7 Stunning Spots for Running in Wales
Whether you are training for a specific event like the Cardiff Half Marathon or you enjoy running for fun, get back to nature with these beautiful all abilities running routes across the Welsh countryside.
Pembrokeshire's undulating hills and expansive coastal paths make it a fun place to run. For a slightly challenging four-mile run, try this circular route from Whitesands Bay. It takes you around a rugged stretch of the peninsular that passes alongside valleys, a stream, rockscapes and an Iron Age coastal fort. The terrain is a mix of sandy paths, ancient volcanic rock, muddy track and fields.
Wales' capital city has many parks to run in, but one of the best is Bute Park. Starting at the Cardiff Castle entrance to the park, head right towards Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Continue onto Blackweir Fields, which has a fitness trail for mid-run press-ups, then cross over Blackweir bridge. Catch your breath as you watch cascading water below and take in the view over the Taff. Finally, head back to where you started by sticking alongside the Taff towards town, looking out for cormorants, kingfishers and herons as you go.
Between Pentyrch and Gwaelod y Garth in South Wales, the Garth Mountain – or The Garth as it is locally known – is a popular climb for walkers and runners. It's a grassy hill with pine forests, waters, rocky outcrops and farmland, as well as sections that fall within a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. There are four main paths, but it's the sort of place where you could find your own way to the summit after a little practice.
This treat of a trail stretches 55 miles between Cardiff and Brecon, allowing cyclists, walkers and runners to take in some of Wales' natural beauty. Depending on which leg of it you decide to try, you could see waterfalls (e.g. Pontsarn Blue Pool), reservoirs (e.g. Pontsticill), waterways (e.g. Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal), castles (e.g. Castell Coch) and much more besides. Check the Sustrans website for details on individual routes.
Some of the country's most challenging runs are in and around Snowdonia. They are best taken on with local running guides, such as Run Snowdonia, as it can be hard to know which routes are the safest for runners otherwise. You can sandwich long flat lengths along ridges between craggy rock faces and steep hills all in the space of a day. In doing so, you'll be treated to miles of breathtaking views and crisp mountain air.
For rugged routes across moorland and track in North Wales, head to the Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre. From here, you can choose from their many marked routes, all of which have great views and vary in difficulty. Depending on which way you go, you could see dramatic Snowdonia ranges, waters at Prestatyn or even badgers and otters.
South Stack, AngleseyAt 130 miles long, the Isle of Anglesey coastal path offers trails for all abilities. Together it spans the majority of the island's coastline and links up twenty towns via rocky cliffs, farmland, dunes, marshes and woodland as well as surfaced roads. Depending on the route, you could take in Holyhead Mountain, the Menai Suspension bridge, Cemlyn Nature Reserve, South Stack lighthouse or other beautiful sights.