Day 1: Arrival in Hay.
Day 2: Hay to Pontsticill, 39 miles (62 km)
The ride begins in the pretty booktown of Hay on Wye, with its 39 second-hand bookshops. Great views of the Black Mountain to the South and several interesting village churches lie en route as you head west to Brecon. Enjoy an easy stretch along the tranquil Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, with its colourful barges, before climbing alongside the Talybont Reservoir, following the route of the old Brecon and Merthyr Railway, which once transported goods through the mountains. The views from the top are rewarding, and the hardest part of the Taff Trail is now over!
Day 3: Pontsticill to Cardiff, 35 miles (56 km)
An easier second day, with no big hills, and plenty of interest as you follow the Taff Valley towards the coast. It’s a chance to experience the rich industrial heritage of the world-famous Welsh Valleys, but without the crowds. The curving sweep of the Cefn Coed Viaduct, and the unexpected castles of Cyfarthfa Castle and Castell Coch, are all to be enjoyed. You end the day on the waterfront of Cardiff Bay, in the vibrant capital city of Wales.
Day 4: Cardiff to Newport, 23 miles (37 km)
From the capital, to avoid retracing your route, you take the train to Caerphilly, famed for its fine castle as well as its delicious cheese! Here you join the Celtic Trail, heading East, but take some time to explore the castle first. The magnificent and imposing fortress is the second biggest in Britain and dates from the late 13th century. The route then returns to the coast at Newport.
Day 5: Newport to Chepstow, 14 miles (22 km)
A shorter distance and flat coastal terrain make for a leisurely fourth day in the saddle, as you continue westwards through a landscape of reed beds and estuaries to Chepstow, where another castle awaits. En-route it's worth stopping off at Caldicot Castle and the Newport Wetlands reserve if you're a bird-lover – a haven for wildlife on the edge of Newport managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Day 6: Chepstow to Abergavenny, 27 miles (43 km)
Leaving the coast behind, the route now heads North as the tour enters its final stage – back to the Brecon Beacons National Park. A little hillier today, but the pleasant Monmouthshire countryside and the town of Usk are ample reward for your effort. You are now in the Welsh borderlands, once the setting for violent skirmishes between the Welsh and the invading English! Though things are more peaceful nowadays there are many castles and fortified buildings en-route which attest to this medieval upheaval.
Day 7: Abergavenny to Hay on Wye, 23 miles (37 km)
A steady climb from Abergavenny along hedged-in lanes brings you to peacefully isolated Llanthony Priory. The ruins date from the 11th century and this is a beautiful, atmospheric site and a good place to stop for a breather! The road continues to rise through the hamlet of Capel-y-Ffin with its tiny chapel until you reach Gospel Pass – Wales' second highest motorable road. The steep slopes of Hay Bluff tower on your right as you ride through the pass and leave the Vale of Ewyas behind. You’re now on wonderfully airy, open pasture, with fantastic views of the Wye Valley and, on a clear day, right across to the Central Beacons. A final downhill swoop brings you back to Hay on Wye
- Duration: 6 days biking
- Distance: 160 miles (255 km)
- Grading: Moderate/Strenuous.
The price is 535 Pound Sterling (GBP) per person based on 2 people sharing a twin/double room. Contact operator for sole traveller/single occupancy rates.
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Europe Wales Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring National Parks
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