Trip an unimaginable loop of Mid Wales

We love huge adventures right here at ABR. There’s nothing higher in our ebook than packing up a motorbike and exploring this stunning planet we name house, whether or not that’s for per week or two on a summer time tour, or for months and even years throughout the journey of a lifetime. 

However whereas dreaming of massive adventures is a behavior we’ll by no means kick, the fact is that, for many of us, our journey using is squeezed into just a few hours right here, or a few days there in between work and household commitments. Generally, we solely have time for a quickie. If that sounds acquainted, then this UK route is ideal for you. 

Mid Wales Loop

The goal is to supply a trip for busy journey bikers that may be accomplished in a day however packs an enormous punch relating to thrills, rugged landscapes, distant roads, and engaging sights to discover alongside the way in which. I additionally needed the beginning and end level to be as accessible to as many individuals as potential, whether or not you’re coming from the north, south, east, or west of the UK. 

So, let me current this ABR Quickie Mid Wales Loop, a surprising 140-mile trip that’s good for the time-pressed biker seeking a fast hit of journey, whether or not you’ve received a cheeky time without work work otherwise you’re heading out on a Sunday trip. 

If you happen to had been to trip the route in a single hit, it’ll take you about 4 hours, however I’d advocate factoring in at the least one other couple of hours for espresso and bacon sandwich stops, exploring sights alongside the way in which, and easily pulling over to admire a few of the most picturesque views you’ll ever see.

Mid Wales Loop map

Offa’s Dyke

Myself, Alun, and Bryn from the ABR group started our trip within the city of Knighton, positioned on the Welsh border. It’s often known as ‘The City on the Dyke’ as a result of it lies on the road of Offa’s Dyke, an earthwork that roughly follows the border between England and Wales. 

It was constructed by Offa, ruler of the traditional kingdom of Mercia, within the latter half of the eighth century as a defensive wall to quell the ‘unruly Welsh’. You’ll find out extra on the Offa’s Dyke Centre in West Avenue, Knighton (LD7 1EN) however make certain you test its web site for opening occasions beforehand (

From Knighton, we travelled west by way of rolling inexperienced countryside to Rhayader, stopping alongside the way in which at Crossgates Service Station on the A44 for espresso and a bacon sandwich at Café Specific, a preferred spot for native bikers.

Mid Wales Loop

Previous Rhayader, we travelled by way of the beautiful Elan Valley, skirting the shores of the Garreg-ddu Reservoir, and passing the spectacular Pen y Garreg and Craig Goch dams. From right here, we travelled alongside sweeping roads that wound their means by way of a panorama that rivals anyplace within the UK for sheer rugged beaty.

We additionally crossed the trail of the Monks Trod, an historical inexperienced lane that stretches for 5 miles throughout the Cambrian Mountains, though on this event we didn’t divert onto the tough stuff and as an alternative caught to the paved street as an alternative.

We then twisted our means by way of steep valleys scarred by the remnants of the mining business earlier than making our method to the west coast of Wales on the seaside city of Aberystwyth. Alongside the way in which, we stopped at a peculiarly positioned arch in what appeared like the center of nowhere which was constructed to commemorate the Jubilee of King George III again in 1810. 

Mid Wales Loop

And some miles earlier than we hit the coast we handed Satan’s Bridge which spans a deep gorge beneath. On nearer inspection you’ll uncover that that is in actual fact three stone bridges constructed on high of one another. The smallest and lowest dates again to 1075 and legend says it was constructed by the Satan himself with a view to declare the primary soul that crossed it. 

Lumpy bumpy

Fortunately, we arrived in Aberystwyth with our souls intact and loved a wonderful fish and chip lunch on the seafront from Chip Field 4, earlier than heading north out of city alongside but extra sweeping roads and rolling countryside to the picturesque city of Machynlleth. Right here we turned east for the primary time on our route and travelled 20 miles of twists and turns alongside the Mountain Street to the small city of Llanidloes. 

It was right here I received my first style of a Lumpy Bumpy cake. This decadent slice of chocolaty, gooey goodness got here courtesy of Café Rosa in Nice Oak Avenue, the place we relaxed outdoors with a espresso and I watched the lumps and bumps of my stomach get slightly greater. 


Feeling refreshed, we mounted up and rode to Newtown the place we turned south to Dolfor and joined one more sensational street, the B4355 which offered sweeping views of the Welsh countryside. We then skirted the border with England again to our start line at Knighton, and a ultimate cease to take a look at a facility devoted to saving mankind from a collision with a comet or asteroid.

It marked the tip of a surprising trip that basically was out of this world, and one I’d extremely advocate the following time you’ve got a day to spare and also you need to discover someplace particular in your bike. Listed below are simply a few of the highlights…

See: Craig Goch Dam

Mid Wales Loop

Probably the most spectacular of the Elan Valley dams, Craig Goch is a deal with for us bikers as a result of we will trip throughout the highest of it flanked by a reservoir on one facet and a plunging valley on the opposite. 

Work began on the spectacular construction in 1897 and it’s testomony to Victorian engineering that it nonetheless performs a significant position in offering water to the Midlands. Now, you might suppose in case you’ve seen one dam, you’ve seen all of them however there’s an architectural magnificence to Craig Goch with its elegantly curved wall, sequence of arches, and domed tower.

It appears all of the extra spectacular when water is allowed to circulation by way of the dam and cascade to the valley ground under. I’d extremely advocate using throughout the slim street on high and parking up to take in this marvel of Victorian engineering. You will want to show round and retrace your steps although, as the opposite facet of the dam is a lifeless finish. 

See: Cwmystwyth Mine

Mid Wales Loop

As you trip by way of the Elan Valley, you’ll see proof of its mining previous, together with Cwmystwyth works. Mining occurred on the positioning as early because the Bronze Age. This continued throughout Roman occasions, by way of the medieval interval, and as late 1950 when the positioning was lastly deserted. 

You’ll move the mine as you trip alongside what’s marked as Nationwide Cycle Route 81 on Google Maps. It’s definitely value pulling over to have a look and discover the impression the seek for lead, zinc, and silver has had on the panorama. 

Cwmystwyth Waterfall additionally towers above the mine and is nicely value {a photograph} in case you’ve received your zoom lens with you. At this level, you’re additionally about as shut as any street will get to the geographic centre of Wales. So, take just a few moments to take in your environment and picture the hundreds of years of human historical past that has unfolded on the positioning. 

Uncover: Spaceguard Centre

Mid Wales Loop

What occurs if a comet or asteroid strikes Earth? Nicely, there’s a group of astronomers in Wales devoted to stopping it from taking place? That’s proper, the oldsters on the Spaceguard Centre are our first line of defence in opposition to close to earth objects and the possibly devasting penalties they may have in the event that they had been to hit the planet.

You’ll discover the power, often known as the Nationwide Close to Earth Objects Data Centre (NNEOIC), nestled on a distant hillside close to Knighton. Inside, it’s group of specialists peer out on the evening sky to supply an early warning system in opposition to asteroids and comets, predicting their trajectories.

You may take a guided afternoon tour of the positioning to seek out out extra. After we visited, excursions had been solely going down throughout the afternoon so ensure you try for opening occasions and to ebook upfront. 

Uncover: Satan’s Bridge

Mid Wales Loop
Satan’s Bridge in Wales, UK, Europe 01-06-2021

If you happen to worth your soul, you might need to skip this part which is claimed to have been constructed by Devil himself. From the street, Satan’s Bridge appears like an innocuous construction spanning a deep gorge under, however a more in-depth look reveals there are literally three bridges constructed one on high of the opposite.

The one you’ll trip over dates again to 1901, whereas the second was inbuilt 1753. However it’s the earliest of the bridges, constructed round 1075, that legend says was constructed when a lady misplaced a cow and noticed it grazing on the alternative facet of the gorge.

The Satan appeared and stated he’d construct a bridge in trade for the soul of the primary residing factor to cross it, hoping it could be hers. A deal was struck, however after the bridge was constructed, she tricked the Satan by throwing a chunk of bread and letting her canine chase it, dooming her pet to an eternity in Hell. Lately you’ll get an ideal view of the bridges and gorge by strolling down Jacob’s Ladder footpath subsequent to it.

Trip: Elan Valley

Mid Wales Loop

Majestic, rugged, distant, the Elan Valley is an journey biker’s paradise. Actually, it’s a playground for these of us who take pleasure in exploring beautiful landscapes on superb roads the place the sheep far outnumber the autos you’ll see. 

We joined the Elan Valley just a few miles southeast of Rhayader the place a slim street hugs the shores of three reservoirs, offering spectacular views all through. Nevertheless it’s the part from Craig Goch Dam as much as Pont Ar Elan Bridge, after which alongside Nationwide Cycle Route 81, the place this superb space of Mid-Wales actually shines.

This unspoilt and distant part of the Cambrian Mountains is full of moorland and forest and may’t assist however make you’re feeling such as you’re on a correct journey. The snaking roads we took by way of it are additionally a pleasure to trip, and it’s unimaginable to suppose this stunning space is lower than a three-hour trip from the centre of Birmingham. 

Trip: Mountain Street

Mid Wales Loop

This route packs in quite a lot of sensational biking roads into a brief house of time. Nonetheless, the spotlight has received to be the Mountain Street which runs from Machynlleth right down to Llanidloes. This ribbon of blacktop unfurls its means throughout the panorama for 20 miles and rightfully is a favorite with native bikers. 

It’s the kind of street that allows you to construct a rhythm as you circulation between sweeping turns, nudging your bars into bend after superb bend. The street is often slim, typically with out street markings, however the floor is mostly good and the views are sensational, whether or not you’re using by way of valleys or throughout expanses of moorland. 

There’s loads of wildlife alongside the route too, largely sheep, so take care. However then using the Mountain Street isn’t about going quick. As an alternative, it’s finest loved at a gradual tempo as you absorb the spectacular views that Mid Wales offers.