5 Tips to Help You Plan Your Walk on the Wales Coast Path

Updated on July 4, 2020
RhysRussell profile image

Rhys has lived along different parts of the Welsh coast his whole life & in 2016 decided to hike over 500 miles of the stunning coast path.

Walking along the soft sands of Harlech Beach
Walking along the soft sands of Harlech Beach

I was lucky enough to be born in South Wales and raised with the beautiful Bro Morgannwg coast on my doorstep. In 2012, this would eventually become part of the world’s first ever continuous path to cover its country's coastline - the 870 miles of the Wales Coast Path. As a passionate Welshman who'd never seen what the majority of our stunning coast had to offer, myself and a friend decided it was time to get out of our comfort zone and experience the magic that Cymru has to offer. There’s no better way to appreciate nature and to get to know the locals than hiking, so we left to walk as much of the Welsh Coast Path as we could before heading back to University.

After over 7 weeks and 500 miles hiking, and raising £1,400 for Macmillan Nurses, a lot was learnt! Therefore, before you put on your walking boots and pack your waterproofs (trust me, you'll need them) consider the 5 tips below, so you can make the most of your own adventure!

Aberthaw nature reserve on the Vale of Glamorgan heritage coast in South Wales
Aberthaw nature reserve on the Vale of Glamorgan heritage coast in South Wales

1. Don't underestimate the route or your abilty!

When hiking the Welsh Coast, you won't have to worry about walking up huge mountains like you might in the Swiss Alps. That doesn't mean you're in for an easy ride, after all, the total rise and fall over the entire length of the Pembrokeshire path alone is approx 35,000 feet (10,688 meters) - which is taller than Mount Everest!

Additionally, if your plan is to spend weeks walking and camping across the coast, make sure you're mentally and physically prepared. Although I eventually got use to it, I was completely underprepared for my trip. I was too unfit and hadn't walked enough before leaving. I was in agony for days and unbeknownst to me, I had been walking on a sprained ankle for a few days and had to rest in Bangor for a few more (which meant I lost a good 70 miles off my trip).

Know your route and your ability!


2. There are plenty of maps and guidebooks for each section of the path - use them!

The Welsh Government have 7 official guidebooks for each section of the coast path. They're pocket sized and extremely handy with a great deal of detail. Whether you're walking for one day or one month, these guides are a must. You can purchase them in local tourist centres or online.

My essential companion throughout my escapade was "The Wales Coast Path - A Practical Guide for Walkers" by Katharine Evans and Christopher Goddard. It provides easy-to-follow route descriptions and contains over 80 hand-drawn maps. The book is full of additional information on sites of historical, geological and wildlife interest, alternative routes, public transport and B&B's. I would highly recommend using this if you're hiking the length of the path.


3. Wild camp where you can (within the guidelines)

Wild camping is a great way to save money and to experience nature in all it's glory. With much of the coastal path away from towns and cities, you can find some of the most perfect spots to camp. However, without permission from the landowner, wild camping in Wales is strictly illegal. Although I don’t condone camping without permission, there are many things to consider if you decide to camp away from other tents and caravans.

  • Don't pitch up until later in the evening and leave early in the morning.
  • Leave no trace that you've been there by clearing up your rubbish (including food leftovers) and only cook using a raised gas stove - not an open fire.
  • Don't pollute the area with any non-eco-friendly detergents. Only use biodegradable items.
  • Choose your pitch carefully and avoid digging ditches, trampling plants and moving rocks and stones just to accommodate your tent. Wales has 76 National Nature Reserves, do not disturb these for your own benefit.

  • If you're asked to move on, be respectful - they may help you find somewhere more suitable to camp!

Waking up whilst wild camping next to the TSS Duke of Lancaster ship near Mostyn, North Wales Coast Path
Waking up whilst wild camping next to the TSS Duke of Lancaster ship near Mostyn, North Wales Coast Path

4. Never underestimate the weather - even in the Summer!

If you're from Wales, you'll agree that the weather is some of the most unpredictable in Britain. If you decide to walk during the height of the Summer, there's no guarantee that you won't get 4 days of constant wind and rain which can then easily be followed by 25°c heat and sun!

If you're only walking for one day, make sure you check the weather the day you depart and, if you're on a longer hike, take waterproofs, sun glasses and suntan lotion! Who knows what weather you'll be walking in. Most importantly, the wind strength can change hourly, so stay away from cliff edges and be careful when climbing mountains. It’s always handy to have the emergency service numbers saved (999 or 112).

5. Trust the locals!

The Welsh locals can be some of the nicest people you meet. Without asking help from locals, fellow hikers, shop owners or campsite staff, we would never have completed as much of the path as we did. In fact, I'm still in touch with a few people who helped us along the way 4 years later!

In the most part, people are always happy to help! As a fluent Welsh speaker myself, I can also guarantee that learning a few of the basic words will go a long way to impressing your soon to be friends! Here’s a few words to get you started:

Hello = Helo / Shwmae (sh-my)
Good morning = Bore da (Bore-eh dah)
Good afternoon = Prynhawn da (Pr-in-haun dah)
Good night = Nôs da (gnaw-s dah)
Thank you = Diolch (dee-ol'ch)
You’re welcome = Croeso (Kr-oi-soh)

Enjoying the unrivalled views in Anglesey
Enjoying the unrivalled views in Anglesey

If you have any questions before enjoying everything the awe-inspiring coast has to offer, write a comment below!

© 2020 Rhys Russell


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • RhysRussell profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhys Russell 

      4 weeks ago from Vale of Glamorgan

      @Rhian @Arwena - thank you both for the kind words!

    • profile image


      4 weeks ago

      Fascinating article. Thank you

    • profile image

      Rhian Walters 

      5 weeks ago

      Very insightful piece.

    • RhysRussell profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhys Russell 

      2 months ago from Vale of Glamorgan

      @Liz - Thank you very much! I hope that it will give some guidance and insight when people consider walking the spectacular Welsh coast.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      This is a very helpful, interesting and well-illustrated article. It's a great guide for anyone planning a walk around the Welsh coast and contains great advice.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, skyaboveus.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)