For a cyclist, Wales is criss-crossed by country lanes and perfect for exploring, with thousands of miles of superb riding conditions. Relaxing forest routes and valley trails to get away from it all; the adrenalin rush of ultra technical mountain descents; or tortuous hand carved single track - it's all here in Wales.
And for mountain biking, Wales’ landscape is the perfect setting with its mountains, wooded valleys and rugged trails.
The National Cycle Network
The National Cycle Network in Wales (Sustrans) includes over 1200 miles (1931 km) of country lanes, canal towpaths and disused railway lines. Exploring by bike is a great way to experience the wonderful Welsh countryside as well as combining visits to attractions, historic sites, towns and of course well deserved pub and café stops in all areas of Wales. There are so many routes to choose from which can be found on their route directory. Each route can be sorted depending on region, route type and distance to match your clients' requirements and energy level.
Mountain bike centres
These centres are purpose-built mountain bike complexes with excellent facilities, designed to provide thrilling riding regardless of the track standard your clients seek – black, red, blue and green. There are a number across Wales, below is only a selection. Find further details and more centres on Mountain Bike Wales website.
Afan Forest Park, near Swansea
The trails at Afan Forest Park have been carved out of hillsides once surrounded by coal mining and has been transformed into a biker’s heaven. The park is home to five world class trails boasting over 62 miles (100 km) of single track 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.
Antur Stiniog, Blaenau Ffestiniog
The park at Antur Stiniog offers six downhill trails graded blue to black with mountain bike uplift. The park has a state of the art fully equipped downhill centre complete with café, shop, showers, bike maintenance and bike wash. There is also an outdoor shop and an information centre in the centre of Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Coed y Brenin, near Dolgellau
As the UK's first dedicated mountain bike trail centre, the single track network at Coed y Brenin has gradually evolved from natural forest trails to the extensive network of all-weather routes. 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.
Bwlch Nant yr Arian, Aberystwyth
Located in the forest on a mountain not far from the coast of Aberystwyth, Bwlch Nant yr Arian 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 café on site.
Cwmcarn Forest, near Newport
The fastest way for southern based riders to get their fix of single track fun and downhill action, Cwmcarn Forest is less than 30min from the Severn Bridges and 10min from the M4. Both red graded trails will keep your clients firmly focused on their riding and whilst stopping for a breather will see views towards the Bristol Channel. Hot meals and refreshments can be found at Cwmcarn Visitor Centre.
Coed Llandegla - Oneplanet Adventure, near Wrexham
With more than 25 miles (40 km) of carefully graded way-marked trails with a range of trails to suit all abilities, Oneplanet Adventure suits the complete beginner, a seasoned pro for their next adrenalin fix or a family outing. The park has an experienced staff shop, and a café.
Elan Valley, near Rhayader, Powys
The reservoirs, Victorian dams, and open hills is the perfect location for mountain biking and cycling - one of MBW's mountain bike bases. The extensive network of trails at Elan Valley weave in and out of mountains, valleys and woodland. The graded trails range from red, blue and black loops from 5.6 miles (9 km) to a more enduring 37 miles (60 km), depending on your clients’ skill and endurance. For cycling, follow the Elan Valley trail. Bike hire is available for all abilities, including a selection of e-bikes. There is a visitor centre and a café on site.
Llys-y-Frân Lake, Pembrokeshire
There are 8.7 miles (14 km) of trails at the lake including the purpose built Pump Skills Track for mountain biking enthusiasts. The three trails range from the easy Family Route and the more difficult Reservoir and Woodstock routes. The mountain bike trails are designed to suite all abilities and to challenge and build confidence in the sport. The routes are waymarked and colour coded. Cycle hire is available at the Outdoor Activity Centre and Waterside Cabin, along with changing rooms. There is also a repair shop and a bike wash station.
Mountain bike parks
Bike parks have a range of trails for all abilities and offer an up-lift service so that bikes can be transported to the top. As per traditional mountain bike trails the routes are graded and your clients will have lots of fun managing the descents, leaps and obstacles. To find bike parks in Wales visit Mountain Bike Wales' website.
Road cycling holidays in Carmarthenshire
As cycling becomes more popular, Discover Carmarthenshire has created three new road cycling holidays. Expertly crafted, they will help cyclists discover new routes of beautiful scenery which include castles, market towns, mountains and some of the longest beaches in Wales.
The three Bikecations include two weekend breaks to discover either castles or mountains. The third is a week long leisurely holiday which allows cyclists to choose from a range of circuits. The routes are around 30 miles long, with suggested attractions to visit and places to stop for food and drink. Clients will also be able to search for bike-friendly accommodation.
Some of the main attractions to discover during the Bikecations include National Botanic Garden of Wales, Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse, Llanddeusant Red Kite Feeding Station, Newton House and Dinefwr, Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Carreg Cennen, Aberglasney Gardens, Plas Llanelly House, Kidwelly Castle and Hywel Dda Garden and Heritage Centre.