by Menai Holidays
From cycle races to triathlons, North Wales plays hosts to some great sporting events throughout the year. Many are going from strength to strength with participants travelling from across the UK and even further afield to take part.
We have all overheard the regular conversations by the kettle about training runs, the best scenery, quietest route, or flattest, and thought others might want to know. So, if you are someone who likes to pack their trainers when they go on holiday, here are our top six running routes in North Wales.
Distance – 15 miles can be shortened if starting at Malltraeth.
Difficulty – Easy, flat surface and easy under foot.
Watch out for – Red Squirrels and views of the mountains.
This is a run that’s pretty long but can be started at different points depending on fitness. The first spot I started is on a little hump bridge and the run takes you through the fields of Malltraeth Marsh. You will see cows, sheep and even the odd swan lurking in the river.
Once this great section is over you hop across the road and follow the causeway which runs adjacent to the road with great views across to Snowdonia. After a quick dash along here, you are into Newborough Forest. This is where it gets fun.
There are so many different tracks and pathways to follow you can get quite lost, but I feel it adds to the thrill. Make sure you look out for the Red Squirrels, they are so fun to watch. After getting suitably lost in the woods you take the same causeway back and you can then run along the grass bank back between the two rivers along Malltraeth Sands. Hopefully with the wind behind you.
Distance – 10 miles.
Difficulty – Quite a long run, but feels mostly down hill after the first section. Great paths throughout.
The slight hitch is you need a car at two ends or it’s a hop on a bus, which I’ve never been a fan of as you tend to smell a tad after a run! However, you do end at a pub so if you need to wait for someone to pick you up, you can be assured you are in a great spot at The Anglesey.
This run takes you over the Thomas Telford bridge and along the lovely cycle/walkways. After going over the bridge, (you must stop to take a picture), you run along quite a busy section of road, but then you drop down to Y Felinheli and you are onto the great pathways all the way to Caernarfon. You have glimpses of the Menai Strait all the way along and it’s lovely to run at a good pace along good pathways.
Difficulty – Moderate. A mixture of tarmac and trail, with some short up and downhill sections.
Watch out for – Views through the trees above the lake across to Snowdon.
An interesting circular running route around one of Snowdonia’s better-known lakes, perfect if you like a mixture of terrains. Stop to admire the view at as you cross the small bridge at the very end of the lake, before heading up the hillside – a fantastic view up the lake and valley towards Snowdon. Then as you work your way through the wooded hillside you get tantalising glimpses of the mountains and lake.
Difficulty – A few hilly parts and can be quite hard against the wind on the Aber.
This is one that’s a real corker! Starting at the great Caernarfon castle, the run takes you along the aber foreshore where you have a huge amount of wildlife to enjoy with the most stunning views. You then take a left inland and this takes you up an incline where you have views across towards Snowdonia.
Carry on looping around and you reach the Welsh highland railway path, look out for the white smoke of the train passing. There is the option to take part in the 5km race against the train in July. A few of us took part in the office last year. You finish with a quick dash through the car park and end under the castle again.
Difficulty – Quiet country lanes with some gentle hills.
Watch out for – Llynnon Mill – Wales’ only working windmill is the start & endpoint. Handy for loos and cafe! Views of Holyhead Mountain and out to sea.
A great way to explore some of Anglesey’s quiet country lanes and villages. Some good views, rolling countryside and gentle climbs. The cafe at Llynnon Mill usually opens for the season just before Easter and closes at the end of September. Please check for dates and times here you are relying on refreshments here on your return.
Distance – 4 miles.
Difficulty – Easy, quiet road and pavements all the way. Gentle climb at the end.
Watch out for – Great views across the island from St Gwenfaen’s – especially if you head up to the lookout.
Park at St Gwenfaen’s Church (SH 268 757). With your back to the church, run to the right and follow the road back to Four Mile Bridge, turn left, past the Anchorage pub, and take the left hand turn signed back to Rhoscolyn. Continue past the school and work your way back up the church. A four mile loop with one long gentle climb at the end.
I like the scenery, so will quite happily go round twice, or run up to the coastguard’s lookout for a quick seaview at the end (follow the footpath through the Plas gateway just below the church – pass Plas, can carry on up the track, over the stile and up to the lookout – it will add less than a mile).
Whether you prefer the forests or Newborough, views of the Menai Straits or Snowdonia, or the quiet country lanes in Anglesey, we hope you find a running route that suits you.
Why not make a weekend of it and stay in one of our hand-picked holiday cottages? Would you like somewhere to stay that is dog-friendly? Or has sea views? Maybe treat yourself to a house with a hot tub? Or find a romantic bolthole for two? View our full range of North Wales holiday cottages here.
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