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Traffic-free family friendly routes

Traffic-free family friendly routes

Cycling in the Brecon Beacons isn't all about mountain biking or road cycling.  We also have miles of traffic-free routes which the whole family can enjoy.  Many of our routes take in our attractions, towns and villages which allows you to combine your ride with a sight seeing experience.

There are five recommended 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.

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?

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.

  • 1. 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.

  • 2. 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.

  • 3. 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.

  • 4. 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.

  • 5. 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

Public toilets: in Brecon

Other facilities: picnic area near Brynich Lock, plenty of cafés, pubs and hotels in Brecon.

Family attractions: Theatre Brycheiniog, Cantref Adventure Farm & Riding Centre, 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.


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