Llanidloes - Cycle Llanidloes

Cycle Llanidloes

The River to Mountains Route

A relatively casual ride down the beautiful Hafren/Severn Valley warms you up for a 3 mile climb, some parts quite steep, but please don't let this put you off. The scenery looks like you are climbing into mountains and, at the end, gives you a wonderful view of the Pumlumon Mountains and even, on a clear day, Snowdonia. From about 180 metres in Llanidloes you will climb to 430 metres height.

It also takes in magnificent views across much of the old medieval Kingdom of Arwystli. Red kites can often be seen. There are fine views of the Hafren and Brochan valleys and as far as the Llandinam Hills, Fan Hill, Llyn Clywedog and the Dyfi Valley. The ride ends with a long scenic descent.

Start

Llanidloes Market Hall

Total distance

11 miles (18 km)

Rating

Quite strenuous. 3 miles of fairly taxing hills. The rest is quite easy.

Riding description

The first 3 miles are a fairly flat and very pretty ride down the Hafren /Severn valley. After that a short steep hill (1 in 5) takes you to a more gradual ascent up the valley. There are a good few low gear ascents until you hit the water shed.

About 1.5 miles is on gravelled tracks which may be a bit muddy at the top of the hill but are of good quality and are easily accessible for all types of bikes. The rest is on good quality hard-surfaced roads.

Facilities

Food and drink, WC at Llanidloes only.

Map directions

We recommend you consult Explorer 214 (Ordnance Survey 1:25,000)
Alternatively: Landranger 136 (OS 1:50,000)

Route Description

Highlights

A. Short Bridge
The bridge replaced an older one in 1849. It was the work of Thomas Penson, who also produced the rather grander Long Bridge in 1826. As you turn left admire the Bridgend Factory to your left. It was built in 1834 and was one of the many flannel mills in the area, most of which have now gone. It is a reminder of the areas industrial past which also included lead mining and leather tanning. For a short time (1851 -1864) the town's iron and brass foundry was also based next to the Bridgend Factory.

If you pause on the bridge you might reflect on the legend of Lady Jeffries, a malignant influence whose spirit in supposed to be in a bottle under Shortbridge. She will be free, it is claimed, when the ivy from either side joins in the middle. If the river is low and you see a bottle in the river, please don't open it!

B. Afon Hafren / River Severn
Afon Hafren (the River Severn in its later course) in the stretch above Llanidloes is a haven for wildlife. Here you may see crossbills, siskins, dippers, grey wagtails and kingfishers. Look higher for the commonplace buzzards and the slimmer red kites with their V-shaped tails are also often seen.

C. Views to the north
The view from here, on a very clear day, can go as far as Snowdonia. More usually you can see parts of the Hafren Forest ahead and beyond it to Foel Fadian, above Dylife, which is the highest point on the Glyndwr Way. To your left are the Pumlumon (Plynlimon) Mountains where in the medieval tale "How Culhwch won Olwen" (part of the books collected as the Mabinogion) both Kei and Bedwyr sat "in the greatest wind in the world." On stormy days up here you can almost believe it. Somewhere in the Pumlumon is the site of Owain Glyndwr's victory in 1401, after which he went off to sack Montgomery and burn Welshpool. To your right the soaring hill that can be seen (shaped a bit like a jagged tooth) is Fan Hill, which towers above Llyn Clywedog (a reservoir) which you will shortly see on your left as you descend.

D. Views to the south
The next valley is the Brochan valley. This valley has a motte and bailey castle (Rhyd-yr-onen) near its head. Beyond you can catch glimpses of the Dulas valley. The Wye Valley is off to the right. In the far distance you can see the windmill generators on top of the Llandinam Hills, part of the biggest wind farm in Europe.

The windmill generators on top of the Llandinam Hills

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