Thursday, 8 September 2011 2:15 PM
If you're looking at UK holidays, you might want to consider the attractions of Wales and the many hiking opportunities there are in the country.
However, there's much to plan when it comes to walking tours, so a good place to start is by simply thinking about your interests and the locations you most want to visit - here are a few ideas that may help.
Why not make your way to Pembrokeshire for coastal walks in the UK? This is the only coastal national park in Britain and you will find lots of accessible headlands and beautiful beaches - some of the finest in Wales - to stroll around.
The longest of the three national trails can also be discovered here. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a 186 mile-long route that follows the coast between Amroth and St Dogmaels, with the majority of the trail taking in narrow paths along the clifftops running across the headlands and down to the sea.
Keep your eyes peeled for seabirds, dolphins, seals and porpoises while on rambling holidays in Wales. Wildlife aside, there is much to see, such as the Preseli Hills - where the bluestones of Stonehenge came from, hewn from the tor of Carn Menyn.
Near here, you will find the Golden Road, a track that was once one of the main trade routes between Ireland and Wessex at a time when wolves and bears could still be found in the valleys.
You will also find some Iron Age earthworks and burial cairns, as well as the stone circle known as Beddarthur - or Arthur's Grave - that is part of the legend of Mabinogion. As the story goes, King Arthur and his band of knights came across the ridge and fought the magic boar, Twrch Trwyth, on Cwmcerwyn.
North Wales is also ripe with opportunities if you are considering walking tours in the UK. Snowdonia National Park stretches across 823 square miles of diverse and interesting landscapes. The largest national park in Wales, Snowdonia is home to the highest mountain in Wales and England, as well as the biggest natural lake in Wales - ideal for anyone wanting to get closer to nature.
It's a great place to go walking and there is a network of trails to suit all abilities. You might want to take on the challenge of climbing Snowdon, or a rather leisurely walk along the coastline may be more appealing. There is a wide variety of terrain in Snowdonia, from sandy beaches and rugged mountain peaks to amazing rivers and lakes.
You can even go on archaeological walks, as the area is steeped in history. There are several key sites where you can trace archaeological developments, such as Craig y Ddinas, a hill fort that is home to relics of the Roman and Iron Age periods. If you walk above Betws y Coed, you will also see evidence of the region's Neolithic past. Here, there is a burial chamber that dates back to the third millennium BC.
You may also want to head to the Llyn Peninsula while in North Wales, an area renowned for its scenic appeal and beautiful landscapes. There is much to explore, from woodland and forest to traditional fields and heathlands, with lots of ancient forts, archaeological remains and castles.
Make your way along the Afon Dwyfor river in Llanystumdwy, the largest river in the peninsula, and you will find this part of Wales is very picturesque. Going in autumn might be a great idea, as you can see all the leaves start to change colour. Keep a lookout for the Lloyd George memorial as you go and stop off for a lovely cup of refreshing tea in the village when you finish.
What to take
Wherever you decide to go in Wales, there are some essential items you must remember to take with you. First of all, consider the type of footwear you need, whether it's trail boots or regular walking shoes - and don't forget to take a second pair of comfortable sandals or shoes for when you're not hiking around and about.
A windproof and water-resistant jacket is also a must, as well as a hat if you're going to be outside in the summer. Don't forget your sun cream and sunglasses either, as you don't want to be caught out if the sun is particularly strong.