We've pulled together this brilliant list of 10 of the best routes to explore in Wales, all cherry-picked by our National Cycle Network gurus – our fabulous volunteers. Read on to find out what makes the National Cycle Network so special and discover the hidden gems along the way.
The Mawddach Trail goes along a beautiful estuary.
“This is my favourite route and it is very popular with families. The route follows the River Wye from Monmouth to Symonds Yat, winding through a huge gorge and a National Nature Reserve, and boasts the most beautiful scenery.”
“One of the most scenic cycle routes - the steep hillside to the left and the view down to the roads far below is stunning. Then the new route from Brynmawr up over the hill to Blaenafon is spectacular with views of the Sugar Loaf and the Clydach Gorge - ace to base!”
“I chose this route because so many people have not heard of the 'Guardian' [art work]. Shocking! It’s a lovely, short and easy ride with an excellent little museum and cafe at Six Bells - run by volunteers too! Easy access by train to Llanhilleth. Discover more about this route on my blog.”
The Cardiff Bay Trail can be great for spotting wildlife.
“The Cardiff Volunteer Group agreed with Cardiff Council to re-route Route 8 to take it across the wetlands by St. David’s Hotel. This now coincides with the Bay Trail. Today I stopped to watch a heron wading stealthily up to its aquatic prey. There is also a platform out over the water for a better view of the wildlife. Since the reeds have been cleared, this has become a real gem on the Network.”
“There are so many great spots on the Network it’s really hard to choose just one. I love the Pontsarn Viaduct at Cefn-coed-y-cymmer along the Taff Trail. Part of a generally lovely scenic ride, the viaduct itself is a great structure from above and below, with good views from the top and a lovely stream bubbling along beneath.”
“Without a doubt the most picturesque views you could wish for of the Brecon Beacons, Black Mountains and Carmarthen Fans. This route is a must for everyone who loves the outdoors. In my eyes it’s the gem in the Sustrans crown.”
“There is the iconic bridge featuring artwork connecting the colours of the precious metals that were previously worked in the area; Coed Gwilym Park, where there is a Heritage Centre, and canoe hire on certain days. The path continues onto the flowing River Tawe on the other side, known for regular sightings of a kingfisher flashing through the trees!”
The Pontsticill Reservoir makes a great ending to the Merthyr section of the Taff Trail.
“One of my favourite sections of the National Cycle Network - especially the upper section, above Tumble, which provides wonderful views across the Gwendraeth valley.”
Eifion and Jill Francis
“The wildlife along this route is stunning, even in winter - five types of fern within a few yards, constant birdsong, etc.”
“The beauty of this route is that it is traffic-free and you can complete as much of it as you like with refreshment opportunities available. And the really good news is that the route is level and well surfaced, just the job for mum and dad.”
“This route has stunning views, wildlife, open space, is mainly traffic-free, has a friendly atmosphere with walkers and canal boat owners, the aqueduct with the views of the viaduct and it’s also family-friendly.”
“My choice for my fave route is The Mawddach Trail as it is car-free, flat so anyone can enjoy it, and the scenery is some of the most stunning in Wales and the rest of the UK.”