Gentle walking and rambling routes in inland Wales
Where to start? A lovely 10.8km / 6.7mile Mid Wales ramble, starting at Aberhosan, near the historic town of Machynlleth, will do just nicely. You can stroll along part of Glyndŵr’s Way National trail, past a memorial statue of respected broadcaster and writer Wynford Vaughan Thomas with views of Cadair Idris. The 540 acre Glaslyn Nature Reserve also attracts birds of prey like the red kite, the merlin and peregrine falcon.
A stroll back in history...
Walkers in Chepstow, Wye Valley
Wintour's Leap Walk is a circular 6.6km / 4.1mile walk along the Welsh-English border in Monmouthshire. Starting in the ancient town of Chepstow, which features the oldest stone castle in Britain, dating back to the 11th century. The route passes the deserted village of Lancaut and along to Wintour’s Leap – the 200 foot high cliffs where 17th century ironmaster Sir John Wintour is thought to have galloped off into the Wye below to escape pursuing Parliamentarians during the English Civil War.
An ascent of what’s known as the Matterhorn of Wales might seem a little more than a gentle ramble. But fear not, the 6.3km / 3.9mile walk follows a route from the small village of Croesor to the peak of the Cnicht mountain in Snowdonia is nothing like as brutal as its billing. It also offers unforgettable panoramic views over the peaks of Snowdonia.
The 120 feet high (37m) waterfall at Aber Falls is the main attraction of this 7.5km / 4.7mile walk near the village of Abergwyngregyn, once a stronghold of the Welsh Princes of Gwynedd. The route also takes in parts of The North Wales Path and the North Wales Pilgrims Way, which feature a number of Bronze age settlements and standing stones.
Sugar Loaf Mountain
Unlikely though it is to be confused with the Sugar Loaf mountain overlooking Rio de Janeiro, the conical peak of the Sugar Loaf hill, near the Monmouthshire market town of Abergavenny, is a no less distinct element of the landscape. The 7.4km / 4.6mile circular route from the National Trust car park offers striking views of the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons, as well as the Severn Estuary to the south.
A place with an 'Ugly House'
Pont-y-Pair in Betws-y-Coed, SnowdoniaThe village of Betws-y-Coed in the Snowdonia National Park is a hotspot for lovers of the great outdoors. This 6.1km / 3.8mile walk takes in forest woodland, the Miner’s Bridge, Swallow Falls and lovely views of the Llugwy river, before happening upon the mysterious Ugly House, a pretty stone cottage of mysterious origin. Whether it’s a 15th century robbers’ hideout, or a Victorian folly is open for debate. What’s undisputed is the quality of the honey produced in the cottage garden’s beehives and the broad range of homemade produce available at the Pot Mêl Tearoom.
There is superb walking country on the very doorstep of Cardiff, the Welsh capital. One of the most atmospheric inland trails nearby is the 8.9km / 5.5mile walk through the village of Gwaelod-y-Garth over Garth Hill, which is said to have inspired the book and subsequent movie, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, starring Hugh Grant. A stroll up to the top of the Garth will be rewarded with views over Cardiff and across to the Bristol Channel.
Take a stroll around Llangollen...
Valle Crucis Abbey, Llangollen, BorderlandsPicturesque Llangollen and the 8.8km / 5.5mile walk from the 14th century bridge on the River Dee is a cracking stroll through the rich history of the area. The Valle Crucis Abbey was the last Cistercian abbey built in Wales at the turn of the 13th century. Castell Dinas Brân built a few decades later as a stronghold for the Princes of Powys, established on the ground of an iron-age hill fort dating back to 600BC. And while the Llangollen Canal is a more recent addition to the fabric of Denbighshire life, it’s no less irresistible for walking enthusiasts.
Just 20 miles or so from Llangollen are the Clwydian Hills and this 11.2km / 7 mile walk along this designated Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a nice and easy walk with unforgettable views of this stretch of walking paradise.
More walking holidays in Wales