Key Info

Duration:
4 days

Terrain:
Tarmac - 90%
Gravel - 10%

Choose your comfort
Camping
B&B

When to go:

22nd – 25th Aug 2024
23rd – 26th Aug 2024
Mid week dates available

Start/Finish:
Llandovery

Distance:
Miles - 128
Uphill - 3025m

Price (per person):
£425 (Camping)
£550 (B&B)

Group Size:
2+

Difficulty Rating:
Challenging

Expect to cross high passes, up long climbs, with prolonged steep sections. For the majority of some days you will be on high ground and exposed to the elements. A challenging route, but you will be rewarded you glorious descents and wonderful views.

Highlights

  • Ride the infamous Devil's Staircase
  • Cool off in some of Wales' best wild swim spots
  • Explore the literary town of Hay on Wye
  • Summit Gospel Pass, Wales' highest road
  • Get big views of the Brecon Beacons National Park
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  • Day 1: Taste of the Cambrians / 29 miles / 5 hrs / 845m

    We’ll meet you in the bustling little town of Llandovery where we’ll sort you out with bikes and all the kit you need and set you on your way. The day starts gradually, heading up the peaceful Tywi valley before you head into the beautiful Southern Cambrian Mountains. Climbing high above Llyn Brianne, the views on a clear day go on for miles. Catch your breath before taking on the infamous Devils Staircase. Legs burning, its a wonderful descent down the Abergwesyn Common, past numerous wild swim spots before arriving into Llanwrtyd Wells.

  • Day 2: Pant y Llyn detour / 32 miles / 5 hrs / 655m

    Once you’ve stocked up with a pack lunch for the day, you’ll leave the Cambrian Mountains behind you and head down narrow twisting hedge lined lanes, gradually gaining height before the road ahead steepens and opens into moorland. At the top, a short grass track detour takes you to the picturesque Pant y Llyn where views stretch into Mid Wales. As you re-join the road, a joyous, ridgeline descent, with epic views either side, leads you down to the valley below where you follow bumpy farm tracks through wheat fields and along the River Wye before arriving into Hay on Wye.

  • Day 3: Highest road in Wales / 40 miles / 5 hrs / 840m

    Today starts abruptly as you climb steeply out of Hay on Wye to reach the spectacular Gospel Pass, the highest road in Wales. Once you’ve taken in the views, feeling pleased with yourself, you’re treated to a long descent down a tree lined valley, past the medieval ruins of Llanthony Priory and on following lazy lanes to the touristy town of Crickhowell for a spot of lunch. From here you’ll follow the lush Brecon & Monmouthshire canal towpath, looking out for birdlife, barge dwellers negotiating locks and silent fishermen. There are several pubs and cafes along the towpath which provide a nice rest stop on this, the longest leg of the route.

  • Day 4: Big Beacon views / 27 miles / 4 hrs / 685m

    Leaving town life behind you, its back into nature, heading gradually up the Sarn Helen Roman road onto a high rolling ridgeline. Once the fields and hedgerows make way for open moorland, the views of the unmistakable Brecon Beacons are fantastic. A fast blast down to Sennybridge before you rise again into the very western edge of the National Park, past the Black Mountain (Y Mynydd Du). As the road starts to drop, undulating and weaving lanes through bucolic farmland eventually lead you back down into Llandovery, your final destination.

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A comprehensive package. You’ll get a bike, all the equipment you need, a GPS route, accommodation, as well as a pre trip video chat to check you’re on track and a full kit demo and briefing on arrival.
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Embrace the elements or a temporary pause from nature. Camping or B&B, the choice is yours.

Select which option you would prefer on the booking enquiry form.

B&B

Night 1 – A traditional B&B in the small town of Llanwrtyd Wells.

Night 2 – We use 2 very comfortable hotels, both close to the centre of Hay on Wye.

Night 3 – A traditional B&B in the bustling town of Brecon.

Pros & cons

+ Less equipment to carry

+ Sleep in a proper bed

– Temporary pause from wilderness

– No marshmallows on the fire

Camping

Night 1 – A basic campsite on a farm. Shower, toilet and a 10 minute walk into town for dinner.

Night 2 – A spacious campsite, bordered with orchards and woodland. Its a 10 minute walk into Hay on Wye.

Night 3 – A small riverside meadow campsite, a short walk from Brecon.

Expect no frills and rustic, but friendly campsites with the essentials you’d expect. Toilets, hot showers, firepits and always within walking distance from a good pub.

We provide 3 person tents; enough room for 3, spacious for 2.

Pros & cons

+ Full nature experience

+ Evenings around a campfire

– More kit to carry

– Camping even if it rains

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Food and drink are at your own expense. We can recommend our favourite pubs and cafes, but it’s entirely up to you where and when you eat.

Breakfast

B&B – Breakfast is included.

Camping – The rural locations of our campsites means there isn’t always a café close by for breakfast, so to make sure you have something in your belly before you set off, we provide Firepot breakfast pouches which you simply add hot water to cook, along with  coffee making facilities.

Lunch

Lunches can be sourced enroute, packed lunch or café stops.

Dinner

You’ll always be within walking distance, or a short cycle, from a good pub. Sometimes, there is only one pub for miles around, so we can book you a table in advance to avoid disappointment.

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START/FINISH LOCATION & TIMINGS

Start: We will meet you at the start point in Llandovery at 10am. The exact start point location and timings will be sent out closer to the time of your trip.

You should arrive in the clothes you’ll ride in and with your kit packed in the dry bag we posted to you.

Bike set up and kit briefing will take about 1 – 1 ½ hours depending on the group size.

Finish You can expect to be back at the start point in Llandovery by approx. 3pm on day 4.

If travelling by train, allow at least 1 hours in which to hand back the bike, kit and get to the train station

HOW TO GET THERE

Train: There are trains to Llandovery. Connections with Swansea if coming from the south and east, or Shrewsbury from the north.

The start point will be within walking distance from Llandovery train station.

You can leave any stuff you don’t need for your trip with us, like clothes to travel home in.

Car: If you plan on driving to the start point, feel free to contact us for advice on where to park and leave your vehicle for the duration of your trip.

All vehicles will be left at your own risk.

ARRIVING THE NIGHT BEFORE?

If you’re travelling far, why not take the pressure off and stay overnight in Llandovery.

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Remember, you will be carrying your kit with you and space on the bike is very limited, so stick to the kit list and pack light. You need less than you think. When packing, think light and packable. Avoid bulky fleece and denim, and go for merino wool, microfiber or cotton.

Prior to your trip, we will send you a dry bag which all your kit will need to fit into. Any questions about what to bring can be discussed on the pre trip video call.

TO CYCLE IN

  • Trainers
  • Shorts – (padded shorts are a good investment, but not essential)
  • 2 t-shirts/tops
  • Waterproof jacket – (it’s worth investing in a good one)
  • Thin thermal layer or microfleece
  • Socks & underwear

EVENING WEAR

  • 2 t-shirts/tops
  • Lightweight compact footwear (flips flops, Toms, sandals)
  • A warm layer like a synthetic jacket (not a bulky jumper, hoodie or fleece)
  • Warm hat
  • Leggings, tracksuit bottoms or other lightweight trousers
  • A warm pair of socks for the evening

OTHER STUFF

  • Swimming gear
  • Small travel towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Toiletries (decant into mini bottles)
  • Suncream

Save time and bring you packed lunch with you for Day 1.

Bring a set of clothes for your journey home. If you’re travelling by train, you can leave any stuff you don’t need with us.

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Our routes are designed to blend the rewards of physical challenge, with space to discover the unexpected and time to appreciate the journey. The distances are not massive and should allow for you to take your time, follow the more scenic route and experience the places between the places. It’s as much about the lazy lunch, taking in the view or finding a spot for a wild swim as it is about knocking out the miles.

Challenging

For those with a good level of fitness, comfortable cycling 4-6 hours a day and who take pleasure in being physically challenged, or for the less fit who are happy to suffer! Expect to cross high passes up long climbs, with prolonged steep sections. An ounce of bike handling skills will come in handy for the odd bumpy gravel track.

This route passes through remote landscapes, where you are exposed to the elements with very few shops or cafes in between start/finish points, so you’ll need to take lunch and snacks with you on most days.

Preparation

If you’re not a regular cyclist, get your body bike trip ready by commuting to work, or do some spin classes. It all helps.

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Bikepacking is strapping the essentials that you need for a multi-day, self sufficient adventure to your bike and going on a journey. It's about avoiding busy roads, instead picking out quiet country lanes, unpaved tracks and forest roads to take you deeper into the wilderness for a proper adventure. The recent development of ‘gravel’ bikes and more efficient methods of attaching your kit to your bike, has made wild areas which would have previously been out of reach, more accessible and enjoyable to anyone with an appetite for adventure and a yearning to get off the beaten track.
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No, you will go on a journey, moving on to a new place each day, but ending up where you started by the end of your trip.
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Yes, we believe that by being self-sufficient you will have a much more rewarding experience. You will pack everything you need on your bike into the specifically designed bikepacking bags. So stick to the kit list and pack light!
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It would be very easy for us to ferry your luggage for you each day, but in doing that we are taking away your sense of freedom and diluting your adventure. It may be a little bit more challenging, but you’ll appreciate what you’ve accomplished all the more by being self-sufficient.
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As you will be carrying all your belongings on your bike with you, there is a limit to how much you can bring. In plenty of time before your trip, we will send you a detailed kit list and a bag which all your stuff has to fit in. We'll also send you an informational video to show how you'll stash your kit to your bike, so you know in advance.
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No, we provide everything apart from your personal clothing. All we would recommend is investing in a pair of padded cycling shorts and it's wise to have a decent waterproof jacket, just in case. If you have your own cycling shoes and pedals, please feel free to bring them along. If you have your own helmet, you may choose to bring that as well, otherwise we will provide one.
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Our trips are designed to be challenging but achievable when tackled at an enjoyable tempo. The challenge coming in the form of some hefty hills and occasional unpaved tracks, the relatively modest distances making it achievable. Our difficulty ratings of Mellow, Moderate and Challenging are based on someone with a reasonable level of cardiovascular fitness. If you’re not a regular cyclist, then some preparation is recommended to cope with the physical demands of a full day in the saddle over hilly terrain. See the difficulty rating section on the trip info pages to make sure you choose the right route for you. And if you’re not sure, just get in touch.
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You need to be confident riding a bike, but not a mountain biker. Up to 25% of your route will be on what we refer to as gravel tracks, this could be a bridleway, a forest fire road, an ancient horse & cart route, or an unpaved farm track. We wouldn't class it as offroad, which might conjure up images of mountain biking, just not smooth tarmac. If you do come across a section of gravel track which is steeper or bumpier than you feel confident riding down, you can always get off and push your bike down that bit.
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This is an all inclusive package. We provide the bike, bikepacking bags, accommodation, camping equipment (if camping), a GPS preloaded with your route, guide book, support service and a pre trip informational videos. You just need to get yourself there, bring some clothes and sort out your own food and drinks.
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You are provided with a gravel bike from Temple Cycles, donned with great components. They’re a dream to ride, fast on the road and comfortable on the unpaved sections. Check out the ‘how it works’ section of the website for more details.
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You are welcome to use your own bike, although we would recommend using ours as we selected them specifically to be ideal for the routes our trips take and the type of terrain you will encounter, plus you save yourself the hassle of lugging your bike on the train/car. If you do choose to use your own bike, we can offer you a discount of £10 per person/per day.
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It means you don't have a guide coming along with you, cramping your style. Instead, we provide you with a GPS navigation device preloaded with an awesome route to make sure you don’t miss a turn and a comprehensive guidebook full of local knowledge and tips. So you can travel at your own pace, stop when you want and pedal your own adventure.
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Your group will be provided with a small navigation device which fits onto your handlebar. It uses GPS (Global Positioning System) technology to pinpoint your exact location against detailed, cycling specific, digital mapping. We preload it with your route and the arrow on the screen shows you which way to go, just like using a sat nav in your car. As a backup, you will have a paper map to follow. If you do manage to get lost, you can call us and we’ll figure out where you are and tell you which way to go to get you back on track.
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We use really good tyres so punctures are rare, but do happen occasionally, so you will have the basic equipment needed and instructions on how to fix a puncture yourself. If you are not confident doing that, or you have any other issues with the bike that you can't fix yourself, just give us a call and we'll come and find you and get it sorted. We could be up to 2 hours away though.
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Barring a freak storm forcing us to postpone your trip for safety concerns, your trip will go ahead. Wales has its fair share of rain, which is one of the reasons it's so lush and beautiful. We run our trips from April to September and although it's not uncommon for it to rain in the summer, as long as you have a good weatherproof jacket, it's generally mild enough that if you do get wet, it's nothing an evening in a cosy pub with a sticky toffee pudding can’t put right.
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If you were to have a serious accident, you should call 999 or 112 in the first instance. Then we would appreciate you calling us, so we can help out as much as we can. Thankfully, accidents are rare.
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When you book, you will choose whether your group would like to camp, or stay in B&Bs. For camping groups, you can expect no frills, but friendly campsites with the essentials we would want ourselves. Toilets, hot showers, firepits and within walking distance from a good pub. Our B&Bs (Or guesthouse, Hotel or Country Pub) are often located in a small town or village, with bike friendly owners, a hearty breakfast provided and always within walking distance of a good pub.
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Food and drink is the only real additional cost on top of the price of the trip. For B&B groups, your breakfast is included in the price. You will source your own lunch along the way, stopping in a café or taking a packed lunch. It's up to you where you eat dinner, in a pub, restaurant or fish and chips. We’ll recommend our favourites. If you’re camping, the campsites are located within walking distance, or a short cycle, from a good pub where you can get dinner. Expect traditional pub grub. For breakfast, if there is a café nearby, you may choose to head there to fuel up in the morning, but the rural location of some campsites means that isn't always the case, so we also provide you with tea/coffee, a compact stove to heat up water and some porridge pouches to get you going in the morning. Lunches you source on the go, cafe or packed lunch, it's up to you.
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Camping does come with its challenges, especially if the weather is against you, but it's also the ultimate way to escape everyday life and be in nature. The equipment we use is high quality and easy to use. We can show you how to use it all and even provide you with a video of how to put up your tent. If you can’t figure it out, there’s usually an outdoorsy type on most campsites who will happily help! Or you can call us anytime with questions.
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We would strongly encourage you to use the gear we provide. Space is limited when bikepacking and we have carefully selected top quality, lightweight and packable tents, sleeping bags and mats to make sure you can pack all you need into the limited space on your bike. We would hate for you to turn up with your own stuff only to find you can’t fit it into the limited space you have on your bike.
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There isn't really any maximum group size, but if you have more than 8 in a group get in touch before you make your booking.
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You must be over the age of 18 years old on the start date of your trip, unless you are accompanied by a parent or guardian, in which case, it is up to the parent to judge if their children are capable of taking part. Please get in touch before booking if this applies to you. We would also need to consider their height, as we do not have child specific bikes, yet!
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To book, make a booking enquiry through the website. We will get back to you within 24h to confirm your chosen dates and accommodation choice availability. We would then ask for a 25% non refundable deposit to be made within 7 days to confirm your group booking. The final balance is due 28 days prior to your trip start date. Payments to be made by bank transfer.
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Exact details will be emailed to you in the build up to your trip and vary a little depending on which route you choose, but as a general rule, you would need to be at the start, dressed in your cycling gear, ready for your briefing and bike fitting at 10am.
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Let us know if you are planning on driving and we can let you in on some free parking areas to avoid official car park fees. Or, if you would feel happier parking in an official car park, you can expect to pay anywhere up to £20 per day. We cannot take any responsibility for the safety of your car for the duration of your trip.

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