Give the gift of adventure this Christmas
Wales Coast Path top 10 walking present ideas
Reconnect with wellness on the Wales Coast Path
Hiraeth - A Welsh word that expresses feelings of longing, nostalgia and homesickness. After the year that we’ve all had, Hiraeth is a feeling we’re all very familiar with.
To celebrate St David’s Day, why not get started planning your post-lockdown adventure along the Wales Coast Path.
Whilst there is no way to know when exactly we’ll be able to travel again, channel your Hiraeth feelings by getting ready to reconnect with wellness on the 870-mile coastal path.
It’s little secret that walking is one of the best ways to improve overall fitness and mental health. The combination of gorgeous landscapes, a revitalising coastal breeze and low impact exercise makes walking trips along the Wales Coast Path the ideal option for those looking to prioritise both their mental and physical wellbeing this year.
Ease your anxieties and clear your mind with a butterfly spotting expedition around Cwmtydu and Cwm Soden in Ceredigion. Say goodbye to lingering worries as you pass by the caves and pebbled beach of Cwmtydu, the hilltop Iron Age fort of Castell Bach and the mouth of the River Soden on the 3km circular route.
Are you one of the many who pursued a new hobby during lockdown? If so, why not develop your skills further by capturing the beauty of Cardigan Bay along the Wales Coast Path with Anita Woods. Soak up the fresh sea air whilst painting the sweeping bays, stony beaches and crashing waves of the coastline. Take your time and observe seabirds, passing pods of dolphins and seals nestled on the rocky shores.
After you’ve released your inner artist, ascend Mwnt for the best views across Cardigan Bay. The short 1km stroll along the Wales Coast Path guides you along soaring cliffs above the sandy beach and whitewashed church. At the top, enjoy far-reaching views where if you’re lucky, you might even spot Snowdonia’s mountains on a clear day.
Ground and re-centre yourself with a little help from the soothing sea sounds, fresh air and the calming practices of yoga. The Wales Coast Path is dotted with innumerable secluded spots and awe-inspiring expansive sands where budding yogis can spend some meditative ‘me’ time. Start your day with a sunrise session on the peaks of Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes in Bridgend, home to rare species of orchids which spring to life in the warmer months. Alternatively, lose yourself on the endless white sands of blue flag beach, Whitesands Beach in Pembrokeshire. Walk along the Wales Coast Path to find a handful of the coastline’s tranquil havens, perfect for a session of mind-clearing meditation.
No matter what time of the year you visit, walkers are able to spot an array of birds, marine animals and seasonal wildlife that call the shores of Wales home. Grab your binoculars and head out of a safari of your own design along the coast path. Each region is home to different wild animals, from Pembrokeshire’s world-famous colonies of puffins to the pods of bottlenose dolphins which can be spotted dancing through the waves off the shores off the Llŷn Peninsula.
Take the route from Llangrannog to New Quay along Cardigan Bay in West Wales for the chance to spot some of the UK’s rarest coastal wildlife. Keep an eye out for basking sharks, dolphins as well as birds such as oystercatchers & Choughs. On the way, pass the iconic island of Ynys Lochtyn and stretching views.
Find out more details about the Llangannog to New Quay walking itinerary (from Discover Ceredigion website)
If walking isn’t your preferred way of exploring, don’t fear, swap your hiking boots for a bike and head out to explore some of the cycling friendly sections of the path. From Colwyn Bay to Caernafon, each of these routes are flat and traffic free, meaning they’re suitable for both young and old cyclists.
One of the most popular routes is the Millennium Coastal Park in Carmarthenshire, which runs from the castle town of Kiwelly through the park which overlooks the stretching views of the Loughor estuary to Gower. Take a pit stop and visit the Wetlands Centre, home to a resident flock of Pink Flamingos!
One of the best ways to forget about your stresses and relieve your anxieties is by losing yourself in a good story. Thanks to Wales Coast Path’s ground-breaking augmented reality app, walkers of all ages can get outside and unearth local myths and legends, learn about flora and fauna, local history and discover mysterious shipwrecks and surprising facts.
Engage with exciting visuals, fascinating stories and interactive games at some of the path’s interesting points. History lovers can discover the golden sands of Pendine and the world land speed record attempts, with interactive games including setting your own land speed record in the iconic Blue Bird. Alternatively, head to Ceredigion to delve into the area’s hidden history filled with smugglers, a rich maritime heritage and plenty of local legends including the tale of an Irish King and his seven daughters.
Situated along the Wales Coast Path on the estuary of the River Tâf, the picturesque landscapes, majestic Norman castle and cobbled streets of Laugharne was the iconic home of Dylan Thomas. Many of the Welsh poet’s works were inspired by the beautiful scenery of Carmarthenshire including the much loved Under Milk Wood. Start your trip with the 2-mile Dylan Thomas Birthday Walk, the very same walk the poet took when he returned to Laugharne to celebrate his 30th birthday. Along the way stop to take in the views across the estuary and over the harbour to Dylan Thomas’ writing shed, a route that is part of the 870-mile Wales Coast Path and an iconic piece of Wales’ literary history.