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Heart of Wales Self-Guided

Heart of Wales Self-Guided

Flag great britain Great Britain

  • Region Region Mid Wales
  • Tour Type Tour Type Self Guided (Open Departure)
  • Duration Duration 7 days
  • Bike Type Bike Types Road, Hybrid, Touring & e-bike

Core Route

188 Kilometres
2 (Moderate) Difficulty Level: 2 (Moderate)
Average Distance per Day: 31 km
0 100 km
Average Elevation Gain per Day: 825 km
0 10000 km

Extended Route

400 Kilometres
2 (Moderate) Difficulty Level: 2 (Moderate)
Average Distance per Day: 66 km
0 100 km
Average Elevation Gain per Day: 1165 km
0 10000 km
April - October from
£735
Next Steps

Summary

Wales is a fantastic place for a cycling holiday in the UK. This bespoke itinerary explores the beautiful and remote centre of Wales including the Brecon Beacons National park, the Wye Valley and the Vale of Usk.

Starting from Abergavenny, the first leg leads west following the Monmouth and Brecon Canal to the historic town of Brecon. Leaving Brecon you follow the valley of the River Wye north via Builth Wells to Rhayader for a two night halt. The loop ride explores the Elan Valley. The next leg takes you south east through remote terrain to Hay-on-Wye for another two night halt. From Hay, the loop ride explores the Golden Valley. The final leg leads south over Gospel Pass in the Vale of Ewyas, passing Llanthony Priory on the way back to Abergavenny.

With this self-guided tour you will get to enjoy some of the best cycle touring that Wales has to offer.

Highlights

  • The Monmouth and Brecon Canal

  • The Brecon Beacons

  • The reservoirs of the Elan Valley

  • Feeding time at the red kites centre in Rhayader

  • The Heart of Wales railway

  • Offa’s Dyke – the ancient defensive wall between England and Wales

  • Exploring the fascinating bookshops in Hay-on-Wye

  • The ascent of (and descent from) Gospel Pass

  • Llanthony Priory

  • Greosmont Castle

What's included

  • 7 nights accommodation with breakfast

  • Pre-trip planner

  • All routing, maps, cue sheets and gpx tracks

  • Emergency telephone support

  • Meet, greet and bike fitting

  • Regional Handbook

Extras

  • Bike rental

  • Luggage Transfers

  • Evening meals

Costs

  • Core Tour Cost
    £745

  • Hybrid bicycle rental
    £140

  • Road bicycle rental
    £170

  • E-bicycle rental
    £230

  • Luggage Transfers
    £280 (for two people)

Day 1

Arrive into the pretty town of Abergavenny, settle into your accommodation and get set up on your bikes and taken through the routing

2

Abergavenny to Brecon- (35 miles)- The day starts out with a relatively steep climb coming out of Abergavenny on very minor roads. You then have then option to visit the National heritage Museum of Mining, an industry the area was once known for. You can then take the option of following the scenic towpath along the canal all the way into Brecon.

Abergavenny brecom elv

3

Brecon to Rhayader (39 miles)- Again the day starts out with a reasonable climb on scenic, quiet country lanes, passing through tiny hamlets and villages. You then have the choice to take on the aptly named "Devil's Staircase", which is every bit as challenging as the name suggests! The last section of the ride is on cycle lanes and paths, with little or no traffic to speak of,

Brecon to Rhyader elv

4

Rhayader Loop ride (18, 28 or 33 miles)- This is a lovely ride around the scenic reservoirs of the Elan Valley to the west of Rhayader. You can stop to visit Elan Village to learn more about the reservoirs that were created to supply to needs of the heavy industries of the English Midlands. The core circuit is quite short, but you can lengthen it by riding one, two, or all three of the optional extensions. You may like to get back to Rhayader in time to see the feeding time at the Red Kite Feeding Centre.

Rhayader Loop elv

5

Rhayader to Hay-on-Wye (37 miles)- This is very much the quintessential rural mid-Wales! Traffic you encounter is far more likely to come in the form of wondering sheep than vehicles. There are some short but steep climbs as you begin to approach the stunning town of Hay-on-Wye

Rhayader to Hay elv

6

Hay-on-Wye Loop ride (21, 34 or 44 miles)-

The route is a loop to the southeast of Hay-on-Wye. You first ride east on with some great views over the River Wye to the north. At Tyberton you climb to the west before dropping down to Peterchurch in the Golden Valley. From here the core route turns north again to return to Hay. The extension takes you a bit further south to Ewyas Harold and Longtown, before turning north and rejoining the core route at Michaelchurch Escley. You may chose to spend at least part of your day exploring the myriad of bookshops that Hay has become world famous for.

Hay Loop elv

7

Hay-on-Wye to Abergavenny (22 miles)- The day starts with a great climb over Gospel Pass followed by a descent of the Vale of Ewyas to Llanthony Priory. From here you continue south to Stanton and then turn east to Grosmont to visit Grosmont Castle. South of Grosmont is Skenfrith – and another castle! Monmouth to the south is a busy, bustling town. To visit the main town centre you have to cross the Monnow Bridge. The last stretch from Monmouth to Abergavenny follows the course of the busy A40 on minor roads. If you haven’t had enough of castles, you can visit the impressive Raglan Castle

Hay to abergavenny elv

Route Map

Essentials

Accommodation-

The standard accommodations for this region's self-guided itineraries are guesthouses and bed and breakfasts (B&Bs). Generally, these have between 4 and 10 guest rooms and the owners/providers live on the premises. In almost all cases the bathroom facilities are ensuite (self-contained within the room), and the room facilities usually include a television and tea/coffee making facilities. There is a communal reading / television lounge. Small family run hotels are also used in a few locations. The providers are excellent sources of local information.

Breakfast is always included. Most guesthouses do not offer an evening meal.

When you book a tour, your pre-trip planner will have more details about the specific facilities and services provided by the accommodations.

Examples of our guesthouses in this region include;

Getting there-

The most convenient international airports are Cardiff Airport, Bristol Airport and London’s Heathrow Airport. Gatwick Airport is a bit further away and less convenient than Heathrow, but still doable.

From Cardiff Airport you can get to Cardiff Central Station by Cardiff Bus (every hour) or by taxi – journey time is around 25 minutes. Arriva trains run an hourly service from Rhoose Cardiff International Airport Station to Cardiff Central Station – but you have to take a taxi or bus to the Rhoose station.

From Cardiff Central Station there are hourly trains to Abergavenny run by Arriva – journey time around one hour.

From Bristol Airport the Bristol International Flyer is a regular shuttle bus that stops at Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station and terminates at Bristol Bus Station, with a journey time of around 25 minutes.

From Bristol Temple Meads you can take a First Great Western train to Newport and then an Arriva train form Newport to Abergavenny

From London Heathrow Airport, National Express runs a direct bus service to Newport (2 hrs 30 mins). From Newport take an Arriva train to Abergavenny.

Alternatively Railair operates a regular bus shuttle from Heathrow to Reading Station from where you can take a First Great Western train to Newport. From Newport take an Arriva train to Abergavenny.

Otherwise from Heathrow take the Heathrow Express to London Paddington Station (15 mins) and take a First Great Western train from Paddington to Newport. From Newport take an Arriva train to Abergavenny.

From Gatwick Airport, take the Gatwick Express to London Victoria Station (30 mins). Then either take a National Express bus from Victoria Coach Station (5 mins walk from Victoria Rail Station) to Newport, or take a London Bus or the Underground to Paddington Station and take a First Great Western train to Newport. From Newport take an Arriva train to Abergavenny.

On arrival in Abergavenny, it is easiest to take a taxi to your accommodation.

Climate-

Wales, In common with the rest of the UK, has a temperate climate – meaning that it never really gets very hot or really cold. The best times to visit is during the summer months. May, June, July, August and September are generally the sunniest and driest months. During the winter it can rain quite a bit, but temperatures rarely drop below zero. Places close to the English border and in SE Wales have colder winters and warmer summers.

The UK is well known for the variability of its weather – from day to day, season to season, year to year and place to place. Its position in the mid-latitude westerly wind belt on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean with its relatively warm waters, yet close to the continental influences of mainland Europe, plays a major role in this. Changes in topography and land use over relatively short distances, together with a long coastline and numerous islands, all add to the variety of weather.

In general, places in the east and south of the UK tend to be drier, warmer, sunnier and less windy than those further west and north. Also, these favourable weather conditions usually occur more often in the spring and summer than in autumn and winter.

Fixed Costs

£745 per person sharing, to include;

  • 7 nights' accommodation with breakfast
  • Pre-Trip Information Booklet and Planner
  • On call telephone support
  • All mapping, routes and cue sheets with gpx tracks
  • Meet, greet and bike fitting

Optional costs

Luggage Transfers

  • Luggage transfer charges are calculated as follows:

    The standard charge is based on one or two riders. A couple would therefore share the luggage transfer costs. There is then a small additional fee for the third and each additional person.
    For example:

    1. Total cost for one or two riders = 280 (140 per person based on two people sharing)
    2. Total cost for three riders = 280 + 20= 300 (100 per person)
    3. Total cost for four riders = 280 + 20 + 20 = 320 (80 per person)

Note that the more riders in the group, the less expensive are the luggage transfers per rider

Bicycle Rental-

Trek 7.3 FX hybrid

Bike Code : TKH

Standard rental bicycle.

  • 5 frame sizes
  • FX Alpha Gold Aluminium
  • FX Alloy fork
  • 27 speed

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip).

Trek 7.3 FX hybrid
Fitted withRear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)
Equipment providedhandlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool
On requestpanniers, helmet, gel saddle cover; SPD pedals; odometer; cages and straps
Not fitted/suppliedlights; water bottle

Click here to view Technical information about this bike »

Trek 7.3 FX hybrid – step through frame

Bike Code : TKW

Standard rental bicycle.

  • 3 frame sizes;
  • Alpha Silver Aluminium
  • 27 speed

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip).

Trek 7.3 FX hybrid – step through frame
Fitted withRear rack; platform pedals, bottle cage, fenders (mudguards)
Equipment providedhandlebar bag; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool
On requestpanniers, helmet, gel saddle cover; SPD pedals; odometer; cages and straps
Not fitted/suppliedlights; water bottle

Click here to view Technical information about this bike »

Trek 1.5 Road Bicycle

Bike Code : TKR

Upgrade rental bicycle.

  • 47, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62cm
  • Alpha White Aluminium
  • Trek Carbon fork
  • 27 speed

Bring your own saddle and/or pedals if you wish and we will fit them to the bike. (You must be able to remove them yourself at the end of your trip)

Trek 1.5 Road Bicycle
Fitted withRear rack; bottle cage
Equipment providedSeat pack; map case; spare tube; puncture repair kit; lock; mini pump; multitool
On requestpanniers, helmet, gel saddle cover; SPD pedals; odometer; cages and straps
Not fitted/suppliedlights; water bottle
Core Tour Cost £745
Luggage Transfers £280 (for two people)
Hybrid Bike Rental £140
Road Bike Rental £170
E-Bike Rental £230
Single Supplement £250

Photos

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