Wolf's Leap, Abergwesyn Common — British wild swim spots
Mountain Biking Highlight
Bike Touring Highlight
Bike Touring Highlight (Segment)
Includes a very steep uphill segment
You may need to push your bike.
Katherine Moore planned a mountain bike ride.
April 28, 2020
This area of Wales just keeps coming up again and again; incredible, vast and almost empty slick roads, leg-busting climbs, neverending gravel roads and spectacular hilltop vistas; it’s no great surprise that you’ll find wonderful wild swimming in Powys, Mid Wales too.Pick up this route and I’ll show you some of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful dusty gravel roads across the Cambrian Mountains, from the waterside road around the stunning Llyn Brianne Reservoir to forest trails, an off-road alternative to the infamous Devil’s Staircase climb and the most sublime tarmac you’ll ever find; Abergwesyn Common. And halfway down that, a swim-spot like no other. Wolf’s Leap is a local favourite, and much loved by some from further afield too. You’ll find it by following a small path cut into the rock, revealing a deep pool along the River Irfon. This river that runs down over the Abergwesyn Common is typically more broad and shallow, but at this point the river cuts through a narrow gorge in the rock to make a perfect place for a refreshing wild swim.The loop starts and ends at Llanwrtyd Wells, a town made famous by hosting the World Alternative Games and Man vs Horse. You’ll find a train station there, so it’s really easy to access by rail. The swim spot is near the end of the ride and not at all far from the finish, so you shouldn’t get too cold after your dip! You can enjoy this route on a gravel, cyclo-cross or mountain bike, although I would recommend tyres of at least 40 mm width. After taking the many gravel switchbacks up the hillside opposite the Sugar Loaf Railway, you’ll reach the shores of Llyn Brianne, crossing over the dam to the gravel road. This follows the western shores of the beautiful reservoir before a gravel descent to the most remote chapel in Wales, Capel Soar Y Mynydd. You’ll then follow the River Towy to the north to reach the Devil’s Staircase, where you can opt for either the road or off-road version of the descent, after the steep ramp of the tarmac climb from the other side. It’s here that you’ll find Wolf’s Leap for that dip! From Wolf’s Leap back to Llanwrtyd Wells, you’ll take the off-road forest tracks over Cefn Waun-lwyd, or alternatively you can take the road through the Irfon Valley if you’d rather cut out the last climb!
April 29, 2020