South Wales Spectacular 4 Day Break
Two ticket options, the weapon of choice
1. Full ticket - 5 Nights stay, 4 days ride 15 - 20 July
2. Weekender - 3 Nights stay, 2 days ride 15 - 18 July
Dates: 15-20 July 2022
Our ‘South Wales Spectacular’ MTB break delivers four full days of the very best rides that the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains have to offer. Beautiful, brooding and bloody big - these two iconic upland areas provide the tallest mountains and most awesome terrain in South Wales.
About the event
We’ll feature the best of the best, including the Black Mountains ‘Big Classic’ and ‘Beast’, the Brecon Beacons Gap, the super-sharp ridge of Mynydd Llangorse, and the outstanding trail-trove that is Bike ParkWales.
And because we specialise in selecting the best, you’ll sleep in a handsome hillside cottage in the Usk Valley village of Govilon. Here you can stretch out and admire the views, lounge in the panoramic conservatory, plunge into the swimming pool or soak in the hot tub and have a private chef.
The Lowdown - What to expect from our ‘South Wales Spectacular’?
We’ll magic away all the time-consuming route planning, research and logistics, and will guide you expertly along some of the most iconic Mountain Bike trails in Wales. You’ll be in the good company of like-minded Mountain Bikers, staying in a luxury cottage with a pool and hot tub, and enjoying food prepared by an award-winning chef.
IS THIS TRIP FOR ME The duration and difficulty of our riding will be tailored to the group where possible. You should be comfortable tackling Blue / Red graded Routes – steeper and tougher, mostly singletrack with technical sections. The Brecon Beacons may sound familiar, even cosy, but let’s remember that they are the highest mountains in Southern Britain. The terrain is rugged and often treeless and exposed to the elements, and the weather is notoriously changeable. That said, the Beacons provide some of the best riding in Britain, and in the company of our qualified and experienced guide, you can concentrate on having a truly awesome time
WHAT'S INCLUDED Accommodation: 5 nights in a super speccy cottage with a panoramic conservatory, a pool and hot tub, and of course plenty of bike storage. • Meals: enjoy chef-prepared open buffet breakfasts, packed lunches and dinners, plus complimentary drinks (beer, wine and soft drinks). • Guiding: 4 full day’s guided riding with a British Cycling Level 2 Guide and a maximum client to guide ratio of 8:1 • Transport: daily minibus travel to and from the trails is with a dedicated professional driver • Safety: first aid kits and emergency shelters are carried by our MTB Leader Award Level 2 and first aid trained staff.
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED • Your bike: we’d recommend a good maintained Mountain Bike with fresh tyres and good brakes. If you don't have a bike we are delighted to let you know that you can rent one of our state-of-the-art E-MTBs. Check out E-Bike Rental section and just let us know if you need one. Will deliver it to you at the location. • Bike Park Wales pedal pass entry: entry to the bike park is £19pp.
RIDING ABILITY We’ve chosen routes that give a really enjoyable Brecon Beacon/Black Mountain flavour rather than stretch us all to breaking point. That’s not to say that there won’t be challenges. There will be some long days requiring considerable physical exertion, and there are sure to be moments on especially tricky ‘uphill sections’ when everyone will have to carry their bikes for a few metres at least. That’s why we don’t feel that this trip would suit anyone who isn’t happy riding trails graded Blue & Red. As with other sections of this break outline though, if you are in any doubt, please do contact us to talk things through. Our philosophy is to give the maximum riding pleasure to a broad cross-section of people, and you may be surprised at what you already can do.
ITINERARY Day 1 – Brecon Beacons Gap Ride Approximate distance: 35km: approximate ascent: 950m After breakfast, we’ll roll out of the cottage into the tiny village of Talybont-on-Usk. The exact route will depend on the weather and the group, but from here we’ll start our variation of the famous Brecon Beacons Gap Ride. Whatever the weather, we’ll hope to climb to a 600m col and then enjoy the glorious and seemingly endless descent to the ride’s finish. Day 2 - Bike Park Wales Bike Park Wales is the UK's premier MTB park. It’s the country’s biggest purpose-built mountain biking resort and has its longest green downhill trail. It’s a Smörgåsbord of 44 sweeping bike trails and tons of fun for riders of all abilities and ages. We shall flip coins on selected trails, from never-ending blue to technical reds. This park is amazing and because we will be riding e-mtb’s we won’t need the uplift service we will use our legs and take some of the most enjoyable and never-ending, thrilling lines downhill. Say our goodbyes to the ones who only joined for the short weekend. Day 3 - Maynydd Llangorse Riding distance of around 26km with a total ascent of about 650m. This lesser-known area sits between the Black Mountains proper and The Gap rides of the Brecon Beacons. It is famous for some steep climbs and fun loose-and-twisty trails along an awesome ridge. The day begins - like the other mornings on the break - with a chef-prepared open buffet hot breakfast, and coffees. With a calories and coffee combo boost we’ll start and finish our ride by Tal-y-llyn Lake. This is a brilliant ride featuring a superb and virtually unbroken single-track run along the beguiling Mynydd Llangorse ridge. Day 4 - The Black Mountains Beast loop Approximate distance: 40km Approximate ascent: 1,200m It’s then a short minibus ride to the trailhead. There’s no doubt about it – this is one of the best MTB rides in the UK, and one that should be on every mountain biker's bucket list. Back at the cottage, there will be a welcome drink, a swimming pool and a hot tub waiting for us. Day 5 - say our goodbyes, and head our separate ways until next time.
WEATHER This isn’t just any old UK weather; this is Welsh mountain weather. It is notoriously changeable, and we could experience everything from benign hot sunny days to a wet and windy full-on shocker. Even in the Summer! Please pack accordingly – it will help enormously if you have many layers and options so that we can adapt to the weather as we find it. See our What to Pack? The section below for some kit-packing tips.
WHAT TO PACK? The weather can be super fickle in the mountains of South Wales, and we should be prepared. We’ll have a briefing each evening to give you the latest on the next day’s weather forecast. Essentials • Helmet • A good waterproof, windproof jacket • MTB shoes (suitable for flat pedals or clip-on) • Water (we suggest 1-2L per ride) • Mini pump for your valve • Tubeless repair kit (if you use tubeless) • Puncture patches (if applicable to your tube), and spare inner tubes • Tyre levers • Multi-tool kit • Spare brake pads (used or new) • Rear gear hanger for your bike • Power link for your chain type and speed • Any medication you usually take
INSURANCE You don’t need medical insurance in the UK per se, but we strongly recommend you do take out some specific travel insurance for this break. It will cover you in case you have to cancel through becoming ill or suffering an injury before the trip begins for example.
OUR ETHOS We’d like to keep our impact on the hills and the wider environment to a minimum. Areas of such natural beauty are visited by many groups and types of people, and we hope that by not leaving any litter and by showing other park users, including any wildlife, with due respect, we can do our bit to keep these areas in good condition for future generations.