Cycling in North Wales: Routes with a View
Mountains and rolling hills dominate North Wales, but the region has its fair share of dramatically diverse sceneries. Rushing rivers and streams inhabit its moss-covered forests that eventually turn into vast stretches of sandy beaches or limestone cliffs. The wildlife mirrors the diversity of the landscape, and some cycling routes will make you end up face to face with a seal -or a dolphin if you fancy a cold swim. Cycling in the area is a treat for enthusiasts and professionals alike, and since everyone enjoys routes with a view, we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 scenic cycling routes in North Wales.
Snowdonia: Bangor to Llyn Ogwen Cycling Loop
Although Snowdonia is often regarded as the UK’s most enthralling mountainscape, it is not of particularly notable height, sitting at just over 1,000 meters (3,560 ft) above sea level. This fact, combined with its breathtaking verdant landscapes gently lacerated by clear lakes, makes Snowdonia the perfect destination for scenic cycling routes in North Wales. We recommend starting in Bangor, the country’s oldest city, and cycling to Llyn Ogwen, a ribbon-shaped lake hiding between the Glyderau and Carneddau mountain ranges. The climb is moderate and will take you through areas of outstanding natural beauty occasionally punctuated by old railway lines and long-ago deserted ruins.
Half of Lôn Las Cymru
For those with time to spare, eyes starving for beauty, and -most importantly – thighs of steel and plenty of experience: consider cycling part of the Lôn Las Cymru. This route links Holyhead’s major seaport to Cardiff’s capital city. But we recommend you opt for a shorter route: many cyclists prefer to start or end up anywhere around the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This is the best way to see everything Northern Wales has to offer: from its stunning woodlands and rolling hills. Green landscapes will greet you in all directions as the route takes you through many mountain ranges and national parks. You’ll also cross quiet rural towns and villages, each adding a unique atmosphere to your cycling trip.
Anglesey Cycling Loop
For those wanting to encounter a diverse array of sea-sided landscapes: look no further than the northwest Isle of Anglesey, whose topography continuously morphs into a diverse set of terrains: from small beach alcoves to gigantic sea cliffs inhabited by medieval castles. The cycling route we suggest will take you into unspoiled territory rugged with unusual rocky features. Make sure to stop by Bull Bay, where you’ll be greeted by seals and dolphins. The path will eventually take you to the area’s remotest coastline, where – depending on the season – you might feel like the last person on Earth.
Prestatyn to Llandudno Coastal Cycling Route
For true lovers of the sea, the coastal route of Prestatyn to Llandudno offers the perfect opportunity to practice the art of coastal cycling. With salty air and the sound of rolling waves crashing on cliffs as your companions, you’ll get to take in sand-swept promenades overlapped with beaches and wide passageways. Crossing railways and a bridge, you’ll eventually land in North Wales’s premier Victorian seaside resort town: Llandudno. The vastness of Snowdonia will serve as the backdrop to your coastline adventure, ensuring that your eyes will be greeted with rewarding sceneries, no matter where you look.
Tal Y Llyn Lake Cycling Route
Pay homage to the spectacular and imposing mountain of Cadair Idris by visiting its noteworthy glacial lake via this loop cycling route. Starting from Aberdovey, the pathway is etched deep within Snowdonia National park territory, ensuring a scenic cyclic stroll full of wild lakes and moss-covered forests and hills. This one is different than the other Snowdonia path we mentioned: you’ll also get to ride along the coast, right by the sea, arguably making this loop one of the most scenic in Wales.