6 best cycle routes in Wales

best cycle routes in wales

It can be difficult to discover new cycle routes. Which routes do you want to explore? How long are you planning on riding for? Such are the questions you find yourself asking. We’ve compiled a list of popular routes in the United Kingdom to help you in your search for an un-pedaled path.

Firstly, let’s take a look at Wales’ rolling valleys. There is no better place for cyclists than Wales, the land of cawl, Welsh cakes, and dragons. It is full of undulating road twists, stunning coastal cycleways, and steep mountains for shredding.

No matter what you’re looking for on your getaway trip to Wales or whether you want to take on a new cycling challenge, we have a short-list of routes to tickle your fancy. This isn’t a comprehensive list of cycle routes in Wales – there are hundreds – but these will get you started.

Brailsford Way

  • Distance: 50 or 70 miles
  • Surface: Tarmac

During his youth, Sir David Brailsford cycled similar routes and this loop was used for Etape: Snowdonia.

There are two cycle routes available, one 50 miles and the other 70 miles. Both routes begin and end in Caernarfon. Seeing as it’s a looped route, you can decide where to start and end.

With beautiful landscapes, challenging gradients, and tarmac roads, what else could you ask for? Learn more about the trail here.

Ystwyth Trail – Aberystwyth to Trawsgoed

  • Distance: 9 miles
  • Surface: Tarmac/dust

Bicyclists of all ages and skill levels will enjoy cycling on this traffic free cycle route.

Take in the natural beauty of the Ystwyth Valley and riding along the riverbank.

The scenic villages of Rhydyfelin, Llanfarian, Llanilar, and Pendinas Nature Reserve are all on the itinerary. There are 10 acres of beautiful countryside at this park on the outskirts of Trawsgoed.

You can carry along the trail to make for a longer trip if you still have energy. Leaving Trawsgoed, you can then make your way to Tregaron via Cors Caron. You can get more information on this page.

Taff Trail – Cardiff to Brecon

  • Distance: 55 miles
  • Surface: Mixed

Take the Taff Trail in South East Wales for a day of biking, seeing some historic sights and getting your heart pumping.

There are wonderful natural wildlife reserves just a few miles outside of the bustling city of Cardiff. As you cycle towards Pontypridd, there are plenty of picnic spots, rest stops, and sights.

If you’re interested in local history, you can visit a number of heritage sights and museums on your way to Merthyr. The path winds through the rolling mountains of Brecon, passing gushing waterfalls and crystal still reservoirs.

Pensarn to Prestatyn

  • Distance: 9 miles
  • Surface: Tarmac

North Wales has a popular coastal path along this short route. Cycle Route 5 runs from Holyhead to Chester and is a much longer route.

Rhyl’s marina is filled with colorful vessels, and you’ll be able to see them from Pensarn. Almost the entire route is a wide tarmac stretch of cycle path, making it safer for more inexperienced riders and families with small children.

This coastal route takes you past popular sea-side towns, so there are plenty of cafés and ice-cream parlours for those mid-ride munchies. Get more details about the route here.

Lon Cambria – Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury

  • Distance: 113 miles
  • Surface: Mixed

Take on this challenging, but rewarding ride across mid-Wales. After riding along the coastal path at Aberystwyth, you will ride through the picturesque countryside to the historic border town of Shrewsbury.

After leaving Aberystwyth, you’ll follow the steep climbs of Pont-rhyd-y-groes to join a remote mountain road east of Cwmystwyth. The climbs are followed by descents and this road will take you to beautiful Elan Valley Trail and reservoirs.

After you pass the watershed on your way to Llanidloes, you will drop down to the Wye Valley. During the Montgomery Canal towpath, there are a few flat portions after Caersws, so take advantage of those.

On the Roman Road, before descending into Shrewsbury, you will have the chance to enjoy panoramic views. Learn more about this stunning cycle route here.

Fishguard to St Davids

  • Distance: 19 miles
  • Surface: Tarmac

This 19-mile route would make for a great bike ride from Fishguard to St Davids. The route begins with some challenging hills that will really get the heart pumping. After leaving Fishguard, there are a few short road sections before you rejoin the cycle path.

You begin to level off after passing through Trefin. Pembrokshire is blessed with stunning views, so be sure to visit on a clear day.

There are plenty of small towns and villages along the way where you can rest, picnic, and get ice cream.

 

This is, of course, only a small sample of Welsh routes. You can fill your time in Wales with plenty of leisure, road and mountain routes.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our list of best cycle routes in Wales. Don’t forget to insure your bike before setting off.

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