Whether your preference is for a leisurely hike with time to enjoy the stunning scenery, or for rather more of a challenge, the Snowdonia National Park in beautiful North Wales can provide. For the seasoned hiker there are mountain trails and for those who prefer a more gentle pace, footpaths taking in stunning lakes and valleys – but remember to go well-prepared because the weather can change in moments. With over 2,000 miles (3,218kms) of paths you’ll be spoiled for choice – so here’s our guide to 10 of the best.
This is an easy ‘leisure’ walk of about two hours – perfect for a morning hike before a hearty lunch. Part of Mawddach Trail which is a nine mile (15km) walk from Dolgellau to Barmouth, Abergwynant Woods is a tranquil heaven for walkers.
Near to the North Wales town of Dolgellau, the Minffordd Path is a mountain walk better tackled by more dedicated hikers. The mountain here to be discovered is Caer Idris, one of Wales’ flagship mountains. This six-mile (10Km) walk takes about six hours and offer a rugged track that can prove challenging.
Located in the breathtaking Welsh Lake District, Llyn Tegid – meaning Fair Lake – is a moderate walk of 7.5 miles (12km) that affords stunning lakeside views and covers several different terrains, taking a little over five hours to complete.
This riverside walk is considered a hard leisure walk and is four miles (6.5km) in length – taking approximately three hours, hikers pass by the lovely River Mawddach.
Another hike with splendid lakeside views, Crimpiau offers a harder walk of approximately three hours, taking in mountains, lakes, woodlands and rivers.
This is one for the more experienced hiker, an eight-mile (13km) route takes you up 3,071 feet (936 metres) over six hours allowing you to climb up Wales’ tallest mountain, Mount Snowdon. Expect to be thoroughly rewarded with spellbinding views.
This three-mile (5km), two-hour walk would be perfect after a summer Sunday lunch in one of the area’s excellent pubs. Overlooking Cardigan Bay, Aberdyfi or Aberdovey (in English) is a pretty coastal town on the Dyvi estuary.
The Wales Coast Path, which follows the Welsh coastline from north to south, has over 180 miles (289 km) of footpaths in Gwynedd. There are many guide books to help you decide which parts you’d like to follow and in North Wales the trails takes you from Llanfairfechan in the north to Machynlleth in the south of the county.
These paths, with several options for hikers, take visitors through the heart of the Welsh Slate Quarries – once a thriving industry – that are now abandoned. The walks take you through the dramatic countryside, helping walkers to understand the hardships faced by the families who once lived and worked in these remote hamlets.
Tha National Trust’s Gelert’s Grave Walk takes hikers, not only on a walk in exceptional surroundings, but also introduces one of Wales’ most famous legends. Gelert was a hunting dog belonging to a Welsh prince. Once day there was a communion in the nursery of the castle and the prince discovered Gelert covered in blood, with a bloodied sheet beside him. Believing that his dog had savaged his sleeping child he killed the dog on the spot. A few moment later, cries were heard and the infant was found safe under a blanket. Beside the child was the corpse of a wolf was found. The prince was so overcome with remorse that he buried his faithful dog where all could see and know of the deed done. ‘Gelert’s Grave’ is most likely the remains of a Bronze Age round barrow, but the story has stuck through the ages.