Miles of smiles: biking in the Conwy Valley
When people think of North Wales, they usually imagine all the wonderful walking and hiking spots we have. After all, we’re home to Snowdonia – a utopia for walkers and mountaineers.
What people often don’t realise is that North Wales, especially the Conwy Valley, has some pretty amazing bike routes too.
If you’re thinking of exploring the area on two wheels, why not leave your bike at home and hire one instead?
It saves the hassle of having to pack up your own bike and transport it, and reduces the risk of damaging your own pride and joy. It’s also a really good chance to try out a new bike, maybe something completely different to what you’re used to!
If you don’t own a bike but fancy seeing North Wales from a different perspective, bike hire is a great way of trying out this family-friendly pastime.
Beics Betws @Llandudno is open throughout the summer and by appointment during the winter months. It’s just a ten minute walk from the station in the centre of Llandudno. It stocks a range of bikes for hire, including standard bikes, children’s bikes, balance bikes, trailers and even an E cargo bike. Yep, you read right, an E cargo bike perfect for young children or even a large dog!
If you’ve never used an electric bike before, or you’re a novice to biking, why not try one? They’re very similar to a standard bike, but with the addition of a battery and a motor. They’re fun, and if you want to cover large distances quickly they can be useful – hills are easier to get up!
So, head on over to Beics Betws @Llandudno and get kitted out for a day’s sightseeing on two wheels. If you’re feeling more adventurous and want to explore off road, their sister shop in Betws y Coed stocks a large number of hard tail mountain bikes including E mountain bikes and can be delivered to any location with advance booking.
There’s no charge to take your bike on the train either, allowing you to cycle from any of the stops. Some services do require that you reserve a cycle space, you can find out more about reservations here. To help you make the most of your freewheeling freedom, we’ve come up with three great cycle routes in and around the Conwy Valley.
Conwy Valley road cycle route
This route follows the opposite side of the valley to the train – along the Conwy River, from Conwy to Betws-y-Coed, passing through picturesque villages along the way.
It’s about 15 miles long each way, but if you find yourself getting tired, it’s only ever a short detour to find a station so you can hop back on the train.
There’s a couple of biggish hills at the start and at the end of the route – maybe one to try out on an electric bike!
You’ll need to make the short journey from Llandudno Junction station to Conwy to start this scenic tour.
Ogwen Valley Tour
The Ogwen Valley slices through the heart of Snowdonia splitting the Glyderau and Carneddau mountain ranges. Expect dramatic surroundings: sheers cliffs, windswept moorland, gushing waterfalls and streams.
This is Wales at its wildest and it can be enjoyed – not from the dizzy heights of a mountain bike trail – but by following the A5 along the valley bottom.
You’ve got a couple of choices here. Leaving the train at Betws-y-Coed, ride to Ogwen Cottage then return the way you came to catch the train back to Llandudno (21 miles round-trip).
Alternatively, cycle the length of the Ogwen Valley and into the city of Bangor, a 22 mile one-way trip. Join the train here to make your return journey to Llandudno (a separate ticket will be needed).
If you choose this option, you can get off the road for a while and cycle part of the Nation Cycle Network Route 82 after Ogwen Cottage.
Wales Coastal Path
A stone’s throw from the shop is Llandudno Promenade, it’s the ideal place to join the National Cycle Network (Route 5) on the Wales Costal Path.
From here you can explore the region’s beautiful coastline from the saddle – on a good day, nothing beats this route.
We love the scenic 24 miles round-trip from Llandudno to Llanfairfechan. Virtually traffic-free, it’s a fabulous family-friendly day-out which takes in some of the most stunning scenery this part of North Wales has to offer.
Along the way you’ll see the Great Orme, the Conwy Estuary, the Carneddau Mountains, the Conwy Valley and, of course, majestic Conwy and its castle.
On yer bike!
From cycling with your family to challenging climbs, North Wales has cycling routes suitable for people of all levels of experience and ability. And if you’re still looking for route inspiration fear not, Beics Betws have a wealth of bike trail maps and guides on their website and in store. We particularly like this downloadable North Wales Cycle Map which may give you some useful information about cycling in Conwy and linking routes.