11th - 24th July
Wales is the sixth region to take part in the Relay, picking up the baton from riders in the North West and there is so much to say about this stunning country! From countryside to coastline, castles to culture, much of Wales’ landscape is protected. Around a quarter of the country lies either within one of its three National Parks (Snowdonia (north), the Brecon Beacons (South east) and the Pembrokeshire Coast) (south west) or one of its five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs): Llŷn Peninsula (north west), the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley (North) , the Gower Peninsula (South coast) , the isle of Anglesey and the Wye Valley (SW border with England).
The Welsh coastal path is the first in the world to follow a country’s coastline in its entirety. Dip in anywhere along its 870 miles and take in the extensive views, contemporary cultural hotspots, encounters with nature and thousands of years of history. Take a drive to the Gower peninsula, designated the first AONB in the UK where you can pitch your tent at Three Cliffs bay, with vistas across sand dunes, limestone cliffs and salt marshes. On the west coast, enjoy old-school seaside charm at Aberdovey and Barmouth; the latter has a particularly beautiful stretch of the coastal path, with views of the Mawddach Estuary, Cadair Idris and the Snowdonia National Park looming inland. Further north, a trio of commanding coastal castles at Harlech, Criccieth, and Caernarfon will impress, while Portmeirion with its whimsical Italianate architecture and riotous floral displays is a delight. The Llŷn Peninsula in the North West is one of Wales’s least explored areas, where the coast path has a wild, romantic feel. Climb to the headland from Aberdaron and feel completely at one with nature.
In addition to stunning coastline and beautiful countryside, Wales is steeped in culture with examples such as the Wales Millennium Centre, new home for the performing Arts. A nod to Cardiff’s maritime history, the building has a hull-shaped roof giving rise to the nickname the armadillo., If visual arts holds more appeal, visit St Donat’s near Porthcawl, Wales’ longest inhabited castle whose grounds contain the national contemporary Arts Centre.
For horse riders, due to the vast expanses of countryside, coast and national parks there are numerous options for riding and walking. Natural Resources Wales manages purpose-built soft trails for horse riders in Crychan Forest near Llandovery and Dyfnant Forest near Welshpool. There is also access for horse riding and some waymarked horse riding trails in many of the other woodlands managed by Natural Resources Wales. In addition, the Wales Coast path provides a continuous walking route around the whole of Wales. Close to the path, there are bridleways, forests and beaches where you can ride as well as riding and pony trekking centres which cater for riders of all ages and abilities.
Useful local information
Official Tourist Board site: www.visitwales.com
Wales Coastal Path (with interactive map): www.walescoastpath.co.uk
Wales Millennium Centre: www.wmc.org.uk/
St Fagan’s National Museum of History: www.museum.wales/stfagans
National Parks Wales www.nationalparkswales.uk
Brecon Beacons National Park Authority www.beacons-npa.gov.uk
Snowdonia National Park www.eryri-npa.gov.uk
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales
Wales Coast Path www.walescoastpath.gov.uk
Horse Riding and Carriage Driving in Wales Natural Resources Wales / Horse riding and carriage driving
Horse Riding in the Brecon Beacons Horse riding - Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
Horse Riding in the Crychan Forest (Halfway Forest) Natural Resources Wales / Halfway Forest, near Llandovery or main area Natural Resources Wales / Crychan Forest, near Llandovery
Horse Riding in Dyfnant Forest Natural Resources Wales / Dyfnant Forest (Pen y Ffordd), near Dolgellau
North Wales Horse Watch (one of our supported charities) www.northwaleshorsewatch.co.uk
More information and some fun facts
Castles are everywhere! Wales has over 600, which is more per square mile than anywhere in the world. Many are built by Welsh royal dynasties, often in very beautiful places
Wales' three national parks together cover 20% of the whole land surface of Wales
Aside from being (at 58 letters) the longest place name in Europe and the longest valid, single-word internet domain name in the world, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch was actually used as a secret password in the in the cult 1968 Jane Fonda movie Barbarella - writers of the the sci-fi kitsch fest had characters say it each time they wanted to gain entry to a secret resistance HQ
The oldest tree in Wales is the Llangernyw Yew in St Digain’s church yard, Llangernyw, near Conwy. It’s approximately 4,000 years old
Wales has been the setting of numerous well known films including First Knight, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Robin Hood, King Arthur, The Secret Garden, Tomb Raider 2, Wonder Woman 1984 and an incredible four James Bond films! (Quantum of Solace, Die Another Day, The World is Not Enough and From Russia With Love)
The great glasshouse in the National Botanical Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire, is the largest single-span glasshouse in the world, measuring 312ft in length and 180ft in width
The actors Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins are from Wales. The comedians Griff Rhys-Jones and Tommy Cooper were born there, as well as the singer Tom Jones.
Local events and rides during the Relay
Please keep checking this page for more information of our own organised rides and routes in the area - coming very soon!
Please note, the below rides are not organised by Horses4Health and are just a selection of events on in the area.
Sunday 30th May 2021 - SFH Sennybridge Farmers Hunt Fun Ride, Brecon Beacons LD3 8HW
Details on the RidingDiary