One-day ride: Car­marthen

West Wales is wild, beau­ti­ful and ab­so­lutely packed with amaz­ing rid­ing 50 miles 50 miles 60 miles 55 miles

RiDE (UK) - - Contents -

VIS­I­TORS FROM ENG­LAND, upon reach­ing the Bre­con Bea­cons, may be in­clined to think they’ve found the great­est roads south Wales has to of­fer. But carry on fur­ther west along the A40 and new ranges of hills rise up, rich in rid­ing to re­ward the trav­eller. Go fur­ther and you’ll even see the sea.

Car­marthen claims to be the old­est town in Wales and for those who pre­fer leg­end, is also sup­posed to be Mer­lin’s birth­place. More use­fully for mo­tor­cy­clists, it has plenty of places to stay and good fa­cil­i­ties.

Our full day’s route sweeps in­land, through the foothills of the Bre­con Bea­cons and up through Elan Val­ley to Devil’s Bridge. It swoops briefly out to the coast then crosses the Cam­brian moun­tains be­fore head­ing back to the fish­ing vil­lage of New Quay on Cardi­gan Bay, with the fi­nal run back to Car­marthen tak­ing in some of the twisti­est roads of the day.

STAGE ONE Car­marthen to Llan­dovery

From the Pen­sarn A40/A48 round­about (by Aldi), take the A484 to­wards Llanelli. Af­ter two miles turn left on the B4309 to Ponty­ates. In Ponty­ates, turn left on the B4317 to Pont-henri. In Pon­ty­berem turn right on the B4306 to Llan­non. When it meets the A476, turn left to Llan­deilo (a re­ally tight junc­tion). Turn left in Ffaifach on the A483, cross­ing Llan­deilo town. Go straight over the round­about on the A40 to­wards Llan­dovery, then take the first left for the B4302 to Tal­ley. When this road meets the A482, turn right to Llan­dovery. In Llan­wrda, turn left on the A40, go over the rail­way, past the garage, and into the town cen­tre.

Morn­ing cof­fee: West End Café This bik­ing in­sti­tu­tion is on the cor­ner of the A40. If the park­ing is full, there’s a car park op­po­site. Treat your­self to a home-made cake be­fore mov­ing on. www.wes­t­end­cafe.co.uk

STAGE TWO Llan­dovery to Devil’s Bridge

From the West End Café, head back on the A40 to­wards the rail­way cross­ing but turn right just be­fore the garage on the A483 to Builth Wells. In Beu­lah, turn left on the B4358 to New­bridge on Wye, where you turn left on the A470 to Rhayader. Turn left by the clock­tower in

Rhayader on the B4518 to Elan Val­ley, then af­ter half a mile turn right on the moun­tain road to Aberys­t­wyth. (You can ex­tend the ride by fol­low­ing the road around the reser­voirs and turn­ing left when it meets the moun­tain road again, to re­join the main route.) At the A4120, turn left.

Lunch: Two Hoots Tea Room You could grab a bite right by the falls (for a posh lunch, book into the The Hafod – www.the­hafod. co.uk) but we’d go a lit­tle fur­ther to the Devil’s Bridge sta­tion and the Two Hoots Tea Room.

STAGE THREE Devil’s Bridge to New Quay

Con­tinue along the A4120 to Aberys­t­wyth. When it meets the A487, turn left to­wards Cardi­gan. Af­ter a mile and a half, in Llan­far­ian, turn left on the A485 to Tre­garon. Stay on the A485 all the way to Lam­peter. When the road meets the A482, turn right to Aber­aeron. Turn right at the mini-round­about to go into the town cen­tre, then turn left on the A487 to Cardi­gan (there’s a handy garage op­po­site this junc­tion). Stay on this road for five miles then in Lla­narth, turn right on the B4342 to New Quay. When you get there, fol­low the signs for the beach (traeth) park­ing area.

Af­ter­noon tea: The Blue Bell You could just grab an ice cream and sit on the beach but for some­thing more civilised, try the Blue Bell. It’s right on the front, over­look­ing the har­bour, with an up­mar­ket bistro up­stairs and a more in­for­mal café and deli down­stairs. www.the­blue­belldeli­bistro.com

STAGE FOUR New Quay to Car­marthen

From Newquay take the A486 to Llandy­sul. When it meets the A487, turn right to Cardi­gan. At the round­about on the Cardi­gan by­pass, turn left on the A484 to Car­marthen. Stay on the road through New­cas­tle Em­lyn – and keep your eyes peeled af­ter three miles: you want the eas­ily missed left-hand turn by a small white house for the B4335 to Llandy­sul. When this meets the A486, turn left (still to Llandy­sul). Go straight over the Rhyd-y-galfe round­about on the B4336 to Llandy­sul. Stay on this road un­til it meets the A485 and turn right to re­turn to Cardi­gan.

Stun­ning roads and views make a Car­marthen-based ride a great day out

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