Destination: Nant Y Arian, near Aberystwyth, Wales
High in the Cambrian Hills, Bwlch Nant yr Arian, is a gem of a trail centre offering great XC riding and full visitor centre facilities. There’s no gnarly wheels-in-the-air thrills but, for solid fun riding with a natural feel, it’s well worth a trip.
Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest Visitor Centre is located two miles west of the village of Ponterwyd and 10 miles east of the coastal town of Aberystwyth on the A44.
Sat Nav: SY23 3AD (will take you to Ponterwyd and then you need to follow the green roadside Forestry Commission signs).
Full visitor centre facilities including a cafe.
Two red trails – the shorter Pendam and longer Summit – are the mainstays of the centre. Although not suitable for complete novices, the Pendam in particular has nothing massively technical and isn’t too long at only 9km. You’ve got a massive climb in the middle of the 16km Summit but the seemingly endless singletrack descents more than make up for the slog.
The black Syfydrin follows the Summit and then spits you out onto the surrounding hills for some great natural riding. The black grade is definitely for distance and climbing rather than technical difficulty though.
Nearest bike shop
Summit Cycles, Aberystwyth www.summitcycles.co.uk
Parking is £1.50 up to two hours and £3.00 for all day. Don’t stress if the car park is rammed as a lot of people won’t be there to ride. Watching the Red Kites being fed is worthwhile between loops. Keep an eye on the Forestry Commission site as, at the time of writing (04/07/12), the Syfydrin trail was closed due to water damage.
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