Stage 1: Conwy to Llan Ffestiniog — Sarn Helen
Includes an off-grid segment
Navigation instructions may be limited.
0.30 mi in total
Includes a very steep uphill segment
You may need to push your bike.
0.29 mi in total
Bike Touring Highlight
Mountain Biking Highlight (Segment)
Katherine Moore planned a mountain bike ride.
May 21, 2020
Ease into the Sarn Helen with a 28 mile (45 km) stage, mostly flat to start with as you head out of Conwy south along the flatter landscape next to the river with the same name. Just over half the stage is this gentle introduction, before hitting the steeper inclines of Snowdonia National Park.
It’s made easier by the fact that it’s also on the road, tarmacked all the way to the gateway to Snowdonia, Betws-y-Coed. Don’t let this fool you though, what is to follow over the seven stages is anything but easy.
Take a short detour off the main route to explore Betws-y-Coed, a popular tourist destination thanks to the Steam Railway and numerous little shops selling everything from rock candies and local crafts to serious outdoor kit!
After your pitstop in Betws-y-Coed, the real fun begins as you take the Sarn Helen track to the west of the village. With gradients of up to 46% on this monstrous climb, you’ll likely be walking your bike up this incline! After the short climb, you’ll reach the plateau, riding along the chunky gravel of this roman road surrounded by expansive views.
You’ll descend off the moorland gravel road to Pont-y-Pant, where you can relax with a short stint along the flat road alongside the Afon Lledr to Dolwyddelan. Then it’s time for the second climb of the day, heading up the remote Cwm Penamen valley to start before the more sharp Sarn Helen doubletrack leads you up to Cwt-y-Bugail Quarry.
Rejoin the doubletrack on the other side of the slate mine to enjoy the descent for the rest of the stage to Llan Ffestiniog, more gradual than the mountainside you’ve just tackled. You’ll join a lane to descend down the Cwm Teigl valley to the village. There are a couple of hotels, bunkhouses and guesthouses to stay in here, as well as a campsite a little out of the village.
May 22, 2020
Hiking Collection by komoot
Hiking Collection by Alex Foxfield
Bike Touring Collection by Amy
Hiking Collection by Advnture
Hiking Collection by Dan Hobson
Bike Touring Collection by Kit P
Hiking Collection by Bryony Carter :Hike_This_Way
Running Collection by Anna McNuff
Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore