Scenic ride into the Brecon Beacons surrounding Llandovery

Start: Llandovery

Total Distance: 46km/28 miles

Total Elevation: 636m/2085ft

Difficulty Rating: 4/10

Estimated Time: 2 to 3.5hrs

Route Profile

Route map for Usk Reservoir - Llandovery (M1) by Discover Carmarthenshire on plotaroute.com

Directions

From Llandovery Car Park exit onto the A40 and immediately turn right onto the A4069, signposted Llangadog. Follow for 10km to the village of Llangadog and turn left in the village centre, signposted Brynamman (A4069). Continue for 4.5km, then turn left at a crossroads over a stone bridge signposted Llanduesant.

Continue on this road for 18km to the village of Trecastle. At the T-junction, turn left onto the A40 signposted Llandovery. Follow for 14km back to Llandovery. In the town centre, turn left immediately before the Castle Hotel back into the car park to finish.

Route Information

Llandovery lies nestled between the Brecon Beacons and the Cambrian Mountains with both areas having endless country roads and landscape to explore. This route heads into the Brecon Beacons, taking a road that has views that riders will feel compelled to stop and enjoy.

From Llandovery to the village of Llangadog, around 10 kilometres the roads rolls and gives pleasant views and a chance to begin to enjoy the surroundings. Turning in Llangadog the road starts to twist as it follows the Sawdde river upstream before turning left and over a bridge crossing the river. From this point the road points upwards and at first it is a challenging climb, gradients above 10% for a time before it does ease off. Overall the climb is a long one, 7km of roads that slowly elevate up to a peak of over 350 metres.

On its way upwards the road passes through small villages and passed a local Red Kite feeding centre where the birds should be easy to spot at all times of the day, but in particular around 2-3pm when feeding takes place. The history of the bird in the area dates back to when it was vulnerable and local rumour has it that the Army were guarding nest sites in the Towy Valley.

From the feeding station at Cross Inn the road soon crosses onto open moorland with the road visible far ahead. This area passes between Mynydd Myddfai on the left and Fan Brycheiniog perched up above on the right and what is one of the most iconic and memorable mountains in all of Wales. Hidden within the trees ahead is Usk Reservoir and while it is almost never seen the route passes with a few hundred metres at one point.

Although the endless climbing does ease with a few short downhills it remains a rolling and challenging road for another few kilometres still until the road finally pushes downhill for long enough to stop pedalling and really enjoy the flow. Shortly after the route enters Trecastle and joins the A40. From here back to Llandovery the road may be busier but is still enjoyable with lots of twists along the way to enjoy as well as being a gradual downhill almost the entire way.

Highlights

Sawdde valley – Gently climbing road following alongside the river below

Fedw Fawr – A beautiful section of tarmac with far views of the beacons and open landscape on both sides

Red Kite – Passing close to a popular Red Kite feeding station a sighting is almost guaranteed.

Stopping points

Llangadog – Mace village store

Llangadog – Post office & village shop

Llandovery – Penygawse Tea Rooms

Llandovery – Craft Centre Cafe

Llandovery – West End Cafe

Useful info

County Cycles – Bike shop, Cross Hands