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Bangor to Chester

I cycled from Bangor to Chester as part of a longer tour taking in Llangollen, Bala, Porthmadog and Caernarfon first. I'd do the North Wales Coast again - but east to west this time. With the scenery behind me, it seemed less impressive than if I'd been cycling the other way, the A-roads impinged more, and the towns grew more tacky. I had booked ahead all my campsites so factored in only 25-35 miles between, giving me plenty of time to do side routes and look round.

Great views across the Menai Straits at Bangor. NCN Route 82 out of Bangor was lovely, and I was tempted to cycle further down towards Bethesda and on. Nice lanes to Llanfairfechan, then there's some great cycling on off-road sections cut into the cliff. Penmaenmawr was better for cafes than Llanfairfechan. Then there's off-road cycling engineered across sea defences, but very close to the A55 and noisy. I wasn't impressed with Llandudno and Colwyn Bay seemed a long slog against a headwind, but I need to give them another chance. NCN Route 84 to Rhuddlan was lovely, and the railway cycle/walking route from Dyserth to Prestatyn was one of the best I've ever been on - yet seemingly doesn't register with Sustrans at all. It's very odd after Prestatyn to be cycling through a golf course then a massive resort. Then industrial heritage at Point of Ayr. But the A-roads from Ffynongroyw to Mostyn were busy and after a couple of close passes I took to the pavement - narrow and overgrown. I was pleased to get to the Greenfield Valley with a lovely converted railway line up to Holywell with several cafes, pubs and a Tesco. Then down the Old Bagillt Road to avoid any more of the A548. There's a pointless diversion up a hill in Connah's Quay, then some dramatic estuary scenery followed by a very long straight cycle into Chester.

I stayed at Riverside Camping near Caernarfon - rather a smart site next to a river; Dinarth Hall near Penryn Bay - basic but very clean; Corn Bwych near St Asaph - super little site; Birch Bank at Christleton near Chester - another lovely little site.

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