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Ten walks for spring

Put a spring in your step and discover the great outdoors

Woman smelling a bluebell

Coronavirus update

 

All Natural Resources Wales (NRW) car parks, play areas and toilet blocks in the reserves, woods and forests are closed from 23 March 2020.

 

For more information see our main page on coronavirus

Your choice of routes

From the melody of birdsong to brilliantly coloured bluebells, spring is the season when nature comes alive.

We’ve chosen ten routes in our woodlands and National Nature Reserves where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the season.

The walks are listed below from north to south and each one is waymarked to help you follow the route.

Fen and Meadows Walk, Cors Bodeilio National Nature Reserve, Anglesey

Marsh marigolds

Wales has the UK’s second largest expanse of fens after East Anglia and these wetland areas come alive in spring. At Cors Bodeilio you can enjoy the display of wildflowers from our boardwalk that goes out onto the fen. Nine different types of orchid grow here along with typical fen species like great fen sedge and bottle sedge. Listen out for the hums and rattles of breeding birds – reed and sedge warblers, reed buntings, grasshopper warblers, and stonechats breed here. On warmer days dragonflies and damselflies hover and dart across the bog’s open waters – see how many different types you can spot.

  • Length: 1½ miles/2.3 kilometres.
  • Grade: Easy.
  • Start: Go through the gate in the Cors Bodeilio car park and onto the boardwalk to start the trail.
  • More information: Follow the trail out across the boardwalk and through the reserve into the wildflower meadow. The path at the end of the boardwalk is unsurfaced and can be muddy after wet weather, so you may want to wear your wellies. Horses often graze in the meadow so please keep your dogs under close control.

Find out more

Millstream Walk, Coed y Fron Wyllt, near Ruthin

Coed y Fron Wyllt

Follow our circular trail through this peaceful woodland and enjoy the sights and smells of the season. At the start of the walk, the path is edged with bluebells and primroses and the fragrance of wild garlic fills the air. You are never very far from the Nant Melindwr stream on this route and the trail crosses a wooden footbridge at the halfway point. It returns along a forest road with glimpses of the surrounding hills through the trees.

  • Length: 1½ miles/2.5 kilometres.
  • Grade: Easy.
  • Start: Head towards the wildlife hide at the entrance to the Coed y Fron Wyllt car park which is where the trail begins.
  • More information: Bring a flask and enjoy it at the picnic bench along the trail. The small wildlife hide overlooks a pond where you can try your hand at wildlife spotting or shelter from any April showers.

Find out more

Aber Falls Walk, Coedydd Aber National Nature Reserve, near Bangor

Coedydd Aber

The spectacular Rhaeadr Fawr waterfall (also known as Aber Falls) has been a popular beauty spot for many years. In spring, it’s not just human visitors who flock to this National Nature Reserve as migrant birds arrive to join the resident woodland bird population. The pied flycatchers come all the way from West Africa to breed here! As you walk through the valley to the waterfall, listen out for the distinctive sounds of the Great Spotted woodpecker, Wood warbler and Redstart. Along the way, you’ll pass a foam of white flowers on the hawthorn and crab-apple trees during May and a glorious carpet of bluebells and wood anemone in the woodland.

  • Length: 2¼ miles/3.7 kilometres (there and back).
  • Grade: Easy.
  • Start: Follow the signs from the lower or upper car park to the edge of the National Nature Reserve to start the trail.
  • More information: There are two pay and display car parks here and both have parking for blue badge holders. The path to the waterfall sets off from the gate near the lower car park. It has a gradual and continuous climb with benches along the way and plenty of grass for picnics. The gates have RADAR locks to open fully and there are accessible toilets in the upper car park.

Find out more

Coed Tan Dinas Trail, Gwydir Forest Park, Betws-y-coed

Coed Tan Dinas

Are you looking for a short walk with some extra fun for younger visitors? Our boardwalk through giant Douglas fir trees on the outskirts of Betws-y-coed is ideal for pushchairs and it has a tree facts trail and animal discovery trail for children. At the end of the boardwalk there’s a wide stone track leading to a picnic site on the banks of the Afon Llugwy river. The tree facts trail continues for a little way through the woodland on a slightly steeper short loop.

  • Length: ¾ miles/1.2 kilometres.
  • Grade: Easy.
  • Start: Head out along the boardwalk alongside the river from Pont y Pair car park on the edge of Betws-y-coed.
  • More information: The boardwalk is 1.5m wide and it leads to a wide undulating stone track and picnic site. At the end of the boardwalk, the trail heads into the woodland on a well surfaced but slightly steeper path. There are no steps or stiles on the trail and there are frequent resting places, benches and picnic tables. You can pick up a discovery trail leaflet from a dispenser in the car park.

Find out more

Cefndeuddwr Trail, Coed y Brenin Forest Park Visitor Centre, near Dolgellau

Coed y Brenin

Coed y Brenin Forest Park offers the ideal family day out in Snowdonia National Park with a choice of scenic walking trails in a dramatic woodland setting. The Cefndeuddwr Trail sets off from the visitor centre and meanders through a beech tree woodland which is carpeted in bluebells in the late spring. Designed with families in mind, the wide paths climb gradually to the Cefndeuddwr viewpoint. Here there are picnic tables to enjoy the view over the mountains. 

  • Length: ¾ mile/1.3 kilometres.
  • Grade: Easy.
  • Start: The trail is waymarked from the car park near the visitor centre entrance from where it heads into the woodland.
  • More information:  This trail has a wide, well surfaced path, taking you to a viewpoint with a picnic table. There are no steps or stiles and there are plenty of resting places every 150m along the trail. There is a café and toilets in the visitor centre. There is also a play area near the visitor centre if the children still have energy to burn and, if you want a souvenir of your visit, there is a gift shop, too.

Find out more

Gogerddan Trail, Gogerddan Wood, near Aberystwyth

Gogerddan Wood

Gogerddan is an easy-to-find picnic site in a woodland which is well-known locally for its stunning display of bluebells in spring. The circular walking trail sets off through some beautiful old trees with carpets of bluebells and other seasonal flowers. It is a fairly short walk but there is a steep climb to a viewpoint with wooden bench overlooking the fields and hills. The small picnic site overlooks the Nant Clarach stream and is near the car park.

  • Length: 1½ miles/2.4 kilometres
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Start: Head down towards the footbridge and across the river from the Gogerddan Wood car park to start the trail.
  • More information: This woodland was once part of the Gogerddan Estate and veteran trees can be seen along the trail. Although the trail is graded as moderate, there is a steep climb halfway around. The ground can get very muddy, especially after wet weather, so wear some shoes with good grip!

Find out more

Nash Trail, Nash Wood, near Presteigne

Nash Wood

Located half in Wales and half in England, spring is a great time to visit this border country woodland. Look out for carpets of bluebells on the circular walking trail that climbs steadily from the car park on its way through the woodland. It makes its way to a viewpoint with views to Radnor Forest and a hillfort, one of many along this part of the border.

  • Length: 2¼ miles/3.5 kilometres.
  • Grade: Moderate.
  • Start: Head uphill from the Nash Wood car park to start the trail.
  • More information: The trail follows a mixture of forest roads and paths through the woodland. A shortcut is signposted about halfway if you want to do a shorter walk. Nash Wood is in the area known as Radnor Forest and there are walking trails from two nearby woodlands managed by Natural Resources Wales.

More information

Four Falls Trail, Brecon Beacons National Park (Gwaun Hepste), near Ystradfellte

As its name suggests, the Four Falls Trail takes you past a lot of water! This waymarked woodland trail in the Brecon Beacons National Park has optional routes off the main trail down to view each waterfall. As you walk towards the first one, known as Clun-Gwyn Falls, you will hear its thundering roar before you reach it. Brace yourself for a walk behind the curtain of water that forms Sgwd yr Eira, the last of the four waterfalls on the trail. In spring, there are carpets of bluebells, wood anemones and wood sorrel in the old sessile oak and ash woodland.

  • Length: 5¼ miles/8.4 kilometres.
  • Grade: Strenuous.
  • Start: Gwaun Hepste pay and display car park is the main starting point for this trail. You can also join the trail from the Cwm Porth pay and display car park.
  • More information: Make sure you have enough time to do this walk! The first waterfall takes 40 minutes to reach and the whole walk can take four hours, especially if you want to spend time admiring the falls. The main trail is easy to follow and has a stone surface. There are optional routes off the main trail that go down go to each waterfall - these are narrow, unsurfaced and slippery in places, with many steps. These paths are particularly rough and rocky next to the waterfalls.

Find out more

Sculpture Trail, Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve, near Newport

Spring is the best season to visit Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve with younger children, as they will be enthralled by lines of ducklings paddling behind their parents in search of food. Joining you on your visit in April and May will be flocks of swallows, house martins, sand martins and swifts which arrive here in large numbers from Africa. This circular trail takes you through the reedbeds where the bearded tits and water rails are starting to nest. You might not see these birds but children are sure to be have fun identifying them by their distinctive sounds - the water rails sound like squealing pigs! Listen out, too, for the noisy singing of warblers which are busy readying their nests for their new fledglings. Part of the walk follows the Wales Coast Path and, along the way, there are sculptures of birds and other wildlife along with a giant dragonfly head bench. 

  • Length: 1 mile/1.5 kilometres.
  • Grade: Accessible.
  • Start: From the car park, follow the footpath to the Newport Wetlands Visitor Centre where the trail begins.
    More information: This trail heads out through the reedbeds, over the floating bridge and past the lighthouse; it is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs. Please take care when walking along the floating bridge. There are benches along the way to take a breather or just sit and watch the wildlife around you. The café in the visitor centre overlooks the wetlands and is the perfect place to share stories of what you’ve discovered today.

Find out more

Beach Walk, Merthyr Mawr National Nature Reserve, near Bridgend

Merthyr Mawr

It may not be warm enough to sunbathe just yet but it’s still worth heading to the beach at Merthyr Mawr National Nature Reserve as there is plenty to see in the dunes along the way. Enjoy the colours of the spring-flowering dune plants like pansies and violets and look out for the striking red-caped cinnabar moths, just one of the many insects that makes its home here thanks to the easy-to-burrow-into sandy soils and wildflower nectar. The Beach Walk takes you through the dunes to the beach but, if you fancy enjoying a different view first, you can climb the highest sand dune in Wales, known locally as the ‘Big Dipper’.

  • Length: 2¼ miles/3.7 kilometres (there and back)
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Start: Follow the signs out into the dunes from Candleston pay and display car park.
  • More information: The route crosses a bridge and follows sandy paths through the dunes. Follow this path all the way onto Traeth yr Afon beach. If you wish to do a longer walk, there is a network of footpaths and you can also join the Wales Coast Path from Candleston.

Find out more

Plan ahead and enjoy your visit!

  • Go to the Traveline Cymru website for information about travel by bus, coach and train in Wales.
  • See the Countryside Code for advice about preparing for your trip, keeping yourself and others safe and how you can help ensure that the countryside remains a beautiful place that everyone can enjoy.
  • Looking for somewhere else to visit? Go to our Places to Visit section.

Downloads

Related document downloads

Aber Falls Walk map PDF [4.0 MB]
Beach Walk map PDF [3.9 MB]
Cefndeuddwr Trail map PDF [5.3 MB]
Coed Tan Dinas map PDF [6.4 MB]
Four Falls Trail map PDF [4.9 MB]
Gogerddan Trail map PDF [5.0 MB]
Millstream Walk map PDF [4.6 MB]
Nash Trail map PDF [4.9 MB]
Sculpture Trail map PDF [5.7 MB]

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