Lonely Planet Writer

Walk the Wales way along the world’s first coast path next month

If you like walking, seeing glorious beaches and meeting friendly enthusiastic locals, then you need to head to Wales in May for the Wales Coast Path Walking Festival.

The Green Bridge of Wales, Pembrokeshire. Image by ©joe daniel price/Getty Images

Not content with establishing the world’s first national trail that follows the whole country’s coastline, the good people who created the Wales Coast Path back in 2012 have teamed up with local walking groups and organisations to encourage everyone to get out and enjoy some (fingers crossed) fine spring weather along stretches of the route.

At any time of year you can walk the whole outline of Wales along its spectacular coastline, but for something more focused, from 4-19 May this year, you’ll be able to join in some 40 walks and activities that are taking place at locations around the country.

Winding road at Great Orme, North Wales. Image by Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

Already well established spots like Llandudno on the north coast will be treating visitors to wildflower walks and trails around the town’s Great Orme, the headland that was home to Bronze Age settlements and is now a haven for wild goats, butterflies and other flora and fauna. For some awesome architecture on your day out join the Menai Bridge walk, taking in expansive views of this elegant, almost two-hundred-year-old suspension bridge.

Coastal path marker near Marloes. Image by ©Pete Seaward/Lonely Planet

Down in the southwest, Pembrokeshire is a popular destination for holidaymakers and will be getting into the spirit of things with several walks along its scenic shores. For a section of Wales that’s a little more off-the-beaten path but equally rewarding, head east. Walks around Llanelli will be looking at the area’s industrial past and the remarkable transformation of the coastline here in recent years. History lovers will want to book a place on the walks around Llantwit Major and Llancarfan in Glamorgan where medieval wall paintings, tales of saints and ruined castles will satisfy any historic cravings.

So get those hiking boots on, grab a packed lunch and head out to discover some of the best of the Welsh coast.