Cycling is a great way to experience the county of Pembrokeshire. Travelling by bike means you’ll often find hidden treasures missed by other travellers. There are secret single track roads, quite coffee shops and of course wonderful view points.
There are plenty of ways embark on exploring Pembrokeshire’s wonders. Road cycling is by far the most popular method although there are also a number of great natural off road routes for mountain biking. In short, whatever your ability there are locations and routes to suit all.
For great sea views, travel along side the coastal roads of the National Park. Or instead, enjoy wooded lanes and hilltops heading further inland to the Gwaun Valley as well as the Preseli’s.
Furthermore the Sustrans or National Cycle Network can be picked up in Pembrokeshire. Route 4 can be joined in Amroth, covering a large amount of the coast around Pembrokeshire. From Tenby the route travels North to Pembroke, next heading towards Newgale and lastly onwards to Fishguard via St.Davids. It then splits at Fishguard into route 82 heading North towards Cardigan or route 47 winding back inland to Carmarthen.
Pembrokeshire has a thriving road cycling scene comprising of leisure cyclists, roadies, triathletes, time trialers and hill climbers. Cyclists are spoilt for choice when it comes to route choice. Flatter, fast paced routes can be found in the South of the county specifically around Tenby, Saundersfoot and stretching across to Pembroke and Angle. Instead for more hills and climbing head North, towards St.Davids, Fishguard and onto Cwm Gwaun towards Cardigan.
For the keen beans, why not tackle the locally famous Tafarn Y Bwlch climb or Bwlch Y Gwynt! Starting from 130m above sea level over a distance of 5 miles to one of the highest points on Pembrokeshire at 400m.
Pembrokeshire has some hidden gems for mountain bikers. Miles of crisscrossing bridleways can joined up to create adventurous routes. Above the coast of Dinas and across to Newport are some the best single track in Pembrokeshire for mountain bikers to enjoy. These are natural and not way marked, what you could call ‘proper mountain biking’. So ensure you have all the necessary provisions for a day in the saddle.
For a waymarked, easy to follow off road route visit Llys y Fran reservoir, located inland from Haverfordwest. An 8 mile route dips and climbs around the reservoir, which offers great muddy fun. There is also a forest track loop around for walking or easier off-road cycling. A cafe, skills area, pump track and other activities onsite make it a great choice for a day out.
Slightly further afield, into neighbouring Carmarthenshire lies, Brechfa forest. It has four graded and way marked trail centre routes, a blue and green suitable for beginners or younger riders. And a red ‘Gorlech’ and black ‘Raven’ trails are for experienced mountain bikers wanting more of a challenge.
Family Friendly Cycling
Pembrokeshire has some great offerings for family friendly cycling for all ages and abilities. Shorter, quite coastal road sections around St.Davids, St.Brides Bay and Tenby would be suitable for younger riders, or people looking for less climbing but wanting to see the coast via bicycle.
The Brunel Trail runs from Neyland to Haverfordwest. This traffic-free route travels along the valley and is suitable for all, with a tarmac/gravel surface along with minimal height gain. This route is 4 miles long in one direction and boasts views of open countryside and the estuary.
Llys y Fran, Rosebush and Canaston Woods are other options for easy off road cycling routes. These are predominately forest fire road trails with small ups, downs and never too steep. Different distance loops can be created using maps of the areas so that the whole family can enjoy their time cycling.
The Tour of Pembrokeshire is a popular sportive in the county and drawing in people from all over the country. The tour is an excellent way to see the wonderful variety of terrain across Pembrokeshire. The event usually takes place in May with several distance options depending on the level of challenge wanted. There is also a timed 800 metre hill climb sprint in Goodwick up ‘Stop & Call’.
Another sportive, this running in conjunction with the popular Long Course Weekend (LCW) in July. Again it has a choice of distances but all focused in the South of the county.
Coffee & Cake (Cafes)
Maybe the most important part of any bicycle ride are of course the coffee shops and cake stops! Whether you enjoy stopping to refuel along a ride or as a reward for finishing here are a few of our favourite spots.
Melin Tregwynt – This cafe is at the woollen mill. We’d recommend stopping here if your on your way to or from St. Davids.
Pwnc Cafe – A great stop in Newport. This cycling themed cafe has all the cakes and coffee to keep you fuelled to the rest of the day.
Here at Glasfryn Escapes are a avid cycling family can will kindly help our guest make the most out of their cycling time in Pembrokeshire. We are on hand to help with places to visit, routes, maintenance and cakes!
If cycling isn’t your thing, instead have you tried Coasteering?