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Top ten winter walks

Wrap up warm ready for a winter adventure

Two walkers Cwm Glas Crafnant

Enjoy a winter walk

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

We’ve chosen these ten routes as they are at their best on a crisp winter’s day.

Every one is in a woodland or National Nature Reserve.

Plan your trip

  • You can download any of these routes free of charge onto your Apple or Android device from Viewranger. (We recommend that you download routes and maps before leaving home so that you can use them without the need for a mobile signal)
  • Our PlacesToGo app shows you where you can go and what you can do in Wales’s public forests and National Nature Reserves. The PlaceTales app includes audio trails and folk tales to bring these places to life. Find out how to download the free apps Places to go and Place Tales apps before you set off on your trip
  • Traveline Cymru is a one-stop-shop for information about travel by bus, coach and train in Wales. Find all the information you need about public transport in one place on the Traveline Cymru website

Enjoy your visit

The Countryside Code helps you respect, protect and enjoy the countryside, enabling you to get the most out of your visit.

It provides you with helpful advice about:

  • Preparing for your trip
  • Keeping yourself and others safe
  • Ensuring the countryside remains a beautiful place that everyone can enjoy

Pick your route

Route 1: Ystwyth Gorge Walk, Hafod Estate, Mid Wales

Couple on bridgeFollow 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 (1.5 kilometres)
  • Terrain: All the routes are strenuous and include climbs and descents along the way. Some have steep drops beside the path and some have bridges to cross. The routes are waymarked and there is information onsite with more details
  • Start and finish: Hafod Estate car park

Find out more

Route 2: Jubilee Tower Circular, Coed Moel Famau, North East Wales

Jubilee Tower Circular at Coed Moel FamauWarm 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 mixed forest and open countryside. 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: 3.5 miles (5.5 kilometres)
  • Terrain: The trail has some steep sections
  • Start and finish: Coed Moel Famau car park. There is a parking charge

Find out more

Route 3: Stackpole Walk, Stackpole National Nature Reserve, West Wales

View of the icy river at Stackpole - credit Mike May National TrustStackpole National Nature Reserve is a great place to spot wintering birds and seabirds like gannets and choughs as it packs in so many habitats in a relatively small area. The Stackpole Walk starts in the wooded shelter around Bosherston Lakes where you’ll see different species of duck before setting off for Stackpole Quay. The route then follows the Pembrokeshire Coast Path along windswept limestone cliff tops to one of the area's finest beaches at Broad Haven South before returning to the more gentle landscape of Bosherston with its 19th century lily ponds. If you visit during a winter weekend, you can enjoy refreshments at the Stackpole Quay tea room.

  • Length: 5 miles
  • Terrain: This ranges from the accessible lakeside path around Bosherston Lakes to more challenging and undulating terrain along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path
  • Start and finish: Bosherston National Trust car park. There are other car parks on the National Trust estate

Find out more

Photo credit: Mike May, National Trust

Route 4: Sychryd All-ability Trail, Dinas Rock, South East Wales

Couple and waterfallIf 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: 0.5 miles (0.75 kilometres)
  • Terrain: The trail is mostly compacted gravel and earth which can get muddy. It is suitable for robust wheelchairs and buggies
  • Start and finish: Dinas Rock car park. The car park can be very busy at times as this is a popular area for outdoor centres

Find out more

Route 5: Pen y Bryn Trail, Dyfi Forest, Mid Wales

Woman on Pen y Bryn TrailIf 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

Find out more

Route 6: Saint, Sand and Sea Trail, Newborough National Nature Reserve, North West Wales

Ynys LlanddwynDiscover 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, 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: 5 miles (7 kilometres)
  • Terrain: Ynys Llanddwyn can be cut off at high tides (follow the high tide diversion sign) and the terrain is rocky with uneven grassland. The rest of the 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. There is a parking charge

Find out more

Route 7: Penrhos Mountain Trail, Coed y Brenin Forest Park, North West Wales

Woman and dog on Penrhos trailFollow 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 in the café.

  • Length: 3 miles (4.5 kilometres)
  • Terrain: This is a strenuous walk and the trail follows a number of steep footpaths on an unmade and uneven surface
  • Start and finish: Ty'n y Groes car park

Find out more

Route 8: 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 and steps
  • Start and finish: Hafna car park

Find out more

Route 9: Afon Irfon Walk, Irfon Forest, Mid Wales

Irfon ForestHead 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: ½ mile (0.9 kilometres)
  • Terrain: The Afon Irfon Walk is an easy, level trail with no steps that is suitable for all. 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. There is an option for walkers to follow a one mile circular route which leaves the hard-surfaced level path and goes up a gentle incline away from the river and then returns to the car park along a quiet forest road
  • Start and finish: White Bridge car park

Find out more

Route 10: Eagle’s Nest Trail, Wyndcliff Wood, Wye Valley, South East Wales

View of the Wye Valley

With the trees losing their leaves and revealing more of the scenery beyond, winter is a great time of year to do a walk with a view. There’s a bit of a climb to the viewpoint on this walk but the panorama from the parapet is well worth it – on a clear day, you can see seven counties! Once you’ve caught your breath, you can admire the River Wye snaking around the valley 700 feet below you and try to spot Chepstow Castle in the distance. The Eagle’s Nest Trail passes through Wyndcliff Wood which is full of leaves crunching underfoot. These woodlands are part of the wider Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Beauty which is an internationally important protected landscape.

  • Length: 1½ miles (2 kilometres)
  • Terrain: This trail goes over ground and up steps that are uneven and rocky. It is a steep climb up the 365 steps from the Lower Wyndcliff car park to the Eagle’s Nest
  • Start and finish: The Eagle’s Nest Trail starts from the Lower Wyndcliff car park. The slightly easier trail to the viewpoint starts at the Upper Wyndcliff car park

Find out more

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