Just go discover!
Check out the top ten things to do in our woodlands...
Wrap up warm ready for a winter adventure
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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