Cycle Britain

Tour Overview.

Released by Cycling UK in August 2023, Traws-Eryri (Trans-Snowdonia) is a rugged cycling route that dodges paved roads to dive deep into the National Park on unpaved trails and singletrack.

Glance at the map and you’ll notice the route meanders in an unhurried style; this off-road adventure is a showcase of Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park that reveals its stunning landscapes at every twist and turn. You’ll discover the rich history of rural Wales from historic market towns to Roman Roads. For mountain bike lovers, this route is something of a pilgrimage as the route uses some of the less technical parts of the trail network of four mountain bike centres.

Traws-Eryri was created with experienced off-road cyclists in mind, rideable on gravel bikes. We recommend wider tyres of at least 40mm to enable you to ride the tougher sections. You can expect steep climbs, thrilling descents and remote singletrack, with every challenge rewarded with stunning views. This tour offered by Cycle Britain includes complimentary e-bike rental with off-road tyres to ensure the adventure is more accessible and enjoyable for all. 

This is a fully supported tour. Riding in a maximum group of 8 you’ll enjoy the support of our expert team of guides, mechanics and drivers who’ll carry your bags, prepare lunches, help with repairs and lead you along the route while sharing stories that bring each day’s riding to life!

Cycle Britain

129 miles / 3 Days

This tour offered by Cycle Britain includes complimentary e-bike rental with off-road mountain bike tyres, to ensure the adventure is more accessible and enjoyable for all. You’ll be able to recharge your e-bike batteries at your guesthouse each evening, and enjoy a tasty meal and a comfortable stay

This tour is fully supported. Ride in a maximum group of 8 and enjoy the support of our expert team of guides, mechanics, and drivers who’ll carry your bags, distribute snacks, help with repairs, and lead you along the route while sharing stories that bring each day’s riding to life!

 

Tour Highlights.

  • Visit four meccas of the Welsh mountain biking scene: Dyfi Forest, Coed-y-Brenin, Penmachno, and Gwydyr Forest.
  • Cycle around the standalone peak of Cadair Idris, the highest mountain in southern Eryri.
  • Ogwen Valley, ride beside Llyn Ogwen lake and beneath towering 1000-metre high peaks.
  • Thrilling off-road riding on remote trails with challenging climbs and memorable descents.
  • North Wales coastline with spectacular views across the Menai Strait to Ynys Môns.
  • The Mawddach Estuary Trail – a wildlife haven and Site of Specific Scientific Interest with salt marsh and lowland peat habitats.
  • Reveal Millennia of history; Roman roads, ancient burial chambers, gigantic slate mines, old hillforts, and pristine castles.
  • Staying in the lively, outdoor hub of Betws-y-Coed.
  • Making new friends and enjoying the camaraderie of riding in a group of 8.

Summary of the Tour.

  1. Machynlleth to Bronaber (48 miles)

    Your adventure begins from the historic market town of Machynlleth perched at the southern extent of Eryri National Park. You’ll ride through the Dyfi Forest, made famous by Dan, Gee and Rachel Atherton, the famous family of downhill mountain bikers whose world-famous Dyfi Bike Park is nearby. Riding over the shoulder of Cadair Idris is sure to be a highlight, the highest mountain in South Eryri at 893 metres and a formidable standalone peak, before descending to sea level and enjoying some flat riding along the wildlife-rich Mawddach Estuary to Dolgellau. The 30 pence to pedal across the Grade 2-listed Penmaenpool Toll-Bridge over the estuary is a bargain, a picturesque experience that saves a lengthy detour. From here, you’ll climb steeply from the Mawddach Estuary and find accommodation in the comfortable accommodation provided by Old Skool MTB.

  2. Bronaber to Betws-y-Coed (41 miles)

    You’ll jump on your bike this morning and immerse yourself in one of the least-explored corners of the National Park, the wild and rugged moorland of the Rhiniog Mountains. You’ll pass Coed-y-Brenin Visitor Centre with its famous twisting rollercoasters of mountain bike trails being an irresistible temptation. A steep climb lifts you to the Sarn Helen Roman Road, before detouring around the beautiful Trawsfynydd Reservoir. You’ll pass around Blaenau Ffestiniog, known for its pyramids of slate that explode with the vibrant purple of rhododendrons. You’ll overnight in Betws-y-Coed, a thriving outdoor hub of the National Park popular with lovers of all outdoor sports. Here you’ll find great accommodation and many appealing options for dinner.

  3. Betws-y-Coed to Conwy (34 miles)

    Soon after leaving town this morning, you’ll reach Capel Curig, once a Roman Fort and today home to the Plas-y-Brenin National Outdoor Centre, frenetic with outdoor lovers. The scenery becomes increasingly dramatic as you ride through the Ogwen Valley, passing beneath smouldering Tryfan, often considered one of the UK’s most attractive mountains, and then between the thousand-metre-high towering giants of Glyder Fawr and Carnedd Llewellyn. You’ll pass the slate-mining industry around Bethesda, enjoying the traffic-free riding along a railway that once carried slate from the mountains. As you reach the coastline the scenery changes, becoming more gentle with spectacular views across the Menai Straits to the island of Ynys Môn (Anglesey). You’ll ride on trails past 6,000 year old burial mounds and stone rings, before enjoying an exhilarating final descent to Conwy.

Itinerary.

We’ll meet in the old market town of Machynlleth in mid-Wales and jump on our e-bikes to enter the wild nature of Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park and begin this Traws-Eryri adventure. It doesn’t take long until some spectacular riding begins as you’re soon pedalling along the windings trails of Dyfi Forest. A big mountain punctures the northern horizon, that of Cadair Idris which, at 893 metres, is the highest mountain in south Eryri and a formidable standalone peak offering far-reaching views. After a sharp ascent over the mountain’s shoulder, you’ll drop to sea level to enjoy some of the flattest kilometres of the tour along the wildlife-rich Mawddach estuary. After crossing the estuary, the rollercoaster of mountain bike trails that form Coed-y-Brenin will be an irresistible temptation for any mountain biker, and you’ll enjoy riding some of the less technical trails as part of this tour. We’ll stay at Old Skool MTB in Bronaber, comfortable accommodation designed specifically with cyclists in mind.

The adventure continues through farmland and small villages to the rugged moors of the Rhiniog mountains, one of the least-explored corners of the National Park. History collides against natural beauty and exhilarating trails to form a memorable day’s cycling; a steep climb lifts you to the Sarn Helen Roman Road, before detouring around the charming Trawsfynydd Reservoir, and then Blaenau Ffestiniog, known for its pyramids of slate that explode with vibrant purple rhododendrons. We’ll overnight in Betws-y-Coed, a thriving outdoor hub that resembles an alpine village with an abundance of accommodation and dining options and a lively energy enjoyed by hikers, cyclists, and kayakers alike.

The journey continues past another popular outdoor hub, Capel Curig, which has been transformed from a Roman Fort to the Plas-y-Brenin outdoor centre. The scenery becomes increasingly dramatic as you ride through the Ogwen Valley, passing beneath smouldering Tryfan, often considered one of the UK’s most attractive mountains, and then between the thousand-metre-high towering giants of Glyder Fawr and Carnedd Llewellyn. As you reach the coastline the scenery changes, becoming more gentle with spectacular views across the Menai Straits to the island of Ynys Môn (Anglesey). Cycling UK is still trying to secure permission to use some sections of land approaching Conwy but in the meantime, the current route crosses boggy ground and requires some hike-a-bike sections. Cycle Britain prefers a detour to avoids this route and allow the final kilometres approaching Conwy to be as exhilarating as the rest of the route. There’s lots of history and culture, which you may like to explore while in Conwy, or we can provide a shuttle return to Machynlleth.

Dates and Prices.

  • 25th March -
    27th March 2024

Route.

All our routes are available to our Komoot followers.  Follow Cycle Britain on Komoot.

What’s Included.

High Quality Accommodation

2 nights of high-quality accommodation in Bed and Breakfasts. These are double rooms with a single supplement possible for solo adventurers.

E-Bike Rental

We provide an e-bike that is set up specifically for this tour with off-road tyres. We can help fit it to you to allow a comfortable ride.

Expert Support Team

Our guides and mechanics are available to support your trip and answer any questions. This tour comes with full van support to provide lunch and snacks, and assist with any mechanical issues.

Nutrition

We provide delicious and nutritious breakfasts, lunches and snacks to keep your pedals turning. Please let us know in advance of any dietary requirements and we will be glad to cater to you.

Luggage Transfer

We carry your bags so you don’t have to! You’ll arrive to find your bags already waiting at your hotel.

Route Plans

We are an official Komoot partner. Our full route notes will become available as soon as you are booked onto a tour.

Free nutrition, training and bike setup guides

To help you prepare for this demanding tour, we provide information on what to eat, how to train, and how to setup your bike.

Unrivalled knowledge of cycling in Britain

We pride ourselves on being experts on cycling in Britain.

What’s Not Included.

Transport to Machynlleth and from Conwy

We can offer a return shuttle for £75 per person or regular trains are possible via Shrewsbury (around 4 hours travel time)

Travel Insurance

We recommend you purchase travel insurance.

Evening Meals

We prefer to give you flexibility for your dinners. Each night there'll be the chance to head down to the village pub to enjoy a taste of something local.

Bike Helmet

Riding with a helmet is mandatory for your safety. Though we provide the e-bike, we recommend you bring a bike helmet that you find comfortable.

Pre and Post-Tour Accommodation

We are happy to help arrange accommodation in Machynlleth or Conwy before or after the tour.

Accommodation.

We’ve selected great B&B accommodation options where we’re sure you’ll find warm hospitality and enjoy a comfortable stay. This is a chance to recharge the batteries – both for you and your e-bike – and also to enjoy an authentic experience of rural Wales. These are centrally-located with dinner options nearby.

Trip Suitability.

This is a Grade 4 tour, which means it is suitable ‘for those that want a challenge.’ You can expect steep ascents and descents and technical off-road riding. Our e-bikes with wide off-road tyres help make the tour more accessible, but some experience of off-road riding on single track and technical trails is important.  

Leading up to your trip, we would be glad to help with your training program; – We hold regular Zwift sessions which are a great opportunity to get bike-fit and meet fellow cyclists, but you might find it useful to join one of our Intro to Bikepacking trips to experience off-road cycling. We can tailor a training plan to your fitness, requirements and schedule.  For any of these training plans, check out our coaching packages or contact us.

Gallery.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Do you cater to vegan and vegetarian diets?

Absolutely! Inform us in advance of any dietary requirements and we will be glad to cater to you.

What level of fitness do I need?

This is a Grade 4 tour, which means it is suitable 'for those that want a challenge.' You can expect steep ascents and descents and technical off-road riding. Our e-bikes with wide off-road tyres help make the tour more accessible, but some experience of off-road riding on single track and technical trails is important. 

What level of support is offered?

This trip is guided with full vehicle support meaning everything you need is taken care of. We provide breakfasts, lunches and snacks and can offer advice on nutrition, equipment, preparation and training. We can also run this trip with van support but without guides, so get in touch if you prefer a different level of support.

How do I charge my e-bike batteries?

All accommodation has been selected because it has the facilities to charge e-bike batteries overnight.