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Eryri National Park among the world’s ‘top 10 happiest walks’

11 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Llyn Padarn, Gwynedd. Image: Hefin Owen

A unique study has analysed hundreds of Instagram posts to reveal which walking trails make us smile the most – with a Welsh addition sitting pretty among contenders from across the world. 

At number four on the coveted list, perhaps at no surprise to anyone in Wales, is Eryri National Park.

UK entries

Although there is only the one Welsh entry on the list, the UK has been served heavily in the top ten, with the South West Coast Path, England claiming the all-important number one spot, the Thames Path second and Scotland’s Cairngorm Mountains at number 7.

The South West Coast Path, England. Image: Inghams

The Blue Mountains, Australia, came in at number 3, the Appalachian Mountains at number 5, the Bruce Trail at number 6, the Canadian Rockies at number 8, the Alps took the number 9 position, with the Carpathian mountains coming in at number 10.

A spokesperson from holiday provider, Inghams, who put together the research, said: “Many of us can relate to the mental boost we get from being outdoors, and immersing ourselves in natural environments has been linked to an increase in happiness.

“With this in mind, we wanted to find out more about the connection between happiness and walking, revealing which popular walking areas around the world are bringing the biggest smiles to our faces.”


In their latest research, Inghams uses Instagram posts and smile-recognition software to see which popular trails around the world are bringing the biggest smiles to our faces.

Beddgelert. Image: Enjoy Travel

The software analysed the scale of the smiles in pictures of people conquering trails and summits around the world, to generate a happiness score that could be recorded and compared to reveal a tangible measurement of how happy travellers are as they enjoy some of the world’s most naturally beautiful places.


The researchers said: “Eryri National Park claims the fourth spot with a score of 96.5. Nestled in north-west Wales, the region provides jaw-dropping panoramic views that bring big smiles to the explorers who visit here.

“The area is rich in history, making it an ideal place for nature lovers who are also interested in immersing themselves in Welsh culture and learning more about the UK’s important historic sites.”

Eryri, Gwynedd

Anne Williams, Director of Marketing at Inghams, commented: “If you are looking to unwind and do something good for your overall wellbeing, exploring the great outdoors on a walk or hike is the perfect way to do so.

“Anyone who loves spending time in nature, knows how good it can make you feel on the inside, as well as the physical benefits.

“Diving into social media data to see which walking trails make us smile the most has been incredibly interesting, with our findings revealing that many British walking locations including the South West Coast Path and the Thames Path are prompting big grins among walkers and explorers.”


Anne added: “Our research highlights how immersing ourselves in nature can impact our wellbeing positively and create moments of happiness that we want to share with our followers.

“We hope our study serves as a reminder for everyone that getting out into nature can add value to your overall wellbeing, even if it means just taking a casual stroll in your local area.”

More information on this study and the world’s happiest walks can be found here:

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