The Wales Coast Path offers an unparalleled opportunity to walk a nation's coastline in its entirety. Stretching 1400km (870 miles) from Chester to Chepstow, including Anglesey, the waymarked trail takes 2-3 months to complete but can easily be broken into shorter sections. The walking is generally not difficult, although there are occasional rugged sections, steep ascents and descents and more remote stretches with fewer facilities. Promising fantastic scenery and a unique insight into local history and culture, what better way to experience the diversity and beauty of Wales' captivating coastline?
The route is presented in 57 stages, ranging from 16 to 32km, each featuring clear route description illustrated with 1:100,000 mapping, overview statistics and notes on the availability of accommodation, facilities and public transport links. You'll find plenty of helpful advice for planning your walk, plus background information on Welsh history, geology, plants, wildlife and local points of interest. A facilities table, Welsh glossary and useful contacts can be found in the appendices.
Passing through the Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire Coast National Parks, as well as numerous AONBs and sections of Heritage Coast, the Wales Coast Path takes in seaside resorts, attractive fishing villages, sandy beaches, rocky coves and striking cliff coastline. Highlights include the picturesque Llyn and Gower peninsulas, 13th-century 'Iron Ring' castles and frequent opportunities for wildlife spotting. The route can be linked with Offa's Dyke Path National Trail (covered in a separate Cicerone guide) to complete a full circuit of Wales.
Seasons: In summer you'll get the best weather, and all services will be open. The route is feasible in spring and autumn but expect cooler and wetter weather, and some places will be closed. Not recommended in winter.
Centres: Chester, Llandudno, Bangor, Holyhead, Caernarfon, Pwllheli, Barmouth, Machynlleth, Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Fishguard, St David's, Pembroke, Tenby, Carmarthen, Swansea, Cardiff, Newport, Chepstow
Difficulty: Walkers need to be careful to cover comfortable distances, and not over-extend themselves. There are occasional rugged sections, sometimes featuring short steep ascents and descents, and some remote stretches with few facilities. It is necessary to be aware of the weather forecast, tides and the availability of accommodation and public transport.
Must See: The historic 'Iron Ring' castles; holiday resort towns including Llandudno, Barmouth and Tenby; wild cliffs, rocky coves, sandy beaches; parts of the Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire National Parks; numerous AONBs, Heritage Coasts and nature reserves; museums and visitor centres