We may not be able to venture far from home right now, but we can still plan our next walk post-lockdown. It’s always good to have an adventure coming up, after all. Looking for ideas? Wales has it all, from rugged coastlines to majestic mountains and unique islands. Here are the best walks to try when we can next pull on our walking boots and explore the great outdoors.

Coastal walks

Did you know that Wales has a path covering its entire coastline? The Wales Coast Path is the world’s first continuous route along a country’s coast, an epic 870 miles. The beginning – or end – of the route in Chepstow is not to be missed. Visit Monmouthshire notes that it’s a 14 mile, largely level trail from the town to the village of Magor, taking in views of Chepstow Bridge, Caldicot Castle and the Severn Estuary as you go. Before you start, don’t forget to take a picture with the stones that mark the beginning/end of the Wales Coast Path – a must-do!

Welsh coastal path walks
Welsh coastal path walks

Further west, the Gower Peninsula – the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – is packed with photo-worthy spots and spectacular walks. One option is the clifftop route from the pretty Port Eynon to the village of Rhossili. It’s around 7 miles and quite a challenging trail but worth the effort for the stunning scenery. You’ll pass Worm’s Head, a tidal island that marks the Gower’s most westerly point. At the end of the route, you’ll look out over the award-winning Rhossili Bay, a vast expanse of golden sand that’s been named one of the world’s best beaches. If you’re searching for a spot for lunch you could do worse than stop here. Rhossili Bay was once named Best Picnic Spot by The British Guild of Travel Writers.

Find out more with the Ordnance Survey map of Wye Valley and Forest of Dean (for Chepstow) and map of the Gower Peninsula

Mountain routes

There are plenty of mountains to choose from in Wales, but Snowdon rises above the rest as the go-to for seasoned walkers. At 1,085 metres tall, it’s Wales’ highest mountain, towering over Snowdonia National Park. There are six suggested routes up the Welsh giant, all of which are suitable for more experienced walkers. Visit Snowdonia notes that the 9-mile Llanberis Path is the longest but easiest of the routes. Whichever path you choose, on a clear day you’ll be rewarded with epic views from the summit. It’s a vista that’s topped the list of 20 best British views and it’s easy to see why.

View of Brecon Beacons National Park from Pen Y Fan
View of Brecon Beacons National Park from Pen Y Fan

Cader Idris (or Cadair Idris), in the south of Snowdonia National Park, is as famed for its views as its myths and legends. To some, it’s the mythical ‘chair’ of the Welsh giant Idris, who created his mountainous seat in this breath-taking spot. When you reach the summit, 893 metres high, you’ll be rewarded with views across the national park and all the way to the coast. Visit Wales recommends walking one of three recognised routes to the top, all of which take around five to seven hours to complete.

If you’re a less experienced walker, why not try Pen y Fan? It’s the Brecon Beacons’ tallest peak at 886 metres, but some paths to the summit are suitable for more gentle hikes. One walk handily starts in the Pont ar Daf car park, taking you on a four-mile circular route. Looking for more of an adventure? The Welsh Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing Snowdon, Cader Idris and Pen y Fan, commonly in under 24 hours – an impressive achievement!

Plan your walks with maps of Snowdon, Cadair Idris & Bala Lake and Pen y Fan

Island adventures

With so much to explore on the mainland, it’s easy to forget about all the wonderful islands Wales has to offer. The largest, Anglesey, is packed with walking routes. It’s home to the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path, a 130-mile trail that’s within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a clue to the quality of the scenery. The route generally takes well over a week to complete but has been divided into 12 more manageable sections. If you do complete the whole route though, you can be rewarded with a certificate and a badge – a lovely reminder of your adventure.

Ynys Llanddwyn in Anglesey
Ynys Llanddwyn in Anglesey

If it’s wildlife you’re after, the Pembrokeshire islands won’t disappoint. Ramsey Island, a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds sanctuary, is easily accessible on a short boat ride from the mainland. It’s a birdwatchers’ paradise, with choughs, guillemots and Manx shearwaters just some of the creatures you can spot. Look down from the island’s cliff tops in late summer to autumn, and you might see some of the many grey seal pups being born on the island round this time. Ramsey’s main circular route is 3.5 miles long but there are shorter paths to choose from as well. Further south lie Pembrokeshire’s Skomer and Skokholm islands, both of which are renowned havens for wildlife, too. Both are famed for their populations of puffins and Manx shearwaters, making walks on the islands something quite spectacular.

Explore more with Ordnance Survey maps of Anglesey, North Pembrokeshire (for Ramsey Island) and South Pembrokeshire (for Skomer and Skokholm)

City strolls

Wales is rightly known for its stunning rural walks but there are pleasant strolls to be had in its cities as well. Cardiff’s Roath Park and Bute Park come highly recommended for short, accessible walks in the capital. Want to venture further? The Cardiff Bay Trail is a circular route of around 6 miles and offers plenty of attractions to spot en route. Look out for the Norwegian Church, Senedd Cymru (Welsh Parliament) and Wales Millennium Centre. Enjoy views of Cardiff Bay and the Severn Estuary as you cross the Cardiff Bay Barrage, and don’t forget to watch the boats bobbing on the water at Penarth Marina.

Scott Monument in the autumn sunshine at Roath Park Lake, Cardiff, South Wales
Scott Monument in the autumn sunshine at Roath Park Lake, Cardiff, South Wales

Heading north west, Wales’ second largest city, Swansea, is also worth exploring on foot. The walk from Swansea Bay along the Promenade to Mumbles Pier is a pretty one, passing Clyne Gardens and Singleton Park – perfect for picnic stops in the summer. It’s around three miles long, making it ideal for a short stroll. If you prefer your cities compact, then give St David’s a go. Located in Pembrokeshire, it’s the UK’s smallest city, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in stunning scenery. It’s a gentle, downhill walk from the visitor centre through the quaint high street, to St David’s Cathedral in the valley below. The Cathedral sits next to the remains of the Bishop’s Palace, which is also worth exploring. When you’ve finished looking round there are plenty of pubs and cafes nearby for a well-deserved rest.

Discover more with maps of Cardiff, Swansea and St David’s

Wherever you walk on your adventure, make sure you do it safely. Adventure Smart is a great resource for outdoor safety tips in Wales and Visit Wales has some important advice for visitors to Wales’ national parks, too.

Dennis Maps is one of the leading map printers in the world, producing more than two million maps and charts every year. We offer comprehensive pre-press services, large format print solutions using both large format litho printing and large format digital print technologies, plus specialised map folding and map finishing techniques.

Please share