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Wines on the Wing

Walk in Wales This Fall

by Barbara Rogers

Sep 4, 2023

© Ron Washbrook | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / Europe

With kids back in school and the summer tourist crush abating, September is a good time for family travel with adult children. It’s also an ideal month for joining the Welsh in one of their favorite pastimes: yomping.

 

That’s Welsh for walking, and it’s celebrated in Yomping Festivals, where locals and visitors join in ambles along favorite walking paths. Stopping at a pub or two is part of the fun. The Snowdonia Walking Festival in Betws-y-coed and Real Ale Ramble in Llanwrtd are two of these (and you don’t need to pronounce the names to join in).

 

One of the most popular walking routes is on Offa’s Dyke Path, following an earthwork built in the eighth century to separate two kingdoms. Today, it marks the boundary between England and Wales. You probably won’t want to walk all 177 miles, but it’s easy to choose shorter stretches across rolling landscapes highlighted by stone churches, Iron Age hillforts, castles and charming villages with welcoming pubs for lunch stops.

 

A more strenuous walk for those in good condition — and with a head for heights — follows the clifftops of the dramatic Pembrokeshire Coast. Pembrokeshire Coastal Path is a 186-mile route that includes a total of 35,000 feet of ascent and descent, but you can easily walk shorter stretches. A favorite is easy to access from a base in the lovely town of St. David.

 

The trail reveals a stunning coastline of soaring cliffs, hidden beaches, craggy islands, a 13th-century chapel and several ancient sites dedicated to St. David, the patron saint of Wales. Contour Tours arranges three- and four-night tours, including accommodations and transfers to and from the trail, so you don’t need to return by the same route.

 

For a less strenuous walking experience, 10 Adventures offers a four-night Three Castles of Wales Walking Tour, with lodging and transfers to and from walking routes. Each day’s route includes a different Norman castle, built for defense and to control the trade routes into Wales.

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