The Tour de France is well underway and as exciting as ever, filled with nail-biting finishes, epic hills and the most beautiful scenery. If you’ve been watching, we’re sure you’re eager to get out and about on your bike too. So, if you’re planning your next holiday and looking for places to cycle in West Wales, bring along your bike, helmet and cycling kit (or just some comfy clothes and trainers) and enjoy some of the magnificent places you can enjoy on two-wheels in Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire.
Some of the best cyclists in the world have come from Wales, with Nicole Cooke winning the Women’s Road Race in the Olympic Games, Geraint Thomas winning the Tour De France in 2018 and Elinor Barker winning an Olympic gold medal in 2016.
There are plenty of great cycling activities to choose from, whether it’s mountain biking, open roads or dedicated cycle paths you’re after. We’re sure you’ll have a great time cycling in West Wales, and with so many options to choose from, it’s a great excuse to come back again and try something new!
If you’re a bit of a daredevil, then mountain biking in Brechfa Forest is ideal for you. Choose between four cycling trails, tailored to different abilities. If you’re an experienced mountain biker, then the Raven Trail will put you through your paces. The Derwen Trail is ideal for families or those wanting to try this out for the first time. There is free parking, as well as a picnic and BBQ area, which is perfect for refuelling after your visit. There’s also a great pub nearby in Abergorlech, The Black Lion, serving home-cooked food and a great choice of drinks.
The oldest concrete velodrome in continuous use in the world, the Carmarthen Velodrome is one of only three in Wales. A great place to visit either to watch or try out yourself. Some evenings will be booked with local cycle clubs, but depending on when you visit, you may get the chance to ride around yourself. Many professional cyclists have grown up training on this velodrome, and it’s a great chance to try your hand at the banked corners and imagine yourself in the Olympic games. There’s a cafe in the park, as well as a skateboard park, multiple play areas for children and a rugby pitch – so plenty to do for the whole family.
The Ironman Wales cycle course is known as one of the hilliest of any ironman – and the best scenery too. When you’re in the area next, why not cycle (some of) the route? Starting off in Tenby, the route winds its way through glorious Pembrokeshire countryside, through towns and villages, past beautiful beaches and up a lot of steep climbs all the way to Angle, back up towards Narberth and then down through Saundersfoot and into Tenby. Part of this route is done twice to make it up to 112 miles! It’s a great chance to test yourself and see how you’d feel doing the entire Ironman Wales race – it may even make you want to enter the whole thing!
If you’re after a flat ride with lovely views, the Wales Millennium Coast Path sets off from Pembrey Country Park and goes all the way up to Bynea, which is a great 13-mile stretch. This traffic-free route is filled with wildlife, refreshment stops and great viewpoints. This is a great choice for all the family, and you can even hire bikes in the country park if you’re not bringing your own.
The range of options for the cyclist at Pembrey Country Park is completed by miles of off-road trails through the adjoining Pembrey Forest. Take the whole family and meander through the beautiful forestry for hours. If the tide is out, you can even cycle back along the beach!
To start your ride, you could base yourself at The Cycle Hub at Llys-y-Frân Lake. This would give the opportunity for other members of the family who might not be so confident on the roads to have a day’s cycling too. With over 14km (almost 9 miles) of trails to explore, this is a great place to get on your bike in Pembrokeshire. You can hire a variety of children’s and adult bikes, including e-bikes, tag-alongs and trailers. If you are using your own bikes, then they have all the tools you might need to make repairs. There is also a bike wash station to clean off the mud before you head home after your adventure. They also have purpose-built mountain biking trails, pump-tracks and a pump skills area.