About our Wales Hiking Tours

What is a self-guided hiking tour?

A self-guided hiking tour gives you the freedom to enjoy the wonderful Welsh countryside at your own pace. Hiking without a guide, we will provide you with all the resources you need to successfully complete the trail alone or in the company of good friends.

We’ll plan your route, transfer your bags and show you all the best places to visit but you decide whether you want that extra hour in bed in the morning!

Do you offer guided hiking tours?

Guided hiking tours are not available from Hillwalk Tours.

When can we start our Hillwalk Tours hiking holiday?

You can start your hiking tour on any day of the week between the 1st of March and the 31st of October.

Does a 7-Day tour include 7 days of hiking?

Our 7-Day tours include 5 days of hiking. The first and last days of all our hiking tours are travel days used to transfer to/from the town where your hike will begin/end. If you would like to hike for 7 days, simply select one of our 9-Day tours.

Does a 7-Day tour include 7 nights of accommodation?

Our 7-Day tours include 6 nights of accommodation – specifically the first 6 nights on your hiking tour. Your tour finishes on the seventh day when you check out of your last B&B.

What is a single supplement?

A single supplement is an additional charge for walkers booking single accommodation (a room for one person). The total tour price per person requesting a single room is the price per person plus the single supplement. The supplement covers the extra costs associated with accommodating a single person in their own room.

Can we bring our dog?

It is not possible to bring your dog on Hillwalk Tours hiking holidays. Unfortunately, the majority of our accommodation providers do not accept pets of any kind.

Can we buy bus/train tickets in advance of our trip?

Yes, most bus and train tickets can be purchased online in advance of your trip. Specific transport information is available on the tour pages of each hiking region.

If we arrive by car, where can we park while we are on our hiking tour?

We can generally arrange for you to park at your first B&B. If you are bringing your car, please contact us in advance.

About Luggage Transfers and Accommodation

Will we have to carry our own bags during our hiking tour?

No, on all our Wales hiking tours, your luggage will be transported to your next accommodation each day as you walk and will arrive before 4pm. A maximum weight limit of 15 kg per person applies to this luggage transfer service.

What type of accommodation will we be staying in?

You will be staying in traditional Welsh Bed & Breakfasts (B&B’s) and Country Inns during your hiking trip. To ensure your comfort, each B&B and Inn you will stay in has been personally checked by a member of the Hillwalk Tours team. You can expect a warm welcome, en-suite facilities and a hearty breakfast each morning.

Can we get a list of our accommodation before we leave?

Yes, we normally post out your hiking pack (which includes details of where you will be staying) to your home address one month in advance of the start date of your tour. This can be sent sooner upon request.

Will our B&B be close to the local town/village?

In general, we try to book accommodation which is as close to the local amenities as possible. If you are staying in a remote location (where access to local pubs/restaurants is not feasible), the owner of the B&B that you are staying at will ensure that you are well fed.

What is the difference between a ‘twin’ and a ‘double’ room?

A ‘twin’ room is a room for two people with two separate beds. A ‘double’ room has just one large bed (for two people).

About Your Hiking Pack

What’s included in my hiking pack?

– Route notes (prepared by a member the Hillwalk Tours team who has walked every step of your tour)
– Detailed hiking map(s)
– Waterproof map-case
– A sneak-peak at where you will be staying
– Our tips on the most interesting attractions to visit along the trail
– A look at fascinating local history
– A guide to the best places to eat and drink
– Mountain safety information, emergency contact details & the country code

Do you provide GPS co-ordinates?

We have purposely decided to steer clear of GPS for the most part as we are trying to keep the walks as true to nature as possible (i.e. just get out in the fresh air with a pair of boots and leave all that modern technology behind). But we are providing GPS coordinates for your accommodation.

How many hiking packs are provided?

One hiking pack will be provided per four people. Therefore, for a group of 1 – 4 people, one hiking pack will be sent. For 5 – 8 people, two hiking packs will be sent, etc.

What language will my hiking pack be in?

The contents of your hiking pack (route notes, accommodation information, history, etc.) will all be in English.

About Fitness Levels

How fit do we need to be to take a hiking tour?

We believe that the beauty of the Welsh countryside should be enjoyed by everyone. With this in mind, we designed our hiking tours to cater for practically all levels of fitness. Our range of ‘Gentle’, ‘Moderate’ and ‘Challenging’ hikes in most regions allows you to decide how far you wish to walk each day. So, whether you are a novice walker or an experienced hiker, we have the tour to suit you.

What is the difference between Gentle, Moderate and Challenging Hiking Tours?

The difference between these tours is the distance that you will hike each day. Gentle tours cover an average of 12-16 km (7.5 – 9 miles) per day, Moderate tours cover an average of 18-22 km (11 – 14 miles) per day and Challenging Tours cover an average of 26-30 km (16-19 miles) per day. For a more detailed breakdown of how we grade our hiking tours, click here.

Can we take a rest day?

Yes, we are more than happy to organise an additional night for you anywhere you please. Suggestions on interesting places to take a rest day are available on the tour pages of each hiking region.

About Money, Flights and Insurance

Will there be ATM/Credit Card facilities along the hiking route?

ATM facilities are available in many of the towns along the route. Credit cards are also accepted by many bar and restaurants. However, we suggest that you also bring a reasonable sum of cash as a back-up.

Do they use the Euro in Wales?

Euros are not accepted anywhere in Wales – the currency used is the Pound Sterling (£).

Are flights and transport to the start of our hiking tour included?

Flights and transport to the start of your hiking tour are not included in our prices. However, we do provide detailed timetables on how to make it to the start of your hike by public transport on our tour pages.

Do I need to buy insurance?

Hillwalk Tours strongly encourages you to take out adequate insurance cover prior to travel.

Tour Grading

Which Wales Hiking Tour Should You Choose?

Choosing the right hiking tour can be tricky. It’s important to consider the balance of physical challenge and comfort level that you require. To make your decision easier, we have drawn up a menu of Gentle, Moderate and Challenging hiking tours.

Below is a general overview of each tour grading level. Note that the figures for ‘Average Daily Hike’ and ‘Hiking Time’ may vary between regions. Poor weather conditions can affect the average hiking time which is based on a person of normal fitness walking at a moderate speed of around 4km/h (2.5 mph). The hiking time takes into account the terrain covered but not the time required for lunch stops, photos, etc. For more details on daily distances, the level of ascent and the terrain the trail crosses; refer to the itinerary page of each individual tour.

Gentle

12-18km (8-11 miles) 3-6 hours
Our Gentle Hiking Tours are designed with the part-time hiker in mind. While you can still expect some climbs, these tours offer the shortest average daily hikes, which in turn means less ups and downs. This will give you plenty time to enjoy the sights and scenery, take photos, have a long lunch and, if necessary, negotiate the more tricky sections of a walk.

Moderate

16-23km (10-14 miles) 4-7 hours
Our Moderate Hiking Tours will suit people who are used to some regular exercise or who have done some previous hiking. They offer longer but still manageable daily hikes and should give you a little more of a challenge without going beyond your limits. There will be more climbs in a day but harder days are generally followed by easier ones. Of course, you will also still have time for a relaxed lunch and to take photos.

Challenging

22-30km (14-19 miles) 5-9 hours
Our Challenging Hiking Tours are designed for the experienced hiker or those walkers who love a good challenge. They offer the longest daily hikes with more elevation gain and will often test your endurance by having you walk all day. Of course, as with all of our tours there will be a hot shower and the finest local hospitality waiting at the end of your walk to re-charge your batteries each evening.

How To Book

How do I book my hiking holiday?

1. Choose the type of hiking tour you want to take: ‘Gentle’, ‘Moderate’ or ‘Challenging’

2. Next, identify the number of days you want to spend on your hiking tour

3. Click the ‘Make a Booking’ button on the top right of our webpage

4. Finally, fill out our booking form and make a £100 deposit per person

What happens after I make a booking?

1. If you paid by credit card, you will receive an e-mail within 24 hours verifying receipt of your booking form and deposit payment. In this email, you will be asked to confirm your tour details. If you paid by bank transfer, payment will take a few days to reach us. Therefore you will receive your email confirmation and request to confirm your tour details shortly after we have assigned the bank payment to your booking form. In this case, you may receive an automatic email outlining that a booking form has been received, but no deposit has been received – you can disregard this email.

2. Once your confirmation is received that all details on your booking form are correct, we will begin making the arrangements for your tour. Therefore, the sooner you send us this confirmation, the sooner we can start to book your tour.

3. After all the arrangements for your tour have been confirmed (this process normally takes seven to ten working days) you will be sent a breakdown of the balance outstanding for your tour and a due date for payment.

4. Once your final payment has been received, we will send you an e-mail confirming receipt.

5. Your walking pack will be posted to your home address at least one month in advance of the start date of your tour (arrangements can be made to post this sooner if necessary). If the tour start date is less than one month away, your walking pack will be posted to your first B&B for you to collect upon arrival. If this is the case, you will also be sent soft copies of your walking pack documents by email.

What are the payment options?

Deposits and Final Payments can be made using:

1. Credit Card – through Stripe, a quick and secure way to accept credit card and debit card payments online. Stripe handles millions of transactions every year for businesses around the world and is now the preferred payment partner for many major companies.

2. Bank Transfer – please contact us for the required account details.

Don't Forget..

ESSENTIALS:

◻ WATERPROOF JACKET AND OVER-TROUSERS – You never know when you will need protection from wind and rain – so prepare for unpredictable weather by packing a waterproof, breathable jacket and over-trousers.

◻ BASE LAYER – This is what you wear against your skin and the best options are breathable and wicking fabrics instead of cotton. They will move moisture away from the skin so that you feel more comfortable when you are walking.

◻ FLEECE – It keeps you warm in the cooler months and on top of the hills, and will allow you to shed layers when you are working hard in the summer.

◻ LIGHT AND COMFORTABLE TROUSERS – Make sure you choose trousers that are stretchy or allow enough space to move your legs freely. Denims are not suitable for hill walking and dry very slowly once they get wet.

◻ WICKING SOCKS – Choose non-cotton socks that fit well and will move moisture away from your feet to stop them feeling sweaty. This will help to reduce the likelihood of blisters and ‘hot spots’.

◻ FOOTWEAR – We recommend that you bring comfortable, waterproof, lightweight shoes or boots, that provide good ankle support and offer good grip on rock, grass and mud. Remember that the trails in many of our regions can become quite wet and muddy, after periods of rain. Our tip: If you buy new boots for you holiday make sure to try them out on one or two longer walks before your tour!

◻ BACKPACK / RUCKSACK (with Waterproof Cover or liner) – To store all your essentials and keep them dry – including extra layers of clothing, your waterproofs, first aid kit, camera and your lunch, snacks and drinks. Don’t forget how important it is to stay hydrated and bring at least 1 – 2 litres  of water per person each day, depending on the weather!

◻ WARM HAT & GLOVES – They can be essential in many regions, even in the summer, at higher altitudes and on exposed places.

◻ CASH – Bring enough for the duration of your tour/hike as ATM/cash machine & credit card services may be limited.

◻ FIRST AID KIT & FOIL BLANKET– It’s a good idea to have a small, basic first aid kit to deal with little injuries such as sprains, scrapes, cuts and blisters. Good things to bring are plasters & wound dressings, sterile cleansing wipes, pain killers, tweezers (for splinters & ticks), bandages, zinc oxide tape or elastoplast tape (for blisters or sprains) and a foil rescue blanket to keep you warm (or cool) in case of an accident.

◻ WHISTLE & TORCH – In the very unlikely event you need to signal for help (whistle) or if your walk takes longer than expected and you end up walking in the dark (torch).

◻ MOBILE PHONE – We recommend that you bring or purchase a mobile/cell phone. It will allow you to contact your accommodation and transfer providers from the trail and call for help in an emergency.

  • Visitors from other European Countries: Most European billpay and prepay customers can use ‘roaming’ in the UK (Scotland, England, Wales & Northern Ireland), but check with your operator for the best rates before you travel.
  • Visitors from the United States, Canada and elsewhere: Make sure that you have a GSM/UMTS phone compatible with European networks and a roaming service / suitable phone plan for the country you are travelling to. If your phone is unlocked and GSM/UMTS compatible, you can also purchase a UK SIM card from a variety of mobile phone stores and supermarkets and use it in your own phone.
  • Alternatively, you can purchase a cheap pre-pay phone when you arrive. It is possible to buy a basic pre-pay phone for as little as £15. You can then top-up with vouchers or a credit/debit card.
  • Make sure your phone is fully charged before you start your walk. You might not always have a phone signal on the trail but, in general, the level of coverage is quite good.

◻ PLUG ADAPTER (/CONVERTER) – Three square pin plugs are used in the UK – voltage is 230V.

 

ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS:

◻ SUN CREAM, SUNGLASSES AND SUNHAT (April to Sept) – Let’s hope you’ll need those!

◻ MIDGE/INSECT REPELLENT & MIDGE NET (May to September only) – Especially important for Scotland, but can also be useful for other regions. Our tip: Avon ‘Skin So Soft’ moisturising cream – it’s not made specifically for midges but we find it works better and is also cheaper.

◻ CAMERA – Vital for capturing photos of the stunning scenery along your trip, which help you brag to your friends about your holiday.

◻ COMPASS– A compass (and the ability to use it) is a good idea but not a requirement.

◻ WALKING POLES – Assist forward movement, reduce impact on your knees, and help with balance in difficult terrain. A pair is best but many hikers also just use one.

◻ GAITERS – By covering your upper boot and lower leg these help to keep your feet and trousers dry in wet grass and boggy terrain.

◻ EARPLUGS – We know how important it is to get a good night’s rest. However, as there may be other guests in the guesthouse with different plans for their night, we recommend bringing a pair of earplugs to ensure sweet dreams!

During Your Tour

When will my room be available?

Your room will be ready each day from 4pm at the latest and sometimes sooner

What time will my luggage arrive at?

Your luggage will arrive by 4pm each day

What types of breakfasts are available?

Both continental breakfast and hot breakfasts are available every morning

Where can I get a packed lunch? Can I pick this up along the trail?

Packed lunches should be purchased each morning from your accommodation hosts or a nearby shop before you start your walk as you may not pass any shops/cafes during the day.

Where can I get an evening meal?

You can generally buy an evening meal in one of the local restaurants, cafes or pubs close to your accommodation. If there aren’t any restaurants/cafes/pubs in the local area, evening meals can be obtained from your host.

Will there be drying facilities at my accommodation?

Yes, drying facilities will be available for your use at most Bed and Breakfasts.

What is the difference between kilometres and miles?

1 kilometre = 0.62 mile
1 mile = 1.61 kilometres

How do I deal with animals on my hike?

In Wales, many hiking trails are on private land. This means that farmers may still have their cattle grazing in the same fields. Some cattle may look intimidating. However, don’t worry, you will find these animals are actually quite timid. Continue walking in a normal fashion (do not run) and you should have no problems.

Here are a few other tips to avoid any issues when dealing with cattle on your hike:
– Don’t walk between cows and their calves if possible
– Walk around cattle not through the middle of them
– Calves and young bullocks are very curious and may even run towards you. Don’t worry, jump up and shout and they will run away again.

Will I have cell phone reception?

Most areas have cell phone reception, even while you are hiking. However, you may pass through some remote areas where reception will be either limited or unavailable entirely.

Will our accommodation have Wi-Fi connection?

Yes, in most Bed and Breakfast’s Wi-Fi is available.

Are the trails clearly way-marked?

Yes, most routes are very clearly way-marked with a marker directly before and after each turn.

Climate

Wales is surrounded on three sides by the sea and experiences a maritime climate. It can get quite windy at times but the coasts are generally milder, while the inland areas tend to get a little colder. Overall the temperatures are generally quite mild but it can be relatively warm during the summer months. The warmest months are June, July and August.
Rainfall can be expected throughout the year and the weather in Wales can be quite changeable, even over the space of one day. The driest months are April May June.

Cardiff Average Weather