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Shrewsbury to Welshpool

Enclosed by a loop of the River Severn, Shrewsbury is a bustling Border town with an interesting mix of architecture. Lon Cambria begins on the busy riverside path before heading off on residential streets and roadside paths – not the most interesting of exits, but reasonable enough. A three-mile haul on a B road leads to Montford Bridge, and ten lovely miles of easy lanes through the Severn Valley.

Wales begins at Crewgreen – and so do the hills. The tough but short ascent of Breidden Hill is followed by the ascent of the Long Mountain, a great bulk topped by quiet lanes which give excellent views on a clear day. This is the hardest single climb of the whole route, so take your time. The descent into Welshpool is steep, winding and exhilarating; not to be attempted with weak brakes!

Bike shops

Campsites

Abermule

Aberystwyth

Bicton

Caersws

Crew Green

Devil's Bridge

Devils Bridge

Edgerley

Emstrey

Llanidloes

Llanilar

Montford Bridge

Montgomery

Oswestry

Pontrhydfendigaid

Rhayader

Shrewsbury

Campsite listings kindly provided by archiescampings
Campsite app · Help archies

Hotels

Aberystwyth

from £70Castle Hotel
from £269Ger y Mor
from £108Haul y Bore
from £32Maes Bach
from £30Maes Y Mor
from £50Marine Hotel
from £0The Flat
from £50The Glengower

Baschurch

from £939Field House

Bicton

Dark Lane

Garthmyl

from £80The Nags Head

Guilsfield

Knockin

from £78The Old Forge

Llanafan

Llanidloes

from £115Church Lane
from £56The Mount Inn
from £55Unicorn Hotel

Montford Bridge Nr. Shrewsbury

Montgomery

Newtown

from £176Cefnaire
from £138Cefnaire Isaf

Oswestry

Pont-Rhyd-y-Groes

from £73Pendre Isaf

Pontrhydfendigaid

Pontrhydygroes Devils Bridge

from £72The Glen

Powys

Powys

Rhayader

from £32Crown Inn
from £122Glan Wye
from £72The Bear
from £60The Crown Inn
from £90Ty Morgans

Rhayader, Powys

from £35Ty Morgan's

Rhydyfelin Nr. Aberystwyth

from £80Sea View
from £134Valley View

Ruyton Of the Eleven Towns

Shrewsbury

from £110Hambrook House
from £223Mytton Oak
from £55Station Hotel
from £70The Alb
from £45The Bull Inn
from £49The Vaults
from £39The Vaults

Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Shropshire

Trefeglwys

Trewern Welshpool Powys

Welshpool

Welshpool

from £50Lake Farm B&B

Wollaston

from £75Parrs cottage
2

Welshpool to Rhayader

Famous for its cattle market, Welshpool is essentially a one-street town with an unhurried air. The Montgomery Canal runs through the town – and Lon Cambria follows it all the way to Newtown. 

The canal towpath was improved in 2013 to make a very pleasant level route, replacing the former journey up hill and down dale. You won’t see many boats: though much of this section has been restored to navigation, it’s cut off from the main canal system by a dry section around Llanymynech, so the only way for boats to reach it is via low-loader. South of Berriew, the canal is largely unrestored, but Lon Cambria follows the towpath regardless.

Newtown is often maligned as the most workaday of the Border towns. In fact, there’s much to explore here, with its main street falling attractively to the Severn bridge. The Sportsman (the Monty’s Brewery tap) and the tiny Railway deserve a visit if you’re stopping overnight.

More quiet, hilly lanes take the route through Caersws – the last sight of the railway until Aberystwyth – and onto Llanidloes. Nicknamed ‘Planet Llanid’ for its mildly hippy vibe, this is a friendly, sleepy town with old-fashioned cafés and pubs. 

Here we meet Lon Las Cymru, Wales‘ north–south cycle challenge. The two routes share the same path to Rhayader. First comes a long, surprisingly tough climb from the Severn Valley to the watershed, then a steep descent into the Wye Valley at tiny Llangurig. The best bit, though, is the astonishingly rural 10-mile run down the valley into Rhayader, a contender for the finest road on the National Cycle Network. (At Llangurig, you can also choose to miss out Rhayader completely by heading west on Route 818: stunning views, but a steep climb and rugged surface.)

Bike shops

Campsites

Abermule

Aberystwyth

Bicton

Caersws

Crew Green

Devil's Bridge

Devils Bridge

Edgerley

Emstrey

Llanidloes

Llanilar

Montford Bridge

Montgomery

Oswestry

Pontrhydfendigaid

Rhayader

Shrewsbury

Campsite listings kindly provided by archiescampings
Campsite app · Help archies

Hotels

Aberystwyth

from £70Castle Hotel
from £269Ger y Mor
from £108Haul y Bore
from £32Maes Bach
from £30Maes Y Mor
from £50Marine Hotel
from £0The Flat
from £50The Glengower

Baschurch

from £939Field House

Bicton

Dark Lane

Garthmyl

from £80The Nags Head

Guilsfield

Knockin

from £78The Old Forge

Llanafan

Llanidloes

from £115Church Lane
from £56The Mount Inn
from £55Unicorn Hotel

Montford Bridge Nr. Shrewsbury

Montgomery

Newtown

from £176Cefnaire
from £138Cefnaire Isaf

Oswestry

Pont-Rhyd-y-Groes

from £73Pendre Isaf

Pontrhydfendigaid

Pontrhydygroes Devils Bridge

from £72The Glen

Powys

Powys

Rhayader

from £32Crown Inn
from £122Glan Wye
from £72The Bear
from £60The Crown Inn
from £90Ty Morgans

Rhayader, Powys

from £35Ty Morgan's

Rhydyfelin Nr. Aberystwyth

from £80Sea View
from £134Valley View

Ruyton Of the Eleven Towns

Shrewsbury

from £110Hambrook House
from £223Mytton Oak
from £55Station Hotel
from £70The Alb
from £45The Bull Inn
from £49The Vaults
from £39The Vaults

Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Shropshire

Trefeglwys

Trewern Welshpool Powys

Welshpool

Welshpool

from £50Lake Farm B&B

Wollaston

from £75Parrs cottage
3

Rhayader to Aberystwyth

Rhayader reputedly has more pubs per head of population than anywhere else in Britain; don’t try to sample them all in one evening. It’s a quiet, friendly place centred around an attractive central cross… which has the misfortune of hosting two major A-roads. 

The next 15 miles might look circuitous on the map, but there’s a good reason. The traffic-free cycle path follows the shore of the Elan Valley reservoirs, with stunning views to the imposing dams. It’s a steady, gentle climb, only really taxing at the turn above the highest reservoir onto the mountain road. From here, you feel like you’re on top of the world as you slowly cross from the Elan to the Ystwyth valleys. 

It’s pretty much downhill all the way from here: 24 miles of easy descending all the way to the sea. There’s a bumpy, gravelly forest path after Cwmystwyth which is quite enjoyable, but you may choose to stay on the quiet B road instead. 

A laughable scramble (where you will have to push your bike) takes you up to the old railway from Carmarthen; Lon Cambria will intermittently follow this into Aberystwyth, including the final approach to the town itself. The route ends by the pier; rest at one of the seaside cafés and raise a glass to your ride across the heart of Wales.

Bike shops

Campsites

Abermule

Aberystwyth

Bicton

Caersws

Crew Green

Devil's Bridge

Devils Bridge

Edgerley

Emstrey

Llanidloes

Llanilar

Montford Bridge

Montgomery

Oswestry

Pontrhydfendigaid

Rhayader

Shrewsbury

Campsite listings kindly provided by archiescampings
Campsite app · Help archies

Hotels

Aberystwyth

from £70Castle Hotel
from £269Ger y Mor
from £108Haul y Bore
from £32Maes Bach
from £30Maes Y Mor
from £50Marine Hotel
from £0The Flat
from £50The Glengower

Baschurch

from £939Field House

Bicton

Dark Lane

Garthmyl

from £80The Nags Head

Guilsfield

Knockin

from £78The Old Forge

Llanafan

Llanidloes

from £115Church Lane
from £56The Mount Inn
from £55Unicorn Hotel

Montford Bridge Nr. Shrewsbury

Montgomery

Newtown

from £176Cefnaire
from £138Cefnaire Isaf

Oswestry

Pont-Rhyd-y-Groes

from £73Pendre Isaf

Pontrhydfendigaid

Pontrhydygroes Devils Bridge

from £72The Glen

Powys

Powys

Rhayader

from £32Crown Inn
from £122Glan Wye
from £72The Bear
from £60The Crown Inn
from £90Ty Morgans

Rhayader, Powys

from £35Ty Morgan's

Rhydyfelin Nr. Aberystwyth

from £80Sea View
from £134Valley View

Ruyton Of the Eleven Towns

Shrewsbury

from £110Hambrook House
from £223Mytton Oak
from £55Station Hotel
from £70The Alb
from £45The Bull Inn
from £49The Vaults
from £39The Vaults

Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Shropshire

Trefeglwys

Trewern Welshpool Powys

Welshpool

Welshpool

from £50Lake Farm B&B

Wollaston

from £75Parrs cottage