Thursday, 19 December 2013

Wales' Favourite Coastal Walks

By Richard Neale.
©National Trust Images/Leo Mason

The 870-mile Welsh Coast Path is one of the glories of Wales.  Did you know that 20% of it is cared for by the National Trust?

Last Christmas oand New Year I posted a blog on my twelve favourite walks with links to the downloadable walk on our website.  Over 200 people clicked on the links and by using the stats, I can now share with you what were our followers' favourites.

Cliciwch ar deitl y daith gerdded ar gyfer cyfarwyddiadau, map a mannau o ddiddordeb.

Click on the highlighted walk title for directions, map and points of interest.

Walk 12. Porthoer & Mynydd Carreg

Looking down onto the Whistling Sands, which squeak underfoot © National Trust
Llyn's famous Whistling Sands only whistle when the sand's dry, so don't expect to sample this curious phenomenon on this bracing winter walk.  But there's plenty more to make this walk really worthwhile.  The summit of Mynydd Carreg, with its curious circular structure is a fine viewpoint.  Download the walk to find out what the structure was, and the story of the semi-precious stone that was quarried here.  Lle gwych i ddod i fwynhau'r tonnau pan mae 'na storm chwythu o'r gogledd.

 Walk 11. Martin's Haven and Deer Park


 The Deer Park, Marloes Peninsula © Sid Howells
A short but spectacular walk around the end of the Marloes peninsula. No deer to see, but lots of seals.  You may be lucky to spot seal pups before they take to the sea.  Enjoy spectacular rocks and sea views.  From the top you'll see most of Pembrokeshire's islands.   Mwynhewch yr olygfa ar draws y Swnt dwyllodrus i Sgomer.

Walk 10.  Menai Strait & Glan Faenol 


Bird hide at Glan Faenol on the banks of the Menai Strait © National Trust
This is one of North Wales' best kept secrets: the walled woodland that is Glan Faenol.  Look out for winter wading birds from the hand-made greenwood hides and platforms. Explore varied native woodland and ancient parkland with views of the house and gardens at Plas Newydd and the hills of Snowdonia.  Gallaf warantu y byddwch yn cael y lle i chi eich hun!

Walk 9. Abereiddi & Porthgain


Once a place for industry, now a place for recreation and sport © Andrew Tuddenham
One of the attractions of this popular Pembrokeshire cliff-top walk is the wonderful Sloop Inn at Porthgain.  When you peer into the depths of the Blue Lagoon, spare a thought for the world cliff diving competitors as they took the plunge here in September.  Explore the evocative ruins of the quarrymen's houses between the beach and the lagoon, known as The Street. Yn ddi-os, y Slŵp yw un o dafarnau gorau ein harfordir!

Walk 8. Ragwen Point


One of the massive concrete structures built by the army in the 1940s © National Trust
Burn off calories on the steep steps up from Pendine and descend to one of Carmarthen Bay's hidden gems, Morfa Bychan beach.  Can you work out what the curious concrete structures are at the back of the beach?  They're covered in the impacts of artillery shells, why?  Get the story on the downloadable walk.  Golygfeydd godidog ar draws Bae Caerfyrddin.

Walk 7. Bosherston Lily Ponds


 High tide, March 11 2008. Sea level higher than lake level! © Richard Ellis
These amazing man-made freshwater lakes are the crowing glory of the wonderful Stackpole estate.  They're one of the best places in Wales to see otters in the wild.  A small detour will take you to the amazing beach of Broadhaven, which like its neighbour Barafundle is one of the very few sandy beaches in Wales which is untouched by development.  Tybed beth yw'r enw Cymraeg ar gyfer Barafundle? 

Walk 6.  Lawrenny Woods 


 Lawrenny Wood - ancient oak trees © Marilyn Smyth

This Pembrokeshire walk is one of the county's hidden gems.  Tucked amongst the inlets of the mighty Cleddau estuary, this short but sometimes steep walk goes through some of the most undisturbed woods in West Wales. If you enjoy this walk, why not return in the summer to enjoy a bite at the Quayside Cafe?.  Dewch i fynd am dro ymysg rhai o'r coetiroedd unigryw'r Cleddau.

Walk 5. Dinas Island 


The coast path at Dinas Island © Joe Cornish
This is one of my favourite Cardigan Bay walks.  The 2 hour walk takes in breathtaking views of the coast of North Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion and the pretty, secluded hamlets of Pwllgwaelod and Cwm yr Eglwys.  View the ruins of St Brynach's church, which was badly damaged in a great storm in the great 'Royal Charter' storm of 1859.  Ynys Dinas - un o drysorau cudd Ceredigion.

Walk 4. Porthdinllaen


Tw Coch has been an inn for about 200 years © National Trust
This sheltered village-on-the-beach is a must for anyone looking for a winter walk on the Llyn peninsula.  If the tide's in, you'll have to use the golf road, otherwise, the beach is the perfect way to approach the village.  Remember to check out the opening times of the wonderful Ty Coch Inn.  Take a look at how the work is progressing on the new lifeboat station.  Lle gwell i fwynhau peint, nag yn bar clyd y Tŷ Coch.

Walk 3. Garn Fawr


The coast at Garn Fawr © Sid Howells
Another personal favourite of mine, this short walk takes you to one of the most spectacular views on the entire Welsh coast.  And if the view wasn't enough, where else can you see a combination of Iron Age and Second World War archaeology side by side?  A great place to see the rare chough.  Rwy'n credu bod yr olygfa o yma yw'r gorau yng Nghymru.

Walk 2.  Rhossili Headland

View across the beach of Rhossili Bay with Worms Head in the distance © John Millar
 This classic walk-for-all-seasons is deservedly one of Wales' most popular. Walk out to the coastguard lookout to enjoy views of Worm's Head or extend the walk by also heading up to Gower's highest point, Rhossil Down.  Its not recommended that you attempt to cross to the tidal island of Worm's Head at this time of year, so why not make a date in your diary to join one of our Walk to the Worm guided walksPen Pyrod yw'r enw Cymraeg ar gyfer yr ynys.

Wales' No.1 Most Popular Walk:  

Pennard Cliffs & Pwlldu


Southgate, Pwll Du, Wales © Sian Musgrave
The perfect combination of dramatic sea views, a hidden beach and a cosy cafe to warm up over a cream tea.  Make sure you've got boots or wellies for the puddles.  This is one of my favourite circular walks on the Gower.  Dyma fy hoff daith gerdded ar arfordir Gŵyr.

For loads more great Welsh walks, visit our Walking in Wales web pages. 

Please let us know your favourite Welsh coastal walk by using this blog's comment facility.  I look forward to hearing from you.


  1. Beatiful walks. Needless to say I love the Ragwen Walk but hoping to try some of the others this Christmas with my family.

    1. Thanks Anonymous - it's certainly one of the best.

  2. Rhossili Headland walk is one of my favourite walk you can enjoy this walk in any season and best to take the glimpse of Gower's highest point, Rhossil Down. Across the Bay It gives a scenic view to the visitors.
    Let me provides some information about the alexandria bus tours deals?

    1. Many thanks Faikka - I agree that Rhossili is amazing: one of the finest views in Wales, without a doubt.