Posted by: Carlos | June 29, 2010

Walking holidays in Wales

Wales is a truly spectacular country, with a diverse range of scenery, most notably the numerous mountains that adorn the landscape, including the Giant that is Snowdon. Thanks to its landscapes, Snowdonia has become increasingly popular with walkers.

As with any kind of holiday, it is important to find the right accommodation in Wales but there is always plenty to choose from, whether it’s the family-feel of Bed and Breakfast to the slightly more luxurious hotel.

Porthmadog is the perfect base for anyone wanting to experience walks that will show some of Wales’ most beautiful scenery. Moreover, it is also home to one end of two of Wales’ most popular Great Little Railways; the world-famous Ffestiniog Railway and the Welsh Highland Railway, both living monuments to the great age of steam. The Ffestiniog Railway connects the port of Porthmadog with the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog ‘Slate Capital of the World’; whilst the Welsh Highland will be fully open in 2011, and will eventually take you all the way to the idyllic historical town of Beddgelert and on to Caernarfon.

Accommodation in Porthmadog ranges to fit practically any budget from the standard Travelodge, which can be found directly opposite the Welsh Highland Railway, to the lovely Holiday Apartments that look out onto the Harbour. In the surrounding area, there is a huge abundance of varying priced Bed and Breakfasts in Wales, and Self-Catering Cottages.

Walks of particular interest around Porthmadog include the Moel-y-Gest walk, a 3-mile hike taking you from the busy shopping area of the town, up to the mountain paths. The trains of the Ffestiniog Railway are something that the walking enthusiast should not miss, as they can be the perfect link to a whole variety of different walks depending on your mood and ability. Taking the short ride to Minfford, will take you to the beginning of a one-mile walk leading to the famous Italian-inspired village of Portmeirion where you can find truly luxurious accommodation at the Hotel Portmeirion or Castell Deudraeth. With prices ranging from £170 up to over £300, the Welsh hotels are certainly not cheap but well worth the price.

Anyone looking for a challenge can take the train to Tan-y-Grisiau and begin a walk to one of the Ffestiniog Raiway’s most popular stations, at Tan-y-Bwlch. Taking roughly three hours to complete, walkers should note that the walk between Tan-y-Grisiau and Tan-y-Bwlch could get difficult at times, with parts being walked along high edges. Tan-y-Grisiau is also the gateway up to the magnificent Moelwyn Mountains, which offers an incredible walk. At five-miles in length, however, and up some very steep inclines, it is a difficult walk but worth it; if not only for the immense views, but also for a brief glimpse of past Welsh life. With the walk taking you passed abandoned quarries and derelict buildings, that are spooky but fascinating.

For a “lighter” walk, the lake of Llyn Mair is just a five-minute (downwards) journey through the woods at Tan-y-Bwlch. The lake is truly beautiful and a perfect spot for picnics.


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