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Aberystywyth to Lampeter

Lon Teifi shares its first 11 miles with Lon Cambria, the east–west route between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury. It’s a slow ascent up the Ystwyth valley, mostly on an old railway path though occasionally ducking onto minor roads. When the routes fork, Lon Teifi (as Route 82) is the one that continues by the railway, meeting the Teifi valley at tiny Ystradmeurig.

The railway path across the Cors Caron nature reserve is a wonderfully solitary experience – assuming the wind’s with you. There are bird hides beside the path for a spot of twitching. A moderately quiet B road takes the route into Tregaron, a tiny rural town with a passing nod to tourism in its craft centre and red kite museum. (You’re almost certain to see the fork-winged birds of prey circling high above.)

Largely level, the B road follows the valley down to Lampeter, passing Llandewi Brefi – where you can stop for a pint at “the only pub in the village”. For a lightly trafficed alternative, turn right at Llanfair Clydogau and take the lane down the other side of the valley.

Bike shops

Aberystwyth

Campsites

Campsite listings kindly provided by archiescampings
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Hotels

Aberystwyth

from £94Awel Mor 4
from £0Brynheulwen
from £120Cambrian View
from £70Castle Hotel
from £0Dawns y Don
from £269Ger y Mor
from £105Harboursideview
from £108Haul y Bore
from £32Maes Bach
from £30Maes Y Mor
from £50Marine Hotel
from £89Parc Y Bryn
from £40Penybont
from £77Seabrin
from £114The Calf Suite
from £50The Glengower
from £106The Granary
from £85The Hay Suite
from £115Ty Traeth

Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales

from £60Conrah Hotel

Clarach

from £73Bryn Hyfryd

Clarach

from £51The Hay Suite

Cribyn Lampeter

from £73Llanilar
from £70Pipistrel

Lampeter

from £137Gwarffynnon
from £170Penty Cottage
from £205The Coach House

Lampeter, Ceredigion

Llanfair Clydogau

from £0Beudy Bach
from £79Beudy Mawr

Llanfarian Aberystwyth

Llanwnnen

from £50Gwelfro

New Cross Near Aberystwyth

from £0Brynhoreb

Rhyd y Felin

Rhydyfelin Nr. Aberystwyth

from £80Sea View
from £134Valley View

Tregaron

from £60Cob Cottage

Near Llanfarian

from £2794 Pengraig Draw
2

Lampeter to Cardigan

Inexplicably, Lon Teifi avoids Lampeter town centre, taking a tedious detour past housing estates and car parks. Ignore the signs, and continue through this university town on the main road. You’ll rejoin the route at the western side of town just in time for the first hill in many miles.

A forgettable B road gives out to a pleasant minor road on the north side of the valley, especially enjoyable on the twisting, undulating section before Llandysul. We cycled this at sunset and it was a magical experience, the light darting in between overhanging trees to give occasional glimpses of the Teifi below. Keep your wits about you in Llandysul, a hilly village with an odd one-way system.

A series of short, sharp climbs take you onto the A475, by which Lon Teifi enters Newcastle Emlyn. This very pretty town is an essential stop, particularly if you’re in search of a café. Do also take the opportunity to visit the castle ruins, on the banks of the river.

However, it can’t be denied that the roads leading in and out of the town are less than ideal for the cyclist, especially at rush hour. Heading east, there’s a nasty sharp climb across from Cwm-cou, and the slog up the B road after Cenarth is unpleasant as traffic speeds by.

For once, then, we’d suggest ignoring the official route, and making your way south-west from Newcastle Emlyn over the hill. It’s a tough climb out of the valley, true, but the lanes are delightful. You can also take the chance to visit the Caws Cenarth creamery, home of the exquisite Perl Las and other cheeses. Once you’ve topped the hill, it’s a lovely ride down the Cych valley to return to the official route at Abercych – with a friendly pub at the junction.

It’s a little flatter now as you follow lanes towards Cardigan, through strung-out Cilgerran, onto a riverside railway path passing the Welsh Wildlife Centre.

Hotels

Aberbanc Near Newcastle Emlyn

from £87Gerlan

Beulah Newcastle Emlyn

Cardigan

Cardigan

from £60Gwbert Hotel
from £77Hammet House
from £96Hammet House
from £35Highbury
from £50Ty-Parc

Cardigan Nr. Aberporth

from £83Y Cwtch

Cardigan, Ceredigion

from £110Y Felin Cottage

Cardigan, Wales

Cenarth

Ceredigion

Cilgerran

from £97Bridge House

Cilgerran

from £70Pontyderi

Cilgerran, Cardigan

from £75Allt y Rheini

Cribyn Lampeter

from £73Llanilar
from £70Pipistrel

Drefach Felindre

from £80Ivy Cottage

Eglwyswrw

from £70Rhostwarch

Gwbert Cardigan Bay

from £103Gwynt Y Mor
from £138River'S Mouth

Gwbert

from £113Hafdir
from £139Sandbank

Henllan

from £237Llwyncadfor

Lampeter

from £137Gwarffynnon
from £170Penty Cottage
from £205The Coach House

Lampeter, Ceredigion

Llandysul

from £0Bryn Parc

Llanfair Clydogau

from £0Beudy Bach
from £79Beudy Mawr

Llangoedmor

from £85Deri
from £96Rose Barn
from £79Teifi

Llangoedmor Near Cardigan

from £0Y Dorlan

Llanwnnen

from £50Gwelfro

Llechryd

Maesycrugiau

from £0Prysg Lodge

Moylgrove

from £60Brynteg B&B

Newcastle Emlyn

from £209Arosfa Emlyn

Newport

Pembroke

Pembrokeshire

Penrherber Newcastle Emlyn

from £0Cych Cottage

Penrydd

Ponthirwuan

from £0Cych
from £0Teifi
from £0Towy

Pontsian

from £113Erwlon

Saint Dogmaels

from £60Bethsaida B&B

St Dogmaels

from £70Llwynbedw

St Dogmaels

from £94Heddwch
from £0Hen Bopty
from £160Pennant Cottage
from £94Tawelwch
from £51Teifi View

St Dogmaels Near Cardigan

St Dogmaels Nr. Cardigan

from £209Green Meadow

St. Dogmaels Nr Cardigan

from £54Berllan Deg

Tregaron

from £60Cob Cottage

Wales

from £50Calon
3

Cardigan to Fishguard

Lon Teifi follows the south bank through St Dogmaels, but do make a detour to explore the traditional market town of Cardigan – now something of a centre for outdoor activities. The climb out of St Dogmaels is steady but wearing. There’s then, unusually for the NCN, a mile on the fast, busy A487; fortunately the road is wide here. It’s worth it for the tiny, narrow lane that follows, diving to a ford at Castell Henllys.

At the wonderfully named village of Felindre Farchog, a bridleway bypasses the main road for a while. MTBers and adventurous hybrid riders will enjoy the challenge, but most people will prefer to stick on the main road through to Newport. Again, though Lon Teifi skirts the village, Newport is worth the detour; you can cycle down to the beach, refuel at the welcoming pubs, or (panniers permitting) load up at the superb butcher and warren-like second-hand bookshop.

The last 10 miles of Lon Teifi are, without doubt, the finest. The Gwaun Valley is the land that time forgot – literally. New Year is still celebrated according to the Welsh tradition here, several weeks after the rest of the world. Though just a few miles from the holiday cottages of Newport, Welsh remains the language of the valley.

Nowhere is this more true than at the Dyffryn Arms – a tiny front-room pub of the sort you thought was long extinct. Beer and cider are served straight from the jug; Coronation prints decorate the walls; and the landlady Bessie is as often to be found in front of the hatch as behind it. Just make sure to leave enough time to catch your train home from Fishguard…

Bike shops

Cardigan

Campsites

Campsite listings kindly provided by archiescampings
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Hotels

Cardigan

Cardigan

from £60Gwbert Hotel
from £96Hammet House
from £77Hammet House
from £35Highbury
from £50Ty-Parc

Cardigan Nr. Aberporth

from £83Y Cwtch

Cardigan, Ceredigion

from £110Y Felin Cottage

Cardigan, Wales

Ceredigion

Cilgerran

from £97Bridge House

Cilgerran

from £70Pontyderi

Cilgerran, Cardigan

from £75Allt y Rheini

Crymych

Eglwyswrw

from £70Rhostwarch

Fachongle Ganol

from £82Ty Bach
from £74Y Bwthyn

Fishguard

from £70Seasidesteps
from £45Seaview Hotel
from £50Tara
from £51The Ferryboat

Fishguard Dyfed

from £89Gorwel Glas

Gellifawr

from £65Bwthyn (3)
from £58Carningli (2)
from £72Drigarn (6)
from £56Swallow (2)
from £70Ty Nant

Goodwick

Gwbert Cardigan Bay

from £103Gwynt Y Mor
from £138River'S Mouth

Gwbert

from £113Hafdir
from £139Sandbank

Letterston Haverfordwest

Llangoedmor

from £85Deri
from £96Rose Barn
from £79Teifi

Llangoedmor Near Cardigan

from £0Y Dorlan

Llechryd

Moylgrove

from £60Brynteg B&B

Newport

from £181Ael y Bryn
from £191Ger y Traeth
from £65Grove Park
from £120Llys Meddyg
from £116Rhos-Y-Mel
from £70Steeple View

Newport, Nr. Fishguard

Newport, Pembrokeshire

from £90Llys Meddyg

Newport, Pembrokeshire.

Pembrokeshire

from £70Castle Inn

Pembrokeshire

Saint Dogmaels

from £60Bethsaida B&B

St Dogmaels

from £70Llwynbedw

St Dogmaels

from £94Heddwch
from £0Hen Bopty
from £160Pennant Cottage
from £94Tawelwch
from £51Teifi View

St Dogmaels Near Cardigan

St Dogmaels Nr. Cardigan

from £209Green Meadow

St. Dogmaels Nr Cardigan

from £54Berllan Deg

Tufton

from £60The Stable IV