Wales is only half the size of The Netherlands, yet it’s packed with mountain ranges, lush valleys, rugged coastline and little market towns. This makes for excellent walking country whether clients want to walk independently or with a guide.
If you're organising a walking holiday or just want to include a walk in your itinerary there are lots of operators offering guided and self-guided walking tours and luggage transfers.
The National Parks have all featured in Lonely Planet's top 500 Ultimate UK Travelist, a high accolade from one of the world's most recognised travel media specialists.
National Trails ensure high quality walking, with good way-marking and facilities.
Pembrokeshire Coast Path
The 186 mile (299 km) trail is one of Britain’s most popular long distance paths. After passing through the resorts of Tenby, Pembroke and Milford Haven, the route sticks to the beautiful coastline of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park to reach the tiny cathedral city of St Davids, before heading north to Fishguard and St Dogmaels, in the shadow of the Preseli Hills.
Offa’s Dyke Path
This trail is a dramatic crossing of Wales from south to north. It follows loosely the line of King Offa of Mercia’s original ditch and bank and, in doing so, follows approximately the line of the official border between Wales and England. Varied terrain and views are guaranteed.
The latest of the National Trails which crosses incredibly varied Mid Wales countryside, is by far the least used of the National Trails, but passes a succession of unspoilt outposts, and scenery from gently rolling farmland to barren and moors.
Brecon Beacons National Park
The Brecon Beacons National Park provides walkers with stunning scenery, rugged landscapes, waterfalls, castles, moorland and of course, mountains. Walks are graded from easy to hard. Details of distance and time each route will take are provided on the website along with a downloadable map. They also provide details of an eight day walking holiday named The Beacons Way which allows walkers to explore the entirety of the 99 mile (159 km) park.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
With 240 square miles (620 sq km) of park to discover, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is a special place to plan a walk, which has the most blue flag beaches in the country and is only ten miles away from the coast wherever you are in the park. There are 200 circular 'web walks' to choose from including easy access, gentle strolls and half day routes. The south of the park features limestone cliffs hugging the coastline whilst the north has more a rugged landscape with hills, glacial valleys and volcanic headlands.
Snowdonia National Park
There is plenty of information provided for walking in Snowdonia National Park. The website categorises walks from easy, moderate, hard and accessible, providing the distance and an average time to complete the walk. There are step by step route details as well as maps, images and films.
Snowdonia National Park Authority has developed a simple to use GPS-enabled app for walking Mount Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa). It covers the 6 main paths to the summit with detailed route maps that tracks your clients progress as they ascend and help them plan ahead before visiting. The app works offline, meaning no internet or phone signal is required when using on the mountain. Each map also includes contour information to look out for hazardous sections. Download the Snowdon Walks App on the App Store or get it on Google Play.
Wales Coast Path
The Wales Coast Path is 870 miles (1,400km) of dedicated footpaths which span around the entire coastline of Wales and was the first country in the world to provide such a walking trail. The website provides self guided themed itineraries including Culture and Heritage, Mindfulness and Wow walks. There are also details about the Wales Coast Path app which can be downloaded for Apple iOS and Android devices.
National Trust Walking in Wales
National Trust list many places to walk in Wales, including seasonal, legendary and coastal walks. From strolls to hikes they provide comprehensive details which are print friendly or downloadable on a mobile or tablet.
'Cambrian Way' walking trail
The walking trail was first designed by Tony Drake 50 years ago. Residing in Gloucestershire, he enjoyed walking in Wales and left money to Ramblers Cymru following his death to complete the trail. The 298 mile (480 km) walking trail links the coasts from South to North Wales and is both scenic and challenging.
The way-marked route named ‘Cambrian Way’ starts in Cardiff and ends in Conwy and could take around three weeks to complete.
Taking in sites including Devil’s Bridge, the Black Mountains, and Barmouth, walkers will need maps to ensure they stay on the path as some of the sections cannot be way-marked due to feasibility.
Maps and guidebooks can be found on the Cambrian Way website.
Heart of Wales Line Trail
This scenic rail route is a long distance walking trail which weaves between stations along the Heart of Wales Line. It offers visitors and walkers a chance to explore Wales and the Borders by rail and on foot, without the car.
There are plenty of way-marked routes to choose from which can be downloaded from the Heart of Wales Line Trail website.
Dark Skies in the Cambrian Mountains
- Y Star Inn Car Park, Dylife, Powys
- Y Bwa / The Arch, Coedwig, Cwmystwyth Forest
- Pont ar Elan Car Park, Cwm Elan Valley
- Coed Y Bont, Pontrhydfendigaid
- Hostel Dolgoch, Tregaron
- Hostel Ty’n Cornel, Llanddewi Brefi
- Cronfa Ddŵr Llyn Brianne Reservoir, Rhandirmwyn
- Mynydd Llanllwni Mountain, Llanllwni, Sir Gâr/Carmarthenshire
- Llanerchaeron National Trust
The Wales Coast Path and the three National Trails in Wales have created a tool kit to help the Travel Trade incorporate walking into itineraries. It provides ideas for places to stay, eat and drink, where to shop and things to do along the trails. It also provides practical information regarding transport links and coach parking, examples of visitor experiences and useful links to further information.
Check out walks which are featured in the BBC One Wales 'Weatherman Walking' series, starring Wales' popular weatherman, Derek Brockway - with downloadable maps to follow.
The ramblers website has lots of useful information on walking including routes, events and guided walks.
Other useful walking links, many highlighting a variety of walks with detailed information and maps:
Countryfile magazine walks
Geotours App for Fforest Fawr Geopark
Natural Resources Wales
Visit Wales – Wales Coast Path
Visit Wales – walking information including Wales' long distance walking trails
Walking in Mid Wales
Walking in North Wales
Walking in Snowdonia
Please remember the Countryside Code when walking. You can download a copy on the Natural Resources Wales website.