Tuesday, 2 January 2024

2024 Wales: The Year of Trails

Wales: The Year of Trails

We have always championed Wales’ themed years, whether it was the year of Adventure, Year of Legends, Year of the Sea, Year of Discovery, or Year of the Outdoors. We had a whale of a time supporting the initiative and used it to put Wales’s identity at the forefront of our message.

This year, we’re excited to get involved with 2024: Llwybrau. Wales, by Trails.

Anyone who frequents the Black Boy Inn will tell you that the Inn has been a favourite for hikers – whether it’s a pre-ramble coffee or a post-walk meal and pint, weary travellers have been soothing their aching bones from an arduous journey for over 500 years!

And that’s why this year we will be building a wealth of hiking content on our blog so that our readership will have the inside track on the most exciting and beautiful hikes to get involved in within 2024.

Let’s make a start, shall we?

Snowdon’s trails

Wyddfa features a wealth of paths which can make every trip up the mountain’s heights unique. We love our mighty mountain more than can be described. Whether you are venturing up the PYG track as a newbie, taking the Watkin Path’s scenic route, getting down to business with the Miner’s path, taking a walk from town on Llanberis path, or Ranging around on the Snowdon Ranger’s path, or pushing the limits with Crib Goch or the Snowdon Horseshoe routes, there is a path for every level of ability. You can even take the train if you’d struggle with a walk – now that’s accessibility.

Llyn Dulyn Bothy

Llyn Dulyn is a lake that is hidden high up in the peaks of Eryri, the trail there is exciting and beautiful to boot. What’s very special about this location is that it is home to the Dulyn Bothy. What’s a bothy? It’s a mountain outpost that anyone can use. Whether you need somewhere to sleep, somewhere to grab a bite to eat or just to shelter from the rain and wind – you can find some sanctuary here. If you bring some firewood with you, you can even have a toasty and warm fire.

Carnedau Range

The Carneddau range is the name of the group of mountains of which Carnedd Llewelyn, Carnedd Dafydd belong. This is a fantastic group of mountains that boast some magnificent views of not only the surrounding surrounding countryside but the ocean too!

The Glyderau

Home to Glyder Fawr, Glyder Fach, and Tryfan – this legendary range of mountains is a fantastic day out for a seasoned hiker. There are so many paths you can enjoy here – including Cwm Idwal and its eponymous lake which is a favourite hike for so many folks.

Llyn Idwal

This walk, of moderate difficulty, unveils the stunning mountain landscapes of the UK’s oldest National Nature Reserve in Wales. Traverse the picturesque Cwm Idwal, a glacially carved valley hosting Llyn Idwal, known for its crystal-clear waters, unique rock formations, and delicate flora.

Devils Kitchen

The Devil’s Kitchen, located above Llyn Idwal in Wales, is a dramatic and iconic geological feature in the Snowdonia National Park. Its Welsh name, Twll Du, which translates as ‘The Black Hole’, is aptly named due to the dark, brooding appearance of the cleft in the cliffs of Cwm Idwal. This steep and rugged area is often shrouded in mist or cloud, adding to its mysterious ambience.

For hikers and climbers, the Devil’s Kitchen presents a challenging but rewarding experience. The area is known for its steep and rocky terrain, requiring a good level of fitness and experience in hill walking or climbing. The ascent to the Devil’s Kitchen takes you through a variety of landscapes, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the valley below.

Llyn Elsi, Betws Y Coed

Llyn Elsi is a beautiful walk which is located at the top of a trail that runs directly from Betws Y Coed. Tucked away in the Gwydyr Forest, amidst a blend of fir and broadleaf trees, lies a serene mountain lake, elevated above Betws-y-Coed. Begin your journey near St Mary’s Church, following a forestry path marked by intermittent black and white trail signs. The route ascends sharply through the forest, leading you to the tranquil lake. Venturing right at the water’s edge towards the Ancaster Memorial offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Snowdonia mountains.

Gelert’s Grave Walk, Beddgelert

The Gelert’s Grave Walk is a scenic riverside trail, immersing you in the tale of Gelert and Prince Llywelyn, the story behind Beddgelert’s name. This area, celebrated by travelers like Thomas Pennant and artists such as JMW Turner, offers a glimpse into Welsh history and culture.

Anglesey Coastal Path

The Anglesey Coast Path is a scenic walking route that encircles the island of Anglesey, off the coast of North Wales. This path is part of the Wales Coast Path and is renowned for its stunning coastal scenery, diverse wildlife, and rich historical sites.

Cambrian Way

The Cambrian Way is an impressive long-distance walking route, stretching 298 miles from Cardiff in South Wales to Conwy in North Wales. This path is celebrated for its traversal through Wales’ stunning, remote, and rugged landscapes. It encompasses some of the country’s highest mountains, including the renowned Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon), providing an immersive experience in the natural beauty of Wales.

Characterised by its challenging nature, the Cambrian Way features a staggering 22,500 meters (73,700 feet) of ascent, making it a demanding adventure suited for experienced hikers. Typically, it takes about three weeks to complete the entire journey, offering a comprehensive exploration of the Welsh countryside.

Offa’s Dyke

Offa’s Dyke Path, a 177-mile (285 km) long-distance hiking trail, offers a unique journey along the historic boundary line of King Offa’s 8th-century dyke. Opened in 1971, it stretches from Sedbury Cliffs near Chepstow to Prestatyn on the Irish Sea, traversing eight counties and crossing the England-Wales border over 20 times. The path, renowned for its diverse landscapes, weaves through the tranquil Marches, the Brecon Beacons National Park, and links three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. While it presents varied terrain, from challenging upland stretches in the Brecon Beacons and Clwydian Range to flatter sections along the River Severn, the trail predominantly offers gentle undulations, making it a captivating experience for hikers seeking both historical richness and scenic beauty.