Experience an active holiday on the Welsh coastline
From the chiselled rocks of Three Cliffs Bay to the pristine sands of Barafundle, the Welsh coastline is a diverse and dreamy destination for an active holiday. It is home to some of the best treks in the UK with stunning views and there is plenty in the way of water sports and white knuckle thrills.
Jamie is a Cardiff-based creative with a passion for photography and video. He is the author of Explore With Ed, a travel and food blog sharing the best things to eat and experience in Wales and beyond.
Banner image credit: istockphoto.com/PaulCowan
Treks and trails
The Wales Coast Path hugs the shoreline from Chepstow to Caernarfon and beyond, meaning hikes from south to west and west to north are possible with hundreds of routes to explore.
Some of the best trails are located around the Swansea and Gower area, such as the walk between Caswell and Langland Bay with accessible parking, shower facilities and cafes. There’s also the iconic Rhossili Bay, often voted one of Britain’s best beaches, where you can ramble through the rural countryside, refuel at local pubs like the King Arthur Hotel and try some locally brewed Gower Gold ale.
Worm’s Head, Rhossili. Image credit: istockphoto.com/jax10289
The rugged Heritage Coast in the Vale of Glamorgan is perfect for history buffs and hikers alike. You can discover the dinosaur footprints and castle remains at Dunraven or explore historical villages like Llantwit Major – home of the antique Swan Inn. Campsites adorn this part of the Welsh coastline, so pitch up a tent and get down to the beach to relax at sundown with toasted marshmallows.
One way to pack in as much as you can on an adventure holiday in Wales is to load up a van with road trip essentials (including your camera), taking in the breath-taking vistas along roads like the A55 passing Colwyn Bay and the historic Conwy Castle.
Activities for the thrill-seekers
If water sports are your thing, there are plenty of surf spots along the coast. Llanfairfechan has a long pebble beach and a Blue Flag status. You could also head further west to the Llyn Peninsula and ride the waves off the Irish Sea at Porth Neigwl – also known as ‘Hell’s Mouth.’
A short drive inland from Llandudno is Zip World, home to the fastest zip line in the world, as well as a unique alpine coaster and a cave-dwelling subterranean trampoline park.
If it’s white knuckle adventure that you’re after, take your bikes to Merthyr Mawr and ride some of Europe’s tallest sand dunes, or head to the International White Water centre in the capital, Cardiff.
Adventure-seeking families will be enamoured with seaside towns like Tenby. It has access to some of Pembrokeshire’s best beaches and attractions like the seal safari boat trip, or a puffin-seeking excursion to Skomer Island. Across the water by ferry is Cadley Island where you can try some locally-made chocolate.
Skomer Island. Image credit: istockphoto.com/mthaler
Another great place to stay is on Llandudno’s Promenade. If you wake up on a clear day, The Great Orme provides a fantastic hike where you can admire the views across to Ireland. There’s also a mini-golf course and a park at the summit, as well as the famous Tramway that’s been shuttling visitors up and down the hillside for over 100 years.
Wales is a playground for anyone with a sense of adventure and the desire to explore. It’s easily accessible by van, which can now be hired via delivery, giving you the freedom to discover the coastline at your own pace. Hiring a bike will help you get off the beaten track, allowing you to unearth hidden gems in unexpected corners of Wales.