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Hi together, I'm new in this place and a freshman concerning cycling in Wales, too. It would be great if you could help me to find a good starting point for discovering Wales by roadbike. May be there are also some special links in the w.w.w.  which you could recommend.

I'm looking forward hearing from you a.s.a.p.

Cheers from the Rhineland

19 comments

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Welsh boy [652 posts] 2 months ago
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Wales is a big place, where are you looking to ride, what sort of terrain and distance?

I will start off suggesting the Wye Valley area, start from Chepstow, follow the river up stream (the A466) through Tintern (nice cafe at the old railway station), from Monmouth through Mitchel Troy to Raglan, down to Usk and over Llangwm (B4235) back to Chepstow.  Roughly 40 miles, splendid scenery, quiet roads if you avoid the A40 and use the ubclassified roads between Monmouth and Raglan.

Let me know if you want some GPX files for rides in this part of Wales.

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roadsince2018 [3 posts] 2 months ago
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Your suggestion sounds fabulous . Quiet roads (esp. tarmac), impressive views and nice cafes are exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks a lot Welsh Boy!
GPX files might be helpful and a pleasure.
Do you know the northern part of Wales as well? At the end of my stay I will go further to Dublin by ferry from Holyhead.

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fukawitribe [2828 posts] 2 months ago
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Welsh boy wrote:

Let me know if you want some GPX files for rides in this part of Wales.

Would love to see some of those if that's possible, especially with the Monmouth->Raglan quiet roads - just over the bridge and looking for more routes around there and Wye/Tintern .. cheers

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Grahamd [1039 posts] 2 months ago
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If you’re starting in South East Wales, then head to Abergavenny from Raglan or Monmouth, you can take in climbs of The Tumble or Llangynidr Mountain. Or if you prefer quieter roads and more gentle climbing take in Llanthony Abbey on the way up to the Gospel Pass overlooking Hay-on-Wye, with breathtaking views from the top.

 

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dottigirl [864 posts] 2 months ago
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Are you basing yourself in one place, or cyclo-touring?

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Welsh boy [652 posts] 2 months ago
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Drop me an email at Stephen.bulpitt [at] yahoo.com and I will send you some routes and cafe stops

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armb [164 posts] 2 months ago
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Jack Thurston's "Lost Lanes Wales" book might give you some ideas.
Reviewed here: https://road.cc/content/review/187142-lost-lanes-wales-jack-thurston
Preview of some of the book (including the overall map): https://lostlanes.thebikeshow.net/
Summary of five of the route, with links to GPS files and maps:  https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/sep/22/five-best-scenic-bike-rid...

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Simon E [3747 posts] 2 months ago
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There are too many lovely roads to list them all!

If travelling from South to North you could look up the route of the Brian Chapman audax that runs from Chepstow (South East border) to Menai Bridge (NW on Anglesey AKA Ynys Môn).

From Menai Bridge you have a choice of roads across the island to Holyhead, from where you cross to Dublin:

  • north (lumpier) loop on A5025 via Benllech and Amlwch;
  • straight across the middle along the A5, much quieter now most traffic uses the dual carriageway;
  • a more scenic route across the middle on the B5420 & B5109 through Llangefni and Trefor;
  • south loop (flatter but usually headwind) loop on A4080 via Brynsiencyn and Rhosneigr.

All these converage more or less near Valley, before you cross the causeway.

 

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roadsince2018 [3 posts] 2 months ago
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Hello together. Thank you all for sharing your road expierence. I already feel some eager and happy anticipation as soon as I think about my trip through this special region in GB.

If you mention the headwind Simon E you got me. Once I spent holidays in France and I followed the Loire river. It was recommended to ride from west to east due to the prevailing winds. This advice did work.

Concerning basing, dottigirl, I could not give the final answer. I didn't book until now. But maybe it would be hard to find one main place from which I could discover hills, meadows, farms and villages, mountains and coastlines. Perhaps it is my fault thinking about discovering too much in 5 or 6 days. However, the trip will start at the end of July so there is left a little time to find a decision.

And I'm happy that you are with me to find a good one  1

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PRSboy [525 posts] 2 months ago
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The coastline from St Davids, through Newport (West Wales) up to New Quay is fantastic.  Some lovely villages on the sea to stop at for a coffee or food.  Quite hilly though!

From that area you could take the boat from Fishguard to Ireland too, as an alternative to Holyhead.

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Simon E [3747 posts] 2 months ago
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PRSboy wrote:

The coastline from St Davids, through Newport (West Wales) up to New Quay is fantastic.  Some lovely villages on the sea to stop at for a coffee or food.  Quite hilly though!

Agree on both counts.

At Easter a clubmate rode from Shrewsbury to Tywyn (the one near Aberdyfi on the Cardigan Bay coast) via Lake Vyrnwy, Dinas Mawddwy and Bryncrug. Loved it.

Sustrans route 81 (Lôn Las Cambria) is another East-West route, taking a scenic (i.e. hilly) route from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth, mostly on quiet lanes and B-roads.

My LBS has copies of regional Sustrans maps that show these routes. All their maps covering Wales are can be found at https://shop.sustrans.org.uk/maps/region/wales while route descriptions covering Mid-Wales can be found at https://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/routes?region=337&type=All (use the pull-down to browse other regions)

Other routes include the Elan Valley reservoirs from Rhayader and then onto the road to Cwmystwyth; from here you could head North to Ponterwyd, around the Nant-y-Moch dam and descend to Borth or West along Route 81 to Aberystwyth or South to Tregaron.

Sustrans Route 8, named Lôn Las Cymru, is a North-South route between Holyhead and the Wye Valley - https://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/lon-las-cymru-north

A northward ride could take you via Abbeycwmhir, Pant-y-Dwr, Llanidloes, Dylife - above which you'll get what some call the finest panorama in the country on a good day - followed by a glorious 6-mile descent to Machynlleth. Then West to Aberdyfi and Tywyn or North to Corris. From here you can either go via Dolgellau and join the disused railway line of the Mawddach trail and see the stunning Mawddach estuary or SW via Bryncrug and Fairbourne. These routes meet at Fairbourne where you can cross the estuary along the famous wooden bridge. Through Barmouth, Dyffryn Ardudwy and Harlech to Porthmadog. From here North East takes you to Beddgelert and through Snowdonia or, if you have time, swing West along the Llŷn peninsula via Llanbedrog and Sarn Mellteyrn to Aberdaron and climb to Uwchmynydd for 360° views before heading along the North coast to Caernarfon and the Menai Straits via Nefyn and Clynnog.

Going roughly East-West again - the Panorama above Llangollen, Horseshoe pass, Ruthin, Denbigh and West to the Conwy valley. From here either South to Betws-y-Coed (on West side of the valley, the A470 is a busy arterial route) and Capel Curig, down Llanberis pass or North to Conwy to see the castle and either nip over Sychnant Pass or get straight onto the mostly traffic-free cycle Route 5 coastal route here to head for Bangor.

South East Wales is the area that I'm least familiar with so I'll leave that for others to discuss.

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Shades [475 posts] 2 months ago
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armb wrote:

Jack Thurston's "Lost Lanes Wales" book might give you some ideas.
Reviewed here: https://road.cc/content/review/187142-lost-lanes-wales-jack-thurston
Preview of some of the book (including the overall map): https://lostlanes.thebikeshow.net/
Summary of five of the route, with links to GPS files and maps:  https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/sep/22/five-best-scenic-bike-rid...

The Lost Lanes books (Wales, West & South) are brilliant; load up the GPX file into your bike computer and enjoy a great ride.  The routes never fail to delight.

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Simon E [3747 posts] 2 months ago
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Shades wrote:

load up the GPX file into your bike computer and enjoy a great ride.

Low-tech backup option for when batteries run out:

Buy a road atlas from The Works. Rip out the page(s) required, mark it with highlighter then fold it up in a clear poly sleeve to go in your jersey pocket.

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roadsince2018 [3 posts] 2 months ago
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Hello again,

first I have to say that I'm deeply grateful by so much kind support (thx esp. for your mails with the gpx-files, too).

As mentioned above I've got a special kind of pleasant anticipation cause everything for me is pretty new. I came to know Britain only during my two short London stays...

Now, its time to make myself familiar with all these welsh names and so on... Maybe its like Bavaria for Englishmen  3

For this moment I've got the impression that I can go further with my preparations. Hope you would not mind if I ask you for further informations when needed afterwards...

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Welsh boy [652 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
roadsince2018 wrote:

Hello again,

first I have to say that I'm deeply grateful by so much kind support (thx esp. for your mails with the gpx-files, too).

As mentioned above I've got a special kind of pleasant anticipation cause everything for me is pretty new. I came to know Britain only during my two short London stays...

Now, its time to make myself familiar with all these welsh names and so on... Maybe its like Bavaria for Englishmen  3

For this moment I've got the impression that I can go further with my preparations. Hope you would not mind if I ask you for further informations when needed afterwards...

Enjoy the roads, forget trying to pronounce the name of the places you ride through (even most Welsh people have trouble with names like Ynysybwl and Llanwrtyd Wells) and let me know if you want more routes.

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ConcordeCX [1113 posts] 2 months ago
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Welsh boy wrote:

Wales is a big place, ...

to be a bit more specific, it’s about four times the size of an iceberg calving off the Antarctic ice-sheet,  the amount of tropical rainforest you can save for $2,000,000, equivalent to 2,000,000 rugby pitches, 3/4s of a Belgium,  one asteroid (or should that be ‘asterlloyd’?) and 1/100,000th of Boris Johnson’s ego.

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Welsh boy [652 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
ConcordeCX wrote:
Welsh boy wrote:

Wales is a big place, ...

to be a bit more specific, it’s about four times the size of an iceberg calving off the Antarctic ice-sheet,  the amount of tropical rainforest you can save for $2,000,000, equivalent to 2,000,000 rugby pitches, 3/4s of a Belgium,  one asteroid (or should that be ‘asterlloyd’?) and 1/100,000th of Boris Johnson’s ego.

It is as wet as your iceberg and only slightly warmer but can we define things in terms of sheep and lambs not cows and calves please; At times it feels as wet as a tropical rainforest; What's a rugby pitch?; It must be way better than Belgium because I can name 2 famous people who have come from Wales (Tom Jones and Shirley somebody), I bet you can only name one famous Belgian (Hercule Poiriot doesn't count); It needs to be hit by that asteroid which would do £2,000,000 worth of improvements (especially if it hit Merthyr Tydfil or Ebbw Vale); Borris who?

I stand by my original comment, it is a big place, if you ironed it out flat the surface area would be HUGE, it is all wrinkled up to get it in such a small area though.

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ConcordeCX [1113 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
Welsh boy wrote:
ConcordeCX wrote:
Welsh boy wrote:

Wales is a big place, ...

to be a bit more specific, it’s about four times the size of an iceberg calving off the Antarctic ice-sheet,  the amount of tropical rainforest you can save for $2,000,000, equivalent to 2,000,000 rugby pitches, 3/4s of a Belgium,  one asteroid (or should that be ‘asterlloyd’?) and 1/100,000th of Boris Johnson’s ego.

It is as wet as your iceberg and only slightly warmer but can we define things in terms of sheep and lambs not cows and calves please; At times it feels as wet as a tropical rainforest; What's a rugby pitch?; It must be way better than Belgium because I can name 2 famous people who have come from Wales (Tom Jones and Shirley somebody), I bet you can only name one famous Belgian (Hercule Poiriot doesn't count); It needs to be hit by that asteroid which would do £2,000,000 worth of improvements (especially if it hit Merthyr Tydfil or Ebbw Vale); Borris who?

I stand by my original comment, it is a big place, if you ironed it out flat the surface area would be HUGE, it is all wrinkled up to get it in such a small area though.

King Leopold

Tintin

Magritte

Jacques Brel

a cyclist

Bakelite

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ktache [1690 posts] 2 months ago
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Off the top of my head, Plastic Betrand and Mr Saxophone.

And fictional Hercule Poirot.