From the Irish Sea to the English border and across, cycling over the largest Welsh island and through the vast area of natural beauty that is Snowdonia National Park. Snowdonia, known in Welsh as Eryri – the place of eagles, is a place where many bird species can be seen including Ospreys, Buzzards, Hen Harriers and if you're lucky Peregrine Falcons.
Betws Y Coed
This 106 mile - 2 day tour takes you through the heart of glorious Snowdonia on your way through North Wales. Your start point is Holyhead on Holy Island before crossing Angelsey. From Bangor on the mainland you head south-east deep into Snowdonia National Park. Climbing up to LLyn Ogwen, a lake sitting between two mountain ranges- The Carneddau and The Glyderau- gives you impeccable views on all sides. From Betws-Y-Coed you head north, into the foothills of Snowdonia and the rolling hills of North Wales, until you meet the River Dee's estuary. Here you pass over the border into England and Chester, the ancient walled Roman city.
* All prices per person based on two people sharing.
|DAY 1||Holyhead - Betws-Y-Coed||55.5 miles|
|DAY 2||Betws-Y-Coed - Chester||50.5 miles|
After a night spent resting in the port or spent looking out the window of your train you're ready to go. The first day is all about Angelsey. Heading east away from The Irish Sea we leave the Port town of Holyhead and Holy Island behind. Crossing The Stanley Embankment onto Anglesey there are marvellous views of the sand and mud flats below; known locally as The Cob the embankment was built in 1832 and is 1170 meters in length. Onto Angelsey you take a left at the first junction and follow this road to Llanyngendl. Taking a left here onto the B5109 and you are on the typically charming country roads you find in this area of the world. This road takes you through small Welsh villages including Bodedern and Trefor, traditional farming countryside surrounded by numerous woodlands and reservoirs. Onto Pentraeth where you have your biggest climb of the day, which is quickly followed by a nice freewheel into the lively town of Beaumaris, with that amazing castle, for a good nights rest by the beach. Leaving Beaumaris and, as the guide will have told you,'the most technically perfect castle in Britain' behind, we push on south by the coast heading for the Menai bridge and the mainland.
After scooting around Bangor you head for Port Penrhyn where you pick up the cycle path 82. With our backs to the Menai Strait we follow the path along River Cegin to begin with, a spot where Herons a Kingfishers are commonly found (for the Kingfisher you will have to be eagle-eyed, listen out for their high-pitched call and then look for them gliding above the water, or sitting on a branch just above the water), this path is traffic-free until Tregarth. Now you follow the B4409 and A5 for 4.5 miles until you pick up the path again. This path takes you to lake Llyn Owgen and deep into Snowdonia National Park. The route offers stunning views of Snowdon and the national park that surrounds you, while being almost traffic-free from the moment you leave the coast.
The climb from Bangor to Tregarth is 300 ft, while climbing into the national park to Llyn Ogwen is almost 1000ft of uninterrupted scenic views. From Llyn Ogwen to Betws-Y-Coed, a charming market town in the mountains, the road continues to be absolutely beautiful, surrounded by mountains, rivers, lakes and forests.
Leaving Betws-Y-Coed we head north on the B5106 to Llanrwst. After crossing the bridge into Llanrwst take a left and head east towards Llansannan, and the biggest climb of the day out of the natural park and into the rolling hills of north-east Wales. About 4.5 miles outside of Llanwrst you take a right off the A548 towards the signposted Pandy Tudor and follow the country lanes and roads into Llansannan, from here you continue over the rolling hills, through the quiet countryside, passing little villages and hamlets to the historical market town of Denbigh. The ride from Betws-Y-Coed to Denbigh while only 22 miles, is quite hilly at times, but stunningly so.
Leaving Denbigh you head north on the A451 to Afon Wen, where after passing through you go right and north at the first t-junction and following these country lanes you arrive in Pentre Halykn. Here the village sits looking over the coast and the Dee estuary which we now descend into. Follow the coast road past Flint before taking the bridge over the River Dee, continue following the path into England and then into the historic walled city of Chester, your destination.