Pembrokeshire is not only a great place for walkers and holiday makers but is also a superb location for cycling. The undulating hills and valleys and the many off road routes make cycling very exciting and sometimes challenging, while there are also many easy routes where those of us who are less proficient can still enjoy riding our bikes. Let's take a look at some of Pembrokeshires best routes, guided tours plus where to hire a bike if you don't have a cycle of your own.
What To Expect From Cycling in Pembrokeshire
Anyone who has visited Pembrokeshire will already know what a beautiful area of the world it is, while it is popular with visitors of all kinds some of which wish to walk or climb in order to explore the district, while others prefer to cycle. Every time a cyclist sets out in Pembrokeshire they will have a different experience as there is so much to see and do plus treasures to uncover here.
Cycling along the Pembrokeshire Coast is an awesome experience as the views are nothing short of spectacular with mile after mile of amazing sands and sea, while look in the opposite direction and its rolling hills, birdlife and ancient monuments round every corner.
The landscape can look rugged in parts but riders are never too far from historic sites, castles and even cafes that are dotted here and there in the small villages and hamlets along the way. Whatever age you are there is a route to suit you from the beginner or child through to the adventurer or the more experienced, Pembrokeshire offers a route you can manange.
Many families choose to take a cycling holiday in Pembrokeshire where they can enjoy the experience in relative safety compared to cycling through busy towns or cities that are rammed with traffic belching out toxic fumes, not to mention the dangers of huge lorries and inconsiderate car drivers. So, what to expect? The answer is a liberating experience away from lifes hubub that can be as difficult or easy to complete as the cyclist desires.
Which Routes are the Best?
There are hundreds of cycle routes in the Pembrokeshire area some of which hardy off road bikers will enjoy the challenge of, while there are plenty of routes for families too that link many of the towns and villages therefore cyclists can plan a ride from A to B without much effort.
The Presli Hills area is particularily good for the more advanced cyclist due to the undulating landscape and in parts rugged terrain, while cyclists are catered for in most respects throughout Pembrokeshire itself. Here are a few route suggestions for cyclists to consider.
This route is great for families and runs from Pleasant Valley down to Saundersfoot Harbour past the old railway line. Park near the heritage centre and begin your route by following the path of the railway until passing though a wooded area that takes you along the river to Wisemans Bridge.
It's a beautiful scenic route with plenty of flora and fauna to see and once you join onto the Celtic Route you will experience spectacular views over the sea and coastline. Carry along towards Coppet Hall and the disused railway tunnels where you must get off your bikes and walk them through. You must not cycle through the tunnels.
Once you cross the car park at the hall you walk through another tunnel then down towards Saundersfoot. The route is around two miles long so not too strenuous for the kids and it will take you around two hours to cycle depending on how many of you there are and how quickly you go.
Llys y Fran Family Route
This is another great family route that is one and a half miles in length and begins in the country park itself by the visitors centre. The trail follows the edge of the reservoir and is great for kids in that there are a few bumpy areas to test their skill in safety. Views are superb and there are plenty of stop off points where families can enjoy a drink or snacks they have taken along to sustain them.
Llys y Fran Mountain Bike Route
This trail once again sets off from the visitors centre in the park and takes in part of the easier family trail until reaching the first stream where it heads south along much rougher terrain with wooded areas, difficult slopes with shale and loose stones before it then goes up again providing a challenging climb.
The last stretch takes riders under the dam before climbing back up once again towards the visitors centre. The trail is approximately six and a half miles long and offers a challenge for more experienced riders.
Cycling routes for the more experienced rider include
1. Cil Maen to Jamestone 18 miles of average difficulty taking in main roads and scenic paths.
2. Coast to Coast 26 miles on quiet roads with some inclines. Nice scenery including beaches and ancient monuments.
3. Orielton Field Centre and Grove 12 miles through countryside with views of Presli Mountains.
4. Summer Cycle 20 miles taking in Saundersfoot, Tenby, Penally, The Ridgeway and Manorbier.
5. Broadmoor One 25 miles from Tenby.
Hiring a Bike in Pembrokeshire
If you are thinking of cycling while you are spending time in Pembrokeshire you may wish to hire a bike rather than transport a bike to your destination. There are many places that hire out cycles plus all the equipment you require in order to make your cycling experience enjoyable and safe. Let's take a look at some of the places hiring out bikes in the area in terms of what type of bikes and accessories they offer plus how much they charge the customer.
Mikes Bikes hire out mountain bikes to adults and children on a daily basis or for the length of time you are holidaying in the area. Mike Evans who owns the company is an avid cyclist himself and established his company in 1992 passing it down to his son when he retired so keeping it as a family run concern.
Mikes Bikes services and repairs bikes a swell as hires them out, while those who wish to hire a bike can contact Mikes Bikes via the website or give them a call. The company located in Haverford West will deliver your hire bike to your holiday accommodation and are open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm. Prices are not listed on their website therefore presumably will be furnished to the customer when making enquiries.
Carningli Bike Hire
Located in Newport North Pembrokeshire Carningli offer hire bikes for all ages and will even release a bike to customers who walk into the shop unannounced. Customers who wish to hire bikes for a week or more will receive excellent rates, while dropping the bikes off and picking them up after use is free of charge if you are staying in the local area or at a small charge if not.
Carningli Bike Hire welcome groups plus also offer guided bike tours led by experienced guides who are CTC qualified. This company has been hiring out bikes for the past sixteen years so knows plenty about what customers expect and require when choosing a bike. They sell route maps which is a real bonus plus the cost of hiring a bike includes a helmet and bike locks too. A weeks bike hire comes in at £50.00 for adults and £35 for a child.
Pembrokeshire Bikes covers most things bike related from selling new bikes, servicing and reparing bikes through to bike hire. This outlet offers trek hybrid bikes, tag alongs and two seat child trailers, so something for all the family. Hiring a bike here comes complete with safety equipment and helmets plus Pembrokeshire Bikes will deliver your hire bike by pre appointment directly to your accommodation.
Pembrokeshire Bikes is located in Narberth where customers can pick up their hire bike or alternatively pick bikes up from Croesgoch Farm Stores further North. Customers can order online or contact the shop directly. Details are available at their website.
This company plays middle man in terms of finding you the correct bike for your needs in the correct area and will arrange delivery of your hire bikes to your accommodation if so required. Luggage Transfers offers a cycle hire service for the length and breadth of Pembrokeshire and will also pick up the hire bike at the end of your holiday from any location you wish.
The Luggage Transfers website can also arrange accommodation and transfers if that's what you require therefore can arrange your complete package from start to finish. Why not take a look at the Luggage Transfers website where the online order form to arrange bike hire can be accessed. The first step is a simple enquiry form and does not commit the customer to bike hire with the company.
Guided Bike Tours
If you don't want to go it alone or don't feel confident in doing so you may wish to join a cycling tour. Carningli Bike Hire also offer guided bike tours of Pembrokeshire by a CTC qualified guide who will ensure that you ride safely while also enjoy the sights and sounds of the area. They have several tours to choose from that are on or off road and charges for the tours are very reasonable. Please contact the website for further details.
Pembrokeshire Active is another website that offers guided bicycle tours of the Pembrokeshire area. They can arrange everything you need to enjoy a cycling holiday including guided tours for cyclists to enjoy. Further information regarding what's on offer is available by calling the number on their website.
Responsible Travel was founded by two cycling enthusiast friends who offer guided cycling holidays to customers who are thinking of holidaying in Pembrokeshire. This company uses local guides, offer bed and breakfast accommodation or hotels local to the area in their packages, while tour group numbers have a fifteen persons limit. More information is available at their website.
janebarnesplus.com offer organised cycling and biking tours throughout Wales with the aim being to gather together sociable groups in order to make the holiday and tour more successful. Why not visit their website to read exactly what Jane Barnes has to offer cyclists thinking of booking a cycling tour holiday.