Our route starts from the the world famous book town of Hay-on-Wye known for it’s quirky and eclectic mix of shops and cafes and set on the banks of the River Wye with the magic Black Mountains looming over us.
We begin by heading west, leaving us the steep climb of Gospel Pass to the end of the ride and traverse quiet rural Welsh roads towards the Brecon Beacons National Park and into the bustling canal-side town of Brecon known for it’s Georgian architecture.
We then follow the River Usk before turning south and passing the Talybont, Pentwyn and Ponticill reservoirs, again with very little traffic and stunning panoramas along with dense woodland. There’s then a short dash with a surprisingly short hilly ascent, before descending into the industrial town of Merthyr Tydfil where you’ll find the superb community run Railway Cafe which offers extremely affordable and tasty treats for hungry cyclists – we were certainly in need of food by this point!
Once refuelled we continue east with a brief sprint along the busy A465 Heads of the Valley trunk road (we have tried to minimise this) before heading back onto quieter roads and passing through Ebbw Vale into the beautiful Monmouthshire town of Abergavenny. There’s plenty of choice here for coffee and refreshment including our favourites Bean & Bead and Little Treat, both offering extremely tasty cakes, waffles and even cruffins!
Now the part you’ve been waiting for, the final 18 miles of our route sees us heading north to Gospel Pass, found at the head of the Vale of Ewyas and Wales’s highest paved road. The pass leads to Hay-on-Wye and includes a full 460 metres of vertical ascent, offering jaw-dropping views at the top! Cycling through the open common land high above the glorious and green countryside you’ll likely come across wild horses along the way before we descend back into the rolling farmland of the Wye Valley and to Hay-on-Wye for a well deserved drink – we can highly recommend the Three Tuns.