Welcome to our Wales hiking and walking routes where you’ll find selction of the best places to walk in the Welsh countryside. This guide is part of our larger selection of the best UK hiking and walking routes.
Steeped in history and home to the true English who were ousted over 1,000 years ago, Wales has long been a destination for hiker and walkers. This small, friendly country offers everything from coastal routes, undulating hills that climb for miles and rugged mountains that will test your heart, lungs and quads.
The country of Wales, which borders England to the east, is comprised of four regions:
- North Wales
- South Wales
- South West Wales
- South East Wales
Some of the most iconic and well-known walking and uk hiking routes are in the rugged mountain region of the Brecon Beacons, but there is far more to this country than this one relatively small area.
Off the North West coast, joined to the mainland by a road bridge, is the island of Anglesey which was the last stronghold of the ancient druid religion wiped out during the Roman invasion of the British Isles.
Move inland a short distance and you come to the Snodonia National Park, home to Mount Snowdon which, at 3560ft, is the second highest mountain in the United Kingdom. A popular tourist destination, and rite of passage for many hikers, Snowdon can be climbed in a day without technical gear.
A word of caution: the Welsh weather can turn from warm to wet and freezing in a matter of minutes and you should always carry protective gear as well as communications means that work in the remotest of locations.
Hikes and Walks in North Wales
North Wales has many hiking routes and points of interest, including:
Snowdon – 1085m, Snowdon is the highest mountain in England and Wales. There are 6 routes to the summit, each of which starts from a different point at the base of the mountain. The climb to the peak is classed as hard and can take up 8 hours to complete.
Reece has a great write-up for anyone wanting to know the duration and difficulty rating for a Snowdon hike over at the Walking Northerners.
Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path
An area known to many hikers, South Wales is home to the Brecon Beacons National park which is also used by the British Army to train elite and special forces troops.
Incredibly rugged, and with many hills and well-trodden routes, the highest point in the Brecon Beacons is Pen y Fan. At a height of 2907 ft and with a steepest gradient of 30%, this is a tough climb with the shortest route to the summit requiring around two hours to complete.
Move further south to meet the Atlantic Ocean and you’ll comes to the Wales Coastal Path, a route that travels the full coastline of the country.
Hikes and Walks in South Wales
The following walk and hikes can be found in South Wales:
Four Waterfalls walk. A roughly six mile circular route that takes you to 4 of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons: Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr and Sgwd yr Eira
Pen Y Fan. The highest mountain the Brecons, this hard climb is often hiked as a section on longer hillwalks through the Welsh countryside.
The Black Mountain – Y Mynydd Du, the official Welsh name, the Black Mountain is a mountain range running between Carmanthenshire and Powys. It’s also the westerly range of the Brecon Beacons and, with a highest point of 802 metres, one of the tallest mountains in the National Park. This mountain is often confused with the Black Mountains, a range in the south east of the country.
South East Wales
Moving east, the terrain levels off as it approaches the English border, although there are still many smaller but still taxing peaks and routes to explore.
For anyone looking for a more sedate hike, or walk, not requiring the degree of fitness needed for traversing mountainous terrain, there are many routes through open land and along some of the most beautiful rivers in the country.
One fine example is the Monnow Valley which follows the flow of the River Monnow. Monmouth, a medium-sized town just inside the Welsh border, offers and ideal start point and has many amenities for every type of hiker. Along the way are a number of wild camping site which are ideal for hikers looking to get away from the bustle of day to tday life.
Hikes and Walks in South East Wales
The Blorenge, a 561m (1841 ft) peak, is a prominent hill sat above the River Usk in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. Although located southeastern corner of the Brecon Beacons, it is officially classed as bing in the south east of the country. At 8 miles in length, and following a figure of 8 route, the hike can be broken down into two shorter walks.
Wales Coastal path. For most of its 870 miles route, the WCP either follows, or lies close to the Welsh coast. Hikers who follow this route will find themselves covering a variety of terrains, with the path travelling though eleven nature reserves. The Wales Coastal Path can be walked as a single, multi-stage hike, or split out into sections.
South West Wales
Strike out for South West Wales to discover yet more rolling hills, huge peaks and, at the furthest point, the buffeting winds rolling of the Atlantic Ocean.
The South West Wales region includes Pembrokeshire, the Gower Peninsula and Carmarthenshire (the latter of which is a truly beautiful area… much like most of the Welsh countryside. Dotted across this region are many relics of Welsh history: the ruins of once magnificent castles standing watch over the coast, fortified houses and abandoned churches.
The Wales Coast Path weaves along the edge of the country’s sealine as it first heads west, then north.
Hikes and Walks in South West Wales
Home to some of the smaller Welsh peaks, many of the South West Wales hiking routes are demanding and require a good level of fitness and expertise.
The Blaencwm hike is classed as a beginner route. That said, there is difficult sections and steep climbs on the 6 mile trail that provides hikers with breathtaking views out over the Rhondda valleys. One of the most stunning sights cited by hikers and hillwalkers are the waterfalls at Berw Nant yr Ychen and Nant y Gwair.
Sgwd Uchaf Clun-Gwyn Waterfall to Sgwd Yr Eira Waterfall is a looping, 11 mile walking route travelling past two the most stunning waterfalls in Wales. A quick note for any hikers who like a tipple – obviously, not whilst you’re on the trail – the start point of Penderyn is home to the world famous distillery which produces and very smooth whisky.