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Top 6 winter walks in Wales

A wintery Chirk Castle, Wrexham ©National Trust Images Andrew Butler

From coastal hikes to woodland wanders and parkland strolls, National Trust Cymru has a winter walk to suit everyone. With all coast and countryside places and most gardens in Wales open throughout the year, now is the time to wrap up warm and blow away those cobwebs.

Here are some of the best trails to enjoy across Wales during the cold winter months.

North Wales

Bodnant Garden, Conwy

Whether it’s a brisk winter walk or a gentle stroll, a visit to Bodnant Garden recharges the batteries and fills the senses. Explore the five formal terraces and walk beneath a canopy of evergreen trees down to the riverside Dell. Follow the Winter Garden Trail on a gentle 0.5 mile (0.8km) circular route among nature that sets the senses alive with a spectacular display of winter flowers, foliage, and scent. The trail is accessible, including to wheelchair users and pushchairs.

Dogs on short leads are welcome every day until March. Parts of the formal upper garden closest to the entrance are level with compressed shingle and grass paths and are accessible. These surfaces can be adversely affected by the weather. Manual wheelchairs are available on a first come first served basis.

Winter walks at Chirk Castle, Wrexham ©National Trust Images Natalie Overthrow

Chirk Castle, Wrexham

Head out onto the historic estate at Chirk Castle to enjoy woodland wanders past ancient oaks and chestnut trees hundreds of years old. There are 480 acres of estate to explore and winter is the perfect time to do so. On the 2.5-mile (4km) Old Golf Walk on a crisp clear day you can see the Forest of Bowland 70 miles to the north, and the Peak District 65 miles to the east. If you are a fan of trees, the easy going, 2.5-mile (4km) Woodland Walk visits many a veteran tree, including a 500-year-old sweet chestnut as well as stopping off at the grand Davies Gates.

Tramper available to explore the estate: hire in advance. Accessible route in the garden which is open until 31 Dec and on weekends in January.

Dogs on leads welcome on the estate.

Erddig, Wrexham

For over 300 years visitors have been welcomed to explore the parkland at Erddig. The Yorke family wanted to share their beautiful estate, understanding the value of nature to the health and wellbeing of their local community. Follow the Erddig Clywedog riverside walk, a short circular walk of 1.5-miles (2.4km) that will take you through the parkland to the historic village of Felin Puleston. The route includes a delightful dovecote, the unusual Cup and Saucer waterfall, which look spectacular on a frosty winter’s morning, and the dramatic escarpment of Wat’s Dyke.
Dogs welcome on lead in parkland.

Mid & South Wales

Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire

Follow waymarked paths across parkland steeped in Welsh history at Dinefwr. Climb up to Dinefwr Castle (managed by Cadw) for views over the iconic 800-acre estate. Stride past some of the oldest trees in Britain including The Castle Oak, thought to be 800-1000 years old. Head out to see the White Park Cattle, an ancient and rare breed historical linked to Dinefwr, tucked up in the cattle shed for winter. And enjoy vistas of Newton House, standing proudly at the heart of the estate as you explore.
Dogs welcome but must be kept on a short lead at all times. 

Aerial view of Dyffryn Gardens near Cardiff in Winter ©National Trust Images James Dobson

Dyffryn Gardens, Cardiff

At Dyffryn Gardens it maybe mid-winter, but the gardens are anything but bleak. Discover more than 55 acres of horticultural variety, including grand historical vistas, a magical arboretum, intimate garden rooms and two log stack play areas. At this time of year, the gardens’ structure stands out in sharp relief and the aromas of scented shrubs including Christmas box, winter sweet and winter honeysuckle fill the chilly air. Warm up inside the heated glasshouse, with the flowering orchids and aloes and visit the café for a hot drink.
Wheelchairs and a mobility scooter available for hire, free of charge, booking recommended.
Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead at all times.   

Stackpole Estate, Pembrokeshire

For those in need of a sea view this winter, take a refreshing ramble on the Stackpole Estate. Stackpole is both a listed designed landscape and an internationally important nature reserve. Choose from the shorter, wildlife rich 1-mile (1.6km) Bosherton Lily Ponds trail around the beautiful Bosherton Lakes: created 200 years ago they welcome an array of birds and wildlife. Or take a stomp along some of the most beautiful coastline in the world, including Broad Haven South and Stackpole Head on a 6-mile (9.6km) Stackpole Wildlife Walk.
Dogs welcome under close control. Beach wheelchair and tramper available for selected routes outlined on the accessibility map on the website. Please call the Stackpole Centre on 01646 623110 for booking and more information.

All the walking trails mentioned above are available to download on the National Trust’s website. Admission charges and parking charges may apply.

Head to the Trust’s website to plan your visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wales