Why go motorbike touring in Wales?
Wales is such a rewarding destination for biking. It’s got all the scenery – mountains, rivers and coastline – with charming places to stop over, masses of activities and boundless sights to see without even having to get off your bike. Spectacular scenery and quiet roads – with no passport required - is a pretty attractive combination right now. And the weather is getting better every day. So, we’re packing our bags, our cameras and our trusty Roadskin jeans, ready to revisit some of our favourite rides in Wales. We can’t wait to get back out there. Just keep an eye on your speed, as the Welsh police are really hot on speeding and there are plenty of cameras on those glorious stretches of road.
Looking for some of the best motorbike routes in Wales? Here are the Roadskin recommendations
An island just off the northwest coast, Anglesey is 260 square miles of wild beauty. To get there, you’ll cross Thomas Telford’s Grade I listed bridge of 1827, the world’s first major suspension bridge – 305m long and 30m above the Menai Straits. The coastal loop is a shortish 75 miles on the main roads, and manageable in under an hour and a half, but you won’t be able to resist stopping off at the sandy, blue-flag beaches along the way. Roads can be long, winding and challenging, but there are also tranquil country lanes. The historical small town of Beaumaris makes a picturesque base. Mix up your trip with a motorcycle trackday at the Anglesey Circuit at Ty Croes.
Watch out for: puffins, dolphins and seals.
2. Brecon Beacons
From sleek roads to twisty bends, the Brecon Beacons in south Wales offer all kinds of riding routes as well as epic views and super-starry night skies. The A470 slices through the centre of the Beacons and the stately mountain ranges of Pen y Fan and Fan Fawr. Heading south, pass the trailhead to Pen y Fan and Corn Du, check out Beacons Reservoir, then turn right onto the A4059, a fantastic, fast, moorland road with great visibility and curves. Alternatively, the A40 stretches along the north part of the Beacons, giving stunning views of the never-ending hills, lakes and the River Usk. The quaint market town of Brecon is a good place to stay and to eat.
Watch out for: wild ponies, stray sheep and the Gospel Pass, Wales’s highest driving road.
3. Llanwrtyd Wells – Tregaron (The Abergwesyn Pass)
Make for the wilds of the Cambrian mountains in mid-Wales for this bleakly beautiful ride. It’s only 20 miles-ish, but it’s one to savour: the moorlands and peat bogs of Abergwesyn Common, pine forests and streams. A highlight of this single-track route comes halfway through - a steep series of hairpins called the Devil’s Staircase. Needless to say, there’s fantastic walking if you want to make a day of it – have a picnic at the river by Nant Ifon.
Watch out for: standing stones, lapwings and Soar y Mynydd, the most remote chapel in Wales.
4. Snowdon loop, Snowdonia National Park
Easy. Base yourself in historic Caernarfon and ride around the highest mountain in Wales. For the best views of Snowdon itself, go anti-clockwise. Take the A4085, which speedily ascends into the foothills and includes a run along the pretty shores of Llyn Cwellyn. As you pass Rhyd-Ddu, look left up Snowdon’s gentle western slopes. Turn left at Beddgelert (Snowdonia’s most picturesque village – and perfectly located – another good place to stay) along the A498. Snowdon now shows its more dramatic and jagged side. Turn left at Pen y Gwryd and up through the Llanberis Pass. Its high point, Pen-y-Pass, is where the most popular walking routes to the summit begin. And, once you’re here - can you even get this close to the top without walking to it?! Some of the most expansive views in the British Isles will be your reward. To return, it’s downhill to Llanberis and back to Caernarfon.
Watch out for: the steam locos and narrow-gauge carriages of The Welsh Highland Railway.
5. Coastal Way
Tips for packing for a motorbike trip to Wales:
Wales has a maritime climate (cloudy, wet, windy, mild) but there are huge variations, with harsher weather in the uplands and gentler conditions along the coast. Pack wet-weather gear and breathable base layers, plus versatile clothing that’s comfortable, stylish and practical enough to take you from the bike to the pub. Our AAA-rated Taranis motorcycle jeans (soft, stretchy, AAA-rated, good in all weathers except extreme cold) and Easyrider motorcycle jeans (lightweight, straight-leg, AA-rated, ideal for warmer days) are perfect for spring/summer UK touring on your motorbike.
Do you have a favourite route or road in Wales? Please let us know!