5 walking regions for a great escape
Come west, walkers. Whether you prefer celebrated mountain tracks or quiet hillside paths, whether you come for a week or just on a spare weekend, your ideal getaway is closer than you think.
Snowdonia National Park
The Welsh name Eryri derives from eyr (eagle) and nowhere in southern Britain matches Snowdonia for grandeur. This is a landscape forged by volcanic fire and ice. For every seven-hour hike up Snowdon via Crib Goch’s knife-edge ridge there’s a short waterfall ramble. And the views on both are magic.
North East Wales
The Berwyn and Clywdian Hills are often bypassed for Snowdonia. Yet from the Berwyn ridge you get all the views and none of the crowds. You’ll also see a waterfall higher than Niagara at Pistyll Rhaedaer, a wraparound panorama of North Wales from Moel Famau in the Clwydian Hills and Offa’s Dyke yokes both regions for a longer walk.
Brecon Beacons National Park
Hardened hillwalker or gentle stroller: the Brecon Beacons National Park provides as much adventure as you want. A geology of remote limestone uplands and gorgeous river valleys means there’s lots of walks, try a hike up the famous Pen y Fan, ambles along the Monmouthshire canal or walks from the Usk Valley between the waterfalls. All within an hour of Cardiff.
Pembrokeshire Coast Path
Pembrokeshire is Britain’s only coastal National Park. Walk here to follow ragged seacliffs to secret strands, walk through wildflowers and wilder hills, see peregrines and porpoises. The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path reveals it slowly over 15 fabulous days or there are over 200 short circuits to tick off – we love the lily ponds of Bosherton.
The Gower Peninsula
For walkers the Gower Peninsula, the UK’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is a joy. There are far too many options on its 15-mile peninsula: ragged cliffs from Port Eynon to the Worm’s Head at Rhossili or beautiful Three Cliffs Bay; the bird-busy saltmarshes of North Gower or high heath traversed by the Gower Way. All accessible from Swansea.