5 Best Long Distance Hikes in Wales
Wales has some of the most beautiful and dramatically changing scenery in the UK, second only to Scotland we think! If you’re looking for a challenge or an adventure with a difference, why not pack a bag with a tent and stove and take to the hills and valleys of Cymru. Get closer to nature, travel through little trodden spaces and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that it was your legs that got you there, with a bit of help from Jelly Babies of course!
All of the routes pass through some kind of civilisation so taking the luxury option of bunkhouses or BandBs is also possible, great for those wanting to fast pack or enjoy the routes in a bit more luxury.
All of these routes have their own challenges and we recommend that you know how to use a map and compass, have the right gear and do some research before embarking on your adventure! If you need some advice we’d be happy to help, alternatively check out our beginners guide to hiking.
Distance – 95 miles
Crossing the Brecon Beacons national park from West to East, the Beacons Way takes in some spectacular scenery and many of the main peaks. You’ll travel over mountain tops, through valleys, along meandering rivers and into sleepy welsh towns and villages, Each day is different with some more strenuous than others. It is often broken down into 8 days of walking but can be done in less with a spot of stealth wild camping should you be short on time.
Unlike some other routes, most of the way is unmarked so being knowledgeable with a map and compass is a necessity. We’d also recommend making your way up Pen Y Fan first or last thing in the day to get the summits to yourself.
Distance – 97miles or 122miles if you chose all of the mountain days!
The Snowdonia way takes you from Machynlleth in the south to Conwy in the North, through the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. You’ll pass through slate quarries, over Snowdon if you fancy it, around stunning lakes and reservoirs and finishing at the iconic Conwy Castle.
The main route is low level, taking between 6-8 days with an option at each stage to get onto the mountain tops. Perfect for times of year when the weather is changeable.
Distance – 135 miles
Named after Owain Glyndwr, the last native welshman to hold the title ‘Prince of Wales, this lowland trail takes you throught the spectacular scenary of mid-Wales. You’ll take in the Radnorshire Hills, the stunning Clywedog Resevoir and the Heather Clad Plynlimon, as well as views of Cadair Idris and the Cambrian Mountains. Taking up to 9 days to complete, you’ll experience rural Wales as you weave through working farms, stunning woodland and Open moorlands.
There are plenty of campsites on route, as well as BandBs for those looking for a slightly more luxurious adventure.
Offa’s Dyke Path
Distance – 177 miles
Starting just outside Chepstow in South Wales, the Offa’s Dyke path winds it way past Tintern Abby, up through the Black Mountains of the Brecon Beacons National park and into the beautiful book loving town of Hay on Wye before continuing along the Welsh borderlands. With castles, museums, railways and aqueducts in addition to the forests, hills, quaint towns and stunning scenary, this really is a trail to add to your bucket list.
Taking 2 weeks to complete the full walk, many people complete it in smaller sections. There are numerous accommodation options along the way, from campsites to boutique BandBs as well as information centres along the way.
Wales coastal path
Distance – 870miles
Taking in coastal solitude as well as beautiful towns and cities, there are over 870miles of path to enjoy! It is often done in sections rather than a walk in it’s own right and can be accessed from various points along the way. There are options to both camp or use B&Bs depending on your budget/preference and plenty of places of interest along the route should you wish to take your time. There is information about the whole route Here, including tables of who has walked the most of it!
We recommend the 186miles in the Pembrokeshire national park know as the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, voted by the Lonely planet as one of the Best long distance hikes in the world. It takes between 10 and 15 days to complete, depending on how fast you like to move and takes you through the seaside towns of Tenby, St Davids Fishguard and Newport.