Walking holidays in West Wales - West Wales Holiday Cottages
West Wales Holiday Cottages
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Walking holidays in West Wales

West Wales offers superb walking country: walk along cliff tops and sandy beaches, along wooded valleys and through forestry plantations, over rugged mountains and through meadows. There are short walks to stretch your legs and get a breath of fresh air, circular walks so you don't need to cover the same ground twice, family walks which are perfect for groups of different abilities or stamina, long walks and more challenging hikes with steep gradients and/or cliff edges.

Where shall we walk today?

In West Wales, there is a wide choice of contrasting walks to suit your mood, your energy or the weather. See our full list of walks to choose the perfect route for you.

On breezy days or when it’s just too hot in the sunshine you can choose a woodland walk where dappled shade will provide protection from the elements. On windy winter days, a beach walk can be thrilling, watching the breakers crash against the cliffs, sending clouds of spray far into the air or booming in the hollow of a cave.

There are some enchanting inland walks taking you along the banks of our mighty rivers: the Dyfi, Teifi, Cleddau, Loughor, Taf, Towy and Gwendraeth. The valleys of the Gwaun and Nevern rivers in Pembrokeshire are places of intense beauty and peace, well worth exploring. The open moorland of the Preseli Hills and Cambrian Mountains offer scenic walks with far-reaching views.

This area is renowned for its coastal walks, of course. Walkers who take to the Wales Coast Path are well-rewarded with outstanding scenery. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is perhaps the most famous but the Ceredigion Coast Path and Carmarthenshire Coast Path have their own unique characters. A walk along the coastal path is the only way to discover some of the hidden delights of the West Wales coast.

The Countryside Code

Do familiarise yourself with the Countryside Code before you set off on your first walk.

  • Be safe - plan ahead and follow any signs
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home
  • Keep dogs under close control
  • Consider other people

It's important to note the rule: leave gates and property as you find them. This means that if a gate is open, leave it open; don’t assume that it should be closed. It may be open to allow livestock access to water, for example.

Dog owners should take care to read the detail concerning general restrictions as well as special rules which apply in particular situations and times of year e.g. during bird nesting season. See the details for individual walks for any restrictions concerning dogs on the route. Where the walk description mentions fields and livestock, this means that there may be sheep or cattle grazing and that even if your dog is on a lead it may be unwise to cross such areas.

What to take on your walk

  • Stout footwear with ankle support and waterproofing ideally
  • Trousers rather than shorts are often appropriate due to danger of contact with nettles, brambles etc if you happen to be walking a route which is not regularly maintained
  • In summer, a light waterproof jacket is probably enough but in winter make sure you have a good quality water repellent jacket - and trousers if you want to avoid getting soaked from the waist down. If you don’t have waterproof trousers, do make sure you have a change of clothes in the car just in case.
  • Plenty of water to drink. Don't drink water from streams and rivers without boiling it, no matter how clear and fresh the water may look.
  • Snacks such as dried fruit and nuts
  • A hat and sunscreen in summer
  • Fully charged mobile phone
  • Insect repellent and small first aid kit
  • Pocket knife, matches, small torch
  • Ordnance Survey Map
  • Binoculars and camera
  • For more challenging routes, tell someone where you plan to walk before setting out in case of loss of mobile signal, and take:

    • A compass and whistle
    • Warm outer layers including scarf and gloves
    • Hiking poles
    • Line a small rucksack with a plastic bag in order to ensure your possessions stay dry
    • Waterproof matches or paraffin lighter and kindling such as fire sticks or cotton wool balls dipped in petroleum jelly and wrapped in tin foil. survival blanket
    • Petroleum jelly for moisturising lips, heels etc

    If you are planning to include significant altitudes on your route, such as in the Cambrian Mountains or Brecon Beacons, please be aware of the risk of unexpected changes of weather conditions. Even in the summer, mist can suddenly descend making it very difficult to orientate yourself and lowering the temperature considerably.

    Useful maps for walking in West Wales

    Where possible, we have noted in the walk details that there are steep sections but more detail can be gleaned from Ordnance Survey Explorer Sheets. These give 2.5 inches to 1 mile detail and contour lines clearly show gradients.

    There are 10 maps which cover the West Wales counties of Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, listed here with sheet numbers:
    OL35 - North Pembrokeshire
    OL36 - South Pembrokeshire
    OL12 - Brecon Beacons National Park - Western and Central
    OL23 - Snowdonia
    177 - Carmarthen and Kidwelly
    178 - Llanelli and Ammanford
    185 - Newcastle Emlyn
    186 - Llandeilo and Brechfa
    187 - Llandovery
    198 - Cardigan and New Quay
    199 - Lampeter
    213 - Aberystwyth and Cwm Rheidol

    Refreshments during your walk

    Do bear in mind that where a walk features a pub or café en route, this often means “at one end or the other”. Pubs and cafés have variable opening times, so please call ahead to avoid disappointment. Make sure you carry water and snacks with you just in case.

    Disclaimer

    The information about the walks is given in good faith. We have not tried all the walks ourselves and we take no responsibility for the accuracy of walk details and routes, nor for the condition of the paths, trails and their signposting. Paths are subject to closure due to landslides, erosion or other factors so we advise that you check for notices before you set out.

    Walks

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    Barcud Trail

    Area: Cambrian Mountains County: Ceredigion
    Parking for Barcud Trail

    P = Parking

    Very little gradient. Surface generally smooth. Goes round lake where you can watch red kites being fed.

    • Circular
    • Cafe/Pub
    • Distance: approximately 0.7 miles
    • Time: approximately 45 minutes
    View full details (goes to external site)

    Bedd Morris

    Area: Preseli Hills County: Pembrokeshire
    Parking for Bedd Morris

    P = Parking

    2 walks on paths, a short section of road. There are stiles and gates, can be muddy at times. Distant sea views from the highest point.

    • Circular
    • Distance: approximately 1.9 miles
    • Time: approximately 1 hour
    View full details (goes to external site)

    Bedd Morris Aberfforest

    Area: Preseli Hills County: Pembrokeshire
    Parking for Bedd Morris Aberfforest

    P = Parking

    This route takes you to an altitude of almost 300 metres (980 feet) on Parc Maw. Most of this moorland is common land and can be boggy. The route passes the impressive Bedd Morris stone and Cerrig y Gof, standing stones that are the remains of a Neolithic burial chamber.

    • Circular
    • Coastal
    • Cafe/Pub
    • Distance: approximately 6.1 miles
    • Time: approximately 3 hours
    View full details (goes to external site)

    Bedford Monument

    Area: Ystwyth River Valley County: Ceredigion
    Parking for Bedford Monument

    P = Parking

    Start in car park on Hafod estate near church between Cwmystwyth and Pont-Rhyd-y-Groes. Gradient is quite gentle but there are steep drops by the path. Rough and wet in places. Moderate. Lovely view from monument. For walk map, buy the Hafod Walks leaflet from car park at Hafod Church, local shops or www.hafod.org

    • Circular
    • Distance: approximately 1 miles
    • Time: approximately 45 minutes
    View full details (goes to external site)

    Benton Wood

    Area: Cleddau County: Pembrokeshire
    Parking for Benton Wood

    P = Parking

    Easy to moderate walk along quiet lanes with tracks and minor road. Route goes through deciduous and coniferous woodland and past farmland with livestock. Sometimes muddy. You can miss out the offshoot to Burton if you wish. Benton Castle is now privately owned.

    • Circular
    • Cafe/Pub
    • Distance: approximately 4.6 miles
    • Time: approximately 1 hour, 30 minutes
    View full details (goes to external site)

    Big Trees Walk

    Area: Talley County: Carmarthenshire
    Parking for Big Trees Walk

    P = Parking

    A steep climb through oak, ash pine and spruce trees to a viewpoint with a seat and spectacular views. Can be slippery when wet.

    • Circular
    • Distance: approximately 1.25 miles
    • Time: approximately 1 hour
    View full details (goes to external site)

    Bontgoch Spirit of the Miners

    Area: Cambrian Mountains County: Ceredigion
    Parking for Bontgoch Spirit of the Miners

    P = Parking

    Park in Bontgoch near bridge. Moderate walk from gentle riverside footpath over open fields and narrow path to remote, wild upland tracks. Upland exposed and navigation difficult if poor weather.

    • Circular
    • Distance: approximately 7 miles
    • Time: approximately 3 hours
    View full details (goes to external site)

    Borough Head

    Area: St Brides Bay County: Pembrokeshire
    Parking for Borough Head

    P = Parking

    Coast path reasonably easy but steeper Brandy Bay to Mill Haven. Fantastic views across St Brides Bay to St David's Head and Ramsey Island. 1.6m minor roads. Note that path shown on OS map leading to Coast Path from Goultrop Roads has fallen away

    • Circular
    • Coastal
    • Cafe/Pub
    • Distance: approximately 5 miles
    • Time: approximately 3 hours
    View full details (goes to external site)

    Borth to Devil's Bridge

    Area: Aberystwyth County: Ceredigion
    Parking for Borth to Devil's Bridge

    P = Parking

    A linear walk which covers a variety of territory and takes you past old mines and a mining centre at Llywernog. woollen mill. There are fields, mixed woodland and hillsides with steep climb through Rheidol Gorge. You could do one way by train, including Vale of Rheidol railway.

    • Cafe/Pub
    • Distance: approximately 18 miles
    • Time: approximately 9 hours
    View full details (goes to external site)

    Borth to Tal-y-Bont

    Area: North Ceredigion County: Ceredigion
    Parking for Borth to Tal-y-Bont

    P = Parking

    Level walking at the edge of the Dyfi Estuary rising over gentle hills, pasture and along woodland trails to village.

    • Cafe/Pub
    • Distance: approximately 4 miles
    • Time: approximately 1 hour, 30 minutes
    View full details (goes to external site)
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