13 circular coastal walks in North Wales

Whether you want to visit Snowdonia and all it has to offer, Point of Ayr, or Great Orme, you can do all of that and more with some of the best circular coastal walks in North Wales.

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No matter who you’re travelling with, you can find some of the best walks to suit you, which are perfect to fit into your North Wales holiday. Luckily, you can find some of the best holiday parks to accommodate this too, whether you decide to bring the whole family, including your dog, or you want to travel solo. North Wales offers an abundance of beautiful scenery to take in and plenty of mountains that you can discover with these walks, so what are you waiting for? Let’s delve into them…

Barmouth image

Barmouth

Starting strong, this circular coastal walk in North Wales offers panoramic views of the Mawddach estuary and Llŷn Peninsula. It climbs behind Barmouth to the Panorama Walk, then crosses farmland and descends through woodland back to town.

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It’s a must-see (and walk) location – one of the best and most popular places in North Wales, plus it’s home to Barmouth Bay holiday park!

  • From the centre of Barmouth on High Street, head along Station Road into Talbot Square, then look for the National Trust sign for Dinas Oleu and follow the steep path up behind the town.
  • Head northeast to Panorama Walk with views of the Afon Mawddach estuary, then circle the hills above Barmouth, descending through woodland back to the town.
  • An alternate route goes to Llanaber, home to a historic early English church.

Length: 5.6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Great Orme circular image

Great Orme circular

Along the Wales Coastal Path, you’ll circle the Great Orme near Llandudno, making for a scenic and relatively easy walk that can be completed at a leisurely pace:

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  • From the far end of Llandudno's promenade near the pier, which is around a 30-minute drive from Golden Sands holiday park, follow the road above the pier entrance onto Marine Drive. This gently ascending road offers panoramic views, but try to avoid the steep paths down to the coves.
  • After the Rest and Be Thankful Cafe, the vistas expand to include Anglesey and Conwy Bay. The road then descends, with the Carneddau and old Bishop's Palace ruins coming into view.
  • Turn left onto a surfaced footpath that climbs through the Haulfre Gardens, with scenic spots and Alice in Wonderland statues. The path leads past the tram station and back to the start.

Length: 5.4 miles

Difficulty: Easy-moderate

Point of Ayr walk image

Point of Ayr walk

The Point of Ayr marks the northernmost point of mainland Wales, where the golden sands of northeast Wales meet the estuarine mudflats of the River Dee. In the winter months, this area attracts huge numbers of waders and waterfowl.

An 18th-century lighthouse stands at this location, making for one of the best circular walks in North Wales! It is a perfect walk for families – remember to bring your binoculars for some bird spotting, where the kids can get up close and personal with nature…

  • Start from the pay and display car park at the bottom of Station Road, next to the Lighthouse Pub, and at the end of the road go up onto the embankment.
  • Take the path to the right, clearly marked with orange 'Point of Ayr Circular' signs. The wide, gravel path has information panels, picnic benches, and sculptures. After 0.6 miles, it becomes a tarmac path with a bird hide, estuary views, and industrial landmarks.
  • Leave the colliery, go through the A-frame barrier, follow the orange markers, and turn right onto a grass track next to the railway. Cross the roundabout, pass the 'Danger Point Centre' where you can refuel at the café, then return to the car park along Station Road.

Length: 3 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Conwy Mountain image

Conwy Mountain

This approachable circular walk at Conwy Mountain makes a great addition to visiting Conwy's historic town walls and castle. The route quickly ascends to the summit ridge, rewarding you with coastal and Carneddau mountain views…

  • The Conwy Mountain circular walk starts from the town of Conwy. The closest trailhead is the car park named Mountain Road, west of the A547 across from Bodlondeb Park.
  • Look for the "Mynydd y Dref - Conwy Mountain" sign and cross the stile onto the clear path that quickly ascends to the summit ridge. At the bench, the main path goes left, but a quick detour to the crest offers panoramic views.
  • Continue westward along the exposed path or the ridge trail leading to the Conwy Mountain summit. Enjoy sweeping coastal and Carneddau mountain vistas.
  • Descend left along the wall, following the widest path back eastward. A steady descent, ignoring left turns, returns you to the starting car park.

Length: 2.8 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Aber Falls walk image

Aber Falls walk

Nestled in the northern Carneddau foothills of Snowdonia, Aber Falls is one of the region's most dramatic waterfalls.

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Part of the Afon Goch's (Red River) final descent to the Menai Straits, the river plummets an impressive 120 feet, crashing into a shallow rocky pool before flowing on towards the village of Abergwyngregyn. Aber Falls is one of Snowdonia's most impressive and accessible natural wonders and one of the region's shortest walks, so it's an excellent introduction to the National Park's unique attractions!

  • From the Aber Falls car park, start at the accessible, pushchair-friendly bridge and gate, following yellow waymarkers.
  • Pass a wooden hut and wide gates, then ascend to a grassy viewpoint.
  • Continue through two iron gates, bearing right at the fork to stay on the accessible path. Pass through a small metal gate, taking care through the rougher section leading to the waterfall. Retrace your steps back to the car park.
  • Length: 2.8 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
Aberdaron image

Aberdaron

Showcasing the diverse beauty of the Llŷn Peninsula and its designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this circular coastal walk in North Wales is the perfect choice!

You'll discover both the northern and southern coastal paths, embark on a gradual climb up the slopes of Mynydd Anelog for panoramic views, and return through agricultural farmland and the Afon Daron Valley.

  • From the far end of the Aberdaron car park, take the path along the top of the hill to Porth Meudwy. Follow the stream up the valley to Cwrt farm, then cross the fields through Uwchmynydd and climb Mynydd Anelog.
  • On the other side, turn right and walk along the top of the hill towards Mynydd Carreg until you reach Porthor (Whistling Sands) beach.
  • Head inland through the car park, turn right, then left onto a cart track. Turn right towards Cyll y Felin, cross the crossroads, and return to Aberdaron's old mill through the countryside along the river valley.

Length: 9.3 miles

Difficulty: Moderate-challenging

Wat’s Dyke from Flint to Maes Glas image

Wat’s Dyke from Flint to Maes Glas

Offering a wealth of historical sites, including Flint Castle, Basingwerk Abbey, the holy well of St Winefride, and the ancient Wat's Dyke earthwork, come witness this piece of history with one of the best circular coastal walks in North Wales!

  • Follow the Wales Coast Path from Flint Castle towards Basingwerk Abbey, then you’ll inland through the Greenfield Valley Heritage Park to follow the Wat's Dyke Way back to Flint.

Wat's Dyke is also known as Offa's Dyke, believed to have been built around 820 AD by the Mercian king Coenwulf to protect his lands from Welsh raids. Though an impressive engineering feat at the time, the remains of Wat's Dyke are now often hard to discern along the Wat's Dyke Way route.

Length: 7.8 miles

Difficulty: Moderate-challenging

An image of the beach and sea from the South West Coastal Path.

Offa’s Dyke and North Wales path

This full-day walk combines three long-distance footpaths – Offa's Dyke, North Wales Path, and the Wales Coast Path. So, why not take a day out of your North Wales holiday to experience one of the best circular coastal walks in North Wales?

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  • Start inland where the route passes through Prestatyn's residential areas before climbing steeply uphill towards the Prestatyn Heights Nature Reserve, reaching over 200m in elevation.
  • Continue onto Dyserth, where you'll find the remains of a castle constructed by Henry III in 1241, later destroyed by Llywelyn ab Gruffudd in 1263 after a prolonged siege. Or, why not visit the more easily accessible Dyserth Falls?
  • The North Wales Path then leads to Rhuddlan Castle, built by Edward I in 1277-1282. The final section follows the North Wales Path along the Afon Elwy banks to rejoin the coast at Foryd Bridge between Kinmael Bay and Rhyl, which is also home to Golden Sands Holiday Park.

Length: This walk will take a full day

Difficulty: Moderate

Pensarn to Abergele – North Wales Path image

Pensarn to Abergele – North Wales Path

This circular walk follows the North Wales Path along the coast to Llanddulas, then returns through the countryside and woodlands south of the town.

  • From the seafront near Pensarn train station, pick up the North Wales Path, following it along the coast to Llanddulas, which offers views over the Abergele Roads to Rhyl, with the Clwydian Hills as a backdrop.
  • In Llanddulas, the route turns south along the River Dulas and country lanes to Rhyd-y-Foel.
  • A separate country lane takes you east back into Abergele, which passes Gwrych Castle (ITV’s I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here was filmed here in 2020/21) – a 10-20 minute drive from Golden Sands holiday park, before skirting Gopa Wood and returning to Abergele.
  • You can extend the walk westward leads to Colwyn Bay, while heading east takes you to Rhyl and the River Clwyd.

Length: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Porthmadog image

Porthmadog

Explore the landscapes of the Llŷn Peninsula, from the charming Victorian seaside village of Borth-y-Gest, through a wooded nature reserve with sweeping Cardigan Bay views. From the historic Georgian village of Tremadog and the bustling harbour town of Porthmadog, home to narrow gauge railways and the famous Cob crossing, discover one of the best circular coastal walks in North Wales!

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  • From the Borth-y-Gest car park, head towards Porthmadog and follow the nature reserve signs up the steps into the woodland. Exiting the reserve, cross the road carefully.
  • Pass the buildings, climbing and descending Moel y Gest to reach the Porthmadog outskirts. Turn left on the A497, cross the railway, then continue to Tremadog.
  • Take a slight detour through Nursery Wood towards Pen-y-Mount station, then follow the path back to the Porthmadog harbour. A riverside lane leads from the harbour back to the starting point at Borth-y-Gest.

Length: 6.3 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Aberdyfi image

Aberdyfi

This short, scenic walk showcases Aberdyfi's highlights – a stunning sandy beach, the site of a medieval castle, sweeping views of the Dyfi estuary, and more. The route starts and ends in this picturesque seaside town.

  • From the Aberdyfi seafront car park, head west past the railway bridge and the marked trailhead.
  • The path climbs above the town, then continues westward around the hill summit.
  • Follow the track along a small river, past the Crychnant farmyard, until it meets the road. At the Wales Coast Path signs, leave the road and descend back to Aberdyfi.

Length: 4.6 miles

Difficulty: Easy-moderate

Abergwyngregyn image

Abergwyngregyn

This scenic walk includes a coastal stretch overlooking the Lavan Sands and Anglesey, as well as a climb up the slopes of Moel Wnion on the Carneddau range. Spot wading birds along the shoreline, and enjoy panoramic views of the Menai Strait and Anglesey from the higher sections. A rewarding route blending natural beauty and historic interest.

  • From the Aber Nature Reserve car park, follow the Coast Path west along the foreshore. Go inland and cross the fields to the railway embankment, and continue to the A55 road.
  • Cross the bridge, then climb steeply past the Slate Valley Path signs. Continue along the path across the slopes of Moel Wnion, taking in views of the Lavan Sands and Anglesey, before descending back to Abergwyngregyn.

Length: 6.3 miles

Difficulty: Challenging

Penmaenmawr Uplands image

Penmaenmawr Uplands

It’s time to explore the hidden history of the landscape above Penmaenmawr and witness the abundant birds and wildlife species you may see on your walk…

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  • Start at the library car park, walking up Fernbrook Road and Groesffordd Lane to reach two pillars, which were built in 1888 to mark the opening of the Jubilee Path – a circular route created for visitors to the Victorian resort of Penmaenmawr to enjoy the panoramic views.
  • Take the track and turn right at the first junction. Continue past a farm on your left, passing by the mountain Tal-y-fan ahead and the Pensychnant Upland walk to your left, with Conwy Mountain behind. Go through a second gate, and in the field to your left, you'll see Maen Crwn.
  • Continue past Bryn Derwydd on the tree-lined track. Just before the last tree, follow the North Wales Path markers up to the right, through a field gate. Keep following the markers past a signpost, heading left. You'll see a small circle of five boulders to your left, with the Druids' Circle ahead.
  • Follow the path around the right side of the Druids' Circle, stopping at a cairn and an additional stone circle. From the cairn, head right towards the stone wall below.
  • Turn right and follow the track to the wall corner, then left down to a kissing gate and bridge. At the first fork, you'll see Graiglwyd (the grey rock) above to the left.
  • Take the lower path down the hillside to a kissing gate. Follow the track around the farm buildings to Graiglwyd Road, turn right, and continue to the left turn for Merton Park. Walk down Merton Park, turn left onto Fernbrook Road, and return to the library car park.

Length: 5 ½ miles

Difficulty: Moderate-challenging

Circular walks in North Wales and the Wales Coastal Path FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about circular walks in North Wales:

Where does the North Wales Coastal Path start?

If you like the sound of the North Wales coastal path, the start and end points of the Wales Coast Path depend on the section you're walking from.

In the north, the path begins on the border with the English city of Chester, connecting with National Cycle Route 89.

In the south, the path terminates in Chepstow, near the town's bandstand. The official halfway point of the entire Wales Coast Path is located in New Quay, Ceredigion.

How long does it take to walk the whole Welsh coastal path? How long it takes to walk the whole Welsh coastal path depends on what type of walker you are. An average for a dedicated walker is 6-7 weeks. However, you can split this up to suit your North Wales holiday.

What is the best part of the Wales coastal path?

One of the best parts of the Wales coastal path is the Pembrokeshire Coast Path - the longest section of the Wales Coast Path, spanning 182 miles. It is also arguably the most popular, having attracted hikers and ramblers with a fondness for coastal breezes ever since it was designated as a National Trail back in 1970.

However, here are some of the other best parts of the Wales coastal path:

  • Great Orme
  • Llŷn Peninsula
  • Snowdonia

Use this circular walk in North Wales map to plan your itinerary…

There’s one last thing missing from this list and that’s a circular coastal walks in North Wales map to help you on your journey.

You can find exactly where these walks are and how far away they are from your chosen holiday park here!

Setting you up for your walking holidays ahead, why not book your next one now?

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