Ceiriog Valley and the Vale of Llangollen
North Wales Mountain Bike Route Guide
Ceiriog Valley, North Wales
(For Experienced Riders)
OS Explorer 255
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Ceiriog Valley and the Vale of Llangollen
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This mountain bike route of 21.3 miles starts in Glyn Ceiriog, in North Wales. It takes in the trails towards the eastern end of the Ceiriog Valley and for a short time drops into the Vale of Llangollen. This ride contains some testing climbs, which are paid back by some fast rocky descents and fantastic views.
1. Start from the car park by the Community Centre in Glyn Ceiriog (GR204379). Turn right out of the car park and follow the main road to the roundabout at the centre of the village, by the Glyn Valley Hotel. Turn left, taking the first exit. A short distance later bear right then left and cross a bridge leading to a junction directly after (GR202376). Turn right and climb the lane through the trees. Ignore the minor tracks on either side and climb the lane out of the valley. After a while the lane turns left and steepens before leaving the cover of the trees. At the junction directly after passing a house on the left follow the lane right and continue climbing. Climb the lane all the way to a three-way junction at the top of the hill (GR205354).
2. Go straight on and follow the lane, which soon starts descending. The lane then comes to a junction, with a gated track on the right, in a dip where the lane turns left (GR211344). Go through the gate onto the gravel track then at the junction directly after go straight on up a short, steep climb to the top of Pen y Gwely. Follow the track between the fences to where it ends at a gate. Go through the gate then follow the deep ruts straight on through the field to a gated track in the opposite corner (GR204338).
3. Turn right through the gate then follow the double track through a left hand bend that leads to another gate. Go through this gate and the next onto a flat section of puddled double track. The track starts descending before it comes to another gate at the start of a line of thick gorse bushes on either side of the track. Go through this gate and descend the fast double track to a junction, with a track on the left, directly after the end of the gorse bushes (GR196333). If you come to a 90° right hand bend on the descent you have just overshot the junction.
4. Turn left and climb the steep slate bedrock. This soon gives way to rutted double track. A short distance later at the next junction go straight on. Continue following this double track straight ahead for quite some time through a number of gates. As it emerges from the trees descend straight on down through the fields to a ford (GR213329). Climb out of the ford then descend back into the trees going through a gate on a right hand bend. Go through the big puddles then past a junction with a normally very boggy track on the left. A short distance later at the next junction turn 90° left up a short steep double track climb (GR218328).
5. At the top of the climb follow the track right then go through a number of gates as the rutted track climbs in a straight line to a crossroad junction in the top corner of a field (GR225325). Turn left and climb the steep, rocky and rutted double track that follows the line of trees on the left. Go through the gate at the top then head straight on for a fast double track descent that eventually bears left before coming to a gate. At the junction directly after the gate go straight on before bearing right through a dip and climbing a short way to a gated junction at a lane by a farm (GR224340).
6. Turn right onto the lane then go through the next gate before climbing the lane to a junction at the other side of the farm. Turn left and climb the lane as it goes in a straight line through the fields and then the trees to a three-way junction (GR234350). Go straight ahead for a fast descent that eventually bears right to a junction. Turn sharp left and follow the lane a short distance to the next junction. Turn right and follow the lane a short distance to a junction with a double track bridleway on the left (GR243355).
7. Turn left and descend the track, which at first is fast double track. After a while the track thins and the bushes and trees pull in tighter on either side just before reaching a horse stile. After going over the sleepers continue down the steep, tight and rocky track. Near the bottom of the track go over another horse stile for a bit more rocky descending before reaching the final horse stile at the junction at the bottom (GR234361). Turn right and climb the lane, going past a junction with the track on the left, all the way to a crossroad junction at the top. Go straight on and climb the muddy double track that soon flattens off before ending at a junction with a lane (GR248362).
8. Turn left and descend the lane. Go straight on at the next junction with a lane on the left then go straight on at the following junction with a lane on the right by a farm (GR251365). Continue straight on down the hill. The road soon gives way to a fast, loose and rocky track. Ignore any tracks off to either side and follow the main trail down through the trees. Near the bottom the track emerges from the trees, before coming to an end at a crossroad junction, with a view of Chirk Castle on the left (GR266369). Turn left and continue descending on a rocky track between the hedges. Near the end bear right around a house to a junction with a lane. Take care as the track comes straight out onto the lane and there is no visibility of what’s coming. Turn left and descend the lane to the next junction (GR264374). Turn right and descend the steep, slippery lane to a junction with the main road running through the bottom of the valley (GR264377).
9. Go straight across the main road and climb the singletrack lane that bears off to the left. At a forked junction by a house turn right and continue climbing then go past the next house to where the lane becomes a dirt track. Keep climbing, over the roots and rocks, into the woods. After this short, steep section of the climb the track turns left and flattens out. The track soon bears right for a rocky climb to a junction (GR255385). Go straight on and continue up the rocky track, which soon flattens off. Go up another short sharp climb to a junction then continue straight on, following the track until it bears right and ends at a junction with a lane (GR254389).
10. Turn right and climb the lane to the next junction. Bear right and continue climbing to a junction with a house on the left (GR259392). Turn left and climb the steep lane through some bends. After a while, when the climb flattens off a bit, go straight across the crossroad. At the next junction go through the gate directly ahead onto the double track in the field (GR253404).
11. After taking in the great views of the Cheshire basin, the Vale of Llangollen and Worlds End, head off down the double track that is the top of the 'Three Trees' descent. Simply follow this fast rocky track for about 1mile, going through a number of gates on the way, to a junction directly after a sharp, gravelly right hand bend (GR237408). DO NOT continue down hill on the steep gravelly trail, or it'll be a hard climb back up! At the junction turn sharp left and climb, with the fence on the right, to a gate at the woods. Go through the gate and climb through the woods, then after the trail emerges from the trees continue up the rocky, rutted double track all the way to the gate at the top, while enjoying the views across the Vale of Llangollen on the right. Go through the gate and follow the muddy ruts a short distance to a gated junction with a lane (GR227398).
12. Turn right and follow the lane along the top of the hill and go past next three junctions with lanes on the left, then right, then left. Climb to the top of the following hill to a junction just over the crest, with a lane descending to the left and a gate on the left (GR215394). Go through the gate on the left and descend through the fields, keeping to the line of trees on the left. At the bottom left hand corner of the final field go straight on through a gate and descend the grassy double track between the hedges to where it ends at a gated junction with a lane (GR218384).
13. Turn left and climb the lane to a three-way junction just after the crest (GR223388). Turn right and gently descend the lane to the next junction with a lane on the left at the trees. Follow the lane straight on then go through a few bends and past a farm on the right. The lane then descends steeply to a junction with a track on the right where the lane turns sharp left (GR225382).
14. Take the track on the right to continue descending straight on along the double track through the trees for a steep, fast, loose and rutted trail that also contains some nice little drops. At the crossroad junction with the first lane continue straight on and go down a tarmac drop leading to more descending on a short steep, muddy and rutted section of trail. This trail then comes to the next crossroad junction with a lane (make sure you don’t fly across it) (GR221373).
15. Turn right and follow the lane. Stay in the bottom of the valley and go straight on at all the following junctions. Eventually the lane descends out of the trees and comes to a junction directly after a small humpback bridge on the outskirts of Glyn Ceirog (GR208381). Turn left and follow the lane by the stream to a junction with the main road. Turn right and follow the main road into Glyn Ceiriog, all the way back to the Community Centre car park on the right to complete the ride.