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Winter Warmers: walking trails with cosy pit stops

There’s no better way to discover the hidden gems of a new area than by exploring on foot. A leisurely walk connects us to nature, our surroundings, to new people – and perhaps most importantly, to ourselves.

Here’s some inspiration for your next walking adventure in the Dramatic Heart of Wales, along with some cosy pit stops to keep you fuelled along the way.

 

Swansea Canal – a wildlife-filled walk fuelled by Welsh charm

 

Swansea Canal is a beautiful 16-mile-long walking and cycle route, winding through woodlands and fields, part of Route 43 of the National Cycle Network. Its largely flat terrain is perfect for family cycle rides, and it’s a haven for wildlife ¾ an idyllic escape for those seeking a pleasant walk with sweeping views across the Swansea Valley.

Tucked beside the canal path is a family-run community pub, The Pontardawe Inn. It is a local town favourite, renowned for its hearty pub meals and its real Welsh welcome. Wash your warm pub meal down with a traditional pint, a glass of wine or a nice warm cuppa. You can relax in their spacious beer garden or head into the homely bar, both of which are dog friendly. A real home-from-home pub.

 

Aberavon Beach – discover your seaside nostalgia

 

Craving some sea air? Grab your bobble hats for a refreshing stroll along one of Wales’ longest sandy beaches, Aberavon Beach. Along the 3-mile stretch of golden sands, soak up the stunning panoramic views overlooking Swansea Bay and Mumbles. The bustling promenade is also an entertainment hub for your little ones – with a skate park, children’s play areas and grassed areas. Aberavon isn’t just a beach, it’s a place to make unforgettable memories at the seaside with your loved ones.

No trip to the seaside is complete without some traditional fish and chips. Francos Fish Bar has been at the heart of Aberavon beachfront since 1970. The family-run restaurant serves traditional chip shop favourites available for takeaway, and a wide variety of warm homemade meals in the restaurant. You can also indulge in the perfect seaside walk pick-me-up with their selection of fresh Italian coffee and delicious sweet treats.

 

Afan Forest Park – a tranquil walk and cosy café break

 

Walking through our Afan Forest Park offers the chance to reset your mind, tune back into nature and put a big smile on your face. The beautiful walking trails range from a short-level route along a former trackway to a strenuous seven-mile walk along a ridgetop with panoramic views – there’s a trail for everyone. Each of the trails is marked clearly from start to finish, making it a hassle-free day out for fellow walk lovers.

Set in the beauty of the Afan Valley, Glyncorrwg Mountain Bike Centre is home to the popular, family-run Corrwg Cwtch Cafe (cwtch meaning hug in Welsh). Located in the main car park, you can recharge from your woodland adventure at the cosy café. Indulge in homemade hearty meals, delectable cakes and even puppy ice cream for your furry friends.

To explore these wonderful walks and cosy pit stops, plan your visit to The Dramatic Heart of Wales.

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