Posted on 20/12/2017 by David
Ah, Christmas! You've gorged. You've binged. You're flopped on the sofa the Day After and you need to get out, blow the cobwebs away and get some gentle exercise. Eaten too many mince pies? It's time for a Boxing Day stroll!
Here are our three favourite short strolls - with a pub en-route if you fancy (another) festive tipple!
Marine Drive, Great Orme, Llandudno
Don't be put off by the title! Yes, it's a drive, but there's also a footpath all the way round too. It's a five-mile walk, undulating rather than hilly, and what about those views?
Spectacular limestone crags one way, wild and open seas the other. There are plenty of places to stop and take in the views and a few gaps in the walls where you can (carefully) explore the cliffs. Read our blog about the Orme's caves if you're feeling intrepid.
If you head out in the afternoon you're better walking anti-clockwise (from the Grand Hotel). If the weather's good you'll get to enjoy some lovely sunset vistas over Puffin and Anglesey islands on your return leg to Llandudno's West Shore.
The other great thing about this walk is that the footpaths are surfaced all the way, so you won't need your wellies or best waking boots to walk it (unless Father Christmas brought you new the previous day, in which you'll be itching to give them a try). On that note, if the kids got new bikes, this would be a great way to try them out (and tire out the young 'uns at the same time).
At the end of the walk you can head back to the Orme Tram Station on Church Walks and just behind it the King's Head Pub is a great spot to finish with a swift half.
Afon Glaslyn, Beddgelert
Yes, we've featured this walk before. Yet this short 2-3-miler is so lovely it warrants inclusion in our favourite Boxing Day strolls. You'll also have a great choice of pubs to frequent at the end (or indeed at the start if after all those mince pies you feel the need for some Dutch courage!).
From the road junction at the centre of the village, cross the river and turn left, past the big craft shop (it will likely be shut on Boxing Day). When you reach the river there is a footbridge and you have a choice to make - cross it now or later!
This easy circular is completely surfaced and is flat, so if you have grandparents in tow or young 'uns in pushchairs, you can all do this one as a family. Walk as far as the crossing by the Welsh Highland narrow gauge railway (which won't be running, sadly) then head back to the village. There's an easy detour to Gelert's grave on the way.
You can extend the walk by following the restored Fisherman's Path beyond the railway line crossing, but after an easy gravel start this gets rocky down in Aberglaslyn Pass. Also there's no easy way to return, unless you walk the busy road.
In the other direction, a path extends out of Beddgelert to Llyn Dinas, in part using a quiet lane as it passes Sygun Copper Mine. You will want wellies or walking boots for this, however - despite laid stones it can get waterlogged in places.
Llyn Parc Circular, Betws-y-Coed
This six-miler will take you about three-and-a-half hours, so allow four to gently work off the Christmas excess!
This is a lovely walk from Pont-y-Pair bridge in the centre of Betws-y-Coed. Park in the car park near the bridge and then follow the yellow signs. The route is waymarked throughout (download the leaflet here).
The nice thing about this trail is that - apart from a steep(ish) section on the approach to Llyn Parc, following a tumbling stream - it mostly follows wide forest roads which make for easy walking.
Llyn Parc is a beautifully tranquil, little-visited lake. The route takes you along the eastern shore of the lake and then loops back with views of the Conwy Valley through the trees.
You'll want walking boots for this one. But just think how great it will feel when you get back and can pop into any of Betws's pubs for a drink by the log fire. Iechyd da!