The first dedicated mountain biking trail centre in the United Kingdom, it is renowned up and down the country in particular by two subsets of people: hikers and mountain bikers.
Coed y Brenin is a popular forest found deep within the Snowdonia National Park, near the market town of Dolgellau in Gwynedd, North Wales. Coed y Brenin – which in English translates roughly to “the King’s Trees”. There are a number of man-made single track courses through the woods, which vary somewhat in length; the shortest is 5 miles, while the longest is a formidable 23 miles long. There’s also one dual slalom course, known as the Minotaur. This intermediate course consists of two loops, one of which measures two miles and the other three.
Keen mountain bikers will enjoy taking on the black-grade Tarw, MBR and The Beast courses, which are ranked as “severe” in difficulty, while newcomers will prefer the novice (green-ranked) Afon. For those in the middle who are looking for a challenge, Temptiwr, Dragon’s Back and Cyflym Coch are all ranked as red, or “difficult”. Happily, all the trails are free to use, meaning you can spend the whole day racing through the trees without spending a penny.
There’s also Yr Ffowndri – the Foundry – which is especially designed for total newbies to the mountain biking scene. The facility offers a training zone to help you progress through the core riding skills and boost your confidence on two wheels, as well as three further zones that slowly ramp up the difficulty. And if you don’t have your own bike, no problem: Beics Brenin offer a “hire fleet” of cycles, and they’ll make sure you get the perfect-sized one based on your height.
Since 2006, there has been an impressive visitor centre on the site. Costing £1.6 million, it is mostly geared towards the mountain biking visitors, but with it came the addition of five well signposted hiking trails. There is also a lovely café, perfect for a spot of lunch to refuel after a morning spent hiking and biking.
Because it’s found right in the centre of the Snowdonia National Park, there’s a veritable bounty of other activities to do and places to visit in the vicinity. Once you’ve had your fill of Coed y Brenin, you can journey north to Blaenau Ffestiniog, where you can venture back down to earth via zip-lines into the abandoned slate mines, or you can go for a ride on the Ffestiniog Heritage Railway, which will take you comfortably along to Porthmadog.
The beautiful and bizarre village of Portmeirion is a short trip from there. This Italianate village was stylised after the Riviera, with a lovely sandy beach and some frankly strange architecture. The village could easily fill up a whole day itself, so why not stay in the area? We offer a number of self-catered cottages in Wales; click here to find out more information.
8 miles north of Dolgellau just off the A470.
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This walk will take you to the very top of the hill that is Moel Llyfnant, and lead you through the lost village of Tryweryn, which was partially flooded when the Llyn Celyn reservoir was opened in the early 1960s.
Cadair Idris is named after the giant of legend who supposedly lived here; the name translates to “Chair of Idris”. It is said that he studied the stars from here, and bestows poetic inspiration to anyone hardy enough to spend the night up there.
Lasting five miles, the walk around Coed Felinrhyd isn’t too long, nor is it too strenuous, but make sure you have good walking shoes on for it. It’s a beautiful trek, taking in the waterfalls as well as some local legends.
Choose a cottage in the Snowdonia area for qucik access into the Snowdonia National Park. From remote cottages overlooked by soaring mountains to cottages in small villages you can find the right level of "countryside" for you.
Southern Snowdonia has green countryside with forests, hills, lakes and beaches too! Explore the beauty of the area and enjoy the peace, the history and the variety of scenery within such a small area - the perfect place for an escape to the country...
Escape to the countryside and access nature straight from your front door. These cottages are away from towns and villages but often a short car journey from ammenities.