You'll feel amazing

Walking or wheeling with the sea close by is an absolute tonic.

Slowing down, breathing in the fresh air, listening to the hush of the waves, taking in glorious coastal views. What could be more therapeutic? It's the perfect antidote to the stresses and strains of modern life and some people find it genuinely life changing.

A man sitting on a rock overlooking some countryside and the coast.

A moment of calm looking out across the estuary from Great Orme, Llandudno.

Here in Wales, we're serious about sustainable travel too. Walking or wheeling like this fits that bill perfectly. It's low impact, you're supporting coastal communities and you'll leave nothing but footprints or wheel tracks.

Read more: Walking the Wales Coast Path changed my life

You can do as much (or a little) as you want

Walk the Wales Coast Path from start to finish and you'll have covered nearly 870 miles! Some hardy folk walk or ride all the way around it. But there are short smooth sections ideal for toddlers and buggies - with more parts of the path being made more accessible too. There are all manner of longer sections ideal for day walks of varying difficulty, from short strolls to serious stomps.

A woman and two children walking down a steep path to a beach.
Three men in walking gear hiking along the Wales Coast Path with sea views
Young family with baby in back carrier on the Wales Coast Path

Young families and friends walking the Wales Coast Path.

Lots of sections offer up brilliant multi-day hikes with great places to overnight and eat at en route. It's easy to plan your Wales Coast Path walk too. There are plenty of detailed resources online.

Read more: Short walks on the Wales Coast Path

You don't have to walk

Walking is the first activity that comes to mind, but much of the Wales Coast Path is accessible for wheelchairs, bikes, trikes and buggies. These sections are wide, flat and relatively smooth. They cover some glorious bits of the coastline, like the Millennium Coastal Path from Llanelli to Pembrey Forest, the Mawddach Trail between Dolgellau and Barmouth and seafront proms like Rhos on Sea, Llandudno and Llanfairfechan.

Walkers and cyclists on a wide seafront pathway.
Two women using a wheelchair and mobility scooter on the promenade

Cycling on the Millennium Coastal Path at Llanelli and wheeling on Llandudno prom.

There are lots of Wales Coast Path cycling routes too. Or how about hopping onto a saddle of a different kind? Parts of the path are bridleways, so you can explore on horseback. Some super fit people even choose to run the coast path. However you choose to travel, please do share the path responsibly!

 

There's unique heritage to explore

If you're trying to convince kids to get out and walk, what could be better for an adventure than a clifftop castle? There are moody battlements at Llansteffan perched above the Tywi estuary, mighty Caernarfon with its majestic towers, Criccieth high on its headland, Conwy with its huge town walls and many more.

 

Caernarfon castle, North Wales

Other remains are older, like the Roman ruins at Holyhead and the Bryn Celli Ddu and Barclodiad y Gawres neolithic burial chambers. And places of spiritual significance include the tiny sailors' chapels Church of the Holy Cross at Mwnt, St Govans at Stack Rocks and St Trillos at Rhos on Sea. Far bigger are the serene cloisters and soaring aisles of St Davids cathedral, the ancient walls of Penmon Priory and St Dogmaels Abbey.

Inside the church
Sunny image of the side of a small whitewashed church

Church of the Holy Cross at Mwnt in Ceredigion.

Fancy something more romantic? How about the exotic Italianate houses, towers and domes of Portmeirion or the rugged cliffs and spray-filled seas close to one of our many lighthouses?

Read more: Heritage walks on the Wales Coast Path

You can spot all sorts of wildlife

There's an incredible variety of birds, mammals, flowers and cetaceans to see too. Whether you're a proper twitcher or just enjoy spotting birds, you'll be spellbound by the puffins of Skomer, gannets around Grassholm Island, peregrines soaring above Cardigan Bay, stonechats along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast and starling murmurations around Aberystwyth.

Dolphin's dorsal fin and upper body in the sea viewed from aboard a boat
Wild purple clifftop flowers with sea views behind

Spotting dolphins and wild flowers along the Wales coastline in Pembrokeshire.

The waters off the Wales shoreline are home to dolphins and seals at certain times of year. The section north from Aberporth is also wheelchair-friendly, so it’s a good all-access dolphin-spotting point. Or you can hop aboard a sightseeing boat in Cardigan Bay to get a little closer. Keep your eyes peeled at places like Cemaes Head and Strumble Head and you may even see whales, basking sharks, orca and sunfish.

There are unique plant ecosystems too. Like the peat bog of Cors Fochno in the Dyfi Biosphere home to rare fungi in Autumn and unusual carnivorous plants. Extensive sand dune systems dot the coast at places like Harlech, Kenfig, Oxwich and Merthyr Mawr. Here you'll find orchids in Spring and gentians and ladies' tresses in Autumn.

There are beaches for everyone

The coastline in Wales is incredibly varied. Wide crescents of sand perfect for family beach holidays, cosy harbours with fishing boats bumping against quays, perfect spots for catching epic waves, secret coves, lots of accessible beaches and seaside resorts with bustling proms. You really can find the right beach just for you.

Gorgeous Port Eynon beach in the sunshine, Gower Peninsula.

Among the beaches in North Wales there's the idyllic coastal village of Porthdinllaen on the Llŷn Peninsula, the bright lights of Llandudno's north shore and the hidden cove of Porth Padrig on Anglesey. The beaches of West Wales include the spectacular sands and dunes of Three Cliffs Bay, the booming surf of Newgale and the rock pools of Ferryside. South Wales beaches offer up the bright lights of Barry Island, the golden sands of Rest Bay and the Art Deco elegance of Penarth with its lovely old pier.

There are vibrant towns en route

Whilst there are many stretches of the Wales Coast Path that are wonderfully wild, there are lots of lovely spots to stop a while too. Some of our most attractive and atmospheric towns are strung along the coastline. You can stay the night and use them as a base to explore the path, or stop by for a bite and a drink along the way.

Aerial view of Tenby harbour, beach and town.

Friendly harbour towns like Tenby, Aberaeron, Cardigan and Solva have seafood and beaches that are sparkling and fresh. Historic spots protected by mighty castles like Caernarfon, Harlech, Cricceith, Llansteffan, Chepstow and Beaumaris are ideal for a wander. Artistic communities like Borth and Abergwyngregyn always offer the warmest of welcomes. There are plenty of eateries serving tempting food and local shops sell everything you'll need for the perfect picnic.

Read more: Vibrant towns on the Wales Coast Path

There's great food to sample

This close to the sea, you can be sure the fish and shellfish is sparklingly fresh. So once you've tramped or pushed your way along the path, reward yourself with the catch of the day for lunch or dinner. There's plenty to suit all budgets from the amazing seaweed breads and crab sandwiches at Café Mor in Pembrokeshire and super crisp fish and chips at The Shed in Porthgain, to mussels and lobster thermidor at Salty's in Tenby and fine dining at Bryn Williams' bistro in Porth Eirias or Pryd o Fwyd in Ferryside.

bread roll full of lobster.
Close up as colourful chalkboard menu.
A pop-up food business on a beach

Lobster roll, menu and food truck, Cafe Mor, Pembrokeshire.

If you want to pack a picnic there are delis and markets bursting with perfect sandwich fodder. Cardigan, Cardiff, Swansea, Pwllheli, Aberystwyth all have bustling markets. Artisan bakeries like Bara Menyn Bakery in Cardigan can supply the perfect roll too. And if you're feeling creative there are lots of places made for a beach barbecue to round off your day.

And don't forget the ultimate beachy treat! A homemade ice cream. With a rich heritage of Italian immigration, Wales is home to many lipsmacking gelaterias: Parisella's in Conwy, Joe's in Swansea and Cadwaladers at Criccieth and various other spots along the coast to name a few.

Read more: Coastal eateries worth going out of your way for

You can sleep in a tent or a four poster bed

From budget to luxury, there are plenty of sleeping options. Wilder sections of the path inevitably have fewer places to stay, so do plan ahead and know where you'll be resting your head (and your feet).

There are clifftop campsites with amazing views like Three Cliffs and groovy glampsites like Preseli Glamping. There are all kinds of self-catering coastal cottages. B&B accommodation ranges from great value bunkhouses like the funky beachside sleeping pods at Ty Cwch and dorms at Platts Farm in Llanfairfechan to luxury rooms and veggie cuisine at Llainfran Farmhouse and sea views and cosy comfort at The Burrows.

Tents at Three Cliffs Bay Holiday Park on the Gower Peninsula overlooking the beach.
Luxury bedroom with large bed and views of the harbour

Tents at Three Cliffs Bay, Gower Peninsula and a room with a view at Harbourmaster Hotel, Aberaeron.

For some serious snoozing, nod off to tranquil harbour views at Harbourmaster hotel or luxuriate in a four poster room at Bodysgallen Hall. Foodies should try the tasting menu at two Michelin-starred Ynyshir. And if you fancy some pampering after your exertions, try a massage in the Spa at St Brides.

Read more: Luxury Wales Coast Path accommodation

There are lots of resources to plan your trip

If you want to get planning your walk along the Wales Coast Path the official Wales Coast Path website is a great place to start. There are lots of guidebooks with detailed descriptions and maps too. Download the Wales Coast Explorer app as well - it helps you identify wildlife, flora, explore heritage sites along the way, and record your findings.

We've asked author of the Ciccerone guidebook Paddy Dillon to write us a Wales Coast path guide packed with useful information too.

So, what are you waiting for?

A view of a white lighthouse on a cliff surrounded by the sea with pink and blue sky

Strumble Head lighthouse at dusk, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

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