Wales is home to just over three million people, giving you plenty of opportunities to discover a quiet corner of its vast countryside. It has an 870-mile footpath that runs the entire length of the country’s coastline, not to mention several long-distance tracks that include passing through mountains, hills, and riverbanks. So, if you are thinking of going on a trekking adventure in Wales, you are sure to have a wonderful experience.
Here are some of the best treks in Wales you need to try.
Trek Mount Snowdon
Snowdown is the highest mountain in England and one of the most recognisable landmarks in Wales. It’s part of a family of jagged peaks offering views of Anglesey, Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire, and Ireland. Depending on your skill level and other factors, you can choose from six different routes when trekking Snowdon.
Before you set off, make sure you carefully plan your route and choose the most suitable path according to your fitness level. If this is your first time climbing Snowdon, it is best to take the Llanberis path. Take note that getting to the summit is just half the battle. You also need to be vigilant when descending the mountain. At this point, you will already be tired and are at high risk of slipping or tripping.
The Llanberis Path may be the easiest of all routes, but it’s also the longest. Some tourists would be carried up to this path on mules and ponies. At 9 miles long, it could take approximately six hours to ascend and descend the Llanberis Path.
Trek the Pembrokeshire Coast
Spanning 186 miles, passing through 58 beaches and 14 harbours, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is one of the best treks in Wales you need to try. Eighty-five per cent of the path runs through Britain’s only coastal National Park with a landscape that features rugged coast and golden beaches backed by rolling hills and stunning mountains.
There are hundreds of different routes to choose from, but some famous walks are the Cemaes Head, Porthgain to Whitesands, Stackpole, and Deer Park to Dale. If you’re a beginner, the Cemaes Head, which is 5 miles long, would be a great choice. You will find interesting bird species nesting at the highest cliffs, such as fulmars and cormorants. There are also more seals here than anywhere else in Wales. The longest of all four walks is the Deer Park to Dale, which is 12 miles long. It will take you to an Iron Age hillfort, with views of the Skomer Island, often clouded with seabirds.
To get the most of your trek in Pembrokeshire Coast, consider camping along the way. There are many motorhome campsites in Wales and several around Pembrokeshire to choose from. Wild camping is not allowed unless you have permission from the landowner. But many people are doing it, especially when trekking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
Trek the Pen Y Fan Horseshoe
The Pen Y Fan Horseshoe ridge circular hike is one of the most popular treks in Wales. It will take you to Pen Y Fan. At 886 metres above sea level, it is South Wales’ highest peak.
Depending on your level of experience, there are various paths you can take when trekking Pen Y Fan. The easiest and quickest way is to start at Pont ar Daf car park. It’s only four miles long and has an elevation of less than 450 metres, so it’s pretty much manageable. The path is also known as “The Motorway”, as it’s one of the most popular routes and the busiest. So, expect a stream of trekkers if you attempt to take this route.
Another route is to start from Storey Arms. Also known as the “Military Route”, this path is about 4.5 miles long with an elevation of 530 metres. It will start from the Storey Arms Outdoor Centre, with a chance to climb the Corn Du summit.
Trek Llanberis to Cwm Idwal
The dramatic Cwm Idwal may be a bit rugged and mountainous, but it’s a straightforward walk that trekkers of all levels can conquer. With views overlooking the rocky facade of Twll Du, the paths around Cwm Idwal are pretty decent, although there are some rougher sections, especially when you get to the start of the ascent at Cwm Idwal.
If you want your trek to be a bit more challenging, take the higher path towards Twll Du instead of crossing at the lake’s head. The route to Cwm Idwal would be a straightforward walk from the visitor centre, with the loop around the back wall adding some challenges if you wanted to add it to your walk. You can choose to walk only up to Llyn Idwal and go back if you find the trek too difficult.
The important thing to remember is that it’s possible to cut through the head of Llyn Idwal early on, and you don’t need to continue to Twll Du by mistake. It’s important to note that the crossing is a little bit wet, so make sure to wear proper hiking boots to avoid slipping.
Trek the Brecon Beacons
The Brecon Beacons National Park offers some of the most scenic walking trails in Wales, with its rugged mountains, stunning rivers, haunting moorland, deep gorges, and cosy valley settlements. There are many paths you can take when trekking the Brecon Beacons. You can choose to conquer it yourself but doing a Secret Compass expedition is highly recommended. The Secret Compass organises small group trekking expeditions even to the most remote places in Wales.
One of the most popular routes in the Brecon Beacons is through the Sugar Loaf in Monmouthshire. It’s a short but satisfying climb at just under 2,000 feet. Starting at the top end of Sugar Loaf Car Park, follow the path with the National Trust Sign going north before going east to tackle the summit. Continue to walk through the steep and rocky ascent heading to the mountaintop, which opens to the sweeping views of the Usk Valley and the Brecon Beacons. From here, you can retrace your steps back to the Sugar Loaf Car Park.