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A Bike Ride Through the Black Mountains

A 22-mile cycle route taking in Llangorse Lake, the village of Talgarth and Pengenford and the pass through the Black Mountains.

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Black Mountains Cycle Route

I love bikes and with the sun shining for the first time in weeks it was time to seize the moment and ride one of my favourite loops from Gliffaes. This 22-mile loop takes in Llangorse Lake and then a very undulating 10 miles or so into the small village of Talgarth which sits at the bottom of the wonderful climb up to Pengenford, the high point of the ride and the pass through the Black Mountains. It is then about 5 miles of fast downhill riding before the final run in back to Gliffaes.

Leave the hotel on the back lane, then head up the short sharp hill to Bwlch on the A40 and slowly down the other side of the hill as you make a hard right onto the road signed ‘Llangorse’. As it’s February and there are no leaves on the trees or the hedges, I enjoyed stunning views of the lake and across to the snow-capped Pen y Fan.

Continuing through and out the other side of the village of Llangorse and carrying on towards Talgarth on a real roller coaster of a road, I entered Talgarth just as Sunday morning rugby matches were kicking off. Avoid the bypass and go through the village and out on the old road to Abergavenny.

A steady but not painful climb leads you to Pengenford – all the while you are rewarded with a great vista of the Black Mountains in front of you. Zip up your jacket as you pass the old chapel on the left as you are about to crest the hill and begin a really fun, twisty descent. I think I hit 37 mph coming down here!

Once off the hill, the road still tilts down for a fast ride home through Cwmdu (there’s a small cafĂ© on the right) and Tretower. Cross the A40 and then make one sharp pull up the lane back to the hotel.

Distance: 22 miles
Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Book your Brecon Beacons escape

Gliffaes Country House Hotel is nestled in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park. We’ve created a useful guide of local attractions and activities here, containing information on walks, things to do, local shopping and places to visit, which you can use to help map out your visit to the Brecon Beacons.

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a fresh, locally-sourced lunch, dinner or afternoon tea, or somewhere comfortable to stay the night, our friendly country house hotel is the perfect base for your Brecon Beacons break.

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