A group of green accommodation and tourism businesses in Mid Wales has got together to promote the region as a prime cycling destination.
Green Holidays in Wales (GHW) - www.greenholidaysinwales.co.uk has been awarded a grant to create a cycle network throughout Powys, connecting its members who run a hotel, eight self-catering properties five bed and breakfast guesthouses.
GHW members will be promoting Mid Wales Cycling Adventures on a stand at Hay BikeFest in the castle grounds from 10 till 4pm from Friday to Sunday. A website - www.greencyclingwales.co.uk - has been designed to help visitors create their very own cycling experience.
It opens up a network of interactive cycle routes that explore the beauty, history and culture of Powys. Whether you are looking for a day ride or a full touring cycling holiday, there’s something for individuals, groups and families.
Using a Green Holidays Map and a ViewRanger App, visitors can create their own self-guided itinerary. The free app turns a smartphone into an outdoor GPS device, which allows cyclists to easily follow the routes.
All cyclists need is a handlebar mount for the smartphone for safety and ease of use. Routes can be uploaded to other outdoor GPS devices via gpx files or downloaded as a pdf map.
Once visitors have decided where to stay, they simply book directly with the accommodation. Bicycle hire can be organised, packed lunches provided and luggage transferred if requested.
GHW is a group of holiday accommodation providers and tourism businesses dotted throughout Mid Wales, working together to become more sustainable. The businesses aim to provide a diverse range of enjoyable and affordable, green eco holidays for visitors.
“At the same time we are reducing the impacts our businesses have, both in the local environment and in the wider world,” explained Tim Withers, GHW Treasurer/Marketing Officer and keen cyclist to boot.
“Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities or just yearning for somewhere peaceful to relax and soak up the scenery, Mid Wales has much to offer everyone.
“Talking to people who have already discovered Mid Wales, whichever type of holiday they prefer, it seems the majority really value our unspoiled landscapes of pasture and moorland, mountains and green, sheltered valleys.
“Recognising the need to conserve this, many visitors already choose to stay in the eco friendly holiday accommodation, in which we specialise. Mid Wales is a haven of the peace and tranquillity, yet is within a four-hour drive of London and within two hours of Birmingham and Manchester.”
Across Mid Wales and the Brecon Beacons, a dozen local businesses have struck gold in the internationally renowned Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) awards. In addition, 15 silver medals and one bronze medal have been awarded.
Mid Wales is ideal for a cycling holiday because of the varied terrain. You can get away from the busier areas and experience the peace and quiet and really appreciate the landscape. You could freewheel alongside some of our numerous lakes and reservoirs or take a meandering route around quiet leafy lanes. Perched upright on a comfy saddle, you get to peek over the hedges at the scenery often missed from a car window.
Alternatively, you could tackle the demanding, hilly sections of country roads with exhilarating downhill rides or enjoy the challenge of rough terrain and technical sections of our many off-road routes.
The long distance Sustrans routes Lon Las Cymru (National Cycle Route 8 & 42), Lon Cambria (National Cylcle Route 81) and the Radnor Ring (Regional Cyle Route 25) all pass through Mid Wales. And when exploring the spectacular Elan valley lakes, you could do no better than to visit them by bike.
For off-road enthusiasts, the many hills and forests make Mid Wales a prime location for mountain biking. There are a few centres in Mid Wales for the sport, each with several prepared trails. They range in difficulty from those suitable for beginners to those with more rugged terrain and technically challenging stretches.