Put-downs from lycra-clad roadies aside, cycle touring is enjoying something of a renaissance.
With the UK enjoying its first ever Cycle Touring Festival a couple of months ago, it’s easy to see why legions of tarmac speed freaks are ditching the carbon wheelsets and aero frames for bump-taming steel steeds and a set of sensible panniers.
But we must have been well ahead of our time, as our own cycle touring adventures began over a decade ago with an epic two-year expedition that took us a staggering 30,000km from London to Cape Town!
Along the way we had run-ins with elephants and bandits, and were overwhelmed by the kindness and hospitality shown by local people.
And the ride proved to be a life-changing voyage of discovery as the idea for Drover Holidays was slow-cooked on the dusty trails, inspired by our love of cycling and the belief that the world is best experienced at a slow pace – preferably on two feet or two wheels!
Since then, we’ve clocked up several thousand more cycle touring miles on route recces and trips to France.
But all roads lead to home – and the network of superb routes for amazing cycling holidays in Wales.
Here’s our top-pick of Welsh cycle tours. All three are available from us as supported, self-guided cycle touring packages, which include luggage transfers, accommodation and bike hire!
1. Lôn Las Cymru
Challenge the Dragon on a multi-day adventure riding Wales top-to-tip!
The Lôn Las Cymru runs for over 250 miles down the whole length of Wales from Holyhead to Chepstow or Cardiff, soaking up historic towns and some of the most stunning and diverse landscapes in the British Isles along the way. For good reason, it has a reputation for being a toughie – riding the Lôn Las (National Cycle Network Route 42) is known as ‘challenging the Dragon’. You’ll encounter exhilarating climbs, remote roads and thrilling descents. Our tour package splits the route into eight manageable days – and our luggage transfer support means you won’t have to suffer too much on those climbs!
2. The Celtic Trail
While the Lôn Las crosses Wales end-to-end, the 220-mile Celtic Trail traverses the nation West to East at its widest point, starting on the Atlantic seaboard at Fishguard and ending on the English border at Chepstow. The ride (National Cycle Network route 4) hugs the spectacular Pembrokeshire coastline before taking in the wide sweep of Swansea Bay and then the ‘heart and soul of Wales’ – the Valleys – where a warm welcome is always guaranteed! Finish at Chepstow Castle and the mouth of the Severn. Take your time and split the ride over 10 days.
3. Best of Mid Wales
This is a route of our own design, covering home turf and starting right from our HQ in Hay-on-Wye! Ride in a 160-mile loop over seven days from the Welsh-English border deep into unspoilt Mid-Wales and onwards to the stunning scenery of the Brecon Beacons National Park. As well as the wonderful landscapes, you’ll encounter interesting towns, too, as you overnight in Llandrindod Wells, Builth, Brecon and Crickhowell.
Remember that all Drover Holidays cycling holiday packages include:
>Quality B&B accommodation
>Custom maps and detailed route descriptions
>Comfortable bike and accessory hire
>Free pick up and drop off to/from the nearest train or bus station at the start / end of your ride.
We can tailor any of our Welsh cycling holidays to slot in with your timescale – there are no fixed departure dates, just tell us where and when you want to ride, and we’ll do the rest! Browse our sister company’s website at www.droverholidays.co.uk to find out more, or get in touch on 01497 821134 to discuss a booking.
If you’d rather go it alone, we have a massive fleet of hire bikes. Hire a bike for a Wales cycling tour here.