Following the phenomenal success of our C2C holiday in 2013, our next cycling adventure focused on a route, of similar content, that loosely followed the course of the English and Welsh border… travelling mainly along quiet country lanes and back-roads. The breathtaking scenery we witnessed, the amazing places we stayed in (and at) and the never-ending wealth of contrast we enjoyed … this was Britain at its best!
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The start and finish points are integral components of this journey, they need to be of the highest calibre. So, where have I chosen? … the spectacular Severn Bridge (an unforgettable dizzy-height experience!) and the stunning Llandudno Bay (approached along its vast coastal-hugging sweep) … both enjoyed by way of their very own cycle lanes. Hence my name … BRIDGE to BAY!!!
Again, we will be taking advantage of probable prevailing winds by going south to north.
Ross on Wye
I have outlined the following below: Costings / Statistics / Itinerary / Training Routes / see also our “Cycling Holidays” Page, for additional information …Vinnie
(Manchester based): Transport Outbound – Minibus (takes 7 + bikes) = £50.00pp / Train = £31.00pp
Accommodation + All Food (breakfast, packed lunch and evening meal) = approx. £320.00pp
Chirk Castle & Gardens = £10.40pp / Forest of Dean Steam-train = £5.00pp.
Transport Inbound – Minibus = £19.00 pp / Train(Llandudno Junction) = £13.00pp
The C2C TOTAL was a bargain £380pp … the B2B is £405pp, but we have got an extra day out of it!
To give you a statistical comparison, we completed the …
C2C in 6 days / 168 miles / 15324 feet of climbing (if the extra leg, that Jon and I did, is included then 7 days / 189 miles / 17071 feet)
B2B in 7 days / 207 miles / 16705 feet of climbing
Prestwich to St Bees 119 miles
Keswick 27.5 miles / 3010 feet
Patterdale 15.6 miles / 2182 feet
Kirkby Stephen 30.5 miles / 2537 feet
Richmond 33.7 miles / 3566 feet
Great Broughton 29.8 miles / 877 feet
Whitby 30.3 miles / 3152 feet
Scarborough 21.0 miles / 1747 feet
Whitby to Prestwich 115 miles
Prestwich to Chepstow 177 miles
Ross on Wye 31.1 miles / 3453 feet
Leominster 29.8 miles / 2142 feet
Bridges 35.0 miles / 3956 feet
Ellesmere 31.7 miles / 1444 feet
Llangollen 22.9 miles / 1815 feet
Ruthin 21.1 miles / 2854 feet
Llandudno 35.2 miles / 1041 feet
Llandudno to Prestwich 88 miles
ARRIVAL DAY: Saturday – Prestwich Rendez-vous: 1000 @ Helen’s (minibus booked for 1030) + All Rendez-vous: 1400 @ Severn View Services (Jctn. 1 M48 – BS35 4BH – journey time from Prestwich = 3.5 hours 173 miles (this includes 30mins break at Frankley Services, this is 1 hour 20mins from the bridge). There is a viewing point at the start of the bridge … I presume this will form our photo shoot(?), but am unsure what guise our opening ceremony will take (eg the C2C was the “dipping of the back wheel in the sea”) … either way, hope you’ve got a head for heights!!!.
ACCOMMODATION & EVENING MEAL – Hotel, Chepstow
DAY ONE: Sunday – Cycle from Chepstow to ROSS ON WYE. Distance 31.1 (31.1) miles / Ascent 3453 feet / Descent 3427feet / Zenith @ 784 feet / Time 5 hours 28 minutes + breaks
Our journey begins with a day of contrast and mystery(???) … I hope it will set the tone for our holiday(?). From hidden wooded valleys, historical treasures and vast forest wildernesses; we follow minor roads, tracks and disused railway lines … cycling heaven!!!
Ross-on-Wye is a pretty market town, served by a plethora of pubs, cafes, takeaways and restaurants.
A.M. Break –Tintern Abbey (7.0m) / Lunch – Forest of Dean (19.2m) / P.M. Break – Walford (27.8m)
ACCOMMODATION – B&B, Ross-on-Wye (centre)
DAY TWO: Monday – Cycle from Ross-on-Wye to LEOMINSTER. Distance 29.8 (60.9) miles / Ascent 2142 feet / Descent 2078 feet / Zenith @ 548 feet / Time 4 hours 30 minutes + breaks
This is a relatively easy day, along mainly mellow Herefordshire country lanes. Our companion for much of it will be the beautiful River Wye. There is, of course, some mischief in store … through Dinmore Woods. The high ground there should afford us some grand views(?).
A tranquil finale takes us through a country park, before following an old and quiet route into our host town. Leominster is another market town with ample facilities.
A.M Break – Capler Wood (6.9m) / Lunch – Cross Keys (16.0m) / P.M. Break –Queenswood Country Park (23.3m)
ACCOMMODATION – Y.H.A. Leominster (centre)
DAY THREE: Tuesday – Cycle from Leominster to BRIDGES. Distance 35.0 (95.9) miles / Ascent 3956 feet / Descent 3350 feet / Zenith @ 1079 feet / Time 5 hours 38 minutes + breaks
This will be our most challenging day gauged, not only statistically, but by its remoteness and complexity of navigation (best stick with me!). The narrow country lanes will add to the sense of isolation. Our efforts will be rewarded with some stunning mountain-like scenery around the Long Mynd.
If conditions and time allow, I have built-in an option (for the super fit!) to climb onto the mighty plateau and savour some sumptuous moorland cycling … with breath-taking views aplenty! Our destination, the tiny ‘outpost’ of Bridges, is home to a hostel and pub only … our provisions will therefore have to be ‘airlifted’ in(???). You will probably not feel like venturing too far to-night … so our evening meal and entertainment will be in the hostel.
A.M Break – Orleton (7.1m) / Lunch – Aston on Clun (22.2m) / P.M. Break –Plowden (28.1m)
ACCOMMODATION – Y.H.A. Bridges
DAY FOUR: Wednesday – Cycling from Bridges to ELLESMERE. Distance 31.7 (127.6) miles / Ascent1444 feet / Descent 1966 feet / Zenith @ 1177 feet / Time 4 hours 00 minutes + breaks
A chance to catch our breaths with a very relaxed tootle to-day … along quiet, gentle country lanes that slices through the Shropshire countryside. Another landmark moment will be crossing the mighty River Severn.
After our afternoon break, the terrain and scenery will take on a very different and surprising twist??? Ellesmere is another market town; it has many shops, restaurants, takeaways and most importantly … pubs (is this a bike ride, or bloody pub crawl!!!). If we get there early enough, I have a cunning treat for you all(???).
A.M. Break – Pontesbury (7.0) / Lunch – Baschurch (19.8m) / P.M. Ellesemere – (31.4m)
ACCOMMODATION –Coaching Inn, Ellesmere (centre)
DAY FIVE: Thursday – Cycling from Ellesmere to LLANGOLLEN. Distance 22.9 (150.5) miles / Ascent 1815 feet / Descent 1856 feet / Zenith @ 640 feet / Time 3 hours 12 minutes + extended breaks
Another easy day, with ample time to cover the shorter distance … along towpaths, country lanes and castle grounds. My hope is we can all stay together and enjoy an extended lunch at Chirk Castle. This is crammed with contrast and intrigue around every corner … I’ve even thrown in a World Heritage Site too … Vertigo Central! (???).
Llangollen is another wonderful place, with everything to facilitate us.
A.M. Break – Ebnal Hall (7.5m) / Lunch– Chirk Castle (13.1m) / P.M. Break –“The Stream In The Sky” (18.3m)
ACCOMMODATION – Private Hostel (centre)
DAY SIX: Friday – Cycling from Llangollen to RUTHIN. Distance 21.1 (171.6) miles / Ascent 2854feet / Descent 2903 feet / Zenith @ 1383 feet / Time 3 hours 19 minutes
This is the day we hit the mountains!!! (a little one!). A riverside treat will take us to the base of the Llantysillio Mountain Range. Our route over it is by way of a perilous and long-abandoned mountain road, once entered, there is no going back … scared enough yet? The views over to Snowdonia promise to be memorable. An easy and relaxed afternoon is in store.
I have built in a challenging alternative that taps into the famous Horseshoe Pass (or rather the mysterious ‘Old’ Horseshoe Pass) … mountain cycling and scenery at its best! Ruthin is a pretty market town, a wealth of small shops will allow us to stock up on provisions and gifts. Weather permitting, fancy a bottle of relaxing vino in the castle garden?
A.M. Break – Glyndyfrdwy (6.9m) / Lunch – Llanelidon (16.5m) / P.M. Break –N/A
ACCOMMODATION – A luxurious castle!!!
DAY SEVEN: Saturday – Cycling from Ruthin to LLANDUDNO. Distance 35.2 (206.8) miles / Ascent 1041 feet / Descent 1274 feet / Zenith @ 351 feet / Time 4 hours 30 minutes + breaks
This is a long, but not unrewarding, leg that will take us to the most rewarding finale that I could wish to have come up with … The North Wales Coastal Cycleway is an off-road piece of biking heaven … this is the moment for our thoughts to reflect on what we have achieved, and for the celebrations to begin!!!
A.M. Break – Denbigh (7.9m) / Lunch – Rhuddlan (16.9m) / P.M. Break – Penrhyn (34.2m)
ACCOMMODATION – Private Hostel (centre)
I have put together a series of practice routes (see our separate “Cycle Routes” Page). These are intended to replicate distance, climbing and terrain, likely to be encountered. They also serve as a very useful test for your bike and gear, enabling you to iron out any snags ahead of the holiday.
They consist of easy, moderate, strenuous and even hostel stay-overs (to acclimatise you to this very unique wonderful world of budget accommodation)
As you progress through your training regime, you will get a better idea of what kit you will require … so you might want to do some ‘retail therapy'(?). We recommend the following retailers: Chain Reaction (online) / Halfords / Decathlon.
I realise local to me might not be local to you. We have digital mapping for all of Great Britain, I will have a go at planning a route for you anywhere within, should you require(?).