If you like walking, then you should definitely book a short break or holiday in West Wales. Here at FBM we are very keen on getting out into the great outdoors and making the most of the beautiful coast and countryside in which we live.
We are proud to offer a great selection of holiday cottages from which you can base yourself for a walking holiday or even a holiday with some walking added in!
If you’re aiming to take a break on your own, explore as a couple, cover some miles with your dog or take your children on an adventure, there are paths and trails for everyone throughout West Wales.
What’s more there are many benefits of going for a walk. It is not only good for your health and well-being, it is a great way to explore a new area at a slower pace.
So, what are you waiting for? Check out our handy guides to trails in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion below for some inspiration.
There are so many gorgeous walks to choose from within Pembrokeshire. Not only does it boast the UK’s only coastal National Park, it also has a continuous coastal path which measures around 186 miles from St Dogmaels in the north to Amroth in the south. There is plenty to see from the varied and dramatic Pembrokeshire coastal path. Not only are there some amazing views to be appreciated, there are some fascinating topographies and plenty of wildlife. Please follow safety guidance while walking coast paths.
FBM offer a range of coastal sea view cottages for those wanting to explore the Pembrokeshire coastal path. We also have a range of self-catering country cottages for you to base yourself in to explore some of the lush farmland and woodlands within the county. Not only this, we have a fantastic selection of dog friendly cottages so your lovely four-legged friend won’t miss out on these great walks too.
One of our favourite parts of the coastal path is the walk between Porthgain and Abereiddy. It’s a 4-mile jaunt which gives you an insight into the industrial past of the area. Porthgain is an old fishing port from which road stone was exported all over the UK. The coastal path is created from the old tramway between it and the famous Blue Lagoon, an old slate quarry, which was one of the locations used as part of the Red Bull Cliff Diving series.
St Davids Head also boasts some coastal walking which is not to be missed while you’re staying in Pembrokeshire. This walk will take you over some of the oldest rocks in Wales and is one which will delight all year round. There are flowers to be enjoyed in the springtime, seabirds in the summer and it’s a great walk for getting some fresh air and blowing away the cobwebs in autumn and winter. Treginnis on the peninsula is the most westerly settlement in Wales and St Justinian’s lifeboat station is about halfway round. Ramsey Island can also be observed from the path, as can porpoise and dolphin which pass through Ramsey Sound.
Stackpole Woods is a must visit if you’re looking for a peaceful walk to get some head-space. It’s managed by the National Trust and offers lots of trails for you to explore. There are rhododendrons planted in the Victorian times and a stream running through the heart of it. Start at Stackpole Cheriton and follow the track along to the road. From here you can carry on to Castle Dock Wood and explore the trails in there or take a left and carry on along the road, then over the bridge and on to Stackpole Walled Gardens. Alternatively, you could turn right and head into Stackpole village for a cosy meal or drink at the award winning Stackpole Inn.
Colby Woodland is another National Trust managed site which offers plenty of walking trail options. There are walks outside the estate or head into the grounds to see the Woodland Garden. There is plenty of wildlife and seasonal blooms to see along all the woodland trails, as well as nods to the coal mining past of the area.
Pembrokeshire offers some diverse walking opportunities including upland walking on the Preseli Hills located in the north of the county. Although the highest point is 563m, the heather covered hills are a stark contrast to the lush pastureland below. There are some fantastic views to be seen from Foel Eryr right down to the oil refineries along Milford Haven, to the north coast of Pembrokeshire, including Fishguard and the Gwaun Valley. The Golden Road runs the length of the hill range and is 8 miles long. It is said to date back to the Neolithic period and was the main route for travellers to and from Ireland. There is so much history to be discovered in the area including the remains of bronze and iron age hill forts as well as stone circles and burial cairns.
The Landsker Borderlands Trail route explores the rural area on the Pembrokeshire/Carmarthenshire border from Llanboidy and Efailwen in the north via Canaston Bridge on the Daugleddau to Landshipping and Lawrenny in the south, returning via Reynalton and Ludchurch. It follows part of the original and disputed frontier between England and Wales and really is a great way of exploring the heart of rural Pembrokeshire.
For more inspiration check out our blogs on walking such as winter and sunday walks in Pembrokeshire.
Carmarthenshire is a fantastic county in which to base yourself for a walking holiday as there really is something for everyone. It is the perfect place to explore if you’re wanting to complete a challenge, escape on a romantic getaway or make walking part of your family holiday. The Carmarthen Bay Coast Path is 74 miles (118 km) long and is very diverse. It combines golden sandy beaches, historic ports and tranquil estuaries. The county also boasts lush green farmland, large forests and rivers which are full of life. Not to mention that part of the Brecon Beacons National Park falls within the county. To help you plan your break we have handpicked some walks we think you shouldn’t miss while on holiday or during your short break away in Carmarthenshire.
Byrgwm Forest Walk begins from Byrgwm Picnic Site in Brechfa. Llandeilo is the the nearest town. Perfect for a simple stroll, why not take a picnic and stop for lunch! A middle distance forest walk, ideal for all the family, those on a romantic weekend break or the avid dog walker looking for a dog friendly holiday – this walk which contains a mixture of mature Douglas Fir, broad-leaved wood, clear-felled areas and forest tracks, will appeal to all – not to mention the derelict stone buildings and historical boundaries that you will pass along your travels. Byrgwm is located on the B4310, two miles north-east of Brechfa village. Follow the A40 between Llandeilo and Carmarthen and take the B4310 towards Brechfa village.
Situated on South Wales coastline in Carmarthenshire lies The Millennium Coastal Park and path. A beautifully enhanced area of interest and beauty. It was originally a project undertaken by Llanelli Borough Council to transform a 20 km stretch of industrial wasteland on the south Carmarthenshire coast into green parkland. The project was then taken over by Carmarthenshire County Council after the amalgamation of Welsh local authorities and has transformed the land into a recreational area for the general public. Although many parts of the park have been finished and open to the public for a while, the development of new facilities continues in forms such as the expansion of Burry Port marina and the construction of housing and leisure complexes at Llanelli’s North Dock.
The park offers views of the Gower Peninsula on the other side of the Loughor estuary and features a variety of visitor attractions including the North Dock visitor centre, National Wetlands Centre and Sandy Water Park. The Millennium Coastal Path (a stretch of the Celtic Trail cycle route, also known as National Cycle Route 42) runs throughout the park. Perfect for those of you on a walking holiday, keen cyclists, a fun packed family break or for those of you just simply looking for a dog friendly holiday! This could be the one for you!
This town walk is ideal for Dylan Thomas aficionados to breathe in the atmosphere where the famous author lived, worked and enjoyed himself. The town of Llareggub (“bugger all” spelt backwards), in his radio play Under Milk Wood, was based on Laugharne, and he wrote it in the shed above the Boathouse. Other famous author landmarks are still up and running, such as Brown’s Hotel and Corran Books on King Street is a shrine to Dylan Thomas. Don’t forget to pay a visit to Laugharne Castle, still looking imposing, situated on the beach.
This short walk of around one mile allows you to retrace the steps of the Roman gold miners and more up to the 1930s. It is a steepish climb along woodland paths and stoned tracks. Look out for the Pumsaint Stone (Carreg Pumsaint) – legend says that five wise men rested against this stone one wild and stormy night, leaving the imprints of their heads on the stone.
If you’re wanting to dust off your walking boots and get some sea air, then head to Ceredigion. The spectacular 60-mile-long coastal path, pretty seaside settlements, beautiful country and riverside strolls will ensure you will head home feeling rejuvenated with lovely lasting memories. Whether you’re wanting to plan a walking holiday, or just get an idea of where to go to for a stroll while you’re on holiday or during a short break, we have outlined a few of our favourite walks to help you get started below.
Our walking holiday journey begins in stunning Cenarth Falls. This series of small waterfalls and pools are found along the river Teifi and a well-known salmon leap. They are situated South East of Cardigan and to the North West of Newcastle Emlyn. The first stop on our path, The Coracle Centre is a museum and workshop, playing host to, as its name suggests, a collection of Coracles from Wales and around the world! A Coracle, for the more nautically challenged amongst us, is a traditional lightweight boat. The Centre is enviably located on the peaceful site of a 17th century flour mill. This route will take you along the banks on the Teifi, into Cilgerran. Proudly standing over the Teifi are the ruins of Cilgerran Castle.
Following the steep climbs of the coastal path lying South of Aberaeron, situated on the Northern coast of Ceredigion, below Aberystwyth and to the North of Cardigan our trail begins before turning inland towards Henfynyw. Perfect for those of you looking to sample all the delights of a walking holiday! Your journey from Aberaeron, the pretty seaside town which was planned and developed from 1805 by the Rev. Alban Thomas Jones Gwynne. The Reverend built the harbour which operated as a port and was vitally important within the shipbuilding industry in the 19th century. Head to Henfynyw which will take you past an ancient Church at Henfynyw – the site at which St David is said to have been born – Saint David was a Welsh bishop of Menevia during the 6th century; he was later regarded as a saint and as the Patron Saint of Wales.
Our journey begins in Aberporth, the trail will guide us across cliff tops following the coastline, the path meanders towards the headland of Ynys Lochtyn. As you draw near to Tresaith, the Afon Saith waterfall, created in the last Ice Age, comes into view on the far side of the beach. Tresaith is a coastal village that has a beautiful sandy beach. Lifeguards are normally on duty at peak seasons and it is a popular location for surfing. Cardigan Bay is most famous for its bottle-nosed dolphin population which can be spotted during the summer from the beach at Tresaith. There is also an active sailing club, the “Tresaith Mariners” with a mixed fleet of dinghies and catamarans.
This trail begins in New Quay, a pretty seaside town in Ceredigion. Located on the stunning Cardigan Bay with a picturesque harbour and long sandy beaches, it is clear to see why this traditional fishing town has become such a popular seaside resort. This fantastic trail, perfect for those specifically on a walking holiday or even those on fun packed family holiday, will take you past the delights of the Coastguard Station. The path is lined with wildflowers from thrift early in the year to sea campion in the summer. You will also stroll by Bird Rock, a site of special interest for bird watchers with its colonies of nesting birds. Seal Bay is another significant waypoint on this trail. The autumn months are the best to see the young seals, but older seals can usually be seen basking in the sea. This walk ends in in Cwmtydu – a perfect picnic spot below an old lime kiln, whilst in this beauty spot you must be sure to take in the stunning views across to the Lleyn peninsula. The walk is steep at the start but soon levels off to give you a clear view of the path ahead before descending into pretty coves and the soaring up again onto the cliff path.
Situated to the North West of Pembrokeshire, on the bay of Ceredigion, sits Aberystwyth and this is where the Ystwyth Trail begins. This trail meanders its way down to a finish in Tregaron, part of the Teifi Valley. For the most part of the Ystwyth Trail you will be following in the tracks of The Old Great Western Railway Line – formally the Manchester and Milford Railway Company (M&M). It was the brainchild and money-making scheme of M&M to connect the transatlantic port of Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire, to the cotton industry in the North West side of England. Problematic development of the track commenced in Pencader at around 1864, finally reaching and ending in Aberystwyth in 1867 due to encountering terrain problems like the Cors Caron, the largest Peat Bog in Britain! M&M was taken over in 1911 by The Great Western Railway Company which then became part of The British Railways Network. This line ceased transporting goods in 1964 and the passenger trains ceased in 1965.
Situated to the North West of Pembrokeshire, on the bay of Ceredigion, sits Aberystwyth where the trail begins. This path meanders its way down to a finish on Constitution Hill, which is home to the longest Cliff Railway in Britain and the biggest Camera Obscura in the World! A must-see and fine example of a Victorian pleasure park. Constitution Hill rises dramatically 430 feet from the north end of Aberystwyth promenade. The views from the top are simply spectacular. It’s told that on a clear day you can see 26 Welsh mountain peaks including Snowdon. The view of Cardigan Bay from the Llyn Peninsula to Strumble head extends for 60 miles.