Looking for a romantic evening stroll in North Wales, or simply have a couple of hours to kill? Not enough time for a mountain hike, but too much time to stay indoors?
We’ve compiled a list of five great easy ambles to help you make the most of your North Wales stay. These are low level walks, with very little up and down involved, perfect if you’ve just enjoyed a nice dinner or simply want an hour or so outdoors to work up an appetite.
Let’s go for a stroll, shall we?
1. Moelfre Fisherman’s Walk, Anglesey
Just 20 minutes’ drive from Britannia Bridge on the A5025 Amlwch road, Moelfre is one of the prettiest fishing villages on the island. This short coastal amble takes in the cove, lifeboat station, a pebble beach and a wonder row of fishermen’s cottages.
From the main village car park, cross the lane and take the path along a stream down to the cove. Turn left, past the Kinmel Arms pub and follow the surfaced path around the coast. This brings you to the RNLI’s shop at The Seawatch Centre, open through the year except January. Take a while to learn more about Dic Evans, a member of the Moelfre lifeboat crew who was awarded two RNLI gold awards as well as an MBE for his bravery and service – and fully deserving of his fabulous statue by the path.
The next highlight along this lovely walk is already in view – the new lifeboat station, completed just a few years ago. You can visit between the hours of 10am and 4.30pm, so long as they’re not on a call-out, of course.
Shortly after the path reaches a small pebble beach and on your left, leading inland, a lovely row of whitewashed fishermen’s cottages. Out to sea, separated by a narrow channel known as the Swnt, Ynys Moelfre is home to many different species of seabirds. If you’ve brought a pair of binoculars it may be worth having a look.
The path, no longer surfaced, continues for 200 yards to a small promontory where the Hindlea Seat commemorates a remarkable sea rescue. The lifeboat crew, including Dic Evans, saved all eight crew of the Hindlea in 1959 by using the huge waves to bring the lifeboat level with the steamer eight times and jumping from deck to deck to rescue the men one at a time.
Return to the village along a footpath through a field, or continue onwards, past a caravan park, to arrive at the beautiful golden sands of Traeth Lligwy beach.
2. Belgian Promenade, Menai Bridge
Like the Fisherman’s Walk, this stroll in the small town of Menai Bridge packs in lots of interest in such a short, easy walk. It’s buggy and wheelchair friendly too, with the exception of the paths on ancient Church Island.
Starting from the small pay and display car park by Jade Village Cantonese Restaurant, head down the surfaced path through woodland to the edge of the Menai Straits, where immediately you’ll want to explore the tiny Church Island via a causeway and St Tysilio’s Church, built in 630 AD. Back on the mainland, turn right and stroll along the promenade, built by Belgian refugees in 1916.
Where the path reaches a walled road on your left, turn left and head up this road, then at the main road turn right for a short walk onto Menai Suspension Bridge to admire the views and the amazing architecture. Return back down the walled lane to continue the walk.
Stay on this lane where Belgian Promenade joins it from the right and walk under the bridge, again marvelling at this feat of engineering from a wholly different angle. Follow the road below a bowling green and above a tiny port, then keep left past The Liverpool Arms and the Auckland Arms before reaching the busy crossroads in the centre of town.
Cross the road (to the left of the bank) and look out for the mock street on the right hand side, the set for Welsh soap opera Rownd a Rownd. Climb gently to a large roundabout, cross the road to the left before bearing right to return to the car park after a hundred metres or so.
3. Coast and Country, South of Caernarfon
At just under 5 miles long, this is our longest walk featured here, yet as it’s virtually completely flat it’s fairly easy to complete in a couple of hours.
From Castle Square in the centre of Caernarfon, follow signs for the Welsh Highland Railway, down by the quay. Alongside the railway and the smart new station, look up for a bicycle sign above the footpath. This is the start of Lon Eifion, the cycle and offroad path that sets out towards Criccieth. Don’t worry, we’re not going that far!
Follow the railway, first under a footbridge and then a road bridge, and continue on this terrific surfaced path. Ignore the first crossing and go over the river visible down to your right. Go under a second road bridge, ignore the next railway crossing, and go straight ahead.
After having walked under a third road bridge, look right for a white house. Leave Lon Eifion now and go straight ahead through a gate to meet the road, and cross (to be facing traffic) and turn left. Pass Fron Goch garden centre and farm shop, and continue to Llanfaglan Village. Take care on this road as there are no pavements and cars can travel quite fast.
In the village, turn right (a phone box on your left) and continue up a short uphill stretch, past a converted chapel on the left. Head over the low hill and enjoy the views of the Menai Strait and Anglesey beyond.
Follow the lane to Plas Farm, and go through the gate. Turn right into the farmyard, past the barns, and straight ahead is a double gate; go through this and follow a grassy track between two hedges.
At the end of the track, go through a narrow gate in the wall on your left, with a golf course now on your right. Pass a house on your left and walk down the grass drive to the main road by the sea. Now turn right and follow the road back to Caernarfon, crossing the harbour via the footbridge.
4. Trefor, Ynys Fawr and Ynys Bach
This walk starts from the tiny village of Trefor on the Llyn Peninsula’s north coast. Hidden off the fast A-road between Caernarfon and Pwllheli, this easy stroll takes in a historic harbour and some stunning coastal scenery, the best in the area.
The walk starts at the free car park by the shore, with a walk to the end of the breakwater offering views back to the beach as well as across to Gyrn Goch and up along Yr Eifl. Don’t be tempted to clamber on the fenced-off wooden pier – it makes for a striking photograph, but it’s clearly not safe to walk on.
Turn right along the coastal path and when you reach signs for the National Trust property of Morfa, cross the stile and zigzag to the top of the grassy hill. Keep close to coast and enjoy views of the sea stack of Ynys Bach, and then the pinnacles of Ynys Fawr, a wild and wonderful scene with the cliffs of Trwyn y Gorlech plummeting nearly 250 metres into the sea behind.
The path soon ends with a short diversion to the beach. Leave the coast at this point and turn left, inland, following a good farm track for about 800m, before passing through a gate and along a tarmac track. Turn left here, along the track which becomes a path after a short while, before rejoining the coastal path at the stile into Morfa. It’s then a short stroll back to the start.
5. Glan Faenol and Menai Strait
Hidden away down a lane round the back of Parc Menai Industrial Estate, this walk in the grounds of the Faenol Estate takes in glorious woodlands and fantastic views across the Menai Strait to Plas Newydd. Drive through the estate buildings and the lane ends at a small parking areas and picnic site, the start of this walk.
From the bottom of the picnic area, go through the kissing gate and continue straight down the field (dogs on leads) towards the Menai Strait. Follow the path as it turns sharp left to follow the shoreline. Check out the bird hide and see if you can spot oystercatchers, cormorants, curlews and, if you’re lucky, seals as they feed in the Strait.
Take the gate into the woodland and follow this delightful path through the trees. Leave the woodland through another small gate and take a few moments to enjoy the views from the elevated viewing platform. Now leave the Strait (it can be a wrench!) and walk up the field to a bridge and kissing gate on your right. Go through the gate and enter Boat House Wood.
Eventually you’ll cross another bridge and then come to a track. You can shorten the walk here by turning left and following the track up until you reach some green gates. Go through the gates and follow the tree-lined avenue to another gate, where you turn left to return to the car park.
Otherwise, cross over the track and into more woods. After climbing some steps go through a kissing gate into a field. Follow the fence on your left. At the top of the field enter Cefn Gwyn Woodland through another gate and then emerge into another field through a second gate. Follow the fence across the top of the field to third gate, turn left and walk diagonally across the field to the gate under the trees.
You’ll see a triangular gate, designed to allow sheep access but stop cattle using the path. Go through and follow the path until you reach a large kissing gate. Turn left to return to the picnic area. Now relax!
Images courtesy: Moelfre Lifeboat Station © Copyright Andrew Woodvine and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. Belgian Promenade David Dixon / Menai Suspension Bridge and Belgian Promenade /