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Ice cream & incredible views – cycling the North Wales Coastal Route

gwalter (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Ice cream & incredible views – cycling the North Wales Coastal Route

Bike Touring Collection by Amy

3-5

days

3-5 h

/ day

156 mi

7,200 ft

6,775 ft

Every turn along the North Wales’ Coastline brings a postcard-perfect view: Bright yellow flowers blanket green headland that slopes towards the Irish Sea, wild ponies roam freely along the cliff tops and castle turrets rise from the forested hillsides. Cycling the North Wales Coastal Route is a memorable adventure on one the best stretches of coastline in the UK.

Starting in Holyhead, this Collection guides you along the North Wales Coastal Route around the tip of Anglesey and along the coast to Chester. To give you plenty of time to explore this gorgeous stretch of coastline, I’ve split the 156-mile (251-km) route into five stages which average around 24.8 miles (40 km) per day. As always, you can combine or split the routes to suit your fitness level and schedule.

North Wales’ coastline is incredibly varied. You can explore natural wonders such as the sweeping Church Bay and Little Orme headland, as well as fascinating historical sites. The route passes Iron Age settlements, spectacular former copper mines, Bronze Age relics and magnificent castles such as Conwy Castle, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. And, of course, after a fun day in the saddle, you can relax on the beach, which is never far away on this ride.

As is often the case with British coastal routes, you can expect a fair bit of climbing. You'll climb 7,200 feet (2,190 m) in total, with up to 1,970 feet (600 m) elevation gain in one stage. However, the climbs are manageable and amazing sea views are guaranteed.

If you are prepared to sweat it out on the climbs, this route is suitable for most levels of riders and inexperienced tourers. However, due to some stretches along busier roads, I wouldn’t recommend it for children who are not used to riding in traffic. If you are riding as a family, consider doing the section from Bangor to Chester as this mostly follows a bike path along the sea and the traffic-free Chester Greenway.

You will follow quiet lanes and traffic-free bike paths for the majority of the way, with a few short stints on busier roads. All of the sections are well-surfaced so any bike is suitable for your adventure.

The North Coast of Wales has drawn holidaymakers with its sprawling beaches and rocky shores for centuries. The tourist infrastructure is well-developed so you are never far from a bed, hot shower, and food stops. There are also plenty of campsites so it’s definitely worth considering packing your tent.

The start/finish point in Holyhead/Chester are easy to reach by train, both cities have good rail connections.

So, if pedalling along the seafront and multiple ice cream stops a day sound like your cup of tea – the North Wales Coastal Route is perfect for your next adventure.

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North Wales Coastal Route

135 mi

5,850 ft

5,800 ft

Last updated: December 22, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    03:36
    33.0 mi
    9.1 mph
    1,425 ft
    1,325 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Big sea views, the call of gulls, and salty air await on your first day of adventure. Today you trace the tip of Anglesey for 32.9 miles (53 km) from Holyhead to Amlwch.

    

    The sea accompanies you from the get-go as you leave Holyhead, riding over the spectacular causeway that separates the Cymyran Strait

    by Amy

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  • Difficult
    03:47
    36.9 mi
    9.7 mph
    1,950 ft
    1,950 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    With 36.8 miles (59.3 km) to pedal and 1,970 feet (600 m) to climb, stage 2 is the toughest of this Collection. However, the wonderful views and unusual landscapes give you plenty of reasons to stop for a break. Today, you’re headed on a journey inland from Amlwch to Bangor.

    

    Your day starts with a short

    by Amy

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  • Difficult
    02:42
    24.0 mi
    8.9 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,275 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Vast caves dating back over 4,000 years, magnificent UNESCO World Heritage castles, and a tiny 19th-century house that is the smallest in the UK – stage 3 is a wild ride through Anglesey’s varied history.

    

    Starting in Bangor, you ride 24 miles (38.7 km) and climb 1,575 feet (480 m) along the coast, finishing

    by Amy

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  • Intermediate
    02:15
    21.8 mi
    9.7 mph
    600 ft
    600 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Following a cycle path along the seafront almost the entire day, your penultimate day in North Wales is an absolute treat.

    

    Today, you have plenty of time to enjoy the historical sites and natural wonders as you cycle 21.7 miles (35 km) from Llandudno to Prestatyn. You have an equal 590 feet (180 m) of

    by Amy

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  • Difficult
    04:07
    40.4 mi
    9.8 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,625 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your final day of adventure takes you 40.3 miles (65 km) along the coast and inland to the city of Chester. Following a cycle path for over half the way, you can enjoy the lovely seascapes in peace.

    

    From Prestatyn, follow the coast to the tip of Point of Ayr. Look out for the sea birds that flock to

    by Amy

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    5
  • Distance
    156 mi
  • Duration
    16:27 h
  • Elevation
    7,200 ft6,775 ft

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Ice cream & incredible views – cycling the North Wales Coastal Route

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