Right now, it’s in pole position thanks to the golden success of our Olympics cycling team and Bradley Wiggins’s victory in the Tour de France. Everyone seems to have caught the cycling bug, from families to Wiggins-wannabes. And they’re all getting on their bikes and heading our way, along with fans of serious cycling endurance events and triathlons.
It’s not just our hills and mountains that appeal. We have all kinds of cycle routes for all kinds of cyclists – seriously steep challenges and gentle off-road recreational cruises, long-distance trails and wheely short trips along the coast. Then there’s our show-stopping scenery, traffic-light (sometimes completely traffic-free) highways, byways and cyclepaths, and cyclist-friendly hotels and guest houses where you can park your bike for the night.
And for those who prefer knobbly tyres and muddy mayhem to Tarmac there’s worldclass mountain biking in our forests and big, bad rocky mountains.
Cycle Breaks Centres
Dolgellau and the Llŷn Peninsula are two of Wales’s dedicated locations. Take your pick from over 10 signposted low-traffic routes specially chosen for their access to some of the very best cycling challenges in our rural landscapes.
Family-friendly off-road routes
For six tailor-made familyfriendly cycling experiences download Gwynedd Recreational Routes from the Cycling section of our website. You’ll find descriptions of over 30 miles of scenic and traffic-free (or traffic-light) routes along old railway lines and beside the Menai Strait and the lake of Llyn Padarn, Llanberis.
Lôn Las Ogwen will give you a taste of our Recreational Routes. It’s a wonderful 10-mile cycle ride from Bangor up to the mountain lake of Llyn Ogwen, following the valley of Afon Cegin (for a gentle option go for just the first four miles to Tregarth). For much of the way it runs along a disused railway track that carried slate down to Porth Penrhyn. There’s much historic interest en route, from Penrhyn Castle – constructed from the wealth of the slate industry – to Penrhyn Quarry itself, the world’s largest. You can also walk this route, and sections are suitable for wheelchairs. Mountain biking bulletin.
Coed y Brenin near Dolgellau is the largest dedicated trail centre in the UK, with around 90 miles of routes, some epic, others easy. Macho bikers will go for the 24-mile Beast of Brenin (graded ‘black’ in skiing terms), though casual riders will prefer the mellow, five-mile Yr Afon ‘green’ trail. The new MinoTaur Trail for young children and riders with disabilities is now open, with more trails to come. This new development comes within the Centres of Excellence project funded by the Welsh Government, designed to create more world-class facilities for outdoor and adventure activities. Prysor Angling (at Llyn Trawsfynydd) and Gwersyll yr Urdd Glan-llyn (near Bala) are also part of the project along with new biking trails in Llechwedd, Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Big trails in Blaenau Ffestiniog
They’ve certainly been busy in the former ‘slate capital’ of Blaenau Ffestiniog, where off-road cycling enthusiasts are already raving about the brand-new Antur Stiniog mountain biking centre in an old slate quarry. The super-fast flowing trails have rollers, jumps, drops and rock features as well as some of the best berms around.
More off-road Cycling
Most of our other forests have also caught the mountain-biking bug. For more sensational singletracks go to Beddgelert, Dyfi, Gwydyr and Penmachno. And for purists who prefer natural terrain there’s off-road gold on the grassy tracks, rocky trails and ancient paths that lattice our hills and mountains, like the ‘Lake and a Bit’ rolling cross-country trails across Mynydd Hiraethog from Llyn Brenig.