Wales Coast Path
1386 km / 861 miles
Anglesey, Bridgend, Cardiff, Carms, Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighs, Flints, Glamorgan, Gwynedd, Mons, Newport, Pembrokes, Swansea
The All Wales Coast Path opened on 5 May 2012. The path provides a continuous walking route around the whole coast of Wales – from the outskirts of Chester in the north to Chepstow in the south. It is as near to the coast as legally and physically practicable, sometimes going inland, taking into account estuaries and the needs of health and safety, land management and conservation, and with parts still under development with continued funding, in places to secure closer access to the coast.
The Welsh coastline has many contrasts: from cliff top strolls to estuarine wanders, picturesque fishing villages to vibrant cities, industrial heritage to unconquered castles, desolate windswept beaches to bustling seasides. The Wales Coast Path not only takes you through the Welsh landscape, it takes you through its heritage and its communities. The North Wales coast is a mixture of wonderful sandy beaches and family friendly towns and villages. Anglesey has World class geology and picturesque beaches and he island is linked to the mainland by the Menai Suspension Bridge built in 1826 by Thomas Telford. With the Snowdonia National Park providing a mighty natural backdrop, around the Llŷn Peninsula, there are small fishing villages, estuaries and miles of sandy beaches. From the dunes of Ynyslas in the north to the historic market town of Cardigan in the south, the majestic sweep of Cardigan Bay affords the walker glimpses of dolphins and porpoise, seals and a host of marine birds. The Ceredigion Heritage Coast has picturesque seaside towns and villages and stunning beaches. The Pembrokeshire Coast is a National Park and has wildlife rich islands. The Path (which has National Trail status here) passes through some of Britain’s most spectacular scenery, including 58 beaches and 14 harbours and the UK’s smallest city - St Davids. Carmarthen Bay is a coastline of great contrasts and takes in a range of habitats including fresh water marshes, salt marshes, sand dunes, pine forests and coastal commons all supporting a spectacular array of flora and fauna. Set within the bay is Pembrey Country Park – 500 acres of landscaped woods and parkland leading down to the little harbour of Burry Port. From the busy seaside city of Swansea to the stunning coastline of the Gower Peninsula with its award winning golden beaches, the area is home to 10 nature reserves, 24 Wildlife Trust reserves, 32 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and five Special Areas of Conservation. The final southerly coastline takes in city landscapes, village life and magnificent views of the Severn estuary (the estuary has the second highest tidal range in the world at 49 feet and is home to the Severn bore).
The Wales Coast Path has its own waymark. The coastal path uses many existing promoted walking routes, also waymarked in their own right, and listed below as linked pages, as well as some new sections. Existing walking routes included the Pembrokeshire, Gower, Llŷn and Ceredigion coastal routes. In addition to the coastal route, the land border with England is approximated by Offa's Dyke Path, enabling a full circuit of Wales on promoted footpath routes. Outline mapping of all of the full Coast Path and the existing routes is provided on this website using the Show Map links and their side menues for connected and related paths.
Delivery of the Coast Path project is co-ordinated by the Countryside Council for Wales and delivered on the ground by the local authorities through which it passes. Funding is from the European Union, Welsh Government and local authorities. Under the Coastal Access Improvement Programme (CAIP), The Welsh Assembly Government committed to creating a continuous 850-mile path around the coastline of Wales by 2012, and has been investing in access improvements in partnership with Natural Resources - Wales (formerly the Countryside Council for Wales). CAIP funding of £2 million per year has since 2009 been backed by the European Regional Development Fund which totals £3.9m over 3 years, to support development of the Coast Path by 2012. The All Wales Coast Path will ensure improved public access to the coast line and encourage people to live more healthy and active lifestyles, thus helping in Wales' efforts to become a fitter, healthier nation. The path is also expected to boost tourism and economic activity within coastal locations around Wales by making coastal access a 'flagship' tourism product, thus bringing economic benefit to coastal communities. In the first year, 2.8 million people walked stretches of the Wales Coast Path contributing £16 million to the Welsh economy. More than 800,000 visitors to the path also stayed the night in one of the many guesthouses, b&bs and hotels located along the way.
The Ramblers have been involved in developing the route locally, and the inaugural Big Welsh Walk which celebrated the launch of the Wales Coast Path was coordinated by Ramblers Cymru (Wales) in 2012, with over 5,500 people walking, and it was repeated from 4-6 May 2013. The Minister had earlier opened a 20 mile stretch of coast path between Llandudno and Prestatyn, a challenging 4.5 mile section from Pendine in Carmarthenshire to the start of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path at Amroth, and a boardwalk in Porthcawl that has been designed to facilitate disabled access.
Official guidebooks to the Anglesey, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire Coast paths are already available from bookshops, local Tourist Information Centres, internet booksellers and the respective publishers. Other books are avialable for sections of the route and are listed on this website on the path section's publication pages. Five books, listed below, covering the rest of the route are being produced by Northern Eye Books.
Two of the three existing official guidebooks (Anglesey and Pembrokeshire) are available from this website below (or using the Amazon links on each path section's publication pages). The books already available are:
Walking the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path (English) by Carl Rogers. Publisher: Mara Books (2010). ISBN 978-1902512150
Ceredigion Coast Path : From the Teifi to the Dyfi (Bilingual); Cardigan - Ynys-las (near Borth), by Gerald Morgan. Publisher: Ceredigion County Council (2010). ISBN 0-953438333
Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail (English); St Dogmaels (near Cardigan) - Amroth, by Brian John. Publisher: Aurum Press (2012). ISBN 9-781845137823
In production by Northern Eye Books are:
North Wales Coast: Chester - Bangor, by Lorna Jenner. Expected: Early 2013
Llŷn Peninsula: Bangor - Porthmadog, by Carl Rogers. Expected: Early 2013
Cardigan Bay North: Porthmadog - Borth, by Sioned Bannister. Expected: Late 2013
Carmarthenshire & Gower: Amroth - Swansea, by Harri Roberts. Expected: Late 2013
South Wales Coast: Swansea - Chepstow, by Dennis Kelsall. Expected: Late 2013
In addition to the official route guides, Northern Eye Books are independently producing a series of pocket sized books highlighting circular walks from the Wales Coast Path. Two are currently available: Llŷn Peninsula; North Cardigan Bay.
Strider News - August 2013 (Publication Update)
A new publication Cardigan Bay North: Circular Walks from the Wales Coast Path (Wales Coast Path Top 10 Walks) is available from Northern Eye Books (10 Oct 2012), one of a series for the Wales Coast Path. Featured walks include: Porthmadog, Porthmeirion, Harlech, Shell Island, Dyffryn Ardudwy, Barmouth Panorama, Arthog, Borth and Aberdyfi. In addition, they plan to publish six Official Guides to the Wales Coast Path, specially commissioned by the Countryside Commission for Wales. The Official Guides will cover: North Wales, Isle of Anglesey, Llyn Peninsula, Cardigan Bay, Carmarthenshire and the Gower, and South Wales, with the Isle of Anglesey Official Guide already available.
Strider News - April 2013 (Publication Update)
A new guide Lleyn Peninsula: Circular Walks from the Wales Coast Path has been published by Northern Eye. With ISBN 978-1-908632-12-8 and priced at £4.99 it is available from the LDWA website at http://www.ldwa.org.uk/publication/10495 via the Amazon link.
|Path Type:||National Trails (England & Wales)|
|Waymark:||Shell with name in Welsh and English|
SJ385655 - North side of River Dee, near Chester on Wales/England Border, Flintshire
ST536943 - Chepstow, Mons
|Web Sites:||Wales Coast Path|
|Countryside Council for Wales - Wales Coast Path|
|Welsh Assembly Government Website|
Publications, Badges and Certificates:
|Paperback:||Walking the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path (Northern Eye Books Limited (Mara) - 2011)|
|Guidebook:||Ceredigion Coast Path (Ceredigion Tourism Service - 2008)|
|Softback:||Pembrokeshire Coast Path (National Trail Guides) (Aurum Press - 2010)|
|Paperback:||Lleyn Peninsula: Circular walks along the Wales Coast Path (Northern Eye Books Limited (Mara) - 2012)|
|Paperback:||Cardigan Bay North: Circular Walks from the Wales Coast Path (Wales Coast Path Top 10 Walks) (Northern Eye Books Limited (Mara) - 2012)|
|Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:|
|OS Landranger:||114, 115, 116, 123, 124, 135, 145, 146, 157, 158, 117, 159, 162, 170, 171, 172|
|OS Explorer:||14, 17, 18, 23, 35, 36, 151, 152, 154, 164, 165, 167, 177, 178, 198, 199, 213, 253, 254, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266|
|OS Explorer Active:||14, 17, 18, 23, 35, 36, 151, 152, 154, 164, 165, 167, 177, 178, 198, 199, 213, 253, 254, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266|
Group Accommodation within 5 Km of this Path:
|Hostel Accommodation:||Chester Bunkroom||3 Km|
|Hostel Accommodation:||Chester Backpackers||3 Km|
|Hostel Accommodation:||Llandudno Hostel, Charlton St, Llandudno||< 1 Km|
|GPS Exchange Format Route File:||All Wales Coast Path GPX Exchange Format Route File||Login to Download
|MemoryMap Route file:||All Wales Coast Path Memory Map Route File||Login to Download
|Tracklogs Route file:||All Wales Coast Path Tracklogs Route File||Login to Download
|1384.8 Km (860.5 miles)
29,194 m (95,781 ft) ascent
352 m (1,155 ft) maximum height