Hiking in Wales: TOP 5 Single-Day Trails

A winding stone path ascends a rugged mountainside in Snowdonia National Park, UK

In this post, we'll take a look at:

Hiking in Wales lets you see amazing natural sights. From the tall mountains of Snowdonia to the rough coasts of Pembrokeshire, this land of old castles and mythical stories invites adventurers to explore its stunning landscapes.

In this post, we’ll explore Wales’ diverse hiking trails. We’ll provide tips for an enjoyable outdoor experience and highlight the best day hikes showcasing this Celtic nation’s natural beauty.

Interested? Let’s get started.

Want a longer trek? See our backpacking in Wales guide where we list the best multi-day trails.

Key Tips for Hiking in Wales

  • What to bring: For beginner hikers or those unsure of what to bring, refer to our day hiking checklist. Otherwise, be prepared for unpredictable weather by packing proper waterproof clothing, sturdy footwear, and layered clothing.
  • How to stay safe: You need to constantly check for ticks, especially if you stop and take a break trailside in grassy areas. Also keep in mind that there are occasional sightings of venomous snakes, such as adders.
  • Best times to go are from May to September when weather is mild and days are longer, allowing more time to explore the scenic trails and blooming landscapes.

Top 5 Hiking Trails in Wales

These are the best day hikes in Wales to experience the country’s natural beauty:

1. Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) via Llanberis Path

Serene lakes nestled amidst the majestic mountains of Snowdonia National Park, Wales

Length: 9.1 mi / 14.6 km
Type: Out and back
Difficulty: Hard
Duration: 5-7 hours
Elevation Gain: 3,244 ft / 989 m
Location: Eryri National Park (Snowdonia)
Permissions and Fees: None
Active Calorie Burn: 2700 calories
More Details: See on AllTrails

The Llanberis Path is a 9.1-mile out-and-back trail near Llanberis, leading to the summit of Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon). Considered the easiest route up, it features a gradual ascent with great views at the top. Popular from May to October, suitable for moderate fitness levels. Highlights include Halfway House, potential wildlife, and a summit visitor center. The final ascent is steep and rocky. A classic Snowdonia hiking experience.

2. Pen Y Fan Horseshoe

A breathtaking aerial view of a mountainous range bathed in the warm golden light of the sunrise or sunset, captured from the summit of Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons, United Kingdom

Length: 9.2 mi / 14.8 km
Type: Loop
Difficulty: Hard
Duration: 5-6 hours
Elevation Gain: 2,575 ft / 785 m
Location: Bannau Brycheiniog National Park (Brecon Beacons)
Permissions and Fees: None
Active Calorie Burn: 2500 calories
More Details: See on AllTrails

This challenging 9.2-mile loop in Brecon Beacons National Park summits the four main peaks – Fan y Big, Cribyn, Pen y Fan (highest in South Wales), and Corn Du. Starting from Neuadd car park, it crosses ridges with stunning views. The highlight is the strenuous Pen y Fan ascent via Jacob’s Ladder. Descends along rocky escarpment edges. Best April-September, requires fitness for exposed, windy conditions. A classic Brecon Beacons hiking experience with panoramic vistas.

3. Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) Via Miners’ Track

Rugged gray and mossy green mountains rise majestically in Snowdonia National Park, United Kingdom, creating a striking contrast of colors and textures in the landscape

Length: 8.1 mi / 13 km
Type: Out and back
Difficulty: Hard
Duration: 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 2,604 ft / 794 m
Location: Eryri National Park (Snowdonia)
Permissions and Fees: None
Active Calorie Burn: 2600 calories
More Details: See on AllTrails

Tackle this demanding 8.1-mile out-and-back trail summiting Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon), Wales’ highest peak at 3,560ft, via the Miners’ Track and steep Pyg Track. Summit has seasonal visitor center with panoramic views. Limited parking at Pen-y-Pass trailhead. Best May-October but possible year-round with proper gear. A classic Snowdonia hiking challenge.

4. Y Garn via Devil’s Kitchen Circular

A tranquil river winds its way through a scenic valley surrounded by towering mountains in the picturesque Llyn Idwal area near Bangor, UK

Length: 4.7 mi / 7.6 km
Type: Loop
Difficulty: Hard
Duration: 3-4 hours
Elevation Gain: 2,234 ft / 681 m
Location: Eryri National Park (Snowdonia)
Permissions and Fees: None
Active Calorie Burn: 2400 calories
More Details: See on AllTrails

Take on this challenging 4.7-mile loop trail near Llanberis that summits Y Garn, the 10th highest peak in Wales at 3,107 feet. From Llyn Ogwen car park, pass Llyn Idwal lake before tackling the steep, rocky Devil’s Kitchen scrambling route with incredible views. Navigate rocky terrain requiring scrambling ability to reach the summit’s breathtaking panoramas. Return via the same path. Best hiked March-October, but possible year-round. Llyn Ogwen parking is limited, so arrive early.

5. Fan y Big, Cribyn, Pen y Fan, and Corn Du Circular

Against a dramatic sky backdrop, a grassy hillside rolls down from the iconic peak of Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons region of the UK

Length: 12.5 mi / 20.1 km
Type: Loop
Difficulty: Hard
Duration: 6-7 hours
Elevation Gain: 3,320 ft / 1012 m
Location: Bannau Brycheiniog National Park (Brecon Beacons)
Permissions and Fees: None
Active Calorie Burn: 2800 calories
More Details: See on AllTrails

Tackle this challenging 12.5-mile loop for rewarding summit views of multiple peaks like Pen y Fan. Steep initial climb from forestry car park, then picturesque ridges and a very steep, difficult descent. Boggy, rough terrain requires careful navigation. Proper hiking gear required. Best April-September in clear, dry conditions. Notable for WWII plane crash memorial sites along the route.


What are the most popular national parks in Wales?

The three national parks in Wales are Snowdonia National Park, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, and Brecon Beacons National Park. Snowdonia in northwestern Wales is the largest and most famous, known for rugged landscapes, hiking trails up Mount Snowdon (the highest mountain in Wales), picturesque villages, and historic sites like medieval castles. Pembrokeshire Coast along the southwestern coast features sandy beaches, towering cliffs, offshore islands, and quaint seaside towns. Brecon Beacons in south Wales offers a wide range of outdoor activities in their mountains, moorlands, forests, rivers, and reservoirs. All three parks protect incredible scenery and wildlife while allowing public access for adventures like hiking, climbing, camping, cycling and more.

What are some tips for hiking on a budget in Wales?

Hiking in Wales can be incredibly affordable if you plan ahead. Instead of paying for guided tours, buy an Ordnance Survey map to navigate the extensive network of public rights of way and trails. Take advantage of free wild camping in many areas with a permit, or stay at inexpensive campsites. Use public transit like buses and trains to access trailheads, or split rental car costs with friends. Park at free lots instead of paid tourist parking areas. Research free entry points to popular trails and scenic areas rather than paying fees.

Do U.S. citizens need a visa to hike in Wales?

U.S. citizens can hike in Wales without a visa for stays of up to six months. As part of the United Kingdom, Wales allows visa-free travel for American tourists under the U.S. membership in the Visa Waiver Program. However, visitors still need a valid U.S. passport to enter. U.S. citizens can explore all of the hiking trails, national parks, and countryside of Wales during their visa-free period.

Spread the word →

Why you should trust us

At Hikinglite, we're all about helping you hit the trails with lightweight and ultralight outdoor gear that won't weigh you down. Our crew of content creators? Real outdoor enthusiasts who've logged countless miles on the trails.

Leading the pack is our editor-in-chief, Alex Jardine – an ultralight evangelist who's hiked over 10,000 trail miles across the globe. He's basically a walking outdoor encyclopedia. This dude loves testing out the latest and greatest products, so you can trust his recommendations are always well-informed and reliable.

We treat all our suggestions like advice from close trail buddies. No fluff, just real insights from folks who live and breathe the outdoor life.

Have any questions?

More Insights

Suscribe to Our Newsletter

Stay smartly informed with our weekly newsletter

Follow us

hikinglite logo white
© 2024 Hikinglite - All rights reserved

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe now to stay ahead of the pack with the most up-to-date outdoor content.