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If you ask anyone what the best way to explore North Wales is, they will tell you it’s with a walk.

Get out amongst nature and take on one of our favourite North Wales walks. This popular region is renowned for its stunning landscapes, filled with towering mountains, vast lakes, historic sites, beautiful waterfalls, and glorious coastline.

Continue reading to discover all you need to know about walks in North Wales…

Follow our handy links below to jump to your favourite kind of walk:

Coastal Walks in North Wales

1. Anglesey Coastal Path

First up is one of the most iconic walks in North Wales, the superb Anglesey Coastal Path. Stretching for miles and miles, this long-distance trail provides the very best sights and scenery of Anglesey’s breathtaking coastline.

A diverse range of landscapes make up the Anglesey Coastal Path, from sandy beaches and enchanting woodlands to dramatic cliffs and sand dunes. During your walk you can soak up views overlooking the Irish Sea, Snowdonia, and Menai Strait.

The trail is also renowned for its excellent wildlife watching opportunities. Visit South Stack to see a variety of seabirds, including razorbills, gulls, and puffins. Lucky visitors have been known to catch a glimpse of dolphins and porpoises in the shores below.

Whilst Cemaes Bay, Amlwch Port, Newborough, and Rhosneigr are well-known for sightings of seals! If you fancy a pit stop for a well-deserved pint or bite to eat, check out Ocean’s Edge Restaurant in Trearddur Bay, The White Eagle in Rhoscolyn, and The Oystercatcher in Rhosneigr.

For further information about this popular trail, check out our blog about Walking the Anglesey Coastal Path or explore five of thee best walks in Anglesey.

Distance: Approx 135 miles 
Duration: Approx 8-15 days if you are completing the whole path
Starting Point: St Cybi’s Church, Holyhead (LL65 1HG) 
Parking: Various pay & display car parks throughout the town 

2 . The Marine Drive Circular Walk – The Great Orme

This next North Wales walk will take you to the charming, Victorian town of Llandudno. Home to two beautiful beaches, a Victorian Pier, and the prominent headland of the Great Orme.

The Marine Drive circular walk is one of the most popular trails for exploring the Great Orme. Along the way you will discover a variety of wildlife, including seabirds, Kashmiri goats, and foxes. Depending on the season, you may even be able to spot a dolphin or two in the waters below.

When you’ve reached the top, you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the town and out to the Irish Sea. Treat yourself to a warming drink or something stronger in the Summit Complex’s cafe and bar. The complex also offers mini golf, a visitor centre, and a children’s playground.

If you don’t fancy the walk down, you can hop aboard one of the cable cars or the Great Orme Tramway, where you can sit back, relax, and take in the views.

Distance: Approx 4 miles 
Duration: Approx 2-3 hours 
Starting Point: Llandudno 
Parking: Great Orme Summit Complex Car Park – £4.70 for 4 hours 

3. Porthdinllaen Marine Trail, Llyn Peninsula


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If you’re looking for picturesque, coastal hikes in North Wales, look no further than the Porthdinllaen Marine Trail. Managed by the National Trust, this wonderful Llyn Peninsula trail is filled with rich history, wildlife, and stunning views.

During your walk, you will see unfinished sea defences from 1914, a former site along the beach which was used for shipbuilding in the 1800’s, and grey seals, known for frequenting the shores!

For something a little different, why not pay visit to the RNLI Porthdinllaen Lifeboat Station?

Distance: 2.5 miles 
Duration: 1-2 hours 
Starting Point: Morfa Nefyn 
Parking: Free parking for National Trust members, £5 all day for non-members. 

4. Dinas Dinlle to Caernarfon

Despite being one of the shorter walks in North Wales, the hike from Dinas Dinlle to Caernarfon is still one of our favourites!

The trail is part of the famous Wales Coast Path and offers breath-taking coastal scenery of the Irish Sea and the Llyn Peninsula.

You’ll find plenty of things to see and do when you reach Caernarfon, including its UNESCO World Heritage castle and a Segontium Roman Fort. There’s also a wide variety of shops, pubs, and restaurants, where you can enjoy a well-deserved treat at the end of your walk.

Distance: 8 miles 
Duration: Approx 2.5-3 hours
Starting Point: Dinas Dinlle 
Parking: Free parking in the Dinas Dinlle Car Park 

5. Point of Ayr Circular Walk


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If you’re holidaying in North Wales with the whole family, you’re sure to love the Point of Ayr Circular Walk in Flintshire. It is known as being one of the more family-friendly walks in North Wales, thanks to its level and wide path in the first half of the walk.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the path which features sculptures along the way. At 0.6 miles, you will reach the RSPB bird hide, where you can catch glimpses of Warblers, Wagtails, and Pale-bellied Brent Geese.

If want to explore further during your walk, the trail will take you through the Gronant Dunes. and along Talacre Beach. Or why not add a touch of history to your hike and visit the remains of The Point of Ayr Colliery, allowing a glimpse into North Wales’s rich mining heritage.

For more walks you can do with the little ones, browse our guide on Child-Friendly Walks in North Wales.

Distance: 3 miles 
Duration: 1 hour 
Starting Point: The Point Bar & Restaurant
Parking: Pay and display car park at the bottom of Station road 

Mountain Walks in North Wales

6. Snowdon Horseshoe

Your walking holiday in North Wales wouldn’t be complete without exploring the world-famous Yr Wyddfa. And what better way to do that than by enjoying a challenging yet rewarding hike along the Snowdon Horseshoe.

Leave the Pen-y-pass car park as you begin your ascent up the craggy peak of Y Lliwedd, which offers breath-taking views at its top. From Y Lliwedd, you can follow the ridge to Crib Goch, where you can put your scrambling skills to the test!

Continue along the ridge to Crib y Ddysgl and onwards to the summit of Yr Wyddfa, the highest peak in England and Wales. Set 1,085m above sea level, you can take in the jaw-dropping views of Llyn Llydaw.

Begin your descent from Yr Wyddfa via the South Ridge, where you will be treated to views of Crib Goch, before returning to Pen-y-pass.

Distance: 7 miles 
Duration: 5-7 hours 
Starting Point: Pen-y-pass car park 
Parking: Pen-y-pass car park 

7. Y Garn via Devil’s Kitchen Walk


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This next North Wales walk is one of the most popular in the region, and it’s not hard to see why. Offering stunning views, a challenging hike with scrambles, and vast, glistening lakes. You won’t want to miss out on this superb walk up to the tenth highest peak in Wales.

Your adventure will begin at Ogwen Cottage and on towards Llyn Idwal, a beautiful glacial lake in the heart of Cwm Idwal. From here, you can follow a marked trail up towards Devil’s Kitchen.

Devil’s Kitchen is a dramatic ravine that rests between the peaks of Y Garn and Glyder Fawr. Its name references the steam that can sometimes be seen rising from it, said to be the devil working in his kitchen.

Be aware that the path through Devil’s Kitchen is steep and rocky, so take care and time making your way through. There are plenty of exceptional views to enjoy along the way, so there is no need to rush!

If you’d like to extend your walk, you can explore the nearby hanging valley of Cwm Cneifion, which offers further breath-taking views.

Distance: 4.7 miles 
Duration: Approx 4 hours 
Starting Point: Llyn Ogwen car park 
Parking: Llyn Ogwen car park 

8. Offa’s Dyke Path


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If you’re looking to visit some of the most popular destinations in North Wales, you can do just that with a hike along Offa’s Dyke Path. This long-distance trail stretches all the way from Prestatyn to Chepstow in South Wales.

Along the way the trail will lead you through the stunning Clwydian Range and Dee Valley, offering panoramic views of the open countryside. The trail passes along the charming town of Llangollen, where you can stop off to see the picturesque Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

If you want to continue on, you can explore the rugged Eglwyseg Valley, World’s End, Llandegla Forest, the grand Chirk Castle, and the idyllic Ceiriog Valley. The trail then leaves North Wales and ventures into the South for those wanting to venture further.

Distance: 177 miles 
Duration: 12 days (can be split into smaller sections)
Starting Point: Prestatyn 
Parking: Free parking available at the Forestry Commission car park in Tidenham Chase

9. Watkin Path


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Boasting awe-inspiring views, a challenging climb, and known for being one of the most popular routes up Yr Wyddfa, it can only be the Watkin Path.

The first designated footpath in Britain, the Watkin Path ensures you get the most out of your Snowdon experience. Take the steep and rocky descent, which will lead you through a variety of diverse landscapes, including picturesque woodlands, craggy mountains, and plummeting waterfalls.

Keep an eye out for Gladstone Rock, a boulder named after the former Prime Minister, William Gladstone, who officially opened the path in 1982.

As you near the summit, the path joins onto the Rhyd Ddu Path and the South Ridge Path, both of which will lead you to the top where you can look out from 3,560ft high!

If you want to find out more about the Watkin Path or other walks in the area, check out our blog on The Best Walking Routes Up Snowdon.

Distance: 8 miles 
Duration: Approx 6-7 hours 
Starting Point: Nant Gwynant Car Park 
Parking: Pay and Display at Nant Gwynant Car Park 

10. Moel Famau Circular Walk from Bwlch Pen Barras

Tucked away in the beautiful Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB near Denbighshire, is the mighty peak of Moel Famau. Standing at 1,818-ft, it is the highest point in the range, so you already know the views are going to be outstanding!

Follow the trail signs from the Bwlch Pen Barras uphill as you begin your ascent to the summit. Much of the trail follows the famous Offa’s Dyke Path and offers superb, panoramic views along the way.

Once you have reached the summit, which boasts views across most of North East Wales and North West England. You will also find the fascinating remains of the Jubilee Tower, which was built to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of King George III in 1810.

Distance: 4 miles 
Duration: 2-2.5 hours 
Starting Point: Bwlch Pen Barras 
Parking: Bwlch Pen Barras car park 

11. Pony Path – Cadair Idris

There are a few routes to choose from to reach the summit of Cadair Idris, but the Pony Path has to be our favourite! The trail starts near the bustling town of Dolgellau in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park and is considered a moderately challenging route.

Along the way you will be treated to gorgeous views of the Mawddach Estuary, out towards Barmouth, and Llyn Cau as you ascend the summit. As well as alternative routes, including the Minffordd Path and Fox’s Path should you wish to explore further.

More glorious views await you at the top of Cadair Idris, as well as its own iconic rock formation which is known as the ‘Chair’.

Distance: 6 miles 
Duration: Approx 5 hours 
Starting Point: Ty Nant car park 
Parking: Ty Nant car park 

Woodland Walks in North Wales

12. Gwydyr Forest

For enchanting woodland walk that includes both mountains and rivers, be sure to check out the Pen yr Allt Walk in Gwydir Forest Park. The park enjoys a superb location in the Snowdonia National Park and surrounds the charming village of Betwys-y-Coed.

Hike along the circular route which is made up of steep, narrow footpaths, rocky surfaces, and forest roads, so be sure to take your time.

Follow the trail, where you can take in views of the far-off mountains including Moel Siabod, as you wander along rivers and through fir forests and upland meadows. You may even spot an abandoned mine or two along the way!

Distance: 4 1/2 miles 
Duration: Approx 2-3 hours 
Starting Point: Pont y Pair car park 
Parking: Pont y Pair car park 

13. Cefndeuddwr – Coed Y Brenin


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Despite being one of the easier and shorter North Wales walks, the Cefndeuddwr Trail in the Coed y Brenin Forest Park does not compromise on views!

The 1.5-metre-wide trail is ideal for off-road mobility scooters and pushchairs, as it has a flat surface and no stairs.

The route offers a lovely picnic area where you can enjoy your packed lunch with a view. As well as benches throughout the trail for when you just want to sit back and soak up the scenery of Y Garn and the imposing Rhinogydd mountains.

This is a great walk which all the family can enjoy in North Wales.

Distance: 0.8 miles 
Duration: 45 mins 
Starting Point: Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre car park 
Parking: Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre car park 

14. Princes and Pines Heritage Trail – Newborough Forest


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Next on our guide to great walks in North Wales is the wonderful Princes and Pines Heritage trail set in Newborough Forest.

The trail leads you across a diverse range of landscapes including through the forest, along dunes, and across farmland.

From the trail, you can easily access the village, where you’ll find the Anglesey Transport Museum and the Anglesey Model Village & Cafe, perfect for a pit stop!

So, pop on your walking boots, grab a flask of something warm, and get out amongst nature with a leisurely stroll along this much-loved trail.

Distance: 3 1/4 miles 
Duration: Approx 2 hours
Starting Point: Cwnhingar car park 
Parking: Cwnhingar car park 

15. The Mawddach Trail

If you’re visiting the Snowdonia National Park, you will not want to miss out on a hike along the picturesque Mawddach Trail. Set at the foothills of Cadair Idris, the trail follows the disused Ruabon to Barmouth railway for 9.5 miles along the stunning Mawddach Estuary.

The trail will lead you through a variety of landscapes, including lush woodlands, scenic marshlands, and open fields. The trail is renowned as being one of the most scenic railway paths in the UK, offering exceptional views of the mountains, sea, and rivers.

Along the way you can stop off at the Mawddach Valley – Arthog Bog RSPB Reserve to spot the local wildlife. The Mawddach Estuary is a SSSI and is home to a wealth of birdlife, you may even spot your favourites taking flight over the estuary!

As you reach the end of the trail, you will cross the Grade II* Barmouth Bridge, the longest timber viaduct in Wales. Reward yourself with a refreshing pint at The Barmouth Bar @ Grill or treat yourself to some fresh seafood at The Lobster Pot which overlooks the Barmouth Harbour.

Distance: 9.5 miles 
Duration: 6 hours 
Starting Point: Dolgellau 
Parking: Marian Cefn and Marian Mawr

Waterfall Walks in North Wales

16. Rhaeadr Aber Falls Circular Walk


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In North Wales, it is always a good idea to go chasing waterfalls, particularly the awe-inspiring Aber Falls. Set at the foothills of the Cardneddau Mountains, the falls are surrounded by open countryside and breath-taking views, the 120-ft waterfall attracts thousands of visitors each year.

You’ll begin your walk at the Bont Newydd car park on the outskirts of Abergwyngregyn village. From there you can follow the path through the woodland along the Afon Rhaeadr Fawr, cross the stream, and follow the main path through the valley.

Just before you reach the falls, you’ll spot low stone walls and remains of a circular building, remnants of an Iron Age settlement believed to date back between 700BC to 400AD.

Arrive at the falls where you can watch the water dramatically cascade through the rocks, take photos, or stop to enjoy a picnic with a view. When you’re ready to leave, follow the bridge over the Afon Rhaedar, before hiking through the moorland alongside of Ffridd Ddu.

The descent back to the village can be fairly steep, so be sure to take it steady.

Distance: 4 miles 
Duration: Approx 3 hours 
Starting Point: Bont Newydd car park
Parking: Bont Newydd car park

17. Swallow Falls Trail

Set in the enchanting Gwydir Forest, which surrounds the charming village of Betwys-y-Coed, is where you will find the Swallow Falls Trail. One you’re all parked up, follow the path which leads further into the woods and towards the sounds of the River Llugwy.

Along the way you can take in the beautiful sights and sounds of the forest and feel truly at one with nature. Be aware that there are narrow paths along this route, as well as uneven surfaces and several flights of stairs.

Once you have reached the falls, there is a set of stairs leading down to the wooden viewpoint and a bench, where you can relax and take in the views at your own leisure.

If you want to continue along the path, you will discover another viewpoint which offers exceptional views of Moel Siabod and the Snowdon Horseshoe. It is not to be missed!

Distance: 2 1/4 miles
Duration: 2 1/2 hours 
Starting Point: Ty’n Llwyn car park 
Parking: Ty’n Llwyn car park

18. Llanberis Cuenant Mawr Waterfall Walk

Our final North Wales walk is a favourite amongst the locals, thanks to its easy route with stunning scenery. The Llanberis Path begins at the Victoria Terrace bus stop which you can then follow under the viaduct of the Snowdon Mountain Railway.

Continue down the country lane where you will reach a sign directing you to the waterfalls. Follow the path underneath the viaduct again and along the Afon Arddu for approx 100 metres.

Take in the natural beauty of the Llanberis Cuenant Mawr Waterfall as it cascades in two stages through the rocks. The falls can be seen from a safe viewing area offering the very best views.

Distance: 0.59 miles 
Duration: 15 minutes 
Starting Point: Victoria Terrace Bus stop 
Parking: Snowdon Mountain Railway Pay & Display car park 

Find the perfect base to return to after enjoying one of these walks in North Wales walks with this range of North Wales cottages.

For more things to do during your stay, check out our blogs on Things to Do in North Wales and 14 Free Things to Do in North Wales or time your visit right to attend the annual Anglesey Walking Festival.


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