Graihagh Jackson - Cottage in Snowdonia National Park
List Words : Graihagh Jackson | 02 August 2019

5 incredibly wild Welsh walks for nature lovers

Ancient castle ruins, heather-strewn paths and sandy shores aplenty, from Offa's Dyke on the border to Pembrokeshire on the coast. Graihagh Jackson reveals Wales' wildest walks...

1. Offa's Dyke

Offa's Dyke (Dreamstime)

Offa's Dyke (Dreamstime)

This walk could easily put off the lily-livered. It's a blister-inducing 177 miles long, winding through eight counties and crossing the Welsh-English border innumerable times. It follows Britain's longest monument and would take two weeks of continuous stomping to complete.

However, there is a less daunting hiking challenge: Vale of Clwyd to Prestatyn is a mere 20 miles and traverses through lavender-set hills and pastoral lands. Thousands of wildfowl and wading birds can be spied in the River Dee estuary at the start of the walk, and further on knock-out views of western Snowdonia can be seen from the Vale's peak. The walk concludes on Prestatyn's sandy beach.

2. Coed-y-Rhaiadr

Waterfall in Brecon Beacons National Park (Shutterstock)

Waterfall in Brecon Beacons National Park (Shutterstock)

This Brecon Beacons forested hideaway is a sight for sore eyes. Welsh for 'waterfall woods', it is not short of rolling streams guarded by rocky shores. Greenery lines the banks, hiding the maroon leaf litter scattered across the forest floor.

Hidden away among the trees are Roman ruins, castles and other ancient earthworks. A beautifully isolated patch, this spot is perfect for walking and, weather permitting, a chilly wild swim too.

3. Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

The Pembrokeshire coast (Shutterstock)

The Pembrokeshire coast (Shutterstock)

Walking the full 186 mile Pembrokeshire coastal path is no easy task – its 35,000 feet of ascent and descent is said to be equivalent to climbing Everest.

The route twists and turns its way through steep limestone cliffs, undulating red sandstone bays, volcanic headlands and flooded glacial valleys. The Angle peninsula is a pretty wild section of the walk, where the brunt of Irish Sea storms attack. It's also home to the rare cushion starfish.

Alternatively, Borough Head has some great cliff-top walks blanketed in spring flowers at this time of year.

4. Snowdonia National Park

Mountains and lakes at Snowdonia National Park (Shutterstock)

Mountains and lakes at Snowdonia National Park (Shutterstock)

5. Worm's Head

The coastline and sea cliffs of Worm's Head at Rhossili on the Gower Peninsula (Shutterstock)

The coastline and sea cliffs of Worm's Head at Rhossili on the Gower Peninsula (Shutterstock)

This unusual rocky feature resembles a serpent semi-submerged in water, winding its way out to sea from the beautiful Rhossili Bay. It's called Worm's Head, meaning 'dragon' when translated from old English.

The walk is only a couple of miles long that races against the tide, so check the tide times before setting off. If you have sharp eyes you'll be able to spot the submerged Helvetia oak barque wreck and seabirds nesting on the cliff face.

 

More amazing walks around the UK:

13 of Scotland's best hikes

3 great walks in Northern Ireland

5 breathtaking road trips in England

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