Walks for autumn

Pick your route

We’ve chosen five woodlands and nature reserves where you can enjoy a walk full of autumn colour.

The walking trails are waymarked from start to finish and there is an information panel at the start of the trail.

Every walking trail is graded to give an indication of its difficulty. Find out about walking trail grades.

Llyn Elsi Walk, Gwydir Forest Park, North West Wales

Leave the bustle of Betws-y-coed to discover a tranquil and scenic lake surrounded by trees rich with autumn colours. Follow the path around the lake as it cuts in and out from the water’s edge and goes past a monument with a bench from which you can enjoy the view. The trail rejoins the main path and you re-trace your steps back to Betws-y-coed.

  • Length: 4 miles/6.2 kilometres
  • Grade: Strenuous
  • Terrain: A strenuous walk with a climb of 230 metres as the trail rises and descends steeply from the town. It follows a combination of forest roads and narrower footpaths, less than 100 centimetres wide in some places, on an unmade and uneven surface, where you can expect mud, rocks and tree roots
  • Start and finish: behind St Mary’s Church (next to Cotswolds Outdoor Shop), Betws-y-coed

Find out more

Animal Discovery Trail, Dyfi Forest, Mid Wales

Get set to enjoy spectacular seasonal colours on this short walk through tall beech trees in a peaceful woodland. Beech trees put on a long display during autumn as their leaves gradually turn from pale yellow through to deep orange. The leaves cover the woodland floor with a deep, crackly carpet which is great fun to walk through. Before you set off, pick up a leaflet from the car park for the Animal Discovery Trail and challenge the kids to spot the wooden animals hidden amongst the trees along the way. 

  • Length: 1 mile/1.8 kilometres
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Terrain: The trail follows forest roads and narrow rough paths with some rocks, roots and mud and there are some climbs and descents along the way. It is not suitable for pushchairs.
  • Start and finish: Tan y Coed car park, near Machynlleth

Find out more

Cors Caron Walk, Cors Caron National Nature Reserve, Mid Wales

Venture out on the boardwalk at Cors Caron National Nature Reserve to admire an array of brown, gold and maroon colours within a stunning landscape. This vast area of wetland is a dramatic sight at any time of year but its colours really come into their own in the autumn. The rusty colours of the raised bog, reedbed and grassland provide a contrast to the green of the surrounding hills and, in early autumn, the common heather is still in flower. It is a fantastic place for wildlife, too, and on warmer days you may see dragonflies and damselflies darting over the water or even a lizard or an adder basking on the boardwalk in the last of the year’s sunshine.

  • Length: 1½ miles/2.6 kilometres
  • Grade: Accessible
  • Terrain: The accessible boardwalk is a circular route over the south-east bog. It passes by a large hide where you can enjoy peaceful views of the landscape and wildlife. There are benches and passing places along the way
  • Start and finish: Cors Caron National Nature Reserve car park, near Tregaron

Find out more

Cilgwyn Walk, Cilgwyn Wood, South West Wales

Enjoy the spectacular seasonal colours in this small woodland tucked away in a rural corner of Carmarthenshire. There are a lovely mix of different trees here, including large Douglas fir, spruce and banks of old beech trees. The vibrantly coloured beech leaves carpet the woodland floor in autumn ready for you to crunch through as you follow our waymarked circular walk.

  • Length: 2 miles/3.4 kilometres
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Terrain: Steady climb at start and some steep sections. No steps. Walking shoes with a good grip recommended. Paths can be slippery when wet.
  • Start and finish: small parking area at woodland entrance, near Llandovery

Find out more

Wonders of Whitestone, Wye Valley, South East Wales

Savour the views over the dramatic Wye gorge and river through the colourful trees from the three viewpoints along this trail. The Wye Valley has been attracting visitors for centuries and autumn is a great time to visit the woodlands here which are amongst the most beautiful in Britain. The mixture of trees, ranging from stately oak and beech trees to ash, cherry and small-leaved lime, display a rich palette of seasonal colours.

  • Length: 1¼ miles/2 kilometres
  • Grade: Easy
  • Terrain: This is a mainly level circular route with one stony section. There is a bench at each viewpoint.
  • Start and finish: Whitestone car park, near Monmouth

Find out more

Plan your visit

Sometimes we need to close visitor facilities or trails whilst we undertake maintenance work or operations so please plan ahead and check the web page for the woodland or reserve before you set out.

See the Countryside Code for advice about preparing for your trip, keeping yourself and others safe and how you can help ensure that the countryside remains a beautiful place that everyone can enjoy.

The rules and restrictions around Coronavirus in Wales may differ from those in the rest of the UK - check the Welsh Government website for the latest guidance. 

Looking for somewhere else to visit?

Go to our Places to Visit section.

Related document downloads

Llyn Elsi Walk PDF [909.3 KB]
Animal Discovery Trail PDF [912.2 KB]
Cors Caron Walk PDF [766.8 KB]
Cilgwyn Walk PDF [2.0 MB]
Wonders of Whitestone PDF [884.5 KB]
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