Reconnoitring Wales’ Celtic rainforest: a walk in the woods of Coed Felenrhyd and Coed Llennyrch

Distance: 4.25km (loop) or 7.25km (with 3km out-and-back extension). The road north from Dolgellau is among Snowdonia’s best: a surprisingly straight, wide A-road ushering traffic south to north across the National Park with little to see, ostensibly, but dense belts of forest until you hit the coast around Portmeirion. Which is perfect, because forests and lingering in ostensibly-little-to-see areas are what we are here to … Continue reading Reconnoitring Wales’ Celtic rainforest: a walk in the woods of Coed Felenrhyd and Coed Llennyrch

Llansteffan: the greatest hits in one striking coastal Carmarthenshire hike

Distance: 7.25km (loop) or 13km (with 5.75km out-and-back extension). Carmarthenshire, being next-door neighbours with beach-perfect Pembrokeshire, often gets its 70-odd miles of coastline unfairly overlooked. But the county is no seaside flop. The estuary-indented seaboard embraces Wales’ longest beach (eight-mile-long Pembrey Sands), the shores where numerous land speed records including Malcolm Campbell’s got set (Pendine Sands), the spot where Amelia Earhart touched down to become … Continue reading Llansteffan: the greatest hits in one striking coastal Carmarthenshire hike

Finding romance in the stones of Anglesey’s Ynys Llanddwyn on St Dwynwen’s Day

Ynys Llanddwyn is love at first sight. Whipped by the Irish Sea, riven with secluded coves, cloaked in gold-green marram grass and commanding soul-stirring views of the dragon’s backbone of the Llŷn Peninsula, this narrow spit of land off Anglesey’s south coast becomes an island at very high tides. And not just any old island. Here the ruins of a 16th-century church, nave exposed to … Continue reading Finding romance in the stones of Anglesey’s Ynys Llanddwyn on St Dwynwen’s Day

Snow wonder: Wales’ other Sugar Loaf bares its white winter soul

There are hills that, though humble in height, captivate the imagination. Places that somehow draw you back time and again to their season-changing wilderness, their lonely trails, their idiosyncratic landscapes. Sugar Loaf (Sir Gaerfyrddin), a mere moor or two away from the endearingly odd town of Llanwrtyd Wells (of bog-snorkelling world championship and numerous other mad festivals fame), is one such place. The hill – … Continue reading Snow wonder: Wales’ other Sugar Loaf bares its white winter soul

Walking on the wild (sea) side to the northernmost point in Wales

Distance: 8.25km (round trip). This hike from comely harbour village Cemaes is SO Wales: hugging the wind-smacked north coast of Anglesey, it encompasses a swaddle of sandy, craggy, seaweed-trailed seaboard jaw-droppingly dramatic even by the standards of an island celebrated for quality coastline, then with characteristic lack of fanfare ushers you up to the hulking headland of Llanlleiana, Wales’ most northerly point accessible by foot. … Continue reading Walking on the wild (sea) side to the northernmost point in Wales

Cyfannedd Fach holiday cottage – something special in the middle of nowhere in southern Snowdonia

You may have fancied you have stayed in extremely isolated accommodation in Britain before. So did we. But spend some nights at Cyfannedd Fach, a 250 year-old stone cottage sequestered away somewhere between mountain, forest and sea in the shadow of the rugged folds of Cadair Idris and you will most likely be reassessing your notions of remote.  The distance from Dolgellau, the nearest town … Continue reading Cyfannedd Fach holiday cottage – something special in the middle of nowhere in southern Snowdonia

What it’s like to walk right around Wales: tips and tales from the trail with seasoned hiker Michelle Gollins

Few people can say they have walked the entire way around a country. Wales might have become the world’s first nation to have a footpath all along its borders with the completion of the Wales Coast Path (WCP) in 2012, therefore making the challenge more possible. But actually doing the hike, 870 miles on the WCP, another 177 miles on the Offa’s Dyke Path (ODP) … Continue reading What it’s like to walk right around Wales: tips and tales from the trail with seasoned hiker Michelle Gollins

The source of the UK’s longest river

Walk length: 16km (out and back). For an upland that can make so many bold claims (highest point in Mid Wales, one of the greatest uninterrupted wildernesses in Wales and, as will shortly be elaborated upon, the source of Britain’s longest river, fifth-longest river and the longest two to flow across Welsh soil), Pumlumon is a very unfrequented place. We can vouch for that. When … Continue reading The source of the UK’s longest river

Getting rugged in Snowdonia with Kate and Ross Worthington of RAW Adventures

From essential training in hill, mountain and wilderness skills to guiding adventure-seekers on hardcore challenges like the Welsh 3000s (Northern Snowdonia’s 15 highest summits) and organising recce events to those preparing for the world’s toughest competitive mountain run (the Dragon’s Back Race from Conwy to Cardiff across the remote central spine of Wales), RAW Adventures have been leading people into North Wales’ mightiest and most … Continue reading Getting rugged in Snowdonia with Kate and Ross Worthington of RAW Adventures

In search of the cave of Twm Siôn Cati, the Welsh Robin Hood

Walk length: 4km. In almost all countries, it seems, there is a Robin Hood figure, usually treading that hazy space between fact and fiction in history: someone who takes from the rich, gives to the poor and then gets heroised in popular culture. In Wales, it is Twm Siôn Cati: a canny 16th-century Mid Wales outlaw about whom reams of stories have been written but … Continue reading In search of the cave of Twm Siôn Cati, the Welsh Robin Hood