The West Arms has teamed up with champions of the outdoors, Adventure Tours UK, to accommodate wild wintery walks in North Wales. Claire Copeman, its co-founder, talks about the idea of mindfulness in nature, why every walker should be re-discovering the Berwyn Hills and her top places to visit when you come to North Wales.

A walker deviates a few meters from the OFFAS DYKE PATH to take in a sunrise over Wrexham and Denbighshire. Image by Craig Colville photographer

How was the idea of Mindful Walking in North Wales born?

“We’re passionate about the benefits of getting into the outdoors for both physical and mental wellbeing. The Mindful Walking trip was crafted entirely around the goal of practicing mindfulness by fully immersing you into landscape, culture and heritage. 

“North Wales was our destination of choice because we love the area; we’re locals and want to showcase the beautiful outdoor spaces we call home. Being outside in nature offers you the chance to re-centre and focus on yourself, away from daily distractions. 

“We want to celebrate the local partners and businesses wherever our trips are based, so we work with Belinda Gammon, a specialist in mindful walking, to create a mindful walking trip to provide travellers the opportunity to get outdoors in the winter months and appreciate the amazing autumnal backdrop to meditative walks. And after practicing mindfulness in the Berwyn Hills, what more could you want than a cosy welsh inn, with log fires and local ales.”

Claire Copeman, Co-Founder of Adventure Tours UK is passionate about promoting sustainable outdoor trips

What’s unique about your travel business?  

“Adventure Tours UK was created out of the love and passion we have for our home country and the desire to share its incredible wild spaces with others. We want to ensure that the adventures we create only have a positive impact on the local rural communities and culture, whilst guests enjoy a truly authentic experience. 

“Because Adventure Tours UK was born from a time where knowledge of climate change and environmental impacts were well documented, we created an adventure travel company that has set out to be truly responsible from the very beginning. On top of this, the co-founders have always been people who care deeply for our natural world, so we strive to deliver tourism responsibly and sustainably. We have partnered with ecocollective to measure and improve our carbon footprint so the CO2 emissions produced on any trip can be seen on our website. We also work in partnership with Clwydian Range & Dee Valley AONB by planting a tree for every guest that travels with us. 

What makes the Berwyn Hills great for a mindful walking break this autumn?  

“The Berwyn Hills are a beautiful part of North Wales, too often overshadowed by Snowdonia National Park a bit further west. Unlike Snowdonia, the Berwyn Hill’s are often less visited and so you can have the trails almost to yourself, which is perfect when practicing the mindfulness techniques. The beautiful landscape is home to waterfalls, moors, burbling streams and fields dotted with wildflowers. With little phone service, you can truly immerse yourself in the autumn countryside setting and reconnect with yourself and nature. 

“What a fabulous experience. The mindfulness walking weekend was excellent. From the start I knew I was making new friends. Highly recommend….give it a go…you’ll love it” 

Your top 3 must-sees for anyone looking for the best walks in North Wales?  

“Where do I even begin! There are so many amazing places to see in Wales that should be on everyone’s list, but to narrow it down I’ve chosen one must-see from 3 categories North Wales is packed with: Castles, Coastlines and Mountains. 

“With over 427 of them, Wales is often called the ‘land of castles’ and Conwy castle still towers over the town just as impressive as it was 700 years ago. Built by King Edward 1 in the 13th century, the castle dominates the skyline and is definitely a must see. 

“The Isle of Anglesey has to be one of the most scenic destinations in North Wales, with over 200km of coastline to explore and 5 operational lighthouses. The Anglesey Coastal Path falls in the AONB (Area of National Beauty)  and passes through open farmlands, sand dunes, pockets of woodland and sheer cliff faces. 

“We’ll avoid the obvious choice of mountain and head to Cadair Idris. The name is Welsh for ‘the Chair of Idris’ and according to Welsh folklore Idris was a giant, who was said to have used Llyn Cau, a lake near the summit, as an armchair. We don’t blame him, the views from the top are epic. 

Why should people be booking a Mindful Walking break this autumn? 

“We’ve championed the importance of being outdoors for years, and it’s still just as relevant now as ever before. We want to share the benefits of being outdoors in nature and its healing qualities. The Mindful Walking break aims to do just that. There are so many reasons to get outside, even over the colder months. To lower your stress levels, recentre yourself, improve your self esteem, boost your energy levels and so much more! 

If you enjoy walks in North Wales book a Mindful Walking break here.