Summer walks in Wales

Whether you fancy a gentle stroll or envigorating hike Wales has it all – woodland, mountain, meadow and beach – with complimentary rare butterflies, red squirrels and seal sightings along the way. Here are just some of the many walks waiting to be discovered this summer.

Vista of wooded hillside with rhododendrons flowering, and Bodnant Hall in the distance

Bodnant Garden, Conwy 

This hillside trail through newly opened Furnace Wood and Meadow is a challenge that will take you to new heights and reward you with panoramic new vistas. In summer you can walk through Furnace Meadow as mown paths provide walkways through grasses and wildflowers buzzing with bees and butterflies. This is a species-rich grassland now being managed for wildlife.

Visitors in the garden at Chirk Castle, Wrexham, Wales

Chirk Castle, Wrexham 

Take a walk around the fascinating 480 acre parkland, and discover a working landscape full of ancient trees, wildflowers, birds and insects. Crossing the estate is a section of the remarkable 8th century defensive earthwork Offa's Dyke, this fantastic section of the dyke still exists in the medieval deer park, which is accessible from March to September along a permissive path.

Visitors enjoying the lakeside walks in the parkland at Tredegar House

Tredegar Lakeside Walk, Newport 

If you want a break from the city life, enjoy a moment of peace and tranquillity in this urban oasis. The lakeside walk is a short circular trail taking you around the perimeter of the parkland at Tredegar House and is a much-loved route for dog owners.

Close-up of red campion at Coed-y-Bwnydd, Monmouthshire

Clytha and Coed-y-Bwnydd, Monmouthshire 

Grass tracks lead through this 18th century estate, through woods and meadows alive with wildflowers and wildlife, taking in one of the best preserved hill forts in Monmouthshire - plus views of the Sugarloaf, Usk Valley and Clytha Castle.

Footpath at Cwm Idwal, Snowdonia

Cwm Idwal, Snowdonia 

World famous for its rock formations and its rare and fragile plant life, this walk offers some of the most dramatic mountainous scenery in the UK at the oldest National Nature Reserve in Wales. It takes you into a normally inaccessible upland environment, and through beautiful ice-sculpted Cwm Idwal – a bowl-shaped hollow filled with the crystal clear waters of Llyn Idwal.

View of Dolaucothi Farm from Pen Lan-dolau near trig point at Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Carmarthenshire

Dolaucothi Estate, Carmarthenshire  

If you’re feeling fit, this 3-4 hour trail takes you to the highest spot on the Dolaucothi estate, miles of rich countryside where you might spot red squirrels. There’s also the shorter Miner’s Trail – or you could go underground on a guided tour.

On top of the Gribin headland, above Solva Harbour

Pembrokeshire 

With summer here, it's the perfect time to get outdoors for a walk and explore the best of Pembrokeshire's landscape. From heritage strolls to scenic rambles, here are five of our favourites.

Fan y Big, Brecon Beacons

Horseshoe Ridge, Brecon Beacons 

A challenging upland mountain walk that takes you into the heart of the Brecon Beacons, the horseshoe ridge walk provides spectacular views, allowing you to get a sense of the sheer scale and beauty of the glacial valleys. A map, compass, waterproofs, and a whistle and torch are all essential for this walk as you will need to be prepared for unpredictable weather.

Rare orchids grow in the hay meadow

Plas Newydd, Anglesey 

Enjoy the stunning views over the Menai Strait, the Faenol and Snowdonia as you walk around the beautiful grounds of Plas Newydd. If you steer off trail a little you’ll find the old rugby pitch that’s now been transformed into a wildflower meadow. From June onwards you’ll see this meadow come alive with buzzing bees and native orchid species.

Playing in the sea at Whistling Sands, Porthor, Gwynedd

The Whistling Sands of Porthor, Llŷn Peninsula 

The views are spectacular along this rugged coastline on the northern side of the Llŷn Peninsula. This is a great walk to absorb some of the history and heritage of the area. If you've time, stop off at the beautiful, family friendly beach, one of Llŷn's hidden gems.

View of Three Cliffs Bay from Southgate

Southgate to Three Cliffs Bay, Gower 

Picnic on one of Gower's most iconic beaches, with a view of Pennard Castle ruins which could be taken straight from a Hollywood movie. Enjoy spectacular views over Gower and South Pembrokeshire, and on a hot summer’s day you can see lizards basking on the hot sands.