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Six places to go hiking this spring

Spring is here with warmer and sunnier days ahead. Here are some spring walks and hikes to explore around Cardiff

1.Taff Trail

The hike
Challenge level: Easy
Length: 7 miles

Start: Bute Park
Finish: Castell Coch

How to reach
Nearest airport: Cardiff international airport
Nearest railway: Cardiff central station
Nearest bus station: Cardiff coach station (Sophia gardens)
Nearest bicycle route: A4161

Re-energise: Lewis Arms

Dog-friendly? Yes

Taff trail is stretched across 55 miles from Cardiff Bay area till Brecon Beacons. However, if you are living in Cardiff, Bute Park could be place to start with. The trail passes through many parts of the city with river Taff, parks and greenery running across it. It is the best walk for a less tiring but also relieve you from weeklong stress.

For more information: http://www.visitwales.com/things-to-do/activities/walking-hiking/historical-walks/taff-trail

2. Garth Hill

The hike
Challenge level: Easy
Length: 4 miles

Start: Taff’s well
Finish: Garth Hill

How to reach
Nearest airport:
Nearest railway: Taff’s well
Nearest bus station: Taff’s well railway station
Nearest bicycle route: National cycle route 8, A470

Re-energise: Gwaelod y Garth Inn

Dog-friendly? Yes

Where to stay
– Holly house bracknell
– Fines Bayliwick country
– Whites gates hotel

The hill is almost 300m high and starts from Taff’s well. The walk starts with short elevations from quiet forest area and then steeping up towards the end. Once on the top, the hill gives you a nice view of the Cardiff city, sea and Castell Coch. It is the best hike, if you want to return by afternoon and have any plans for the evening on a weekend.

For more information: http://www.cardifframblers.org.uk/routes/walklfltos.php?walkref=cwl05

3. Tenby

The hike
Challenge level: Easy to moderate
Length: 4.5 miles

Start: Saundersfoot
Finish: Tenby

Re-energise: Hope & Anchor

Dog-friendly? Yes

How to reach
Nearest airport: Swansea
Nearest bus station: Tenby
Nearest railway: Tenby

This is a coastal walk in the Pembrokshire part of wales. It is also one of the featured heritage walks in the UK. The 13th-century walls and other relics can be seen during the walk. The walk is not steady but has elevations and slopes during the stretch.

For more information: http://www.tenbyvisitorguide.co.uk/

4. Gower

The hike
Challenge level: Easy to Moderate
Length: 2.5 miles

Start: The Green by Penmaen Church
Finish: Three cliffs bay

How to reach
Nearest airport: Swansea
Nearest bus station: Gower
Nearest railway: Gowerton

Re-energise: Gower Inn

Dog-friendly? Yes

Where to stay:
– The worms head hotel
– Youth hostel association Gower bunkhouse

Choose this walk for another coastal walk along limestone grasslands in Wales. The Pennard Castle ruins are a must see during this promising pleasant walk. It is a short walk by distance but is a bit steep. On your way, you pass through a wooded valley, muddy floors and a rough path. The unique feature of this walk is that it starts with a descent unlike the usual trail and ends with hiking the same hill.

For more information: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/rhossili-and-south-gower-coast/trails/southgate-to-three-cliffs-bay-walk

5. Tintern Abbey

The hike
Challenge: Moderate
Length: 3 miles

Start: Tintern Abbey
Finish: Circular walk
Entry fee: £6

How to reach
Nearest bus station: Tintern
Nearest railway station: Chepstow
Nearest airport: Bristol

Re-energise: Anchor Pub

Dog-friendly? Yes

Where to stay
– Tintern abbey cottage (winner of Best Place to Stay in Wales)
– Tintern old rectory B&B

The hike will take you 250m above the sea level and is moderate and starts along river Wye. You can see limestone rocks coming out from the cliffs and has its natural beauty. It has also earned the mention in William Wordsworth. It has an abundant wildlife and forest area. This site also has historical significance as King Tewdrig who defeated the Saxons in his final battle at Pont Y Saeson, lived as a hermit in the 6th-century.

Flora and fauna: Otter, heron, kingfisher, red kite, peregrine falcons

More places of interest: Abbey mill, Tintern old station, Parva farm vineyard, Wye river

For more information: http://www.visitwales.com/explore/south-wales/wye-valley-vale-usk/tintern-abbey

6. Brecon Beacons

The hike
Challenge level: Difficult
Length: 4 miles

Start: Upper Neuadd Reservoir
Finish: Brecon Beacons

How to reach
Nearest airport: Cardiff
Nearest railway: Pontlottyn
Nearest bus-station: Merthyr Tydfil

Re-energise: The Star Inn

Dog-friendly? Yes

Where to stay
– The Plough
– The Bedlinog Inn
– Glan y Dwr Bed and Breakfast

The Brecon Beacons is the most challenging place compared to other locations so far. This place is known as one of the best hikes in Britain and draws hikers from across the UK. The walk falls in the Brecon Beacons national park. The rewarding part of the hike is the Norman castles and neolithic stone circles and view of river Usk. For people seeking more adventure, the place also offers opportunities for mountain biking, kayaking, gliding and horse riding.

Flora and fauna
Animals: Badgers, bats, brown hares, otters, dormice, water voles
Birds: Golden plovers, curlews, ring ouzels, peregrine falcons, skylarks, pipits, bwncath
Fungi: Pink meadowcap, olive earthtongue

Places of interest
– Brecon castle, Blaen llynfi castle, and more
– Dan-yr-Ogof and the national showcaves, Clydach gorge and more
– Blaenavon world heritage site
– The lady waterfall, the snow waterfall and more

For more information: http://www.breconbeacons.org/