Top 5 nature trips you can do in a day

Get your hiking shoes ready and let this list be your motivation for a short nature trip!

If you’re getting stuck at home with nothing to do, make good use of the weather and have a go with a day trip in one of these fantastic sceneries.

1. The Garth (Garth Hill/ Garth Mountain)

The Garth is a mysterious mountain, which inspired the 1995 film “The Englishman Who Went up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain”. Therefore, there is a legendary story about how villagers build an earth cairn on the top of the hill to make it high enough to be called a “mountain”.

On the way to the top it passes through a Nature reserve, Coed y Bedw, which comprises 42 acres of woodland and contains many rare plants. The Garth has a nice local pub at the bottom in Gwaelod-y-Garth called Gwaelod-y-Garth Inn  where people can take a break to eat and have a drink.

Paul Bradbury who recently visited the place feels the road to Garth is quite easy. “You can take A470 and head to Pentyrch then turn right to Gwaelod y garth. Head up past the pub and there is parking at the foot of the hill,” he says. “The views from the top is amazing, You can look over Ponty, Brecon and The Bristol channel.”

Roger Williams, an amateur road race cyclist, even prefers using his bicycle go up to the top. “It’s an easy hill to cycle and hike. They do have a road going practically to the top then the small and light paths that go around the top. I see a lot of elderly couples up there, though they probably drive most of the way and park at the top, there are paths around the road which are used by the mountain bikers.”

For the crowd: Green hand walker
Degree of difficulty: ⭐⭐⭐
Located: Pentyrch / Elevation: 307m (1,007 ft)
Distance from Cardiff: 8.5 miles
Public transportation: Train: Cardiff Central to Taffs Well /18mins / £3.4

2. Rhossili Bay

Rhossili Bay, a part of the Gower Coast Path, is the first beach to be recorded as the Best Beach in Britain, 3rd best beach in Europe and it has been named one of the top 10 beaches in the whole world.

There is a sandy shore stretching for about three miles, embracing one of Gower’s most famous landmark, Worms Head, which has a strange shape of promontory that runs into the sea at the southern edge of Rhossili bay. Additionally, a lot of watersports like surfing can be enjoyed there. The views are stunning and if you are lucky enough, you may even see some seals and dolphins playing in the surf sometimes.

Rhion Jones, a regular hiker, says, “Being a Welsh, I am naturally slightly biased – but I regard this as one of the most scenic places anywhere. Go to the top of Rhossili Down and look across to Worm’s Head hundreds of feet below beyond what Trip advisor claimed was one of the world’s best beaches. It doesn’t get much better!”

For the crowd: People love sea
Degree of difficulty: ⭐⭐
Located: Gower 
Distance from Cardiff: 59 miles
Public transportation: Train: Central Station to  Swansea / 
55 mins /£ 9.2, then take Bus 118 from Swansea to Rhossili / 1 hr, from Rshossili take a five min walk to the seashore

3. Pen Y Fan

The highest mountain in South Wales is Pen y Fan which in Welsh means ‘on the top the summit’. Don’t fret. The highest mountain is not as difficult to reach as as you may think!

At the heart of Brecon Beacon National Park , there are four ways to walk up to Pen Y Fan. The gentle and normal one: the walk from the Storey Arms or Pont ar Daf; the epic one: the Beacons Circuit; the quiet one: the Cwm Llwch walk from Cwm Gwdi; the tough one: the horseshoe ridge walk.

Freda Hawkes, an experienced hiker, gives some useful tips. “There are buses to Storey Arms which is the start point for the walk up Pen-y-Fan. It is very important to get accurate info about the timing of buses from Cardiff or Merthyr before they go as there is no shelter and no other way back to Merthyr if they miss the bus. There is a public toilet in the main car park near the Storey Arms bus stop, and often but not always refreshment vans are available serving hot drinks in several of the car parks.”

For the crowd: 4 ways suits any level hikers
Degree of difficulty: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Located: Powys, Brecon Beacons National Park / Elevation: 886m (2907ft)
Distance from Cardiff: 36 miles
Public transportation: Train: Cardiff Central_ Merthyr Tydfil /1h/ £5.7 or Bus: Merthyr to Storey Arm / 30mins (normal way)

4. The Glamorgan Heritage coast (Ogmore-by-sea)

The meeting of land and sea has created sand dunes, cliffs and it is rocky and sandy. That means this beautiful location is worth exploring, but there can be a few dangerous stretches. The cliff falls are common and many beaches are tide traps as the Bristol Channel has the second highest tidal range in the world.

This coastline is a 14-mile stretch, you can choose any distance you like and arrange your own return schedule. Both walks link the medieval landmarks of Ogmore Castle and St Bride’s Church. On fine summer weekends and public holidays, the areas close to the coastal car parks can become quite crowded.

For the crowd: Anyone
Degree of difficulty: ⭐⭐
Located: Ogmore / Length: main walk 7 miles; Shorter(inland) walk 4 miles.
Distance from Cardiff: 22 miles
Public transportation: Train: Cardiff Central to Bridgend / 25mins/ £4.9, then take Bus 45 or 46 Bridgend  to Llantwit

5. Sugarloaf

The Sugarloaf Mountain controls the skyline of the surrounding countryside and provides a spectacular backdrop to the market town of Abergavenny in South Wales.

It has been named one of the 50 Great British Walks according to the Telegraph., Lying within the Brecon Beacons National Park, Sugar Loaf resembles a classic volcanic cone and lifts the hearts of all who see it. Sugar Loaf also gives a variety of short and medium length walks on good paths.

For the crowd: Any level of hikers
Degree of difficulty: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Located: Abergavenny  /  Elevation: 596 m (1,955 ft)
Distance from Cardiff: 32 miles
Public transportation: Train: Cardiff Central to Abergavenny / 40 mins / £13.2, then take Bus 83 from Rail Station to Estate office & yard (SE bound) arrives at Point 6