The best riding in and around Cardiff.

February 2013’s issue of MBR includes an article on the best riding in and around Cardiff, plus a map of one of our favourites — and here’s the GPS route to go with it.

>>> Check out all our best mountain bike routes

Rhymney Valley ridgeway loop

Distance: 28km (17m miles)

Linking two woodland play areas together, this circular route combines all the fun of Castell Coch and Llwyn Hir singletrack with a ridgeway link that boasts big views across Cardiff and the Bristol Channel with fast, flowing descents. It’s a south Wales aperitif rather than a main course — fun but relatively mellow, sticking to the lower-lying hills surrounding Cardiff.

This is old-skool mountain biking, making use of bridleways and minor roads to get from A to B. Navigation’s pretty straightforward and most of the trails are wide rather than singletrack, but don’t let that put you off. There’s plenty to look at and the speed of the descents keeps entertainment levels high. On a clear day you should be able to see England to the south of the ridgeway, while the Brecon Beacons loom to the north. And, if you need a break, there are several pubs along the route.

If you’ve got any surplus energy to burn after riding Llwyn Hir, the return leg can include the pump track on the outskirts of Caerphilly. There’s a final climb to the wide open space of Caerphilly Common, where the cafe does a mean burger that’s man enough to satisfy the biggest of post-ride appetites. Luckily, from here it’s a short distance — and mostly downhill — back to the woods above Castell Coch.

Bike shops

Bikeshredz, 18 clive Street, Caerphilly CF83 1GE

Sunset Bikes, 119-121 Woodville Road, 
CF24 4DZ

Don Skene Cycles, 769 Newport Road, Cardiff CF3 4AJ

Muddy Bum Bikes, 4A Heol-Y-Deri, Rhiwbina, Cardiff CF14 6HF


Cardiff waterfront has plenty of bars and restaurants, but we’d recommend stopping by the Caerphilly Mountain Snack Bar. Outdoor seating (with heaters) and a burger menu that’ll satisfy the biggest of appetites…


OS Explorer (1:25,000) 151: Cardiff and Bridgend; 152: Newport and Pontypool; 166: Rhondda and Merthyr Tydfil

OS Landranger (1:50,000) 171: Cardiff and Newport