The Coastal Way
A walkers paradise
Running along the entire sweep of Cardigan Bay, from Aberdaron in the north to St Davids in the south, the 180-mile/290km Coastal Way is one of three Wales Way national touring routes.
Rather than a rigid set of directions, each ‘Way’ is a jumping-off point for exploration, with plenty of opportunities to venture off the main path and create your very own personal journey.
On this four-day itinerary, you’ll sample some of The Coastal Way’s many wonderful walks. You won’t have time to complete them all, so just pick the ones that appeal to you. With routes long and short through coast and countryside, you’re sure to find a suitable trail.
The trail reveals the coast’s most off-the-radar nooks and crannies, with secluded coves, seal-basked rocks, surf-lashed beaches and the enigmatic remains of stone circles.
Kerry Walker, Lonely Planet
Start your walking adventure At Llanbedrog on the Llŷn Peninsula’s south coast, where a 2.3-mile/3.6km loop takes you through shady woods and over open heathland, with panoramic views in all directions. Then carry on to the bustling harbour town of Porthmadog for a 6.3-mile/10km circular walk through pretty villages, a wooded nature reserve and past some lovely vistas of Cardigan Bay.
Continue down the coast to Barmouth, where a 5.6-mile/9km route rises up into the hills above town. Leading to Dinas Oleu (birthplace of the National Trust) and across farmland and woodland, it comes with long-range views of the Mawddach Estuary and Llŷn Peninsula.
Suggested overnight: Barmouth or Machynlleth.
Drive via Aberystwyth to Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre, Ponterwyd, where a 6-mile/10km route to Devil’s Bridge takes in ancient oak woodland, former mine workings, a host of tumbling waterfalls and great views across the Rheidol Valley. Or arrive in style at Devil’s Bridge on the Vale of Rheidol Railway and follow the Rheidol trail back to Aberystwyth. Next, continue down the coast to the 21-mile/34km walk that follows the old railway line between Aberaeron and Lampeter. If you don’t fancy tackling the whole route, you can walk as far as the National Trust’s Llanerchaeron, a rare example of an 18th-century ‘gentleman’s estate’ that’s hardly changed over the last two centuries. You can retrace your steps along the riverside (it’s just under 2½ miles/4km) or there’s also the possibility of returning to Aberaeron by bus.
Suggested overnight: Aberaeron.
Make your way to the little seaside village of Llangrannog for a walk on the Ceredigion Coast Path. Along the way, you’ll see the jagged rock formation known as Carreg Bica (legend says it’s the lost tooth of a local giant) and some spellbinding views over Ynys Lochtyn, a green-backed tidal island at the end of a stubby, sea-washed peninsula.
Continue on into Pembrokeshire and the coastal hamlet of Pwllgwaelod, where a loop around the steep cliffs of Dinas Head packs some challenging climbs (not to mention sensational views) into its comparatively compact 3-mile/4.8km length.
Suggested overnight: Fishguard. Find accommodation just right for you.
Round things off on a high on the stunning St Davids Peninsula with a walk along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path between St Justinians and Porthclais. Alongside uplifting views of Ramsey Island and the sea, this 5.9-mile/9.5km stretch gives you the chance to spot a huge range of marine wildlife, from seals and porpoises to gannets, shags and cormorants.
Finish your adventure by exploring Britain’s smallest city with the big heart and plenty to see and do. Experience 48 hours in St Davids.
Onwards along the Coastal Way
Pembrokeshire is at the southern end of the Coastal Way, which then runs through Ceredigion to Snowdonia Mountains and Coast (in the county of Gwynedd) in the north. Don’t miss out. Follow it all the way.
Experience more of The Coastal Way with our suggested itineraries including coastal adventures, exploring our history & culture, our inspirational landscape and our delicious local food and drink that awaits you around every corner. Epic.
Download our guide to The Coastal Way.