15 of Britain’s best wild cycling routes – Telegraph.co.uk
After a mile and a half go right to Weeting, then join the road, and turn right, then left, on to All Saints. This takes you past Weeting Castle, a ruined medieval manor. The metalled road merges into an off-road track at Holme Farm. Follow this track to the A1065, where you turn right, then first left, on to a long, straight lane with trees either side. Take care here: the track is rutted. Cross the A134 at Lynford, again with care, then take the first left and follow this off-road section to a crossroads of trails, where you go right. Turn left on the A134, then first right on to a narrow lane, and take the first trail right after Field Barn. Follow this sandy trail, called Harling Grove, west to the A1065, then turn left to Brandon.
OS grid ref: ST 1792 8352
From Lisvane and Thornhill railway station in a posh northern area of Cardiff, head east on Cherry Orchard Road, go straight on at the roundabout, then left on Graig Road at the T-junction. This goes uphill, over the M4, then gets progressively steeper until a brutal last 220yd. The road bends sharp right at the top of the hill, sharp left, then plunges downwards. Take care: the road bends sharp left in the trees, with the first trail section, a bridleway, on your right. Come to a complete stop before turning on to the trail so you can check for vehicles behind or coming up the hill towards you. When it’s safe to do so, turn right on to the trail. The first section is quite distinct and reasonably smooth, but after 500yd the trail goes through thick forest and in places is quite green and bumpy.
At Maenllwyd Inn, take the first left. In Rudry go right at the primary school, and keep right, following a narrow lane to Machen. Enter the town by Green Row, which runs alongside the Rhymney River. Go left on Forge Road, left on the main Commercial Road, and right on Dranllywn Lane. After 330ft you reach the Rhymney Valley cycle path on your left. This is a converted railway line that once carried wrought iron from Machen. Head west on the Rhymney Valley path, which is part of NCN route 4, so look for route 4 signs to help navigate the next section through Trethomas to the Rhymney River, then cross it and go left on Bedwas Road.
The next section takes you left on to Rudry Road, then right, then left on to a road around the south-east edge of Caerphilly. Take the first exit on the Van Road roundabout. After 765yd, go right on Cefn Carnau Lane to start climbing the mountain. Follow the tiny track/road, which is rough in places, to the A469, and turn left on to it. Turn left after the steep descent and follow the road back to Lisvane and Thornhill station.
OS grid ref: SH 5829 5962
Hard but rewarding. The best route up and down Snowdon is the Llanberis Path. It shadows the Snowdon Mountain Railway, and the path is very steep and rough in places. You have to dismount occasionally and push your bike, or even carry it, both going up and coming down. This is a ride for the fit, and possibly best done on a mountain bike with a good range of gears.