Tour de Wales
This is a three day, three-night tour. Day one commences on the edge of the Peak National Park. The scenery starts from the moment you get on your bike, leaving the seven hills of Sheffield before heading towards Derbyshire and on to Wales.
Peak District to Llangollen (100 miles/7800ft)
Having been transported to the start of tour you’ll ride towards the Peak District taking in some of Velo cartel's most loved twists of tarmac. Take in the panoramic views over Yorkshire and Derbyshire before decending into Hathersage. The route takes you along the Hope Valley and a gradual climb towards the pretty village of Castleton, with the Blue John Caverns a unique feature of the area. The stinging climb of Winnats Pass is the first serious obtstacle that stands between you and your destination. The steep limestone cleft averages over 10% gradient, with a considerable section of 20% plus near the top, a distance of 2.3km (No. 33 in100 Greatest Cycling Climbs). This will have everyone pushing hard for the summit before reaching the welcome plateau which contours the valley side and on into Chapel en le Frith. Leaving the town, the road for the next few miles is easy before some significant hills through Whaley Bridge and Rainow. Lunch is a welcome break just outside Leek at Roaches Tea Rooms, with the splendid unspoilt views overlooking the Lancashire hills.
Re-energised you’ll be ready to take on the remainder of this leg which is easier than the ride before lunch, before you finally cross the border into the Land of Dragons.
Llangollen to Porthmadog (78 miles/6000ft)
Start the day with a fully laden breakfast or something a little more conservative, in preparation for the second day of cycling and plenty of hills. It's straight onto the wooded Pontfadog climb at 13% then onto the four mile ascent of Horse Shoe Pass. You will cycle through some of the most magical parts that North Wales has to offer. Having endured some steep climbs you will cross the wooden bridge to the seaside port Barmouth for lunch or a well deserved icecream. Relax for a while and take in the sea views before setting off again on the final journey of the day two. If you thought Winnats Pass was a little flat, why not try cycling up the steepest road in the United Kingdom, Ffordd Pen Llech (No92 . in 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs). This is one of two roads surrounding Harlech Castle World Heritage Site. Its descent of the rock spur to the north of the castle gives it a tangentially measured gradient at its steepest section of 40 percent! Should you survive the assault on Harlech Castle, it is then on to the evening stop in Tremadog and our great accomodation in the village.
Porthmadog to Caernarfon (79 miles/6887ft)
The final day of the tour takes you through the splendour of Snowdonia incorporating the majority of the Etape du Cymru route emersing you in a true Welsh cycling experience. With eight category four climbs throughout the day, the parcour is challenging. Lunch is taken at the Riverside Chocolate House and Team Room in Pentrefoelas. The climbing continues after lunch with the 10.5 mile ascent to Pen-y-Pas alongside the highest peak in Wales, Mount Snowdon. For those that enjoy a decent, the road into Llanberis is a joy. The tour ends in the square next to Caernarfon Castle, where you can celebrate with a well earned pint.
Enjoy the rest of the evening in one of the many bars and varied eating establishments that historic Caernarfon has to offer.
Prices from £375 per person based on two sharing bed and breakfast accomodation.