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NCN 47
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The inland braid of the Celtic Trail is an uncompromising ride through South Wales, a fabulous - if sometimes tough - route taking in everything from mining railways to the remote Preseli Hills. Start at Newport and head up the unexpectedly scenic old Crumlin Arm canal to Risca, a real "little Switzerland". Railway paths take you from valley to valley, the mining settlements hidden by fierce woodland. Then after Abercynon the wilderness begins, a gravel ride before gravel was trendy. 25 miles of forestry tracks will challenge your stamina, but those with a yen for the off-road will need no convincing. After Llanelli, an exceptional rail-trail - almost Swiss in its lush, hillside scenery - leads on to Carmarthen and the remote lanes over the Preseli Hills (source of Stonehenge) to Fishguard and the Cardigan Bay. Not one for the beginner or the skinny-tyred road cyclist, but a route full of character.

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