Rural Living

Cycling and Cycling Routes in North Wales.

Cycling brings sheer and simple joy with the satisfaction of being self sufficient, finding lanes and byways missed when traveling by car, and the opportunity to stop and talk at will.

Whenever I am in the Forest or Mountains my Trail Buddy Henry is with me. He is a Welsh Hill Collie, who can run all day. If we ride the Marin Trail in the Gwydyr Forest near Betws y Coed, some 23kms, he is still ready for more. The story of how Henry came to live with us is here

 

 

 

 

Whether it is riding to work, a day out, or touring, the peace and tranquility of the tracks and bye ways brings you closer to nature. My journey to work brings views of the mountains in their seasonal guises, the wildlife in the verges, and the buzzards gliding along the hedgerow or sitting on the telegraph poles.

 

 

 

Lon Las Trail......Cardiff to North Wales

Cycling from Cardiff home to North Wales has been a journey I have wanted to undertake for many years. The opportunity to undertake the journey came to fruition in 2013.

Sustrans Route 8 (The Lon Las Trail) is graded as a challenging route and recognized as one of the toughest routes on the UK National Cycle Network. The route includes some of the most stunning landscapes in the United Kingdom.

The route follows the Taff Trail from Cardiff (or a start can be made from Chepstow), through the rich industrial heritage of the South Wales Valleys. The route then continues over the Brecon Beacons heading into the more remote areas of Mid Wales and the challenge ascents and descents of the Cambrian Mountains. The route then continues through the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park to the coastal area of North Wales and Anglesey.

Sustrans have two maps available covering the North and South sections of the route http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/route-8 . They also publish a book "Lon Las Cymru" that covers the route with additional information based on starting the journey from Holyhead with a destination of either Chepstow or Cardiff.

As I intended using a Garmin GPS for route finding I looked at the CTC route planning website http://www.ctc.org.uk/journey-planner and also the Ridewithgps route planning website http://ridewithgps.com . I found from a personal choice the Ridewithgps easier to identify and navigate the route from a planning view point

I was cycling the route with a good friend and the aim of our trips are always to stop where we want, relax, and enjoy the scenery and nature. Although we did not have a set time in which to complete the journey we estimated five days for a relaxed enjoyable and memorable trip keeping off main roads and exploring the old highways and byways of Wales.

We travelled from North Wales to Cardiff Central with a free reservation for our bikes by Arriva Trains. By booking well in advance the cost of a single ticket with a reservation for the bike was £15 which we thought was a bargain http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/planjourney/search

Our plan for daily distance was:-

Cardiff - Brecon

Brecon - Rhayader

Rhayader - Dolgellau

Dolgellau - Caernarfon

Caernarfon - Home

 

Although camping is a feasible option with plenty of sites available en route we decided to take the B&B option. As we were not sure whether our planned stopover points would fit in with our aim of a relaxed and memorable trip we did not book in advance.

 

The Town House

The lamb and Flag

The Dolgellau House