For a cyclist, Wales is criss-crossed by glorious green lanes, quiet, safe and perfect for exploring, giving thousands of miles of superb riding. If you are looking for relaxing forest or valley trails, to get you away from it all, or the adrenalin rush of ultra technical mountain descents, or tortuous hand carved single track; it's all here in Wales. www.visitwales.co.uk/active
According to the International Mountain Biking Association, the Welsh centres – like Coed y Brenin, near Dolgellau, and Nant yr Arian near Aberystwyth are; ‘some of the best new trails in the world.’ Wales boasts six purpose-built mountain biking centres and eight bases.
MBW Centres. (Mountain Bike Wales)
These centres are purpose-built mountain bike complexes with excellent facilities, designed to provide thrilling riding regardless of the track standard you seek – black, red, blue and green.
The trails have been carved out of hillsides once surrounded by coal mining and has been transformed into a bikers heaven. The park is home to 5 world class trils boasting over 100km of singletrack trails. There is also the Afan Bike Park which allows riders to improve their riding skill and have hours of winding, swerving fun with berms and jumps.
The park offers six downhill trails graded blue to black, and the best mountain bike uplift in the UK. Mountain bike coaching is also available to riders at all levels. The park has a state of the art fully equipped downill centre complete with cafe, shop, showers, bike maintenance and bike wash. There is also an outdoor shop and an infomation centre in the hear of Blaenau Ffestiniog.
As the UK's first dedicated mountain bike trail centre, the single track network has gradually evolved from natural forest trails to the extensive network of all weather routes you can enjoy. The gradual refinement of trail construction techniques here, along with a stunning location and mix of broadleaf trees, means that the routes retain a very natural old school feel, which is unique to Coed y Brenin. This isn’t your average, gravel trail network, weaving through densely planted Sitka spruce
This is the UK’s premier mountain bike park. The 1200 acre site has over 28 descending trails organised in a similar manner to a ski resort. Built in the heart of the South Wales Valleys, BikePark Wales offers mountain bike trails for intermediate to pro level riders. Not just for downhillers, this park is best enjoyed on a trail bike, where swooping blues and rocky, rooty red trails are a perfect step up for trail riders. The park offers a mini bus service which transports you and your bike up to the top in between rides, providing your legs with a little rest before your next descent. For those who wish to reach the top under their own steam a singletrack climb to the summit offers a human powered option.
The fastest way for southern based riders to get their fix of singletrack fun and downhill action, Cwmcarn is less than half an hour from the Severn bridge and 10min from the M4. Both Red graded trails will keep you firmly focused on your riding, but stop for a breather and look about and you’ll be looking out over the Bristol Channel.
Nant-yr-Arian Forest sits high on the mountains just inland from Aberystwyth, and offers stunning high-level wilderness riding. With trails heading out into the epic scenery of the Cambrian Mountains, this is a fantastic area for those who like their riding rugged. Just be prepared for everything from true mountain climbs to river crossings and technical rocky descents. There is a visitor centre, shop and a cafe on site.
With more than 40km's of carefully graded and way marked trails, there is something for everyone. Whether you are a complete beginner,a seasoned pro for your next adrenalin fix or a family outing, the park has something to suit everyone with a range of trails to suit all abilities. The park has an experienced staff shop, and a cafe
There are also eight Mountain Biking bases made up of natural cross-country trails – for more information, click here.
To take the hassle out of planning and organizing you’re cycling holiday, there are quality cycling companies offering bike hire, luggage transfer, accommodation, cycling courses and, if you’re looking to be lead to the less obvious places and discover something a bit special many of them can provide experienced guides. For further information visit www.visitwales.com/things-to-do/activities/biking/cycling