Adventure Travel

Hiking Wild Wales

Don't be fooled by the cozy pubs and low elevations. The birthplace of mountaineering overflows with challenges, from rugged peaks to history-laden coastal treks.

In recent years, Wales has chiefly made news for its young princes, William and Harry. But a century ago, the world knew this craggy, storm-blasted edge of the British Isles for its celebrity climbers. It was here that George Mallory, Sir Edmund Hillary, and other Himalayan pioneers honed their skills. We traveled to Wales for our 2009 Editors’ Choice Awards testing and discovered that, between gear-mangling storms, it’s also a hiker’s paradise. Follow our adventure guide, and you’ll traverse knife-edge ridges, skirt shoreline cliffs, and walk through King Arthur’s ancient stomping ground. Then step off the trail and into a pub. Any route that follows in the footsteps of these mountaineers rightfully ends with a pint.

Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Tiptoe along oceanside bluffs with views across the Irish Sea.

Snowdonia National Park

The highest peak. The wildest ridges. The largest lake. Find them all in Wales’s alpine heart.

Brecon Beacons National Park

Cross a sprawling preserve of broad mountains, lonely ridgelines, and lush river valleys.

Offa’s Dyke Path

Follow a long-distance trail along the once-violent, now-bucolic border between England and Wales.

Plan It: Wales


Get GPS tracklogs, photos, gear picks, photos, video, and more in our Wild Wales special section!