MB Wales has made a film about mountain biking in Wales. From trail centres, epic downhills, natural trails and family rides, it manages to convey in just over 5 minutes the incredible variety of riding to be enjoyed in Wales. It would be rude not to share.
It’s been a very wet winter here. I’m not complaining – we haven’t been flooded out of our home unlike a lot of people, but it has meant that the natural riding has been pretty much out of bounds. But every now and again the sun shines brightly and the landscape is transformed. And I’m reminded that summer is not that far away.
Walking the dog the other day, the sun came out and the shadow suddenly revealed all the sheep trails criss-crossing the hill. I’ve suddenly discovered a new series of trails for when things are a bit drier. This stuff is so narrow it’s not even singletrack – more semitrack, giving just enough to ride across the steep hillside.
Ever fancied conquering the highest peak in England and Wales, by bike?
STOP PRESS Only two places left
Snowdon, as everyone knows, is our highest mountain and a magnet for hill walkers, climbers and mountain bikers. Sometimes it is smothered in dense cloud or a blanket of deep snow. At other times it is bathed in glorious sunshine revealing staggering, awe inspiring views across the National Park and North Wales. A journey to it’s peak is a true adventure unlike anything other and one that a mountain biker will remember for a very long time. But it is a proper mountain with terrain and weather to match and needs to be treated with respect.
We have teamed up with our friends at Carbon Monkey* to offer a guided ride to the summit and back. Enjoy an epic adventure in the knowledge that you’ve got the backup and support of a local professional MTB guide to take you down the best lines, help out with any mechanicals, get the best photos and make sure you get to the top and back in one piece.
Here’s a rough edit from Carbon Monkey’s trip last October to give you a taster…
At the end of an epic day return to Ty Beic for a hot shower, enjoy a beer or two on your terrace (while gazing at the Berwyns, good riding there too) and then collapse into “a very large, very comfortable bed” (not our words). We are giving you a late check out on Sunday – 12noon rather than 10am. Spend the morning relaxing or squeeze in a cheeky ride, if you’ve still got the energy, before heading home to plan your next adventure.
The Snowdon Adventure takes place on Saturday 23 April. Two nights accommodation for two at Ty Beic (22 and 23 April) and two places on Carbon Monkey’s ‘the Welsh Classic’ costs £250**. There are only four places available so get in touch quickly to secure your place by completing the form below.
man, dog and Berwyns
enjoy a beer or two on your private terrace
or from inside your cottage
what about that for a view?
superking, super comfy bed
single or super kingsize beds, your choice
*Carbon-Monkey is a specialist MTB skills course provider running mountain bike courses in North Wales, the Lake District, Peak District, Scotland and on Cannock Chase.
** Please get in contact for longer stays and prices excluding the Snowdon trip for non cycling partners.
Three inches of snow on top of a foot of mature welsh bog – think I have found the limits of the Geax Saguaro.
Up on the tops the wind is whipping the snow off the ridge against a bright blue sky. A frighteningly sketchy descent (the brakes work but nothing’s gripping anything) and ten minutes later it’s like a summer’s day in the valley.
Apart from the half mile stretch of black ice on the road, which I can’t even walk on.
Home for a warm bath. Perfect.
Jenny, Richard and Oscar the dog stayed with us in December 2015 after winning a weekend’s stay through the very nice people at Singletrack. Jenny wrote a few words about her stay….
“The last time I won a competition was in 1989 when I won a pair of curtains for my composition entitled “Penguin with a hat on because he is cold” in the medium of Crayola. I was rather more impressed when my husband told me he had won a weekend break at Ty Beic just by virtue of being a Singletrack subscriber. The owners of the converted barns at Ty Beic are riders themselves and have designed the accommodation with riders in mind. There’s a secure bike store, bike wash, drying cupboard, laundry, a great shower, and cosy underfloor heating. Indeed, I had to prise the dog off the floor in the morning and practically drag him outside for his morning constitutional.
We started the weekend at Penmachno having read some great reviews about the trails. We hadn’t factored in Storm Desmond making an appearance which lead to some “challenging” conditions. The water was so deep on the trail that it was hard to tell what was a drop-off and what was just a small puddle until you piled into it (piled in being a common theme of the day). I’m lead to believe the final descent is a really fast, whoopy, chute; however Desmond was blowing a 67mph head wind at us which meant pedalling flat out downhill just to prevent being blown back up the hill. The two 30ft trees that had been blown down on to the track should have been a warning to us but we carried on regardless. Back at the accommodation we settled down with a locally brewed beer from the craft beer shop in Bala, and an enormous steak cooked in the well equipped kitchen in the barn. After dinner (and with another one of those craft beers) we used the handy guide the owners have made to plan our ride for the next day.
Ty Beic is situated in the singletrack epicentre: less than 45mins from Coed Llandegla, Penmachno, Coed y Brenin, The Marin Trail and Antur Stiniog. I am strongly motivated by cake and so Llandegla is one of my favourite trail centres on account of the superior quality – and portion size – of the cake. Luckily my husband knows what’s good for him and agreed to go there (happy wife, happy life). Desmond had moved on to ravage the Highlands of Scotland by this point so we were left with distinctly better conditions. Llandegla never fails to disappoint [sic] and we had an enjoyable blast around the trail before I got to tuck into a large slice of the good stuff.
We will definitely be back, and with friends next time – both converted barns can be rented together for a discount. I’m going to admit defeat and pack away the Crayola and leave my husband to the competition entries from now on.”
shorts were a bad idea
This article originally appeared on singletrackworld. Words and pics courtesy of Jenny. Craft beers courtesy of Stori. Mud and gales courtesy of Desmond.
We’re not very good at blowing our own trumpet but it’s lovely when a guest does it for you and does it so well….
“My Wife and I stayed at Ty Beic for a last minute weekend away. Even with the very short notice we gave Karen, only a matter of hours, the apartment was gleaming for our arrival and Karen couldn’t have been more welcoming. The apartment was furnished to a standard you’d expect of somewhere much more expensive, and the location is beautiful, perched above the Welsh countryside.
I’d highly recommend Ty Beic for anyone looking for a lovely trip away; however if you’re a cyclist then Ty Beic is truly unbeatable. The location is perfect for accessing some of the best road and mountain biking that the UK has to offer and in addition Ty Beic offers complimentary bike storage, a bicycle jet washer, laundry facilities and more cycling reading material in the apartment than you could get through in a whole Summer’s holiday. This all came as a nice surprise during our trip as our itinerary consisted of a weekend’s mountain biking at the local Marin Trail and Coed y Brenin.
Ty Beic easily scores 5 out of 5, I’d score it higher if I could and will most definitely be returning to explore even more of what the area has to offer.”
That’s what our latest guests, and winners of Singletrack’s Tuesday Treats prize draw, thought about Ty Beic. We can’t help but agree. Read the full review here and find out for yourself by booking a holiday with us.
We’ve one weekend left this year, 18 – 20 December, and plenty of availability in January. 10% discount for Singletrack subscribers.
Fancy doing something different this Christmas?
We have two warm and cosy cottages, decorated in our own idiosyncratic style and with stunning views, six trail centres within a 30 minute drive and Christmas lunch in a 17th Century traditional Welsh pub.
Our local, the Bryntirion in Llandderfel, is open on Christmas Day and is offering a very special Christmas Day 7 course lunch. Yes, that’s 7 courses. We have booked ours and have reserved a further 4 places for our guests. For only £320 your can enjoy 3 nights in one of our cottages and a Christmas Day lunch at the Bryn for two people. You can even bring your faithful hound if you book into the Stable.
If you don’t want to eat out, no problem. Our kitchens are fully equipped for you to cook at home and we’ll even order a turkey for you from one of Bala’s two award winning butchers if you ask nicely and give us plently of notice.
You’ll want to work off that Christmas lunch with a bike ride. Natural trails never close, but can be a little muddy this time of year, especially after the battering Abigail, Kate and Barney have just dished out, but the trail centres are rideable all year round. Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre is closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day but the trails are open so if you are planning to visit then, take a picnic. And some warm clothes. Oneplanet Adventure at Llandegla closes on Christmas Day but is open at all other times. Penmachno and Marin trails never close.
Booking closes for the Christmas Special on 11 December. Email me if you’re interested.
Have a look at our Prices and Availability page for other bookings.
So, that’s Christmas sorted.
Two mud loving MTBers stayed at Ty Beic this weekend and they like what they found…
We found Ty Beic to be very comfortable, very clean, well equipped (including for cyclist/MTBers, as per the name!), warm, tastefully renovated with a lot of attention to details and a very high finish throughout. The woodwork done by Richard was a joy to look at! It’s a very quiet, rural location with fantastic views, and facing South. As no-one was booked in on the day we left, Karen extended our departure time which made for a nice relaxing day.
Charlotte and Mark stayed braved the wet and windy weather to try out so some local routes (roots). The slightly muddy conditions meant they made full use of our bike washing facilities.
*I don’t have any photos of our guests so the main photo is of Richard
, the wood botherer, taken at Llyn Brenig the weekend before.
After one of the wettest summers in memory we have had a glorious September and October, although it has started to become a little moist over the last few days. We’ve been busy uncovering some local trails and taking some direct action where necessary to help make them more rideable. Just don’t tell anyone.
As well as the wonderful natural riding, we also have some of the UK’s best trail centres on our doorstep. With so many trail centres within easy reach you could ride a different one every day in a week and as these trails are manmade, they’re rideable all year round. My favourite is Coed y Brenin as it has something for everyone from the family friendly Afon trail to the twisty and rocky Tarw Du. We have friends staying with us this week. Three children aged 2 – 10, two parents and one loony Jack Russell. We’re planning a day at Coed y Brenin riding, walking, running, swimming (dogs only) and enjoying the cafe.
We’ve teamed up with our friends at Stori to offer our guests tickets to their Meet the Brewer evenings on 4 November and 2 December. It’s a chance to meet the brewer, learn about the hops, malts and the inspiration behind the brews. And drink some beer.
The first one – Wild Horse brewery from Llandudno – is only a couple of week’s way so you’ll need to book by 26 October.
Send me an e-mail if you’re interested.
Our other cottage, the Stable, is nearly finished. Keep an eye on twitter and facebook for progress reports. The first guests arrive on 13 November.
Why not visit Ty Beic with some friends and book both cottages? 5% discount if you do.