- Route: Builth Wells to Holyhead via Llanidloes, Macchynlleth, Cricceth, Carnarfon and Bangor.
- Distance: 175 miles.
- National Cycle Network: Route 8
- Access: There are convenient railway stations at Holyhead, Bangor, Porthmadog, Barmouth, Tywyn and Machynlleth.
Passing through the National Parks of the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia to the quiet lanes of Anglesey, this challenging route passes through some dramatic scenery incorporating the traffic free Lôn Effion path to take you into the historic town of Caernafon.
The route is described here from Cardiff to Holyhead but is signed in both directions.
Cardiff to Llanidloes
The Lôn Las Cymru (South) cycle route starts or finishes in either Cardiff Bay (National Route 8) or Chepstow (National Route 42 - this option joins National Route 8 at Glasbury). Route 8 follows the mainly traffic-free Taff Trail (pdf) between Cardiff and Brecon and then rolling country lanes through Mid Wales, following the approximate course of the River Wye north from Glasbury. Glasbury to Holyhead also forms part of EuroVelo 2.
Llanidloes to Holyhead
The Lôn Las Cymru (North) climbs steadly out of Llanidloes following the upper valley of the River Severn to the highest point on National Route 8 at 510m before dropping down to Machynlleth. There are two route options between Machynlleth and Porthmadog. A more coastal route includes the Mawddach Trail between Dolgellau and Barmouth and takes in Harlech, whilst the inland route passes through Dolgellau, Coed-y-Brenin Forest and Trawsfynydd. The routes rejoin at Penrhydeudraeth and continue to Caernarfon on the Lôn Eifion trail and then to Bangor on the Lôn Las Menai. After crossing the Menai Strait via the Menai Suspension Bridge onto Anglesey the route follows quiet roads across the island to Holyhead.
Things to see and do
- The Brecon Beacons national park
- The literary town of Hay-on-Wye
- Snowdonia national park
- Beaumaris Castle on the Isle of Anglesey
The route connects Holyhead and Anglesey to the Wye Valley in the heart of Wales using minor roads, railway paths, forestry tracks and ancient coach roads. There are some tough challenges as the route crosses the Snowdonia National Park and the range of the Cambrian Mountains.