Day one, Friday. Our first visit was to Coed Llandegla to ride the red, black and orange trails. Llandegla has proven itself as one of the UK’s leading mountain bike trail centres and it boasts a selection of great trails as well as a purpose built visitor centre including bike shop, bike hire, workshop and award winning cafe. The trails are technical, but even the largest obstacles on the black or orange sections are rollable if your confidence is a little low on the bike. The sun was out, the trails were fast, I was bitten to death and the cake was tremendous. Day one complete.
Day two, Saturday. This time Coed-y-Brenin Forest was the destination of choice. I hadn't been here for well over ten years when there were only two trails so I was keen to see how the place had developed in that time; it has become a mecca for mountain bikers with a vast selection of weather proof singletrack trails. There are trails for beginners right through to gravity junkies, and pretty much anything inbetween. There are skills areas, and a nice touch is not far from the car park there is a great sample area for you to see what you think about the difference between blue, red and black grade trails before you head off. We rode the red Cyflym Coch loop that covers strings together some of the best fast flowing sections in Coedy. If you are planning to visit its worth noting the red trails here are certainly tougher than the equivalent grades at Llandegla.
Day three, Sunday. This was my first ever visit to Penmachno, and what a place. The weather was vile, heavy rain and mist, but we headed off up the long (long, very long...) first climb anyway. What a simply magical place, dreamy singletrack in fairy-tale-esque woodland. Moss covered, dense pine woodland, slate trails and waterfalls around every corner - stunning. I will put it out there and say this is the best consistent singletrack I have ever ridden anywhere in the UK, albeit some is man made it all has a very natural feel and flow, very fast, very technical and great flow throughout. There are some long dull fireroad climbs to join sections, but the climbing makes up for it with some stunning descents and singletrack. I am sure the views would be spectacular also, but not for our visit! The only downside here is the drainage, this trail certainly holds deep water in places and is now aptly called Puddlemachno. Soaked, tired and starving - back to the car park having nearly drowned but what smiles we all had. Soup, tea and cake in Betws-y-Coed sorted us all back out before joining the car park on the M56/M6...
All in all a fantastic trip, and fantastic to explore some new trails, and even the weather was nice to us for two whole days! Make sure you book these three destinations in your future riding plans. Keep an eye out for a future club trip or two; North Wales needs a further visit and South Wales can't be left out either.