Moderate, traffic-free cycle touring routes in the Brecon Beacons National Park

There are six recommended moderate, traffic-free cycle touring routes in the Brecon Beacons National Park. They're perfect for a half day or full day cycle ride and a great way for you and your family or friends to get out into our beautiful countryside.














Didn't bring your bike? No worries. We have plenty of cycle hire operators and bike businesses that will deliver bikes to you or collect you and the bike once you have gone as far as you want.

Our routes vary in length from five to 11 miles. Some are nice and flat, while others include a bit of a climb. Why not start with the easy-going Brecon to Talybont Towpath route and build up from there?

Usk Reservoir Trail

A ride around the reservoir.

Start: Glasfynydd Forest, OS reference SO820271
Distance: 10km / 6 miles
Gradient: some hills
Time: 2hrs
Suitable for: 5 years plus, more robust hybrid or mountain bikes
Parking: large car park at Glasfynydd Forest
Public toilets: none
Other facilities: picnic tables at Glasfynydd Forest
Family attractions: Carreg Cennen Castle, Red Kite Feeding Station at Llanddeusant

Cross the road from the car park and go through the gate to follow the red cycle trail waymarks. Now continue to follow these all the way around the reservoir, across the dam and along a short section of road. More signs point back into the forest and then back to the car park.

*** Please note Due to tree felling operations, part of the Usk reservoir trail will be closed from Friday 14th August. The operation is located on the far west side of the reservoir and will clear the storm damaged trees as well as the larch trees in this area.  Due to the location of the operation it will mean that a circular loop will not be able to be maintained around the reservoir. The trail will be closed between SN819 275 and SN 805 280 other sections of the trail are not affected. It is expected to take around 10 weeks to complete the work ***

Garwnant Forest Trails

A woodland ride.

Start: Garwnant Forest Centre, OS reference SO003130
Distance: 8km / 5 miles; optional extension of 18km / 11 miles
Gradient: some hills; extension is very hilly
Time: 1.5hrs; plus 3hrs for the extension
Suitable for: all ages, all types of pedal bike; extension best suited for older, fitter children and more robust hybrid mountain bikes
Parking: large car park at Garwnant Forest Centre
Access: Beacons Bike Bus
Public toilets: at Garwnant Forest Centre
Other facilities: play area, cycle skills course, café
Family attractions: National Park Visitor Centre

Head back to the car park entrance and follow the orange and brown cycle trail signs to the right. Continue to follow these signs, crossing a narrow lane at half distance. Turn left at Llwyn-Onn Reservoir to return to the forest centre.

Talybont Reservoir to Torpantau

The beauty of this ride is that it’s uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back to finish. It's a challenge to get to the top but at least you can freewheel back. The scenery is outstanding and worth the effort.

Start: Talybont Reservoir dam, OS reference SO103205, or car park, OS reference SO099197
Distance: 9km / 5.5miles each way
Gradient: long, steady climb
Time: 1.5hrs outward and at least 30mins back
Suitable for: all ages, all types of bike
Parking: large car park 400m from start
Public toilets: in Talybont-on-Usk
Other facilities: occasional ice cream van at dam, several pubs in Talybont-on-Usk, café
Family attractions: Henry Vaughan walk

From car park turn right for half a mile then turn right and cycle across the dam, then turn right to follow Taff Trail signs up into forest. Continue as far as you like or until you reach a gate that leads out onto the road at Torpantau. To return, retrace your tracks.

Llanfoist to Clydach Gorge

A well surfaced section of traffic free cycle path that can be ridden in its entirety from Llanfoist to Clydach. Follows the course of an old railway line, views from the canal on the lower section and across the Clydach Gorge are spectacular.

Start: Llanfoist Crossing, OS reference SO286132
Distance: 7.5km / 5 miles each way
Gradient: long, steady climb with one very steep section near the end
Time: 1.5hrs outward and 1hr back
Suitable for: most bikes except tandems and other long/wide bikes.
Parking: large car park at Llanfoist Crossing
Public toilets: in Abergavenny
Other facilities: none

Head through the gate at the top of the car park and follow the well-marked trail upwards, passing close to the canal. Keep ahead at Govilon, where the trail passes through houses and crosses a public road and then passes the Forge car park before starting to climb steeply up towards Clydach. There’s a section on public roads before the railway climbs to Brynmawr.

Goytre Wharf to Llanfoist

A longer and slightly tougher cycle ride but mainly level. Should be in the scope of most cyclists, even youngsters. A scenic ride, skirting around pretty farmland with great views of mountains in the distance. For a really challenging day out it can be linked with National Cycle Route 46 at Llanfoist.

Start: Goytre Wharf, OS reference OS312063
Distance: 9km / 5 miles each way
Gradient: mainly level
Time: 1.5hrs
Suitable for: all ages, all types of bike
Parking: large car park at Goytre Wharf
Public toilets: at Goytre Wharf
Other facilities: Café and play areas at Goytre Wharf

Head past the buildings and through a short tunnel (aqueduct) under the canal, then turn left to access the towpath. Continue along this route until you come to a zig zag path, between Llanfoist and Govilon which takes you down onto the old railway line, the National Cycle Route 46.

Brecon to Brynich Lock

A lovely flat section of canal towpath that ends at a working lock and beautifully situated picnic area. There are no navigational issues as the ride follows the canal the whole way and no traffic worries.

Start: Brecon Canal Basin, OS reference SO046282
Distance: 9km / 5.5 miles
Gradient: level
Time: 1.5hrs each way
Suitable for: all ages, all types of bike
Parking: Large pay and display car park at Brecon Canal Basin
Access: Beacons Bike Bus
Public toilets: in Brecon
Other facilities: picnic area near Brynich Lock, plenty of cafés, pubs and hotels in Brecon.
Family attractions: Cantref Adventure Farm & riding centre, The Play Barn at Brynich, The Borderers Museum, Brecknockshire Museum, Brecon Leisure Centre.

From the car park, head across the access road to the start of the canal and follow the tarmac track along the right hand bank, with the water to your left. This then drops to the towpath by the first bridge. Now follow this all the way to Brynich Lock where a gate gives access to a narrow lane. Cross the lane for the picnic area. To return, retrace your earlier tracks.