July 20th, 2019
Since it opened in 2012 the Wales Coast Path has become one of the best known tourist attractions in Wales and there are over 800 miles of glorious coastal footpaths to choose from.
When the Wales Coast Path first opened its stiles to walkers in 2012 it was a world first. Wales became the only country in the world to have a walking route that followed its entire coastline. A magnificent 823 miles of spectacular coastal footpaths was accessible for walkers from all over the world to enjoy.
There are literally hundreds of ideas for circular walks along the coast path, and we regularly feature many of them in our walking articles. While circular routes are a great way to embark on shorter walks and explore local areas, sometimes a linear route means that you’ll get to see far more of your chosen area because they are usually longer.
The Wales Coast Path lends itself perfectly to linear walking routes, not least because there are lots of different places, villages and wildlife to see along the way but also because there are great transport options to get you back to the start of your route; an important consideration when you’ve just walked over ten miles and don’t fancy another ten miles to return!
Plan and Prepare
One of the secrets to a great linear walk is to plan and prepare first. Check the map and plot out a route that suits your time scale and ability. Linear walks can be any length, but routes of ten miles or more work particularly well because they will cover a decent amount of terrain and should provide a long enough route to take up most of the day, including the return journey.
And the return journey is an important point to remember. Research how you’ll get back to the start point (unless you plan to walk the return journey and appreciate the lovely views the other way). There are plenty of options along the Welsh Coast Path, including dedicated bus services for walkers, like the Cardi Bach bus which operates in Ceredigion (between New Quay and Cardigan) all summer until the 30th September. There’s also a similar service in Pembrokeshire – the Coastal Bus Service has services like the Puffin Shuttle (between St Davids and Marloes Sands), the Strumble Shuttle (linking St Davids with Fishguard) and the Celtic Coaster (running between St David’s and St Justinians).
These bus services provide vital links between rural locations along the coast but many services run only once or twice a day so it’s best to check the times before you walk and plan your start time accordingly, always leaving some contingency time for getting lost, route diversions or an extended picnic at a beauty spot.
All in a day’s walk
There’s not much to beat the feeling of weary satisfaction after a day’s walking, and there are a few walker’s secrets to ensure that your day of coastal hiking goes without a hitch, or a blister. Firstly, choose clothes and shoes that are comfortable and appropriate for the terrain.
Sturdy and supportive shoes or boots are best as these provide protection and cushioning for your feet, and good socks are essential for preventing blisters and rubbing. Choose a soft fabric that wicks moisture from sweat away from the skin, like Coolmax or merino wool. Two sock layers can sometimes be beneficial in keeping blisters away too.
Fuel is another thing to bear in mind on a longer walk. There will be plenty of opportunities for picnic stops with beautiful views on coastal linear routes, so make sure you take advantage of them. Eating little and often is the best way to keep your energy levels up without over-filling yourself, and choose energy rich foods like wholemeal carbohydrates, dried fruit and nuts, bananas and lean proteins.
Don’t forget to pack waterproofs for the changeable Welsh weather but if you can, take the opportunity to kick off your shoes and socks and refresh hot feet with a paddle in the bracing Welsh coastal waters. Plan for plenty of rest stops to enjoy the gorgeous sea views if nothing else.
As well as walking, you’ll also discover nature, history, wildlife, heritage, culture, views, geography and birdlife on a linear coastal walk, so why not pull out your walking shoes, fill up the rucksack and head for the glorious Welsh coast this summer to try one of our lovely linear walks? See you on the coast!
Lovely Linear Leg-Stretches
If you’re feeling inspired to try a linear coastal route then why not try one of these ideas for a lovely day walk?
- Four Mile Bridge to Trearddur, Anglesey (9 miles)
- Llanfairfechan to Dwygyfylchi, North Wales (7 miles)
- Rhos-on-Sea to Rhyl, North Wales (11.5 miles) See Route 3 of our walks
- Llanaelhaern to Nefyn, Llŷn Peninsula (11 miles)
- Rhiw to Abersoch, Llŷn Peninsula (12 miles)
- Llanystumdwy to Porthmadog, Gwynedd (9 miles)
- Cardigan to Aberporth, Ceredigion (12 miles)
- Llanrhystud to Aberystwyth, Ceredigion (10 miles) See route 2 of our walks
- Newport to Fishguard, Pembrokeshire (12 miles)
- Trefin to Pwllderi, Pembrokeshire (9 miles) See Route 1 of our walks
- Whitesands to Solva, Pembrokeshire (13 miles)
- Martin’s Haven to Dale, Pembrokeshire (10 miles)
- Margam Abbey to Baglan, Swansea (7 miles)
- Merthyr Mawr to Kenfig, Glamorgan (11.5 miles)