Summer walks

Climbing a mountain on a hot day or passing through valleys with bustling nature reserves as a constant companion, Wales is simply magnificent on foot during the summer.

Glorious landscapes

Hawthorn Hill, looking towards Radnor Forest on the Offa's Dyke Path near Knighton.

Hawthorn Hill, looking towards Radnor Forest on the Offa's Dyke Path near Knighton.

You're spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a route, but perhaps an obvious place to start with is the Offa's Dyke Path which opened more than 40 years ago and, spanning 176 miles, is one of the National Trails of Britain. It's named after an earthwork thought to have been commissioned by the Mercian King in the 8th century and is the longest ancient monument in Britain.

Almost half its lengthy trail, which stretches from the Severn Estuary to the Irish Sea, follows the course of the ruins. Head out along the rugged paths above Flintshire for uplifting views of the Clwyd Hills, then follow the tracks down and reward yourself with food and drink in a village pub. Chepstow, Welshpool, Prestatyn and Ruthin are a few of the towns you could visit, dotted with incredible castles, monuments from history and enchanting landscapes along almost every step of the way.

Aerial image of Chirk Castle in North Wales

Chirk Castle, North Wales

On the borders, try stopping off at Chirk Castle – a medieval fortress surrounded by bluebell woodlands and ancient trees – or Tŷ Mawr, a country park teeming with animals, set beneath the Cefn Viaduct on the banks of the River Dee. Many of the walks around here are laid out as circular ones, allowing you to keep track of where you are and get familiar with the local area. 

In Ceridigion, where the coastal path follows 60 miles of spectacular coasts, you can pick and choose the challenge you'd like, guided by rivers along the Teifi and Rheidol valleys, and perhaps even aiming for the highest point of Pumlumon, the highest point of mid-Wales and the Cambrian Mountains, and a summit said to be the home of a slumbering giant.

Walk this way

Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay

Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay by Paula J James
A walk around the entirety of Cardiff Bay is only a little more than six miles, and loads of sights will reward you along the way, from the historic Norwegian Church to the iconic Millennium Centre and Victorian pier at Penarth.

A short drive from the Welsh capital is the Wye Valley walk - signposted by a leaping salmon - is notable for its diversity and tranquil canal paths.

Along the Glamorgan heritage coast, towards Nash Point, the caves are linked by limestone and piratical mythology. Between the capital and the beautiful beaches of Swansea Bay (which are also easily accessed by bus, if you fancy trying a few walks), there are numerous walks offering striking views across the Bristol Channel.

South Stack Lighthouse and surrounding cliffs taken from sea

South Stack Lighthouse, Anglesey

Up in Anglesey there are no less than four national nature reserves to explore, as well as the 125-mile Coastal Path.

Snowdonia has over 142 miles of walks along mountains and coastal trails. To help you weave your way through one of the world's most beautiful walking lands visit the Snowdonia National Park and Visit Snowdonia websites.

Wherever you walk in Wales during the summer months, you’re certain to have experiences to share and reflect on for a very long time to come.

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