Our Favourite Places in Wales – #StDavidsDay

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We celebrate some fantastic outdoor locations in Wales

March 1st is St David’s Day, so we asked GO members of staff for their favourite places in Wales to celebrate the rich outdoor landscape. We cover off beaches, walks, mountain bike trails and more. Wales has always been a favourite here at GO Outdoors (we even filmed our last TV advert there) along with many of our head office and store staff all calling Wales home. We could tell you all about Snowdon, the Brecon Beacons and other hugely popular areas in Wales, but you probably know all about them, so here’s a list of places that we think you should try if you’re thinking of heading to Wales – who knows, you may find something new.

1. Llanberis Pass
A fantastic spot for climbers, located between the ranges of Glyderau and Snowdon Massif, leading down to the village of Nant Peris. There is plenty in the area for bouldering, along with many walks. It also has access to both the Pyg and Miners tracks up Snowdon. If you haven’t been, you’ll feel like you have due to so many TV adverts and more having been filmed in the location.

2. Breakwater Lighthouse
A unique square little lighthouse just outside Holyhead. Best to visit in good weather.

3. Newborough Beach
A stunning little location we visited while filming our own TV ad. Situated on Anglesey near the village of Newborough, the beach offers a perfect get away. In nice weather you’d be forgiven for thinking you were somewhere exotic, with plenty of stunning forest near by too.

Newborough Beach

4. Moel Famau
In a country filled with famous ridges and an obvious Mountain, it’s easy to forget the ‘lesser known’ hills and walks. Moel Famau is a gentle hill for all abilities and offers stunning views on route.

5. Portmeirion Village
A picturesque little tourist village situated in North Wales, probably most famous for being the setting for hit TV show ‘The Prisoner’. Ideal for a day trip, but leave the dog at home as Portmeirion has a ‘no dog’ policy.

6.  Coed Y Brenin trail centre
In our opinion, one of the best places in Wales to ride bikes for all abilities. Plenty of trails for mountain bikers including a blue route where beginners can get to grips with the basics. Got a bit of experience? try the ever popular Dragons bag route (red rated) filled with plenty of heart racing descents. Looking for a real challenge? Try out the Beast. The longest trail at the centre that will challenge any rider who takes it on at speed.

7. The Black Mountains
A group of hills in south Wales, popular among walkers and ramblers and as with many areas in Wales, will offer great views.

8. Cwmorthin Valley
A stunning valley for walkers/ramblers alike featuring quarries and some of the best mines in Wales.

Cwmorthin Valley

Cwmorthin Valley - Photo from Andrew Peace

 

 

9. Abereiddy Blue Lagoon
A lovely, almost ‘mystic’ feeling blue lagoon that is ideal for sightseeing or a spot of coasteering. If you’re brave enough and have a wet suit, there’s a few places to jump off around the lagoon.

10. Black Rock Sands
A wide beach which makes for great walks all year round. The beach is popular with dog walkers and the low-tide caves and rock pools are worth checking out. Unusually you can actually drive straight onto the beach here, so it’s popular for watersports as well.

11. Beddgelert
A village in Snowdonia that comes with it’s own legend and story. Beddgelert is said to be the final resting place of Gelert the hound (you can visit Gelert’s grave). The story goes that Gelert, the trusty hound of Prince Llewelyn the Great was wrongfully thought to have killed the Prince’s child, heartbroken the Prince killed Gelert, only to find his child alive and that Gelert had been protecting the child by killing a wolf that had tried to attack. One for the dog lovers, perhaps?

12. Aberglaslyn Pass
A narrow gorge near Beddgelert that is best taken in via the footpaths that run either side.

13. Harlech
A stunning little town that features a clifftop castle worth visiting for the whole family. There’s plenty on offer in Harlech to make a for a busy family day out, with much to discover.

Harlech Castle

 

 

 

14. Cadir Idris
Want to try a mountain, but not quite ready for Snowdon? Cadir Idris is the second most popular mountain in Wales to climb, despite only being the 19th highest in the country. It’s known for it’s low cloud, but if you catch it on a clear day, it offers a stunning panoramic view of the area.

15. Cae Du
A stunning little campsite next to the sea.  This not too remote campsite offers a great chance to get away from the hustle and bustle with some idealic scenery to boot. Walking distance to a local train station means there is plenty to see and do in the area.

16. Betws Y Coed
A picturesque village in Snowdonia that is a popular stay point for many adventurers in the park. The village has an almost alpine feel with it’s surroundings. You’re a stones throw away from great walks, fishing and bike rides that make this little village worth a visit for any fan of outdoor pursuits.

17. Zipworld
Seen Snowdonia by foot? Like a thrill? How about a 5000 feet zipline offering fantastic panoramic views of slate mine and coastline? Zipworld features some lines that are a mile long and let you feel the rush of 100mph from 500ft high.

18. North Wales Coastal Path
The North Wales Coastal Path stretches around 60 miles, but it’s easy to pick out shorter routes along the way, we’d personally recommend Penmaenmawr to Conwy, where the photo below was taken.

North Wales Coastal Path

19. Waterfall country
Who doesn’t love a waterfall? Waterfall country in the Brecon Beacons has the highest concentration of cascades, gorges and caves anywhere in Britain. A real adventurers paradise and something that will definitely interest the kids. It’s also worth looking out for the four falls walk, a must try for any rambler.

20. Bosherton Lily Ponds
Nothing strenuous, just a great few hours of walking around a beautiful ponds filled with lilies and wild life.  Pack a rucksack, bring a picnic and enjoy what some consider a little known treasure in the popular Pembrokeshire area.  At around 3 miles, it’s an ideal walk for all the family.

21. Pembrokeshire Coast
We’d be remiss to not mention one of the most stunning areas in all of the UK. It’s difficult to pick out specific areas, as there is so much to do along the Pembrokeshire coast that you really cannot go wrong. The Pembrokeshire coastal path was the first coastal path in Wales and stretches around 186 miles.

22. Castell y Gwynt
A.k.a Castle of the Winds, the top of Glyder Fach in Snowdonia is an inspiring summit over 3000ft and offers a particularly awe-inspiring view of Tryfan on a clear day. The jagged rocks make the whole experience positively medieval.

Castell y Gwynt on Glyder Fach © Copyright George Tod

 

 
23. Afan Forest
A 48-square mile park designed for mountain bikers to love. Enjoy forest based or more open tracks and routes that offer a variety of degrees in difficulty.

24. Llangollen
Another pretty little town, but this time the focus is on fans of white water. Kayaking, tubing and rafting are high on the list of things to tackle in this Welsh town. Not a fan of water? There’s plenty more to do in the area for the general outdoor fan.

25. Llyn y Fan Fawr
Translated as ‘lake of the big peak’, this natural lake sits at the foot of Fan Brycheiniog (the highest peak of the Black Mountain) in Brecon Beacons national park. One of the largest glacial lakes in South Wales

26. Cathedral Cave
Recommended by our friends at TYF. You can join them kayaking or coasteering near St Nons. A truly memorable location and experience to take in in a variety of ways.

Cathedral Cave - Image courtesy of TYF

 

Of course there are plenty of locations that we’ve missed, we haven’t even touched on the most popular locations in Wales. What’s your favourite place to visit in Wales? why not let us know in the comments below.

 

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