Experience pure beauty when hiking in Wales

Walking through the history and heritage of Wales

With its small population and diverse landscape, Wales is the perfect hiking destination for all ages and fitness levels. Whether you're enjoying a short afternoon walk or spending several days tackling different trails, a hike in Wales delivers plentiful nature while bringing history, heritage and folklore alive.

  1. Dinas Emrys - walking through the folklore of North Wales
  2. South Wales hiking trails - a landscape shaped by nature and man
  3. Cwm Idwal - a Snowdonia mountain hike
  4. The Llanberis Lake Walk, Gwynedd
  5. Cwm Llwch - the high peaks of the Brecon Beacons
  6. The Four Falls Trail, Brecon Beacons

There is no shortage of places to walk in Wales. The entire coastline - all 870 miles of it - has a footpath while inland rivers, lakes, hills and mountains wait to be explored. Wales walking trails take you from the sandy beaches of Pembrokeshire to the rolling hills of the Brecon Beacons and on to the lakes and mountains of Snowdonia. Here are six of our favourites.

1. Dinas Emrys - walking through the folklore of North Wales

Dinas Emrys is the home of the dragon emblazoned on the Welsh flag. Lying to the west of the Snowdonia National Park, the Dinas Emrys Trail takes you through oak woodland to the mountain's summit where you'll be rewarded with glorious countryside views. Look out for grazing black Welsh cattle and tumbling waterfalls before relaxing in the shadows cast by the ruins of Gwynedd Castle. Legend has it that the castle kept tumbling down because the dragons fighting underneath it caused the ground to shake.

Best for: Lovers of myths and folklore

Difficulty level:Moderate (approximately two hours, 3.5km)

2. South Wales hiking trails - a landscape shaped by nature and man

When you hike at Dinefwr in Carmarthenshire you're crossing a protected area that's been shaped by both nature and the hand of man. You'll see rare White Park cattle that are mentioned in Welsh history as far back as the 10th century, trees more than 700 years old and wonderful spots for wildlife watching. This leisurely hike also takes in a mythical lake, the ruins of Dinefwr Castle (once the stronghold of Lord Rhys, the 12th-century ruler of Deheubarth) and an elegant 17th-century mansion.

Best for: Nature lovers

Difficulty level: Easy (one and a half hours, 4.8km)

3. Cwm Idwal - a Snowdonia mountain hike

Snowdonia undoubtedly offers some of the best hiking in Wales especially if you want to reach a mountain summit or two. Back in the 12th century, legend tells us that a prince, his son and a giant called Idwal occupied Cwm Idwal in Snowdon. Whether the legend is true or not, this is certainly one of the UK's most dramatic places, a landscape of strange rock formations, lakes brimming with crystal-clear water and rare plant life. The legends continue as you make your way back down the mountain. In front of you is Llyn Ogden which claims to be the resting place of King Arthur's sword.

Best for: Lovers of Arthurian tales and keen botanists

Difficulty level: Moderate (three hours, 4.8km)

4. The Llanberis Lake Walk, Gwynedd

Much of the landscape you'll see on the Llanberis Lake Walk in Gwynedd is shaped by the ancient slate working industry. With its path clearly marked by wooden posts, this circular walk makes an ideal day out on walking holidays in Wales. It follows offroad paths or quiet roads and takes you alongside the charming lakeside railway. Your gentle walk continues past a waterfall and the slate works before coming to the Slate Museum and Slate Works Hospital. Along the way, there are fine views across to Snowdon.

Best for: Finding out about the industrial heritage of Wales

Difficulty level: Moderate (three hours, 8.2km)

5. Cwm Llwch - the high peaks of the Brecon Beacons

Your walking holiday in Wales should offer at least one challenging hike and Cwm Llwch in the Brecon Beacons is definitely one for experienced walkers. Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons is the highest mountain in southern Britain (886m) and this trail takes you the hardest way to the top. Just before the peak is Llyn Cwm Llwch, a body of sparkling waters that has captivated generations of walkers. It is said to have an enchanted island inhabited by fairies. The trouble is, the island is invisible! Choose a clear day for this walk as the views are spectacular.

Best for: Those who like their views to come with a challenge

Difficulty Level: Challenging (three to four hours, 6.5km)

6. The Four Falls Trail, Brecon Beacons

Parts of the Brecon Beacons are known as "Waterfall Country" and the circular Four Falls Walk takes you to four of them. As well as its waterfalls, this part of the Brecon Beacons National Park is also known for its beautiful woodland and steep gorges. The Four Falls Trail starts where the River Mellte dramatically disappears into a huge cave entrance and continues past the Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sigwd y Pannwr and Sgwd-yr-Eira waterfalls - each one more breathtaking than the last. If you're feeling brave (and the sun is shining) you can venture behind the cascade at Sgwy-yr-Eira.

Best for: Waterfall jumpers

Difficulty level: Moderate (two to three hours, 7.25km)

Find your perfect destination