13. Marloes Peninsula, Pembrokeshire
8.8km/5.4 miles | 3 hours | moderate
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. Charismatic choughs whirl through the air, kestrels hover and, out at sea, grey seals and porpoises play alongside diving gannets.
Marloes Peninsula walking route and map 14. Dyffryn Fernant Garden, Pembrokeshire
11.6km/7.2 miles | 4.5 hours | moderate/hard
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 to Garn Fawr, the largest rocky outcrop on the Mynydd Dinas summit.
Dyffryn Fernantap walking route and map 15. Caldey Island, Pembrokeshire
5.6km/3.4km | 1.5 hours | easy/moderate
Look for cormorants and other seabirds on the cliffs of Caldey Island/Getty
Caldey Island lies a few miles off the magnificent
Pembrokeshire coast of west Wales. It is one of Britain’s Holy Islands and, today, the Cistercian order continues to observe traditions begun in the 6th century by Celtic monks. Explore this historic Welsh island, where woodlands resound with birdsong and path verges blush pink in spring with clumps of thrift.
Caldey Island walking route and map 16. Tenby, Pembrokeshire
12km/7.5 miles | 4 hours | moderate
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.
Tenby walking route and map 17. Ramsey Island, Pembrokeshire
4.2km/2.6 hours | 1.5 hours | easy/moderate
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.
Ramsey Island walking route and map 18. Preseli Hills, Pembrokeshire
9.4km/5.8 miles | 3 hours | moderate
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.
Preseli Hills walking oute and map 19. Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire
5.7km/3.5 miles | 1.5 hours | easy/moderate
Sand eels make up a large park of a puffin’s diet/Getty Alamy
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.
Skomer Island walking route and map 20. St David’s Peninsula, Pembrokeshire
15.1km/9.4 miles | 5 hours | moderate
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 area is home to a wealth of wildlife, from dolphins and porpoise to peregrines and chough.
St Davids Peninsula walking route and map 21. Cribyn, Powys
18.5km/11.5miles | 6 hours | moderate/hard
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
Amid the lumps, bumps and rounded humps that form the ridgelines of the Brecon Beacons, sits Cribyn. It’s the kind of peak a child may draw; pyramidal and stacked with brawn. Yet in spite of its mountain status, its summit is neither as high nor as insurmountable as you may imagine.
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.
Cribyn walking route and map 22. Pen y Fan, Powys
16.7km/10.3 miles | 6 hours | hard
View of snow-covered farmland and hills at sunrise, looking from Mynydd Llangorse 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.
Pen y Fan walking route and map 23. Blorenge, Monmouthshire
10.6km/6.6 miles | 3.5 hours | moderate
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. The landscape bears scars from all this activity; coal mining has left black furrows in the hillside, evidence of limestone and ironstone quarries litter the landscape and bell pits pockmark the ground behind the car park. Now, wildlife flourishes among vast swathes of heather moorland.
Blorenge walking route and map and route 24. Llyn y Fan Fach, Camarthenshire
6.2km/3.8miles | 1.5 hours | easy/moderate
Llyn y Fan Fach seen from the western edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park/Getty
Parking up in the small, gravel car park, you’ll already be aware of the solitude of this part of the Brecon Beacons – it’s the quiet understudy to the neighbouring central peaks of Pen y Fan, Corn Du and Cribyn, yet certainly no less spectacular.
Follow this easy four-mile walk in the west of the Brecon Beacons National Park along a bustling river, a lonely llyn and a wild mountain ridge.
Llyn y Fan Fach walking route and map
25. Sugar Loaf mountain, Monmouthshire
8.4km/5.2 miles | 3 hours | moderate
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.
Sugar Loaf walking route and map 26. Llanthony and Hatterall Ridge, Monmouthshire
8km/5 miles | 3 hours | moderate
Llanthony Priory sits in the Vale of Ewyas/Getty
This energetic circular walk meanders in and out of the Brecon Beacons National Park, negotiating the scenic Hatterall Ridge that separates England from Wales. Lying in the Vale of Ewyas, the evocative ruins of Llanthony Priory, a 12th-century Augustinian abbey, can also be enjoyed. Get your heart racing with a 4.5-mile circular walk.
LLanthony Priory walking route and map 27. Craig-Cerrig-gleisiad, Powys
4.4km/2.7 miles | 1.5 hours | moderate
As you climb the steep paths to the top of Craig Cerrig Gleisiad, look out for nesting peregrine falcons and the star of the reserve, the ring ouzel/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.
This raven-haunted buttress is studded with steep crags that have prevented sheep from grazing rare sub-Alpine plants such as the delightful purple saxifrage. It means that the flora here is richer and more interesting than elsewhere in the national park. And so are the birds.
28. Carn Pica, Powys
8.2km/5 miles | 3.5 hours | moderate/hard
Look out for wild ponies on the ridge up to Carn Pica/Daniel Graham Daniel Graham
This mountain in the east of the Brecon Beacons National Park rises more than 750m above sea level. You can approach it from the long, sprawling mass of Bryn and the boggy uplands of Waun Rydd, or from the west and the Central Peaks of Pen y Fan and Cribyn. Perhaps the most exhilirating way to reach the summit, however, is from the east and Talybont Reservoir. It’s a steep route to the top, but a quiet one, perfect for those seeking a little solitude in the hills.
Carn Pica walking route and map 29. Llyn Cynwch and the Precipice Walk, Gwynedd
5.5km/3.4 miles | 2 hours | easy/moderate
Cadair Idris and the Mawddach Estuary from the Precipice Walk nr Dolgellau Gwynedd Wales/Getty Getty
Llyn Cynwch is a conversation between the elements, an expression of light, an intervention of rain, a murmur of breeze. The undersides of overhanging leaves reflect light from its surface. Tree trunks stripe its bed with shadows, interrupted by ripples. Wander the snaking shores of this Welsh fishing lake, bound by pendulous trees, sky-striving mountains and a Victorian cliff-top walk.
The Precipice walking route and map 30. Porthmelgan, Pembrokeshire
5.4km/3.4 miles | 2 hours | moderate
Porthmelgan beach, Pembrokeshire/Alamy Alamy
A s mall valley dotted with signs of ancient habitation runs through the moorland of St David’s Head. The vale ends at Porthmelgan cove, where its stream flows into the rolling sapphire waters of Whitesands Bay .
The cove is carved into soft shale, flanked with harder rock that makes up the protective promontories that form the bay. When the tide is out, the sandy beach invites exploration of rock pools and a cave.
Porthmelgan walking route and map 31. Three Cliffs Bay, Gower, Swansea
6 miles/4km | 3 hours | moderate
Three Cliffs Bay, Gower Peninsula, South Wales
The cliffs of this bay are triangles of a single promontory, swimming out like a dragon to guard a beach brightly ringed by Pennard Pill river, which has squirmed through the saltmarsh to reach it.
At high tide, Great Tor in the west grants seclusion. But at the tide’s ebb, Three Cliffs Bay merges with Tor Bay, Oxwich Bay and Pobbles Bay – with its dramatic cliffs and caves – to create one vast dazzling magnitude of sand.
Follow a footpath past bone-filled caves, a romantic ruin and a winding river, down to a beach bathed in low winter light on this moderate-level, six-mile hike along Three Cliffs Bay.
Three Cliffs Bay walking route and map