The route proposed by Bob Laing
Arrive Holyhead. Campsite about 3 miles south west of Holyhead.
Introduction. Croeso i Gymru – Welcome to Wales. The route through Wales from Holyhead to Cardiff will be via Lôn Las Cymru, part of the National Cycle Network (NCN). Lôn Las Cymru (NCN Route 8), passes through and over some stunning landscape. It will take us from the marshland of Anglesey, down the coast between the sea and the mountains of Snowdonia, over the remote hills of Mid Wales, down the Wye Valley, through the Brecon Beacons and down the Taff Valley to Cardiff. As with the best Sustrans routes, Lôn Las Cymru uses the quietest and most scenic routes available following, as far as possible, a mix of purpose-built cycle-paths, quiet minor roads and traffic-free sections. Distance is about 400km and BaltiCCycle plan to cycle it in six days.
Campsite: Blackthorn Farm, Penrhos Feilw, Holyhead, Anglesey, North Wales, LL65 2LT. Tel. +44 (0) 1407 765262.
To find the campsite from railway station or ferry terminal: Take a right at the exit and continue over a short bridge. Turn left at the end of the bridge and then take the second exit on the roundabout.
(If approaching from the A55, follow the A55 to the end and take the first exit from the roundabout.)
After the roundabout, take an immediate right between the Angel and Foresters Arms public houses onto Porthdafarch Road.
Continue to the end of Portdafarch road (about three quarters of a mile), and turn right. Follow the winding road for about half a mile until you see an old church on the right- Blackthorn Farm is immediately opposite.
The group cycling from Ireland arrives by ferry from Dublin to Holyhead about 6 p.m.
Holyhead – Menai Bridge – Caernarfon
about 38 miles
The first day in Wales crosses the gentle landscape of Anglesey and over the Menai Straits by Thomas Telford’s famous suspension bridge. Then along a disused railway line to Caernarfon with its imposing and impressive castle.
Campsite: Riverside Camping, Seiont Nurseries, Pontrug, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, L55 2BB.
If going directly to campsite from cycle path: At A487 roundabout after Y Felinheli go straight ahead on minor road, not A487. Continue for about one mile then straight ahead at roundabout over B4366 Bethel Road (Ffordd Bethel). Continue straight ahead another mile to A4086 Llanberis Road and turn right (in direction of Caernarfon). Look out for Riverside Camping signs & splayed entrance on the left hand side of the road.
If coming from Caernarfon take the A4086 towards Llanberis for 1.5 miles. Look out for Riverside Camping signs & splayed entrance on the right hand side of the road. Follow the road down into the visitor carpark from where you can walk to reception to book in. Sat nav postcode: – LL55 2BB For further details see map or if necessary phone us on 01286 678 781.
Nearest railway station – Bangor (9 miles) Taxis available. Passing Riverside Camping are regular bus service’s – Bangor to Caernarfon and Caernarfon to Llanberis. Timetables supplied on request. If asked the driver stops at our entrance.
If anyone is likely to join us en route this day we may wish to amend the meeting place from the Britannia Bridge to the Menai Bridge. On the map the route via the Menai Bridge looks as if it adds a few more miles to the total distance but this is now the official national cycle network. It is because the Britannia Bridge is now part of the North Wales Expressway, and therefore cyclists are probably banned.
Caernarfon – Portmadog – Portmeirion – Harlech
approx. 40 miles
More former railway line parallel to the Welsh Highland Railway past Slate Works & Museum to Portmadog and the Ffestiniog Railway. Cross the Cob to the fantasy Italianate village of Portmeirion then to Harlech with another magnificent castle.
Harlech – Barmouth – Dolgellau – Machynlleth
approx. 35 miles
Along the coast to the seaside resort of Barmouth then more old railway line forming a delightful section alongside the Mawddach Estuary towards Dolgellau. A bit of a lump (180m), past old slate mines to the Centre for Alternative Technology with interactive displays on energy generation and transport plus practical solutions to green issues. Machynlleth with its clock tower and Museum of Modern Art.
Machynlleth – Llanidloes – Rhayader – Newbridge-on-Wye
approx. 53 miles
The highest lump on the route, 509m up a long steep winding mountain road followed by an exhilarating descent and through the remote Hafren Forest to the picturesque market town of Llanidloes. After several small lumps before Llangurig the undulating route meanders alongside the River Wye to Rhayader then to Llandrindod Wells and the National Cycle Museum. Newbridge-on-Wye. Also possibility of Llandrindod Wells and the National Cycle Museum.
Llandrindod Wells – Builth Wells – Glasbury – Hay-on-Wye – Brecon
approx. 36 miles (plus extra 8 miles if divert via Hay-on-Wye)
To Builth Wells then more old railway alongside the Wye, views of the Black Mountains and to the bibliophile’s Mecca of Hay-on-Wye. Leisurely ride to Talgarth then lots of little lumps with nice views to Brecon.
Brecon – Merthyr Tydfil – Cardiff
approx. 50 miles
The Taff Trail from Brecon to Cardiff starts along a traffic-free canal towpath then quiet roads followed by the 5-mile bank, another former railway line gradually climbing above Talybont Reservoir with superb views. The route then descends past more reservoirs back on to another traffic-free old railway and great views passing over the impressive Cefn Coed viaduct to Merthyr and Cyfarthfa Castle. The final section from Merthyr passes through one of the most historic and industrialised parts of South Wales including the Pennydarren Tramway traversed in1804 by Trevithick’s steam locomotive. Traffic-free meander alongside the River Taff to Pontypridd, more old railway line to the fairy-tale Castell Coch (Red Castle) at Tongwynlais. Taff Trail continues into Cardiff past Llandaff Cathedral and Millennium Stadium finishing at the Celtic Ring.
Rest day, Cardiff.
Cardiff, capital city of Wales, and named as one of the top 10 cities in Europe! Culture, theatres, museums, waterfront, millennium stadium, 149 pubs, 73 restaurants, and, of course, a castle! Lots to see and do.
Cardiff – Newport – Chepstow
approx. 42 miles
The route now switches to NCN Route 4 all the way to London. First attraction on this section is the Newport Transporter Bridge; a very unusual design and one of only seven like it in the world. Then onto Chepstow with – a castle!
Chepstow – Bristol – Bath
approx. 48 miles
Across the Severn Bridge into England. Bristol to Bath Railway Path, the first path built by Sustrans (SUStainable TRANSport), the engineering charity which has co-ordinated the construction of the National Cycle Network (NCN). The City of Bath; a world heritage site with exemplary Georgian architecture.
Bath – Devizes – Stonehenge
approx 33 miles
Kennet & Avon canal towpath to Devizes with its flight of 29 locks. Stonehenge; world famous iconic prehistoric monument composed of a circular setting of large standing stones.
Stonehenge – Reading
approx. 64 miles
Reading – Eton & Windsor – Surbiton (London)
approx. 35 miles
Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty The Queen.
Surbiton – Tower Bridge – Blackheath
approx. 28 miles
Thames cycle path offering long sections of traffic-free route to London. Passing Hampton Court, Henry VIII’s favourite palace, before plenty photo opportunities such as Houses of Parliament + Big Ben and Tower Bridge.
Final Campsite: Blackheath Rugby Camping, Well Hall, Kidbrooke Lane, South-east London, SE9 6TE.
Campsite overview: Blackheath Rugby is offering great value camping during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The campsite is superbly located in South East London, in close proximity to several major Olympic and Paralympic venues, all within easy access via public transport. This lively site is perfect for ticket holders and volunteers who want to be at the heart of the games to soak up the Olympic fever!
OPEN FOR OLYMPICS: 26 JUL – 13 AUG
OPEN FOR THE PARALYMPICS: 28 AUG – 11 SEP
Blackheath Rugby campsite is offering campers hot showers, toilets and washing up facilities. Hot drinks and snacks are available to campers and the bar is at campers disposal during the games. Large screen TVs covering all the Olympic action and BBQ nights after a day spent enjoying all the games!
Friday 10/8 & Saturday 11/8
NB. All distances are approximate, ie BalticCycle estimates!!