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The Rhayader Round Route     Page 1

Rhayader has two of the best downhills in Wales. This route unlike others we've seen, takes in both of them. It doesn't, thank the gods, include the loop South of Rhayader with the river crossings and vertical climb...

Total distance 21 miles: Explorer 200 Llandrindod Wells & Elan Valley.

1.   970 683 Rhayader Leisure centre free park.
2.   965 677 Turn left on to Elan Valley Trail.
3.   954 668 Turn right across road up lane.
4.   951 669 Bear left not stony double.
5.   932 664 Turn right through single gate.
6.   924 661 Bear right, right side of valley.
7.   913 657 Turn right on reservoir road.
8.   916 675 Right at Pen y Garreg cottage.
9.   932 674 Bear right.
10. 911 674 Through gate at dam.
11. 929 699 Turn left on to road (climb).
12. 921 706 To bend then right on to wide track.

1. (0 miles) Start at Leisure centre car park (just off the A470, 200 yards North of the clock tower) Turn left back down A470 then right on to B4518 (right at clock tower).

2. (0.5 miles) Follow to 0.5miles then turn left on to Elan Valley Trail. You can't miss it as it has a huge carved wooden gate. Follow this through numerous heavily sprung wooden gates for just over a mile to > 

3 (1.6 miles) Where the cycle trail adjoins the road. Cross the road at the give way sign and go North up the lane opposite (dead end sign post). This quiet tarmac road climbs gently and bears left avoiding going straight on up stony track at 
4. (1.9 miles)
(stony track ahead only climbs then re-joins road). Continue on tarmac to 
5. (3.1 miles)
then turn right through single wooden gate with sign 'No Vehicular Access'.


Climb on grass trail up to and through gate (pic A) then ford stream at 3.4 miles. Bear right as this short climb slacks off and follow increasingly rocky trail up the hill. Trail has a short unrideable section over solid rock continuing in this direction until the top is reached in the heather at

6. (3.6 miles). Trail bears right to cross the shallow valley, then turns left to follow the right flank through bracken (Pic B). This is the beginning of one of the best descents in Wales! Follow down to and ford stream (rideable!) then short climb takes you to the top of the big drop down to the reservoir.

Tip: head down the left bank of 'The Gully' and it is also rideable see video HERE (2Mb). (Pic C).

7. (3.6 miles) Turn right on the reservoir road at the bottom look out for three way split where road forks right, take the high, right fork. Bear right again at 5.8 miles (uphill) on shale doubletrack.

8. (6.0 miles) Turn right at Pen y Garreg cottage, Continue on up here with wood on your left then through bracken (in season Pic E) trail climbs up switchback at 6.2 miles (follow obvious trail) Soon reaches T junction where you turn left (uphill, as always). Continue on to grassy moor top with view of radio mast dead ahead in good visibility. Trail goes straight on along fun singletrack then hits bog. Go straight on heading for grassy knoll. 

9. (7.5 miles) Bear right and follow trail down to shale doubletrack (8.2 miles) turn right on here and follow back down to number 6 above. This time around take the trail through the wood (middle of the three way split) and follow up to Dam.

10. (13.5 miles) go through wooden gate on right hand of dam . Follow this trail (Elan Valley Trail Pic D) along the side of the reservoir and continue bearing right along lakeside at next dam (lake on your left).

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