The Penycloddiau Circuit

North Wales Mountain Bike Route Guide


The Clwydian Range, North Wales

(Basic MTB Skills Required)

11 miles

OS Explorer 265

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The Penycloddiau Circuit

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The Penycloddiau Circuit Route

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This mountain bike route of 11 miles starts in the car park at Moel Arthur in the Clwydian Range, in North Wales. It is a great introduction to mountain biking in the Clwydian Range as there is nothing too technical or too steep but with stunning views pretty much every direction you look. Most of the ride is on rocky doubletrack but being the Clwyds if it is wet it will also be muddy. This route is the first loop used on the Moel Arthur Circuits route.

1. From the car park (GR147658) turn right and follow the lane over the cattle grid. Descend the lane for about 1/3rd of a mile. After a right then left hand bend follow the signposted bridleway, on the next right hand bend, through a gate on the right, just before the lane starts descending steeply. After the gate follow the muddy double track along the contour of the hill. At the next junction follow the left hand track that descends past a pond on the right, to a gate. About 20m after the gate take the singletrack on the right that climbs away from the double track descent (GR139661). Follow this singletrack as it gently climbs through the gorse bushes, eventually bearing right to a small field at the top. Bear slightly right over the field and after a short distance pick up the double track descending off to the right to a gate. Go through the gate and descend to a junction. Turn right and descend the double track into the trees to a gate and a junction with a lane (GR136665).

2. Once through the gate turn right and climb the lane. After a long left hand bend the climb finishes at a junction where the lane turns right. Take the short track that climbs straight ahead into the car park (GR138668). Turn left in the car park to the four gates at the top of Llangwyfan forest. Go through the second gate from the right for a trail that descends gently through the trees. After an open section in the middle it drops back into the trees for a final twisty, muddy and rooty section. At the bottom bear right through a small gate and follow the track a short distance to a junction with a double track (GR126663).

3. Turn right and climb the double track for about 2miles across the flank of the hill below Penycloddiau Fort. There are a number of gates on this climb, but they are well spaced out and don’t interrupt the ride. About 3/4 of the way up the climb go straight on at a junction with a track on the left and climb towards the mast on the ridge (GR121680). At the top of the climb the track ends at a gate and junction beneath the radio mast (GR121689).

4. Directly after the gate turn right. The lane soon turns into grassy double track, which leads to a junction with two gates. Go through the gate straight ahead and follow the grassy and rutted track down hill. Go through the next gate and descend the loose rocky track to a junction with a lane, by a farm on the left. Go straight on and follow the lane for a fast finish to the descent. At the bottom the lane bears left and goes through a dip. Climb out of the dip then after the crest follow the lane a short way to a junction with a lane on the right (GR137701).

5. Turn right and climb the lane as it bears right to a junction just after a cattle grid. Turn right and follow the lane to the next junction (GR136695). Take the double track that climbs away to the left. Follow the track through a right hand bend where the track becomes muddier then go straight on past a track on the left. The track then goes up a short climb and comes to a junction at a small open grassy area. Turn left and descend, bearing left, down the muddy, rutted track. After passing a house on the left, go through a right hand bend and down to a junction with a lane (GR144686).

6. Turn left and follow the lane to the next junction, then turn right. At the next junction turn right again (GR147682). Climb this lane to the previously visited car park at the top of Llangwyfan forest. Bear left and continue along the lane. Descend through a long right hand bend then take the previously ridden double track on the left (GR136665). Be careful, it is all to easy to go too fast and overshoot this junction.

7. A short way up the track go through the gate and climb the double track to the next junction. Turn left and continue climbing the rutted double track. Go through the following gate to the small field at the top. Bear slightly left and pick up the singletrack through the gorse bushes. Descend this track as it bears left round the hill then go straight on at the junction at the end of the trail and climb to the gate. After the gate bear right and follow the double track along the contour of the hill to the gate at the other end. After the gate turn left and climb the lane back to the Moel Aruthur car park (GR147658).