Best walks in Wales

Discover Pembrokeshire, Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons on foot with our favourite hikes in Wales

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Wales

A guide to the best hikes in Wales, from the sandy beaches and coastal cliffs of Pembrokeshire to the mountains and lakes of Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons.

There are just over three million people living in Wales, offering plenty of opportunities to discover your own quiet corner of the countryside. Running the entire length of the country’s coastline is an 870-mile footpath, while several more long-distance trails allow you to explore the hills, mountains and riverbanks further inland.

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Our list below comprises 30 of our favourite Welsh hikes – strap on your boots and get walking!

1. Moel Tryfan and Moel Smytho, Gwynedd

Ellyn Cwellyn and Mynydd Mawr in north-west Snowdonia
Ellyn Cwellyn and Mynydd Mawr in north-west Snowdonia ©Alamy

Kate Roberts spent her childhood on the slopes of Moel Tryfan and Moel Smytho, which is the setting for her early novels including Feet in Chains and Tea in the HeatherEnjoy. This 8.3-mile mountain walk through open hills and slate quarries explores the area that inspired her.

The route

  • 13.3km/8.3 miles
  • 4.5 hours
  • Hard

Map and route

Rhosgadfan map

2. Yr Eifl, Llyn Peninsula, Gwynedd

Looking north at Yr Eifl and the Llyn Peninsula
Looking north at Yr Eifl and the Llyn Peninsula ©Alamy

Mountainous in spirit if not in height, Yr Eifl is a hill of vertiginous vistas and igneous granite intrusions. Its craggy summits have various names but are referred to here as Garn For, Garn Ganol, and Tre’r Ceiri, and this walk scales all three with views of the Menai Strait.

The route

  • 7km/4.3 miles
  • 2.5 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Yr Eifl map

3. Mawddach Estuary, Gwynedd

Barmouth Bridge over Mawddach Estuary
Barmouth Bridge over Mawddach Estuary ©Getty

The former railway track between Morfa Mawddach and Dolgellau is used for walking and cycling. Savour the beautiful scenery on this 9.5-mile route to the stunning Cregennen Lakes in the foothills of Cader Idris in Snowdonia National Park.

The route

  • 15.3km/9.5 miles
  • 4 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Mawddach Estuary, Gwynedd map

4. Llanbedr Woods, Gwynedd

The Afon Artro is 4.5 miles long
The Afon Artro is 6.5 miles long ©Getty

Now a Conservation Area, the oak woods hugging the hillsides above Afon Artro form a fine example of temperate forest that once covered most of Wales. Pass through this ancient woodland teeming with wildlife in north-west Wales with this 6.5-miles walk, especially glorious in late summer and autumn when the woods are filled with colour and foraging creatures.

The route

  • 10.2km/6.3 miles
  • 3.5 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Llanbedr Woods map

5. Snowdon, Gwynedd

Snowdon summit in snow
Snowdon summit in snow ©Getty

Take on the peaks and crags of Snowdon and immerse yourself in what is one of the wildest places in Wales with this 7.4-mile mountain walk.

The route

  • 12km/7.4 miles
  • 5 hours
  • Hard

Map and route

Snowdon map

6. Llyn Tegid, Gwynedd

Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid) near the small town of Bala in Gwynedd in Wales in the United Kingdom.
Ellyn Tegid, known as Lake Bala in English, sit in the east of Snowdonia National Park ©Getty

Known in English as Lake Bala, Llyn Tegid is the largest natural lake in Wales – explore its banks and surrounding forests in the east of Snowdonia National Park with this 8.5-mile hike.

The route

  • 14.3km/8.9 miles
  • 4 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Llyn Tegid map

7. Gwydir Castle, Llanrwst, Conwy

Wonder around the lush grounds of Gwydir Castle in Snowdonia
Wonder around the lush grounds of Gwydir Castle in Snowdonia ©Alamy

Stroll around this Tudor mansion and its former estate on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park in Wales’ northern region of Conwy.

The route

  • 8.5km/5.3 miles
  • 3 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Gwydir Castle map

8. Aber Falls, Gwynedd

View of Aber Falls in Showdonia National Park
Autumn encroaches on Aber Falls in Snowdonia ©Getty

Admire Aber Falls and discover the surrounding history and wildlife on this dramatic valley walk through the north-west fringes of Snowdonia National Park.

The route

  • 6.7km/4.1 miles
  • 2 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Aber Falls map

9. Llyn y Dywarchen, Gwynedd

Llyn y Dywarchen, Gwynedd
Llyn y Dywarchen, Gwynedd ©Getty

Hike through deep valleys, along meandering forest paths and beside an old mountain railway to a mysterious lake in Wales’ Snowdonia National Park.

The route

  • 11.3km/7 miles
  • 3.5 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Beddgelert to Llyn y Dywarchen map

10. Coed y Brenin, Gwynedd

Coed y Brenin waterfalls
Coed y Brenin waterfalls ©Getty

Coed y Brenin Forest Park covers 9,000 acres of woodland and river valleys. Its 500-million-year-old rocks with their deposits of copper and gold once made it a centre for mining. Now it’s managed for timber and recreation, with well-marked mountain-bike, walking and running trails. This refreshing 3.5-mile route through the forest, thick with greenery, mist and roaring torrents, is the perfect family walk.

The route

  • 5.6km/3.5 miles
  • 1.5 hours
  • Easy

Route and map

Coed y Brenin map

11. Harlech to Llandecwyn, Gwynedd

Bryn Cader Faner – or ‘The Welsh Crown of Thorns’ as it is often called – was described by archaeologist Aubrey Burl as one of the wonders of prehistoric Wales
Bryn Cader Faner – or ‘The Welsh Crown of Thorns’ as it is often called – was described by archaeologist Aubrey Burl as one of the wonders of prehistoric Wales ©Alamy

From the cylindrical towers of a 13th-century castle, ascend into the Snowdonia mountains to follow a prehistoric trackway to an extraordinary Bronze Age cairn.

The route

  • 15.9km/10 miles
  • 5 hours
  • Hard

Route and map

Harlech map

12. Cnicht, Snowdonia

Cnicht Snowdonia ©Alamy
Cnicht Snowdonia ©Alamy

Soaring in poetic isolation among Snowdonia’s famed mountains – Tryfan, Glyder Fawr and Carnedd Gwenllian – is Cnicht. Venture into the Moelwynion mountain range and climb through this prehistoric landscape to the pyramidal zenith of mighty mountain.

The route

  • 14.7km/9.1 miles
  • 5.5 hours
  • Hard

Route and map

Cnicht map

13. Marloes Peninsula, Pembrokeshire

Marloes Peninsula, Pembrokeshire
Rainbow above Wooltack Point on the Deer Park in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK ©Drew Buckley

One of the finest stretches on the Pembrokeshire coastline, the Marloes Peninsula takes in a long sandy beach, dramatic rock formations and clifftops of wildflowers.

The route

  • 8.8km/5.4 miles
  • 3 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Marloes Peninsula map

14. Dyffryn Fernant Garden, Pembrokeshire

Dyffryn Fernant gardens
Dyffryn Fernant gardens ©Alamy

Few places talk to the landscape quite like Dyffryn – explore these pretty gardens in Pembrokeshire National Park then step into the hills for a seven-mile loop walk.

The route

  • 11.6km/7.2 miles
  • 4.5 hours
  • Moderate/hard

Map and route

Dyffryn Fernant Garden map

15. Caldey Island, Pembrokeshire

Look for cormorants and other seabirds on the cliffs of Caldey Island
Look for cormorants and other seabirds on the cliffs of Caldey Island ©Getty

Explore the historic Welsh island of Caldey and its Cistercian abbey, where woodlands resound with birdsong and path verges blush pink in spring with clumps of thrift.

The route

  • 5.6km/3.4km
  • 1.5 hours
  • Easy/moderate

Map and route

Caldey Island map

16. Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Iconic Tenby faces north towards First and Second Bay
Iconic Tenby faces north towards First and Second Bay ©Getty

Perched on the western fringes of Carmarthen Bay, the charming seaside towns of Tenby and Saundersfoot are designated conservation areas that offer superb Blue Flag beaches and picturesque harbours. Explore the beaches and seaside towns of south Pembrokeshire’s sandy coast with a seven-mile circular walk.

The route

  • 12km/7.5 miles
  • 4 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Saundersfoot to Tenby map

17. Ramsey Island, Pembrokeshire

group of Guillemots on Skomer Island, Wales
Guillemots are one of many species that make this island their home ©Getty

St. Justinian the hermit sought sanctuary on Ramsey Island in the 6th Century and, if it’s peaceful solitude you’re searching for, then this secluded outcrop is still the perfect place for a day’s retreat. Escape to this isolated Welsh island and ramble over a rugged landscape teeming with wildlife.

The route

  • 4.2km/2.6 hours
  • 1.5 hours
  • Easy/moderate

Map and route

Ramsey Island map

18. Preseli Hills, Pembrokeshire

Winter in the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire looking towards Newport on the coast.
View of the coast from the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire ©Getty

Nordic walking – somewhere between hiking and running – is a great way to explore the British countryside. Try it for yourself with ramble through one of the most captivating prehistoric landscapes in Wales.

The route

  • 9.4km/5.8 miles
  • 3 hours
  • Moderate

Route and map

Presell Hills map

19. Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire

Puffin
Sand eels make up a large park of a puffin’s diet ©Getty

A protected National Nature Reserve since 1959, Skomer Island is one of the most important wildlife sites in Europe. In one day you can see puffins, grey seals, rare wild flowers, stunning views and much more.

The route

  • 5.7km/3.5 miles
  • 1.5 hours
  • Easy/moderate

Map and route

Skomer Island map

20. St David’s Peninsula, Pembrokeshire

Whitesands Bay, Wales
Stroll along the blissful shores of Whitesands Bay ©Getty

This superb coastal walk follows the trails of some of the Dark Age saints, for whom the St Davids Peninsula was a place of pilgrimage, and passes beside the wild waters of Ramsey Sound.

The route

  • 15.1km/9.4 miles
  • 5 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

St Davids Head map

21. Cribyn, Powys

Cribyn, at 795m, sits 101m below the tallest peak in southern Britain, Pen y Fan. But far from inferior, the angular mount affords spectacular views over the surrounding countryside, making it well worth the climb
Often overshadowed by its towering neighbour, Pen y Fan, this verdant mountain in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales is one of Britain’s most understated peaks. ©Alamy

Cribyn, at 795m, sits 101m below the tallest peak in southern Britain, Pen y Fan. But far from inferior, the angular mount affords spectacular views over the surrounding countryside, making it well worth the climb.

The route

  • 18.5km/11.5miles
  • 6 hours
  • Moderate/hard

Map and route

Cribyn map

22. Pen y Fan, Powys

View of snow covered farmland and hills at sunrise, looking from Mynydd Llangorse, Llangorse Lake ©Alamy
View of snow covered farmland and hills at sunrise, looking from Mynydd Llangorse, Llangorse Lake, to Pen y Fan ©Alamy

Pen y Fan is one of the most popular peaks in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Most visitors hike to the mountain top from the Storey Arms – but for a quieter and more rewarding route, take the path up from Taf Fechan Forest past Neuadd Reservoir.

The route

  • 16.7km/10.3 miles
  • 6 hours
  • Hard

Map and route

Pen y Fan map

23. Blorenge, Monmouthshire

Keeper's Pond on the flanks of Blorenge in the Brecon Beacons
Keeper’s Pond on the flanks of Blorenge in the Brecon Beacons ©Getty

The rounded hilltop of Blorenge in the Brecon Beacons National Park was once dominated by industry – now, wildlife flourishes among vast swathes of heather moorland.

The route

  • 10.6km/6.6 miles
  • 3.5 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Blorenge map

24. Llyn y Fan Fach, Camarthenshire

Llyn y Fan Fach, Powys
Llyn y Fan Fach, Powys ©Getty

A four-mile walk in the west of the Brecon Beacons National Park along a bustling river, a lonely llyn and a wild mountain ridge.

The route

  • 6.2km/3.8miles
  • 1.5 hours
  • Easy/moderate

Map and route

Llyn y Fan Fach map

25. Sugar Loaf mountain, Monmouthshire

The summit of Sugar Loaf mountain, Mynydd Pen y Fal, in the Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons national park, Wales at sunrise.
The summit of Sugar Loaf mountain in the Black Mountains Wales ©Getty

In its relatively modest 596m, the summit of Sugar Loaf in the Brecon Beacons National Park encompasses much that is magical about mountains, hills and woodland – explore this wonderful Welsh peak with a five-mile circular walk.

The route

  • 8.4km/5.2 miles
  • 3 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Sugar Loaf mountain, monmouthshire map

26. Llanthony and Hatterall Ridge, Monmouthshire

Llanthony Priory, Wales
Llanthony Priory, Wales ©Getty

Get your heart racing with a 4.5-mile circular walk, ascending from a valley of ancient architecture to the sweeping mountain views of Offa’s Dyke Path.

The route

  • 8km/5 miles
  • 3 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Llanthony Priory map

27. Craig-Cerrig-gleisiad, Powys

Craig Cerrig Gleisiad, Wales
Craig Cerrig Gleisiad, Wales ©Getty

Climb any of the Brecon Beacons and you’ll find a stirring view. But the best of them all is the glowering peak of Craig-Cerrig-gleisiad.

The route

  • 4.4km/2.7 miles
  • 1.5 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Craig Cerrig Glesiad map

28. Carn Pica, Powys

Look out for wild ponies on the ridge up to Carn Pica
Look out for wild ponies on the ridge up to Carn Pica ©Daniel Graham

A five-mile circular walk from Talybont Reservoir to the summit of Carn Pica in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

The route

  • 8.2km/5 miles
  • 3.5 hours
  • Moderate/hard

Map and route

Carn Pica map

29. Llyn Cynwch and the Precipice Walk, Gwynedd

Cadair Idris from the Precipice Walk, Gwynedd
Cadair Idris and the Mawddach Estuary from the Precipice Walk nr Dolgellau Gwynedd Wales. ©Getty

Wander the snaking shores of a Welsh fishing lake, bound by pendulous trees, sky-striving mountains and a Victorian cliff-top walk.

The route

  • 5.5km/3.4 miles
  • 2 hours
  • Easy/Moderate

Map and route

Precipice Walk map

30. Porthmelgan, Pembrokeshire

Coastal path along Porthmelgan, Pembrokeshire
Porthmelgan beach, Pembrokeshire ©Alamy

Sheltered beneath the bulk of St David’s Head and its Iron Age remains is a half-moon of silvery rock and blonde sand known as Porthmelgan – the perfect summer escape.

The route

  • 5.4km/3.4 miles
  • 2 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Map of the route for the Porthmelgan walk, Pembrokeshire