While on a trip back to the UK, we managed to get a couple of days mountain biking in Wales. We went to Llandegla and Coed y Brenin. Coed y Brenin is the UK’s largest purpose built trail centre, and has a great variety of riding to keep all mountain bikers happy.
What is Coed y Brenin all about?
Nestled in the forests of Snowdonia in North Wales, Coed y Brenin has miles of trails suitable for all abilities. It is about 2 hours from Shrewsbury and 1 hour 30 minutes from Wrexham. For most, it may not be as accessible as Llandegla, but it is well worth the trip.
Postcode for SATNAV: LL40 2HZ
The Beics Brenin visitor’s centre is a really cool building. It gives you the feeling that you are sitting in a big posh tree house from space overlooking the forest. There is an excellent bike shop, with a large range of clothing (predominantly from Fox Racing). They hire out a great range of bikes, ranging from hardtails to e-bikes.
Who is it for?
Coed y Brenin has trails for everyone. Therefore, if you are a seasoned pro or, if you are introducing young kids in to mountain biking, Coed y Brenin is a great option.
You can book lessons for your visit. There are lessons to ensure your kids learn the ropes early on. Ladies only weekends are great for ladies that are concerned about testosterone overloads. But there is a whole range of mountain bike coaching to take advantage of.
What are the trails like?
All the trails are really easy to find from the visitor’s centre and carpark. The entrances are marked by large sculptures, such as giant suspension forks or a big shiny ring.
The green trail takes riders around open forests roads and gently rolling hills. You will be treated to great views of the waterfalls and the old gold mine. This is a very tame trail, designed for young families and nervous people that are just sampling mountain biking for the first time.
The blue “MinorTaur” trail is for people that can ride a bike proficiently, but want a nice introduction to mountain biking. This trail is fun and versatile, as it is good for disabled riders. This is because the trail builders have made it wide enough for adaptive mountain bikes.
If you are new to mountain biking, MinorTaur is a good first trail, as there are a few different loops you can do to keep it varied without getting out of your depth. It is also short enough to go round a few times, which is great for monitoring your progress.
The “Dragon’s Back” red trail is excellent fun. It has a good mix of climbing, flowy sections and technical downhills. Our favourite part is the group of linked sections named after characters from the Adam’s Family. These parts are fast and flowy with some twisty bits that are really good fun. The one section that is a bit tricky is “Lurch”, it has a corkscrew like uneven path made of smooth stones. This is a bit technical, especially in the wet.
There is a section that follows a long fire road to the trail’s highest point. On a clear day, the views are great, however, the last time we did it, we had 70mph winds. Therefore, we skipped that bit, and headed straight to the Adam’s Family sections.
For a big pedal
The black route at Coed y Brenin is called “The Beast”. It incorporates the best parts of the “Dragon’s Back”, plus a whole lot more. This trail is a physical but rewarding challenge, especially when you are blasting through the forest on the descents. The Beast is very popular with E-bikers, as the extra help can keep you going for longer.
The Skills Area
Coed y Brenin has a fantastic skills’ area. There are sections to practice jumps, drops, berms and rock gardens. Each section varies in difficulty, so you can easily move on to the next level once you feel confident.
Coed-y-Brenin visitor centre opening hours:
Summer: 9.00am – 5.00pm every day
Winter time: 9.30am – 4.30pm from Monday to Friday & 9.00am – 5.00pm Saturdays and Sundays.
Open 7 days a week (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day).
The Bike Shop, Beics Brenin is open 7 days a week all year round (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year’s Day).
Toilets and showers are available as well as disabled and baby changing facilities. There is also a shop for information, bike wash and pay and display car parking facilities.
Is Coed y Brenin Recommended?
Definitely! If you have access to a car and can get to Coed y Brenin, you will have a great time. The varied terrain and superb trails will keep any mountain biker happy, no matter what their level or experience is. If you can manage to go for 2 or 3 days, you will get a lot more out of it. There are lots of places to stay locally, for example, just 5 minutes drive away is the Trawfynydd Holiday Village. Here, you will find a range of log cabins to stay in.