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Wintry walks in Mid Wales

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WRAP up warm and explore these wintry walks in Mid Wales, from the foothills of Southern Snowdonia to the striking landscapes of the Brecon Beacons and everywhere in between.

Denmark Farm Conservation Centre, near Cardigan Bay

The 40-acre nature reserve at Denmark Farm in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains is perfect for a wintery afternoon stroll. With easy paths and trails meandering around the site, you can discover a wide range of stunning habitats (woodland, meadow, pasture, lakes and ponds) and local wildlife.

There is no charge to walk around but they do request a donation to help keep the reserve accessible for all. Open dawn to dusk, every day except December 24.

Elan Valley Reindeer Trail

The Elan Valley, near Rhayader

Winter walks in the Elan Valley are a great way to blow off the cobwebs and get some fresh air. A new walking trails pack has recently been launched which features eleven walks in the Elan Valley. 

Choose from a leisurely 0.5 mile walk to a strenuous 9.5mile walk. Discover the incredible landscape across this magnificent valley. Walking trails can be downloaded from here.

If you’re looking for a little wintery magic this Christmas holiday, check out the Christmas Reindeer Trail. Santa’s reindeer have escaped and are hiding in the Elan Valley this December.

Pick up a trail map from the Visitor Centre and explore Cnwch Woods to find Santa’s reindeer. £2 per child, includes a Christmas treat.

Bwlch Nant yr Arian

Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre, near Aberystwyth  

The Visitor Centre is easy to find, just off the A44. Soak up the sights, sounds and smells of nature along waymarked trails without the crowds. Chances are, there’ll be more red kites than people.

The number of these beautiful birds of prey which come in for daily feeding is often higher during winter. Feeding time is at 2pm every day until the clocks go forward in March when it’s at 3pm.

You may also see other less common birds here in winter including herons and whooper swans. The visitor centre is perched on a hilltop and the wind is often cold, strong and easterly. This is great weather for a bracing winter walk.

The café sells seasonal delights to warm visitors up and there are some festive events planned which are suitable for younger visitors. The shop stocks plenty of Christmas gift ideas for all the family.

Ynyslas

Ynyslas Visitor Centre and Dyfi National Nature Reserve, near Aberystwyth

It’s a fantastic time of year for a quieter walk to appreciate what makes the beach and sand dunes at Ynyslas so special. Nature lovers, look out for the range of different fungi in the dunes and bring your binoculars to see how many birds you can spot.

The estuary is home to migratory and overwintering birds and you may see waders, sanderling and golden plover on the beach. You can buy books about fungi and birds from the visitor centre shop to help you identify what you see.

The visitor centre is open all winter and it is home to a new exhibition which helps bring the rich nature to life. The centre sells hot and cold drinks and snacks. It has indoor seating and a shop selling books, cards, local artwork and toys.

Good Day Out – a walk with a difference in the Brecon Beacons

Enjoy a quiet Welsh winter walk with some special little companions. Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys, Maverick & Goose are dinky donkeys who love nothing more than meeting people and going for an amble and forage across their neighbouring farmland in the Brecon Beacons, through the winter months.

They wear little panniers to carry a picnic and all walks are with tiny groups at £35 per person for individuals to book or can be reserved as private sessions from £140. It’s a great Christmas present for animal-lovers. You can also book ahead to the warmer months, buy undated gift vouchers for this experience or choose from Good Day Out’s other innovative experiences with animals including Piggy Walks, Sheep Dog Sessions and Mini Donkey Agility Games.

With every Good Day Out participation, a good cause also benefits, so you can have a really good day out whilst doing good at the same time! To see winter availability and to buy vouchers, pop to the Good Day Out website or call 01874 749092.

Aberdyfi boardwalk

Aberdyfi, Southern Snowdonia

Staying at the Trefeddian Hotel, or their Seascape self-catering, or visiting the coast for the day? Nothing beats a bracing walk along the four miles of golden sandy beach that stretch out in front of the Trefeddian.

Whether you choose just to meander into Aberdyfi or brave a longer trek to Tywyn, this winter walk is sure to make your cheeks glow. Watch out for grey seals and curlews along the way.

Head up to the hills above Abergynolwyn and venture through Dyfi Forest on one of the many trails at Nant Gwernol. The waymarked trails follow the riverside and explore the remains of Bryn Eglwys Slate Quarry.

Read more in The Trefeddian’s blog, here.

For more walking inspiration see head to the Visit Mid Wales website

*Please be mindful of the effect the weather may have on your visit to Mid Wales and check the forecast before you set off. Many nature reserves are exposed and the weather can be cold and windy.

High tides are more frequent in winter and the car park at Ynyslas floods more often – please check the signs at the entrance carefully to make sure it is safe to park.

Enjoy!

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