Bikemagic Trail Guide: Gwydyr Forest, North Wales

Destination: Gwydyr Forest, North Wales

The Marin Trail is one of the original purpose built trails and while some may shun it for its simplistic fire road climbs and singletrack descent approach, if you don’t mind earning your downhill fun with some uphill grinding, it’s still well worth getting your tyres muddy for.

Photo © Dan Jones

How to get there

Head into Betws-Y-Coed and then turn right over the historic bridge immediately after Llanrwst then right onto the B5106 past ‘Gwydyr Castle’. The trail head is on the right after 500m. Sat Nav: LL26 OPN

Facilities

Apart from parking, that’s about it at the trailhead. You’ve got full facilities at Betws-Y-Coed (about 2 km away) though and when you’ve got the whole of Snowdonia to play in, who needs swanky visitor centres.


Trails

Glossing over the absolute sod of a climb straight out of the car-park, think of it as either a “fun toll” or a warm-up, the stunning views over Snowdonia and classic singletrack are more than payback. The Red grade is probably slight overkill but it’s certainly not a trail for novices and, if your ride it hard, there are plenty of challenges and, on the final wonderful descent, air to be had. It can bite though and, last time I was there, the PR girl from Gore-Tex ended up with five stitches in her face courtesy of some prime Welsh slate.

Nearest bike shop

Beics Betws www.bikewales.co.uk and Planet Fear Bikes www.planetfear.com

Other info

If you fancy riding to the trail from the town centre, it’s perfectly do-able but does add considerably more slog to the opening ascent.

Location Map:

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  1. Steve Owen

    This is an absolutely superb trail. Although there is very little at the trail head, the town of Llanrwst has all the ‘facilities’ Betws has to offer and is less of a sod to find parking in. There’s also an excellent bike shop just off the town square (I don’t know why this isn’t in your review) and an lovely cafe on the square too. If you’re around of an evening, the town’s Indian restaurant is well worth a visit. Llanrwst as a town is overlooked but there’s more to it than meets the eye!

  2. Steve Owen

    This is an absolutely superb trail. Although there is very little at the trail head, the town of Llanrwst has all the ‘facilities’ Betws has to offer and is less of a sod to find parking in. There’s also an excellent bike shop just off the town square (I don’t know why this isn’t in your review) and a lovely cafe on the square too. If you’re around of an evening, the town’s Indian restaurant is well worth a visit. Llanrwst as a town is overlooked but there’s more to it than meets the eye!

  3. Pete Borlace

    Hi David,
    Thanks for reviewing the trail. As Steve has mentioned, the most accessible facilities and the easiest route to the trail head is from Llanrwst, especially if visitors are arriving from the A55.
    The bike shop in Llanrwst is:
    http://www.1868racing.co.uk
    Maybe you could update the review with these points.
    Thanks

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