Whether you cherish long solitary walks or a walk with loved ones, these 8 famous forests in Wales have you covered.
The Beauty of Forests in Wales
Imagine walking through a place where it’s so silent that the only things you see and hear are that of nature. The cuckooing of different birds, sunlight slipping through the gaps, and the unknown ahead of us.
The imagination can run amok.
Forests do not only tend to excite the human mind and heart, they are home to several species. We can find animals and plants in these areas that we cannot find in other places.
These areas that house even waterfalls and lovely trails also help to combat climate change.
Essentially, forests are multi-purpose.
Family Walking Trails, Forest Trails, and More
Forests not only provide a sense of tranquillity, and escape from the hustle-bustle of urban life but also help fight climate change.
To provide a healthy relationship between humans and nature, it is essential to display care for our surroundings. Every country should strive to develop this to the best of its abilities.
Wales is doing just the same. The country maintains family walking trails, car parking, outdoor activities, and biodiversity conservation. Additionally, it works to maintain ancient woodland unique to different regions.
Before developing a fun experience with Wales’ forests, make sure to take care of a couple of things:
- engage in nature-based activities,
- understand its history and culture,
- respect nature and biodiversity,
- try to leave no waste behind you,
- pack essential supplies,
- and, last but not least, create memories!
Keeping these in mind will not only make the trip lovelier for you but for others, too! Maybe you will give it a second try simply because of this respectful commitment!
Now, let’s try to understand Wales’ forests.
8 Famous Forests In Wales
Wales is accorded with an abundance of forests and woodlands, each offering services and experiences unique to themselves. Forests in Wales are just the same; peaceful, and a bit extra loving.
Take the earlier example, and let’s add something more.
In addition to the stunning scenery, slippery surfaces, and wooded areas, forests in Wales have some other qualities as well:
- Red squirrels
- Mountain Biking
- Cycling Trails
- Play Area
- Car Parks, among others.
To keep these safe, Wales has maintained agencies that manage the habitat, flora, and fauna, and human comfort largely exclusive to these regions and Wales in particular.
Before 2013, these forests were taken care of by the Forestry Commission Wales. However, after a merger with other agencies, it became Natural Resources Wales.
The goal of this management is to conserve the wildlife and its beauty. Additionally, they also help in promoting more healthy tourism and adventures in these areas.
Taking care of national parks, woodlands, and forest trails is part of this scheme.
These Welsh woodlands and forest trails will prove to be an outstanding experience for nature lovers.
1. Brecon Beacons National Park
Located in South Wales, Brecon Beacons National Park was established in 1957.
Visited by over 4 million people each year, this park is not only surrounded by valleys but also caves and hills. Wildlife, waterfalls, and beautiful landscape are all characteristic of Brecon Beacons.
During autumn, with its vibrant colours, the place offers:
- water sports,
- trekking, among others.
If these are not enough, Beacon also offers family-friendly visits in its towns and villages that you can visit throughout the day! Create unforgettable memories in this region.
You can go shopping and have a great adventure in this region. You can also delve into its rich historical heritage, and explore the marvel that makes up this park.
Best time to visit: spring and summer (April to September), and autumn (September to November).
2. Cambrian Mountains
This region is largely deserted now. It hosts sparse populations, and lofty mountain ranges and plateaus. While not as adventurous as the Brecon Beacons, this vast stretch of land can prove to be an amazing host for:
- long rides,
- late-night stargazing,
- cycling, among others.
Located in Mid Wales, this sparsely populated and remote place serves as a perfect spot to escape urban life. These mountains cover parts of Powys, Gwynedd, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion.
Famously known for spectacular star gazing, this region hosts a variety of:
- red squirrels,
- pine marten,
- red kite,
- woolly willow plant,
- oak trees, among others.
Needless to say, a lot of the abovementioned species are rare. The nation’s government is ensuring protection for the region’s biodiversity.
These Cambrian mountains are the right place to re-ignite that creative spark you are seeking!
Best time to visit: summer. However, be careful of the open areas.
3. Coed Y Brenin
Located in North Wales, in Snowdonia National Park, Coed Y Brenin is an amazing spot for hiking and mountain biking. There is no charge for using these forest trails, however, car parking is a paid service.
Managed by Natural Resources Wales, the forest is an amazing host not only for adventure seekers of different ages and levels but also
- Forest deer,
- willy fox,
- harry-wood ant,
- red squirrels, among others.
Since it is largely a recreational region, it may be hard to spot these animals. However, Natural Forest for Wales’ hard work may one day successfully establish a healthy relationship between nature and humans.
It manages these to create a more lively combination in Coed y Brenin by:
- Tree planting,
- habitat conservation,
- taking care of ancient woodland,
- enhancing existing woodland, among others.
Even so, as you follow the family walking trails in this national forest, you will realize how amazing the experience is.
Best time to visit: spring and summer, and autumn.
4. Conwy Valley
Imagine a walk around a river on a particularly good day. The valley is scenic, and the location is North Wales. The wind is blowing, and the river is considered an important part of Wales’ history!
That is Conwy Valley for you.
Located in North Wales, the Valley will provide you with both a splendid river and the best views. A variety of fish, mammals, animals, and insects can be found here. Some of these are:
- red admiral,
- red kites
- falcons, among others.
The region plays host to many planted lives as well. Like, bluebells, primroses, and others.
With its rolling hills and rich history, this place will prove to be an amazing place for:
- bird watching,
- outdoor activities, among others.
Conwy Valley is open throughout the year. Visit the Conwy Valley according to your moods and emotions! It will be the right choice every time.
Best time to visit: summer. Spring and summer can also be good choices.
5. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Pembrokeshire is the only coastal park in the United Kingdom. It is located in southwest Wales. If you trail along its rugged coastline, you will be able to view stunning views of cliffs, beaches, and much more.
The coast is internationally loved, too!
Pembrokeshire has been accorded many international awards throughout the years. It is primarily managed by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.
Home to many beautiful beaches, the park plays a successful role in creating more engaging and accessible activities. It does not only provide peaceful paths to walk on but also:
- sun spotting,
- sailing, among others.
Along your walks, you may be able to witness wildlife such as
- basking sharks,
- hedgerows, among others.
The park is wheelchair friendly. You can also download leaflets to understand the engaging activities at the park.
Best time to visit: summer. Spring and autumn can also be adventurous seasons.
Head along to explore the different actions!
6. Rhinog Mountains
Also called Rhinogydd, this range of mountains is located in the east of Harlech, North Wales. The rugged Rhinog mountains are the best for walking, hiking, and mountaineering.
But don’t take the rocky site as uninteresting! You can journey through awe-inspiring experiences in these mountains.
For peace-loving individuals who prefer isolated, and wilder, walking experiences, Rhinog serves as a fun place. You can trail along the well-known Rhinog Fawr.
For the best trails, you can walk along these regions:
- Rhinog Fawr,
- Moel Ysgyfarnogod,
- Moelfre, among others.
The mountain ranges are also family-friendly. Although, unlike Pembrokeshire Park, they’re not wheelchair friendly.
With its remote area and rugged trail, Rhinog helps in creating the wildest imagination possible.
Though famously known for hiking, this activity can still be particularly demanding. Make sure to choose your adventures accordingly.
Best time to visit: summer. However, please be fully equipped with appropriate clothing and equipment.
7. Newborough Forest
Newborough Forest is located in the west of Newborough, North Wales. A stunning woodland and nature reserve, the forest trails help you discover the rare red squirrels.
The National Nature Reserves work to protect biodiversity in selected areas. The Reserves also manage this forest.
Although the forest is a major tourist attraction, it is unfortunately witnessing a decline in the population of red squirrels. Pine trees are planted to conserve their population. The Reserves also focus on other species.
However, there are plenty of sights and activities you can engage in. You can walk along the woodland and the beaches, or cycle through the trails to discover the picturesque views. The landscape can prove extraordinary as picnic spots and other outdoor activities.
Here, you can catch sight of different kinds of trees:
- oak, among others.
You can engage in fun activities such as:
- trail running,
- paddle boarding, among others.
For horse riding along the forest trails, you will need permission from Natural Resources Wales. You can apply here.
Best time to visit: summer. Spring and autumn can also provide good experiences.
Explore the forest through your walks around the region.
8. Gwydir Forest
Nestled in Conwy County Borough and Snowdonia in Wales, Gwydir forest is a rich landscape with woodlands, rivers, and lakes. The rich history and vibrant culture help in engaging better with the resources available on site.
In Gwydir forest, besides taking forest walks, you can go:
- horse riding,
- fishing, among others.
Besides such adventures, the area also hosts several historical castles. Among so many historical castles, one is located in the village of Llanrwst. Although the castle is open to the public, please make sure to check the details before you visit.
Designated as a National Forest Park, Gwydir Forest attracts many visits throughout the year. The area is maintained and tended by Natural Resources Wales.
The forest also hosts rare plants. Some of these are:
- coniferous trees,
- broadleaf trees,
- wildflowers, like bluebells and primroses,
- bog plants, among others.
Although the forest is age-friendly, remember to be careful during rainy days. As the forest is mountainous, there are many steep paths. During rainy days, these can be dangerous.
However, walking can prove to be a lovely experience, and so will mountain biking.
Best time to visit: spring and summer. Autumn may prove to be a lovely season as well.
Although there are specific months to enjoy these forests and parks best, your preference is of equal importance. Go where your heart tells you it.
Moreover, the time spent in these forests, parks, and woodlands may prove to be a transformative experience. Additionally, you may also find your creative sparks between these trees, woods, and trails.
The trailForest along these different regions of this amazing country to explore the forests in Wales. Experience Wales in the sanctity of its forests!