A Complete Bike Guide to the Cambrian Mountains
The Cambrian Mountains
is one of the most diverse and remote cycling landscapes in the UK. Easily accessible from most prominent central and southern areas of the British Isles, it’s easy to get to, yet remains one of the most wild and hidden landscapes around.
The area has everything a cyclist needs, with plenty of accommodation certified with ‘Cyclists are Welcome’ badges, exciting trails and route maps, expert guides and bike hire in key locations.
So here’s a basic guide to everything you need to know about biking in the Cambrian Mountains .
Whether visitors are looking to spend a day on the trails, or would prefer to indulge in a more adventurous route, mountain biking enthusiasts can go off into the wild hills and mountains to create their own adventure. There’s a wide variety of terrain ranging from some of Britain’s best downhill riding, rugged off road routes and wild forests.
Traffic free, spectacular high roads, a wonderful variety of terrain and ideal for all abilities. Road cycling in the Cambrian Mountains offers something for everyone – whether you’re looking for a quick but spectacular circular route around one of the Elan Valley reservoirs, a ride down a mountain to the seaside or a trip through the heart of Wales, there are plenty of options on offer.
Wilderness riding – Nant-yr-Arian
Sat high on the mountains just inland from Aberystwyth, the forest offers amazing high-level wilderness riding, with trails spreading out into the rugged Cambrian Mountains. A word of recommendation – be prepared for everything from thigh-burning mountain ascents to tricky river crossings and difficult descents. See here for more information
The National Cycle Museum
One of Britain’s hidden gems is based very close to the Cambrian Mountains. The museum’s collection houses hundreds of cycles in period settings, including examples from 1819 through to the present day. It also displays rare components and accessories from this period.
The Elan Valley Visitor Centre
The Elan Valley is a special place in Wales that’s undisturbed, tranquil and one of most unique spots to go for a days worth of cycling. Bike rental can be organised from the visitor centre bikes range from electric, mountain bikes, children to more specialist bikes.
Routes: The visitor centre offers maps, guides and information that are tailored to the persons needs.
For more information on the visitors centre click here.
Biking Towns of the Cambrian Mountains
The town is not just about mountain biking, it is also a great location for road cycling. Quiet roads, smooth as glass tarmac, many classic climbs and bike-friendly cafes. The Cambrian Mountains lie directly behind the northern edge of the town. On the mountain roads, you would be unlikely to see more than 6 or so cars in a ride. The town is also home to numerous annual events: The Frozen Devil, The Devils Challenge, the Gravity Enduro series and the Winter XC series.
Bike hire: Red Kite Events are situated in Llanwrtyd Wells and can provide mountain bike hire.
Guided Rides: Red Kite Events have fully qualified guides and coaches for mountain and road cycling.
Cycling Events: Visit Red Kite Events and the World Alternative Games event listings.
Stay in: The Drovers Rest, The Square, Llanwrtyd Wells. This multi-award winning restaurant with rooms is totally bike friendly with a bike wash, secure bike parking, and great deals for cyclists.
Rhayader is often seen as the gateway to the Elan Valley. It’s an ideal place to use as a hub for any biking trip to the area. There are plenty of routes around the town ranging from single tracks, hill trails and bridle ways. Rhayader is surrounded by open hills with some of the best mountain biking terrain in Britain. Suitable for all levels, there are plenty of options for everyone.
Bike rental: An early pioneer of down hill mountain biking Clive Powell Mountain Bikes offers a range of packages for visitors.
Stay in: Riverside Lodge has a ‘Cyclists are Welcome’ award, offering all the facilities a keen cycling group will need.
This is a top class town for cycling due to its proximity to wilderness. Close to the mountains and just 20 miles to the Ceredigion coast cyclists are spoilt for choices. The area around Tregaron has an ideal biking infrastructure with traditional traffic free roads, a great range of terrains and off road drover trails. The Ystwyth Cycleway follows the old railway line from just outside Tregaron to Aberystwyth. Lon Las National cycleway crosses the Cambrian Mountains just to the north of Tregaron. There are also plenty of circular routes all around the area.
Stay in & bike rental: Y Talbot Hotel organises bike rental for customers and is also certified by “Cyclists are Welcome”.
Llanidloes is a useful base for any cyclist, as the town offers many cycle friendly routes which are still relatively traffic-free and boast great views of forests, mountains and lakes. There are several routes on this page from short excursions to day-long rides. Visitors can pick up route descriptions in co-ordination with the Ordnance Survey maps for the area.
Bike hire: Bikes can be picked up from Hefren Cycles.
Stay in: Plas Bwlch, is situated on National Cycle Route .
Top Trails include: Coed Trallwm Forest provides three routes for all abilities.There are three XC trails spread throughout the forest and they are graded with colours, the Trans-Cambrian Way runs 100 miles, plus there’s the Ystwyth Cycleway.
Cycling Events & Competitions are regularly organised by Red Kite Adventures .