Discover the Wales Coast Path

South Wales Coast and Severn Estuary

Of course, it all begins with a castle. Chepstow is home to a beautifully-preserved fortress and is where the Wales Coast Path begins (or ends, depending on where you start) as well as where it connects to Offa’s Dyke: the path that runs along the Anglo-Welsh border. Heading west, the path takes an exciting urban turn, passing through Wales’ buzzing capital city.

At Cardiff Bay, take a tour around the Senedd (home to the Welsh Parliament). Then, take in a show at iconic international performance venue, the Wales Millennium Centre, before finishing up in one of the area’s lively restaurants or bars.

If you’re feeling more energetic, head for the rapids at Cardiff International White Water Centre. Find beautiful beaches and more along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast between Aberthaw and Porthcawl. Here, you can stop in at Wales’ longest continually inhabited castle, St Donat’s, whose grounds shelter contemporary cultural gem St Donats Arts Centre.

Aerial view of Chepstow Castle
A waterside view of Cardiff's bay area.
View of Monk Nash lighthouse along side the beach., Vale of Glamorgan.

Chepstow, Cardiff Bay and Nash Point Lighthouse - one of the sights on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, South Wales

Gower and Swansea Bay

Gower was the UK’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it’s not hard to see why. Rhossili Bay was recently named best beach in the UK on TripAdvisor, and nearby Three Cliffs Bay can easily claim to have the best campsite views anywhere in Britain, with its majestic vistas across sand dunes, limestone cliffs, and salt marshes.

From Rhossili, check tide times before venturing onto Worm’s Head: a lush tidal island where author Dylan Thomas once got stranded! Surf-lovers can catch waves at Caswell and Langland beaches. The path winds through the city of Swansea to Swansea Marina - an attractive pocket of al fresco cafés, bars, and the free National Waterfront Museum.

Don’t miss Mumbles: a charming fishing village with outstanding ice-cream parlours and attractive bay views from their waterfront development, Oyster Wharf.

 A woman with a baby on her back overlooking a beach
pier viewed from an elevated position.

Rhosilli and Mumbles, Gower Peninsula, West Wales

Carmarthenshire

World land-speed records were set and broken at Pendine in the early 20th century and you can run for free on Cefn Sidan and Pendine Sands - two of Wales’ longest beaches.

Today, adrenaline-seekers can get their thrills kite-buggying, land-yachting, and Blo-karting. Families looking for a more relaxing time will love Pembrey Country Park. The park backs onto Cefn Sidan and offers plenty of activities for the little ones, including bike hire, adventure trails and toboggan rides. You can also grab an ice cream and hire a bike at the striking and contemporary Millennium Coastal Park Discovery Centre in Llanelli.

And don’t miss Laugharne, the coastal town that charmed Dylan Thomas. Visit the Dylan Thomas Boathouse, where he lived and loved, and stop in Browns, his favourite pub and watering hole.

Aerial view of a sandy beach-fronted town.

Millennium Coastal Path, Llanelli, West Wales

Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire is home to 58 beaches, 14 harbours, and the world’s second-best long distance path according to National Geographic. The Wales Coast Path here follows the stunning National Trail, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path; along these 186 miles you’ll encounter the UK’s smallest city, St Davids - home to the splendid St Davids Cathedral and the brooding St Davids Bishop’s Palace.

Of the many beaches, Freshwater West and Marloes Sands caught the eye of multiple film-makers, and have featured in dramatic scenes in Harry Potter, Robin Hood, and Snow White and the Huntsman. If you’re hungry, Coast in Saundersfoot offers a blissful sea-inspired menu located right on the shoreline.

Pembrokeshire is a fantastic place to fling yourself off the coast path and into the water, and we do mean this literally: the addictive adrenaline fuelled sport coasteering was pioneered here, and the Blue Lagoon, Abereiddi has hosted Red Bull’s Cliff Diving World Series multiple times.

A wooden Wales Coast Path signpost pointing along a grassy cliff top pathway.
A rocky beach looking out to sea.

Wales Coast Path - the pathway between St Non's and Caerfai Beach, and Marloes Sands, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

Ceredigion

At sunset, pick any west-facing beach on the Ceredigion stretch of the Wales Coast Path and settle in for a spectacular sight as the sea lights up with the day’s last rays. Spot dolphins and seals from Mwnt’s spiritual and secluded beach, or head on a dedicated boat trip with A Bay to Remember from Cardigan.

Further north is Aberaeron: a pretty town with rainbow and pastel-hued seafront houses. For culture close to the sea, Cardigan’s intimate Theatr Mwldan is well worth a visit - or head to lively Aberystwyth for the striking Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

Aberystwyth Cliff Railway takes you up a funicular to the summit of Constitution Hill for beautiful coastal views.

Beach at Mwnt.

Mwnt, Ceredigion, Mid Wales

Menai, Llŷn and Meirionnydd

Enjoy old-school seaside charm at Aberdyfi and Barmouth; just outside the latter, you will find trendy eatery Norbar ('North of Barmouth') - a sleekly designed bar and restaurant that’s ideal for a pitstop. Between Fairbourne and Barmouth is a particularly beautiful stretch of the path, with views of the Mawddach Estuary plus Cader Idris and the Eryri National Park looming inland.

A trio of commanding coastal castles at Harlech, Criccieth, and Caernarfon will wow you, while magical Portmeirion delights with its whimsical architecture and riotous floral displays.

The Llŷn Peninsula is one of Wales’ least explored but most rewarding areas, where the coast path has a wild, romantic feel. Climb to the headland from Aberdaron and feel like you’re at the edge of Britain - completely at one with nature.

Portmeirion, North Wales
A coastal pathway overlooking an island in blue seas.

Portmeirion, and the Wales Coast Path at Mynydd, Llŷn Peninsula,North Wales

The Isle of Anglesey

Most of Anglesey’s coastal zone is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Enjoy sea, mountain, and forest views as you walk to Llanddwyn Island along the beach. Once there, breathe in the tranquillity of this spiritual site, which is the home and resting place of St Dwynwen: Wales’ patron saint of lovers. At the isle’s western edge is Holyhead, and perched right out to sea is South Stack Lighthouse – a dream location for every photographer.

Back towards the mainland don’t miss Beaumaris Castle, considered the most technically perfect castle in Britain. Fancy seeing Anglesey from another angle? Then hop on board an exhilarating RIB ride, zooming under the impressive bridges that span the Menai Strait. On the trip out to Puffin Island you’ll see the adorable seabirds, as well as seals, cormorants, and old shipwrecks.

People walking on the beach at Llanddwyn Island
A white lighthouse tower on a rocky mound.
Four people on a boat ride with the Menai Bridge behind them

Llanddwyn Island, and a Rib Ride along the Menai Strait, Anglesey, North Wales

North Wales and the Dee Estuary

Historic Conwy Castle and its walls form part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with impeccably preserved buildings and a truly magnificent castle - all just a stone’s throw from the coast.

Synonymous with Lewis Carroll and Alice’s many adventures, Llandudno is a classic seaside town with the glorious Great Orme at its tip. Steep summit trails take in incredible coastal views and there’s even a tram or cable car available for tired legs. Stroll out on Wales’ longest pier at Llandudno – measuring 2,295 feet – and get a culture fix at stylish waterfront arts complex Venue Cymru.

Spot wildlife at Colwyn Bay and enjoy Prestatyn beaches before rounding off the coast path with – of course – another castle! Flint's 13th century castle was the first Welsh castle to be built during King Edward I’s invasion. Also, be sure to stop off at the imposing Talacre lighthouse, on the coastal path route between Prestatyn and Flint.

Overlooking Llandudno town and coast from the Orme.
A lighthouse on a wide, sandy beach.

Llandudno as seen from the Great Orme, and Talacre Lighthouse, North Wales

Find out more

To help plan your trip, take a look at our handy Wales Coast Path guide. Download the Wales Coast Path app - there's plenty of information on there that you won’t find on maps. On the official Wales Coast Path website you'll find some brilliant itineraries - including mindfulness walks, family walks, culture and heritage and multi-day trips.

Download the Wales Coast Explorer app - it helps you identify wildlife, flora, explore heritage sites along the way, and record your findings.

While lots of sections are small child and pushchair friendly, try out the interactive Family walks with a difference for more ideas. There are also details of easy access sections for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility.

And for more inspiration, read 10 great reasons to walk the Wales Coast Path, ideas for luxury accommodation, places to visit and best sections for cycling.

A wooden broadwalk leading to a beach.

Borth-y-Gest, Porthmadog, North Wales

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