5 Cycling Routes in Cardiff and South Wales

Cardiff cycling routes
Posted in South Wales

5 Cycling Routes in Cardiff and South Wales

South Wales has been my home for most my life, and is where I’ve done much of my cycling. I believe that Wales has some of the best cycling landscape in the world. And its ever-growing cities provide cyclists with ideal destinations.

As most of these routes are over 10 miles, why not check out our article on how long it takes to cycle 10 miles.

Below are 5 Cardiff cycling routes that highlight the beauty of South Wales.

cycling route difficulty

Cardiff Bay Loop (Easy)

Cardiff Bay is one of the most famous locations in Wales. Not only is it a prime spot for leisure and entertainment, it’s also incredibly beautiful. And the good news is; it’s accessible by bike.

If you’re looking for a chilled Sunday ride, or something that’s family friendly, then this would be our recommendation.

Cardiff Cycling Routes - Cardiff Bay

View on Strava.

At only 6.3 miles, this route can be done as quickly or slowly as you desire. And as the ride only includes 500ft in elevation, so you can experience the Welsh landmarks with very little effort involved.

Here’s a list of a few sites to keep an eye out for:

  • The Senedd
  • The Millennium Centre
  • The Norwegian Church Arts Centre and Norsk Coffee Shop
  • Pedal Power Café
  • Grangemoor Park
  • The Marl
  • Hamadryad Park
  • Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve
Cardiff Cycling Routes - Millennium Centre

Millennium Centre – Cardiff Bay

Here at Cyced we’re constantly concerned about cycling safety, and making people aware of local amenities that can improve their cycling experience. If you happen to break down on this route, or wanted to pick up some gear whilst you’re out, you can pop over to Tredz Bikes.

For more information on local shops you can follow this link.

Cardiff to the Valleys (Medium)

This isn’t the prettiest of routes, because of its focus on A-roads, but it’s a great choice if you’re looking to get a decent training session in. You also get to experience the Welsh Valleys, which I’m sure will have your legs screaming by the end of the ride.

Cardiff Cycling Routes - Cardiff to the Valleys

View on Strava.

At just shy of 40 miles and 4000ft of elevation, this ride will push you to your limits, whilst still leaving you plenty of time in the day to recover. Strava estimates that it would take around 2 hours and 40 minutes. But with the intensity of hills and main roads, you’re probably looking closer to 3 and quarter hours.

Here are a few things to look out for on the ride:

  • Cardiff Castle
  • Twmbarlwm
  • Caerphilly Castle
  • Caerphilly Mountain

Here’s an insta I snapped on my own ride to Caerphilly.

[Even though this is a medium route, it isn’t for the faint-hearted. But we believe in you.]

South East Wales Castle Tour (Medium)

Britain, and maybe more so Wales, is well known for its castles. In fact, Wales has over 600 within its borders.

They are an important part of our history and heritage, and it’s a dream of mine to visit each and every one. So, I thought it’d be a good idea to construct cycling routes to honour these national landmarks.

Cardiff Cycling Routes - South Wales Castle Tour

View on Strava.

At just over 40 miles, this is a great route to challenge yourself with. The elevation, of almost 3000ft, alone is enough to get your heart pumping.

The biggest of these climbs being the ascent through Fforest Fawr from Castell Coch, and the infamous slopes of Caerphilly Mountain. I’ve created the route with all levels of cyclist in mind, so it is possible to remove the latter without changing the route too much.

However, I do recommend visiting the Caerphilly Mountain Snack Bar at the apex of Mountain Road in Caerphilly. Your eyes will be bigger than your belly, trust me.

The castles included in this route are as follows:

  • Cardiff Castle
  • Castell Coch
  • Caerphilly Castle
  • Newport Castle

There may be a few smaller sites along the way, which you may want to stop for, nut these are the bigger castles in the area.

Some other sites of potential interest are:

  • Bute Park (Cardiff)
  • Fforest Fawr (Caerphilly)
  • Caerphilly Mountain
  • National Cycling Route 4
  • Woolos Cathedral (Newport)
  • The River Usk
  • Friars Walk (Newport)

There’s also potential for you to ride through Cardiff Bay on your way back from Newport. It really depends how you’re feeling at the end of the ride.

South East Wales Castle Tour [Extended] (Hard)

Extending a previously existing Cyced route feels like cheating to me, and I apologise for it. However, this is an exception I’m willing to make.

As the previous route describes, Wales has many castles. And it would be impossible to include them all in one ride. But that doesn’t mean we can’t squeeze a few more into this one.

The route begins in the same way as its shorter predecessor, but includes two more stone-walled destinations for your cycling pleasure. All you have to do is follow the A48 to Cheptsow, and either return home the same way or follow the B4245 back towards Newport.

Cardiff Cycling Routes - South Wales Castle Tour [Extended] Picture

View on Strava.

The ride will total at over 75 miles, with close to 5000 ft in elevation gain. So, it’s definitely a difficult route. But it’s doable.

There is a section of the A48, as you near the roundabout for Chepstow and the Severn Bridge, that I will warn you about. The Strava segment is called Pwllmeyric Climb, and it’s bloomin’ big hill. However, if you climbed Caerphilly Mountain you won’t have any trouble with this.

The full list of castles in this ride are:

  • Cardiff Castle
  • Castell Coch
  • Caerphilly Castle
  • Newport Castle
  • Chepstow Castle
  • Caldicot Castle
Cardiff Cycling Routes - Chepstow Castle

Chepstow Castle

Additional sites of interest are (not including those mentioned in the shorter route):

  • The Celtic Manor
  • The River Wye
  • Mouth of the River Severn
  • Severn Bridge

On a ride of this length always remember to bring plenty of water and food. Or alternatively, bring cash as there are plenty of places to stop along the way.

Cardiff to Porthcawl (Hard)

Porthcawl is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Wales. The harbour town sees between 80,000 and 110,000 visitors a year, with 9,000 extra visitors stemming from the cycle path constructed in 2015.

With this new infrastructure in place, why not cycle down and take a look? It’s only a 74 mile round trip from Cardiff…

Of course, we’re aware this is an incredibly long distance, with a fair amount of challenging terrain along the way, but this is your chance to experience all of South Wales.

Cardiff Cycling Routes - Cardiff to Porthcawl

View on Strava.

The route includes 4144ft of elevation gain, so it’s important to stay fuelled during the ride. Especially since most of the ride consists of sporadic hill climbs.

Some great places to keep an eye out for are:

  • Barry Island
  • Cardiff Airport
  • MoD Saint Athan
  • Porthcawl Grand Pavilion
  • Coney Beach (Porthcawl)
  • Wenvoe Castle (Between Barry and Wenvoe)
  • Leckwith Woods

Since the distance is so great, this route would be perfect for a group ride.

I hope these routes are useful to you all. Please don’t hesitate to contact us here, if you spot any errors or have any critiques on the routes themselves.

And if you have any personal routes you’d like to see on the site, throw them our way.

Need information on the local clubs and shops? Go back to the South Wales Hub.


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