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Ten walks for winter

Wrap up warm ready for a winter adventure

Men walking in snow

Pick your route

We’ve chosen ten walking routes in our woodlands and National Nature Reserves to help you discover the great outdoors this winter.

Climb up high for views of snow-capped mountains or discover the legend of Wales’s very own Saint Valentine.

Enjoy the sound of a river on our easy access route through spruce-scented conifer woodlands.

Venture across the wonderfully wobbly chain bridge at the Hafod Estate - even more exciting during winter when the river below you is in full flow!

Make a resolution to visit the only seasonal lake in Britain, tucked away in the Carmarthenshire countryside or simply blow away the seasonal cobwebs on a woodland walk.

To help you pick a route near you, we’ve listed walks in north Wales first, then mid Wales and then south Wales.

Jubilee Tower Circular, Coed Moel Famau Forest, North East Wales

Jubilee Tower

Warm up with a steep but steady climb up Moel Famau to the Jubilee Tower. The views across north Wales from the top are particularly special in winter with a dusting of snow or frost. The waymarked trail returns to the car park through open countryside along the Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail. Moel Famau is the highest summit in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Find out more about the area in the Loggerheads Country Park which is nearby.

  • Length: 3½ miles/5.8 kilometres
  • Terrain: This is a moderate graded trail with some steep sections
  • Start and finish: Coed Moel Famau car park. There is a parking charge

Find out more

Saint, Sand and Sea Trail, Newborough National Nature Reserve, North West Wales

Ynys Llanddwyn, Newborough

Discover the legend of Wales’s own Saint Valentine on a romantic walk on Ynys Môn (the Isle of Anglesey). The Saint, Sand and Sea Trail follows woodland paths before heading on to the iconic Ynys Llanddwyn Island, part of the magnificent coastal dune system of Newborough Warren and Ynys Llanddwyn National Nature Reserve. Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers, is said to have retreated here in the 5th century to live the life of a hermit after falling in love, even though her father had arranged for her to marry someone else.

  • Length: 4½ miles/7.1 kilometres
  • Terrain: Ynys Llanddwyn Island can be cut off at high tides (follow the high tide diversion sign) and the terrain is rocky with uneven grassland. The rest of this moderate trail is on woodland tracks and soft sand dunes. Some sections are accessible by buggies and robust wheelchairs
  • Start and finish: Newborough beach car park, Anglesey. There is a parking charge

Find out more

Hafna Miners’ Trail, Gwydir Forest Park, North West Wales

Walkers at Hafna

The picturesque village of Betws-y-Coed in Snowdonia National Park is a popular spot for visitors today but, back in the late 19th century, the area was dominated by lead and zinc mining. Plan your visit here during the quieter winter months and discover the mining legacy of this once industrial landscape. The Miners’ Trail takes you through several different mines, all with their own story, as it threads its way through Gwydir Forest. You’ll pass deep cuttings, capped mine shafts and tunnel entrances along with the remains of long abandoned mills. After you have had your fill of history, there are plenty of cafés and pubs in Betws-y-Coed to warm up with a cuppa.

  • Length: 2¼ miles/3.6 kilometres
  • Terrain: Most of this trail follows forest roads and rough narrow paths, with some steep sections, steps and one stile.
  • Start and finish: Hafna car park, Gwydir Forest Park, near Llanrwst 

Find out more

Penrhos Mountain Trail, Coed y Brenin Forest Park, North West Wales

Woman and dog on Penrhos trail

Follow the green waymarkers through woodland and up the hillside to the heather and gorse-clad summit of Penrhos mountain. Your reward for the hard slog up will be stunning views across the snow-capped peaks of Snowdonia National Park. This circular trail returns to the car park which is a short drive from Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre where you can warm up with a well-earned tea and cake in the café.

  • Length: 3¼ miles/5.3 kilometres
  • Terrain: This is a strenuous trail and the route follows a number of steep footpaths on an unmade and uneven surface
  • Start and finish: Ty'n y Groes car park, Coed y Brenin Forest Park, near Dolgellau

Find out more

Pen y Bryn Trail, Dyfi Forest, Mid Wales

Woman on Pen y Bryn Trail

If your New Year’s resolution is to walk more to get fitter, this short but steep walk in Dyfi Forest will get your year off to a good start. It starts at Foel Friog car park and picnic area which is easy to find from the A487 between Machynlleth and Dolgellau. The waymarked circular trail takes you up through the huge trees to a viewpoint with far-reaching views. The return route is through an ancient oak woodland and along the river valley.

  • Length: 2 miles/3.2 kilometres
  • Terrain: This is a strenuous walk with a steep ascent and descent and a climb of 680ft/220m. The route is waymarked
  • Start and finish: Foel Friog car park, near Machynlleth

Find out more

Afon Irfon Walk, Irfon Forest, Mid Wales

Irfon Forest

Head out along this waymarked level trail which follows the River Irfon on part of its journey from the Cambrian Mountains down to the River Wye at Builth Wells. You can enjoy both the views and the sound of the river along this easy access route as it passes through spruce-scented conifer woodlands. The trail is a few miles from Llanwrtyd Wells which claims to be the smallest town in Britain but which has several pubs and a café where you can warm up after your walk.

  • Length: 1¼ miles/1.9 kilometres (there and back)
  • Terrain: The Afon Irfon Walk is an easy, level trail with no steps. There are several boulders placed along the walk that you can sit on to rest awhile and enjoy the sights and sounds of the river. The route returns to the car park along the same path. 
  • Start and finish: White Bridge car park, near Llanwrtyd Wells 

Find out more

Ystwyth Gorge Walk, Hafod Estate, Mid Wales

Couple on bridge

Follow in the footsteps of early tourists in search of “wild nature” at the Hafod Estate tucked away in a remote location near Aberystwyth. The Ystwyth Gorge Walk is a spectacular route all year round but crossing the wonderfully wobbly chain bridge is even more exciting during winter, when the river is in full flow. If you want to explore some more of this historic landscape, choose from the four other waymarked walks that take in the waterfalls, unique bridges and stunning views.

  • Length: 1 mile/1.6 kilometres (2 miles/3.2 kilometres total distance from car park and back via Lady’s Walk to starting point)
  • Terrain: This is a moderate route with climbs and descents along the way and bridges to cross. All routes at the Hafod are waymarked and there is information in the car park.
  • Start and finish: Hafod Estate car park, near Aberystwyth

Find out more

Cilgwyn Walk, Cilgwyn Wood, South West Wales

Man and dog in woodland

Head for this peaceful spot a few miles from Llandovery for a short woodland walk to blow away the seasonal cobwebs. This circular trail is easy to follow and is just right for a walk with the family. It climbs steadily through majestic conifers to a small pond and returns through a grove of beech trees. There are a couple of benches along the way to have a break so don’t forget your flask!

  • Length: 2 miles/3.2 kilometres
  • Terrain: This is a moderate grade trail with a steady 500 metre climb at the start and some steep sections on the return. It starts off on forest road and then follows narrow tracks through the woodland.
  • Start and finish: small parking area at the Cilgwyn Wood entrance, near Llandovery

Find out more

Quarry Trail, Carmel National Nature Reserve, South West Wales

Pant y Llyn lake

Make a resolution to visit the only seasonal lake in Britain, tucked away in the Carmarthenshire countryside. Known as Pant y Llyn, this unique lake is fed solely by groundwater from the underlying limestone and it only fills up in winter. Follow the short circular walk through Carmel National Nature Reserve to the top of the quarry where you can take in the views before going through the woodland to the disappearing lake.

  • Length: 1 mile/1.8 kilometres
  • Terrain: This walk is graded as difficult due to the steep climb of 265 feet/80 metres. The paths are steep and have a loose stone surface.
  • Start and finish: Carmel National Nature Reserve car park, near Llandeilo

Find out more

Sgydau Sychryd Trail, Dinas Rock, South East Wales

Couple and waterfall

If you use a wheelchair or are pushing a buggy, this is a great trail to enjoy some impressive views. The route winds its way through a wooded gorge alongside the river down to the Sgydau Sychryd cascades which are in full force during the winter months. There are also views across the river to a spectacular limestone rock formation known as Bwa Maen. The trail is in the heart of Waterfall Country and there is nowhere else in Wales with so many spectacular waterfalls in such a small area.

  • Length: ½ mile/0.6 kilometres (there and back)
  • Terrain: This is an accessible grade trail suitable for robust wheelchairs and buggies. The path is mostly compacted gravel and earth which can get muddy.
  • Start and finish: Dinas Rock car park, near Neath. The car park can be very busy at times as this is a popular area for outdoor centres

Find out more

Plan ahead and enjoy your trip!

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

Pen y Bryn Trail map PDF [5.2 MB]
Afon Irfon Walk map PDF [5.0 MB]
Ystwyth Gorge Walk map PDF [4.6 MB]
Cilgwyn Walk map PDF [4.7 MB]
Quarry Trail map PDF [6.1 MB]

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