Saturday, 14 July 2018


The Cambrian Mountains, remote, desolate, a hidden beauty are a jewel to be found in the heart of Wales. The Cambrian Mountains are home to some of Wales' great rivers. The sources of the Rivers Severn, Wye and Teifi can be found here. Folklore says that there is a sleeping giant on Plynlimon, its highest peak at 752 metres.

Three of Wales great cycle routes circumnavigate these mountains.  They are Lon Las Cymru, Lon Cambria and Lon Teifi. For touring cyclists who don't speak Welsh, these routes are known as NCN8, 81 and 82 of the National Cycle Network.  I have cycled all three but in my recent visit to Ceredigion there is a fourth route that I wanted to investigate. Locally it appears to be known as the Trans Cambria Cycle Trail as I discovered from these notes in a bothy while staying at Tregaron

I had heard of this trail before so, with my wife, set off to learn more. It seems historically that there may have been an ancient route between two abbeys each side of the mountains. In the east there is Abbeycwmhir, a Cistercian abbey built in the 12th Century but never fully completed and the other is Strata Florida, which quickly became a site of huge religious significance and home to Welsh culture.

We went for a short hike up the western slopes and here are a few images what we discovered

Droving sheep down the mountain for sheering

First sight of a bothy

Bothy used by hikers and bikers

It seems that there is a narrow mountain road only partly surfaced with the middle section a rough track that connects Claerwen reservoir in the east to Tregaron in the west that runs close to the Teifi Pools.  Needless to say, this is on my agenda for a future bike tour and I will tell more when it is done

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