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5th May 2012
After months of improvements and investment into Welsh walking trails, the new coastal path has officially opened to walkers
As of today, Wales' 870-mile long coastal path is open to everyone who enjoys a walk in some of Britain's most scenic seascapes. Wales is the only country in the world with a continuous path around its entire coast. The walk winds along the shoreline from Chester, along the mouth of the River Dee, over to the Isle of Anglesey, across the golden sands of Pembrokeshire and the Gower before finishing at Chepstow.
“What I like about the Wales Coast Path is the fact it's a living path, not just an 870-mile yomp for the sake of it,” said Wanderlust contributor and guidebook author David Atkinson, having walked three new sections of the path. “I took my time over sections of the path, meeting local characters and getting a feel for places along the way. I found lots of human stories – from folklore to modern-day pilgrimages – that really brought my walks to life.”
The official opening is being celebrated around the country, with three events taking place today in Roald Dahl Plas, Cardiff Bay; Aberystwyth Promenade; and Flint Castle as well as more events taking place throughout the summer. This includes a series of walking festivals too.
Some sections of the route were already open to walkers, namely the coastal paths that stretched around the Isle of Anglesey, Pembrokeshire and the Ceredigion. Now these long-distance paths have been joined and then connected to Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail, providing 1,030 miles of walking right around the Welsh border.
Officially, the complete route is open today. The whole path has undergone a series improvements, including a set of new Wales Coast Path signposts. Thanks to the investments, the route is now also more accessible to not just walkers, but cyclists, wildlife enthusiasts and wheelchair users.
The variety of Welsh coastline boasts varied levels of hiking difficulty, from slogging-your-guts-out to gentle strolls, and supports a wide range of interests. For instance, bird lovers will be able to spot puffin, guilemot and shearwater in Pembrokeshire and for heritage lovers, there are Norman castles and Iron Age hill forts to explore near the mouth of Ewenny River.
David told Wanderlust which segments he loves to walk: “My favourite sections are the Llyn Peninsula for pristine coastal walking, the submerged forest at Borth in Ceredigion for a frisson of spooky Welsh folklore. While Carmarthenshire is not my favourite stretch overall, I have a very special place in my heart for Laugharne, walking in the footsteps of Dylan Thomas and reading his poems inspired by the views of the estuary."
For more information on walking in Wales take a look our new Discover Wales website
Find out more about the new Welsh coast path here | Discover Wales... More
Discover Wales with our new Welsh-themed website | Discover Wales... More
Win a luxurious short break in Wales | Competitions... More
Top spots for coasteering, kayaking and surfing in Wales | Discover Wales... More
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The Isle of Man was the first country to have a footpath around its' coast - I'll be blogging about it soon http://www.holiday-island.co.uk
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