: Robert J Heath (CC BY 2.0)

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Sparsely populated, mountainous, rugged and spectacular, it’s no wonder walks in Wales rival the very best in Britain. From the mighty peaks of North Wales and the silent summits of its upland interior to the dramatic coves and cliffs of its long Irish Sea coast, Wales is a nation with a little bit of everything.


This relatively small country is blessed with three national parks and five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). The largest of its national parks is Snowdonia, home to Wales’ greatest mountains and some truly awesome scenery. South Wales contains the other two: the glorious hills of the Brecon Beacons and the spellbinding Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.


Crumbling castle ruins, unforgettable encounters with nature, explorations of industrial remains, daring scrambles along knife-edged ridge lines and so much more, hikes in Wales have it all.


Top 20 best walks and hikes in Wales

    Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    1
    1
    Difficult
    05:17
    8.32 mi
    1.6 mph
    3,200 ft
    3,200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
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    2
    Intermediate
    04:52
    7.46 mi
    1.5 mph
    2,225 ft
    2,250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
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  • 3
    Difficult
    05:31
    10.2 mi
    1.8 mph
    2,125 ft
    2,125 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    4
    Difficult
    06:23
    9.45 mi
    1.5 mph
    2,900 ft
    2,900 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.
    View
    5
    Intermediate
    02:47
    4.86 mi
    1.7 mph
    1,475 ft
    1,475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    6
    Difficult
    05:39
    9.80 mi
    1.7 mph
    3,025 ft
    3,025 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    7
    Intermediate
    03:43
    6.27 mi
    1.7 mph
    2,125 ft
    2,125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    8
    Difficult
    07:10
    11.4 mi
    1.6 mph
    3,400 ft
    3,400 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.
    View
    9
    Difficult
    07:37
    14.3 mi
    1.9 mph
    3,450 ft
    3,450 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    10
    Intermediate
    04:37
    5.79 mi
    1.3 mph
    2,550 ft
    2,550 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    11
    Difficult
    05:09
    8.02 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,525 ft
    2,525 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    12
    Difficult
    06:12
    12.4 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,250 ft
    2,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    13
    Intermediate
    04:31
    8.47 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,100 ft
    2,100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    14
    Intermediate
    04:24
    9.89 mi
    2.2 mph
    925 ft
    925 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    15
    Intermediate
    04:25
    9.93 mi
    2.2 mph
    925 ft
    925 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    16
    Difficult
    05:03
    9.58 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,200 ft
    2,200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    17
    Easy
    01:48
    4.06 mi
    2.2 mph
    350 ft
    375 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    18
    Difficult
    07:18
    14.1 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,975 ft
    2,975 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    19
    Intermediate
    04:57
    7.98 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,950 ft
    2,950 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    20
    Difficult
    05:11
    8.18 mi
    1.6 mph
    3,125 ft
    3,125 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View

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More Information

Iconic peaks and vast uplands


For many, the best hiking routes in Wales are found in its largest and arguably most awe-inspiring national park, Snowdonia. Here, hikers will find Bala Lake, Wales’ largest natural body of water, as well as the country’s greatest mountains, including mighty Snowdon, the highest at 3,560 feet (1,085 m). A region characterised by rugged and uncompromising mountain terrain, there is enough adventure to last a lifetime.


Much of the nation’s interior is made up of hills and mountains. To the east of Snowdonia are the Berwyn hills, home to the thundering Pistyll Rhaeadr, Britain’s highest single drop waterfall, at 240 feet (80 m). The Cambrian Mountains stretch across the country’s heartland, a region of silent, windswept summits where munching sheep far outnumber people.


The Brecon Beacons National Park is upland Wales’ final flourish before the more populated pastures to the south. Here, glacially hewn escarpments rise on tiered sandstone above the surrounding countryside, creating excellent hillwalking territory and a region rich in waterfalls. An ascent of Pen y Fan, which at 2,907 feet (886 m) is the highest peak in South Britain, is one of the most popular hikes in Wales and a real family favourite.


A magnificent coastline


Its magnificent coastline is just as delightful as the country’s hills and mountains. Some of the finest coastal walks in Wales are found in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, home to some achingly beautiful beaches, secret coves, dramatic sea stacks and storm-battered cliffs. Many of its islands and inaccessible cliff faces are havens for birdlife, such as the emblematic razorbill, puffins and huge flocks of migrators.


To the east of Pembrokeshire is the Gower Peninsula, which became the UK’s first AONB back in 1956. Its impressive limestone cliffs, golden beaches and wild moors make it a beguiling place to explore. Back in North Wales, Anglesey is the biggest island in the Irish Sea and yet another jewel in the nation’s crown, with a sensational coastline and a truly ancient history. 


Prepare for the Welsh Weather


When planning hikes in Wales, always keep one eye on the weather forecast. The upland regions are particularly prone to extreme conditions, with high levels of precipitation and strong winds a common feature. Always wear sturdy hiking boots and pack plenty of warm layers and waterproofs. In winter, the higher peaks of Snowdonia can be covered in snow and ice, when they become suitable only for experienced and equipped mountaineers.


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