Britain’s Festival of Winter Walks is a great opportunity to take advantage of the stunning scenery Wales has to offer. With three national parks – Snowdonia, the Pembrokeshire coast and the Brecon Beacons – there’s plenty of choice when it comes to exploring and walking during this festive season.
To celebrate this year’s Festival of Winter Walks, which takes place from 19 December to 3 January, we’ve put together six of the best walking trails for you to enjoy in right here in Wales.
Sugar Loaf, Abergavenny
We’re starting with a walk right on our doorstep that our guests always enjoy. Energise yourself this New Year and join a group walk up the Sugar Loaf Mountain on 3 January. This 10 mile trail will take you along rivers, up mountains and through towns, showing you the best Wales has to offer. The walk ends in Abergavenny, so be sure to pop in and visit us here at Llansantffraed Court Hotel and tuck into a meal at our award winning restaurant, where we use only the best locally sourced Welsh ingredients.
Boxing Day Pudding Pounder, Brecon Beacons
If you want to work off your Christmas lunch this Boxing Day why not head down to the Red Cow Inn for a group walk around the Pontsticill Reservoir? This walk is roughly five miles long and lasts just a couple of hours so it’s a great opportunity to take in the reservoir and woodland views. It’s also a dog friendly trail so you can get the whole family outside.
The Gwyllt, Portmeirion
The Gwyllt wild gardens are the perfect place for a leisurely stroll. The unusually mild climate of the peninsula encourages growth reminiscent of a rainforest, with exotic plants and flowers sheltering the walkway; a significant contrast to the traditional Welsh landscape. While you’re visiting the village, you could pop in to the Portmeirion Hotel for afternoon tea on the terrace and enjoy the views of the Dwyryd Estuary.
Nantlle Ridge, Snowdonia
If you’re looking for something a little bit more hardcore then this walk might be for you. This trail runs over seven miles of rugged landscape including part of the Nantlle Ridge, which allows for fantastic views across the region. There isn’t a group walk organised for this route so you can enjoy it whenever suits you best – we’d recommend a clear day so you can make the most of the scenery.
Porthgain to Whitesands, Pembrokeshire Coast
This costal walk is a fantastic opportunity to take in the spectacular scenery on offer on the Pembrokeshire coast. If you keep your eyes peeled you might even spot the grey fins of porpoises feeding off the coast. Bear in mind that this particular trail is 10 miles long, but don’t worry if you’re more of a novice as there are plenty of other trails on offer along this stretch.
Lake Vyrnwy, Powys
Lake Vyrnwy is an impressive man-made reservoir built in the 1880s surrounded by beautiful woodlands and rolling hills. There are five different walking trails in the vicinity of the lake offering something to suit all abilities. The Llechwedd Du walk covers five miles and, due to its relatively steep climb, offers fantastic views of the lake as well as the heather moorland. After a day of exploring you could drop into the Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa which overlooks the lake, to warm your feet by the fire.