Llanidloes - Cycle Llanidloes

Cycle Llanidloes

The Severn (Hafren) River Loop

The gentle riding of the Hafren "loop" around part of the Afon Hafren / River Severn goes up one side and back the other side of the valley above Llanidloes. The ride takes in sweeping views of beautiful valley countryside and quiet back roads.

Start

Llanidloes Market Hall

Total distance

7 miles (11 km)

Rating

Suitable for families with older children (10+), casual or relatively inexperienced cyclists.

Riding description

Gently undulating - a few short steep hills. The route is hard-surfaced all the way. The road is mainly one track with sufficient space for one car passing a bike. It narrows a bit at times on the return journey. Road surfaces are good.

Facilities

Food and drink, WC at Llanidloes only.

Map directions

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

Route Description

1. From the Market Hall head down Shortbridge Street (heading West North West) (Highlight A) Cross the Bridge and turn LEFT.
2. After about half a mile go straight on at the junction. (ignoring the left fork signed for Sustrans and walking routes). You will need to climb a short but quite steep hill at this point. You are now following Sustrans route 8 for about 3 miles.
3. After about 1.5 miles you arrive at Glan y Nant. Ride through Glan y Nant, ignoring the right turn. Just outside Glan y Nant is the footbridge to use on the Mini Hafren Loop. This is also a good chance to get down to the river.
4. Continue along the valley for another 1.5 miles.
5. Continue along the road at the junction (ignoring the right turn to Hafren Forest). At this point you will leave Sustrans route 8.
6. You will very shortly come to a collection of buildings. Follow the road LEFT, heading back along the other side of the river. You will now be sharing the route with the Severn Way walking route, which is signposted. Follow the road along the side of the valley for about 2 miles, ignoring any right turns.
7. You will arrive at a small housing estate called Felindre Mill.
8. Turn LEFT then cycle over Felindre Bridge and up the hill to join your original route out. Turn RIGHT and head back to Llanidloes.

Highlights

A. Short Bridge
In Shortbridge Street the unusually named "The Royal Head" is an amalgamation of two pubs, The Royal Oak and the King's head. Despite initial appearances, only the Royal Oak is half timbered.

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 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
Hafren is Welsh and Severn is English. Interestingly Severn may well be closer to the original form due to subsequent changes in Welsh language where the sound for S changed to an H. It is speculated that the Anglo-Saxons got their version from the Welsh before this change and so kept the S. However, regardless of antiquity, you are riding the Welsh Afon Hafren today! (Pronounced Avon Havren)

Afon Hafren 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.

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