Llyn Brianne Doethie Valley Strata Florida Loop?

Home Forum Bike Forum Llyn Brianne Doethie Valley Strata Florida Loop?

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Llyn Brianne Doethie Valley Strata Florida Loop?
  • chvck

    Where did you find the gpx file? This is on my list of todos!


    sorry not mapmyride but sharemyroutes.com is HERE

    Premier Icon Speshpaul

    Please report back, I’d be interested in knowing how it rides.


    Weather permitting looking to ride the Llyn Brianne Doethie Valley Strata Florida loop. Have a gpx file from mapmyride. Also have the OS map. Are there any written cues for this loop. Google has not revealed anything.



    The route is quite simple, just follow the fireroad around the lake until you get to Soar-y-Mynydd and take the bridleway over the hill.

    I went a month ago and when I got to Soar-y-Mynydd there were signs on the bridleway saying that the track is closed to all traffic and the gates were locked.

    Ignore this and climb over! However once you have gone over the steep hill and descend, take care as the bridleway has been washed away and there are very deep gullys (several feet deep in places) The path is rideable but the gully frequently swaps from left to right and caught me out!

    Apart from that the recent good weather means that the Doethie Valley should be the driest it is possible to get (not saying much – there will still be boggy bits)

    If you park at the dam, you will have to finish with a steep ride back up to the car. If you park at the bottom of the valley, you have a climb to begin with but finish with the thrill of riding 7km downhill.

    The choice is yours

    Have a good day out!


    Ooh! This looks promising! I did the Strata Florida loop from the other side (Claerwen and back via Coed Trallwm, a la STW “severe” loop) at the weekend and was pretty disappointed. This may have more about it.

    I await a full report 😉

    edit: Looking at the gpx file though, be prepared to get your feet wet climbing up Strata Florida. I rode it the other way and the “water splashes” certainly aren’t designed to be pedalled through. Most are fine but one or two are hub deep (and black peaty water so hard to judge) 🙂

    Premier Icon charliemort

    hub deep? i’ve done it on a mnotorbike in the Welsh 2 day enduro and some were fuel tank deep…….

    the good guys do that section in about 11 minutes, btw!

    Premier Icon rickon

    I remember riding this in the pissing rain at something like 4am after being stuck in a van for 30 hours with the smell of supermarket curry snacks and spilt pasta.


    Try here:

    Written really badly, sorry, I was young, I needed the money…

    And this too:

    Tywi Teifi Headwaters ride

    Map: Explorer 187, Llandovery/Llanymddyfri, Llanwrtyd Wells & Llyn Brianne. The route just leaves the boundary of this map in two places, but it is possible to go without the extra maps- Explorer 200 Llandrindod Wells and Elan Valley and Explorer 213 Aberystwyth and Cwm Rheidol. Little else will do- unless you can access aerial photography.

    Looking over the map of Lon Las Cymru (LLC), the National Cycleroute running through Wales I noticed that there was a very circuitous section that took to the forest for some fourteen or fifteen kilometres to avoid a four-kilometre section packed with fords. It was like a red rag to a bull.

    http://www.bikemagic.com/forum/forummessages.asp?URN=3&UTN=855&SP=&V= – 9284

    It has taken a while to get the route sussed. Equipment failure dogged us early on forcing retreat to the Stonecroft Inn in Llanwrtyd Wells on more than one occasion. Lost jockey wheels, crisped wheels and general horrible weather caused problems at first, later succeeded by the ‘Foot and Mouth’ restrictions. It transpires however that as the track is classified as a road it was never actually restricted at all.

    I once rode it in the snow on Christmas Eve, when the fords were waist deep and it was very cold. There is a bothy on the route that is kept unlocked and a supply of food and fuel is stored there. Please keep it that way, and feel free to keep it as well stocked as you find it. I really appreciated it that day. Friends stayed there last Christmas, in the snow, with the foxes.

    Where to stay:

    Moel Prysgau bothy, SN 806611. You should be a member of the Mountain Bothies Association. http://www.mountainbothies.org.uk/. The bothy is on the route, but you need to be completely self sufficient to use it.

    Far more luxurious, but far less adventurous is the Youth Hostel at Dolgoch. SN 806562. It has the advantage that it is not too far from the road.

    For the hedonists amongst us there are the fleshpots of Llanwrtyd Wells, most notably the Stonecroft Inn and the Neuadd Arms as well as Rhayader and Pontrhydfendigaid.

    Stunning accommodation at Trallwm Forest Cottages, seriously bike friendly. They have even built 12km of trail for you to ride.

    See also the accommodation details posted for ‘The Doethie Valley’ on this site.

    Where’s the Café?

    The only refreshments to be had on the route are the views, the air and lots of fresh water. Please don’t remove food from Moel Prysgau. A detour to from Strata Florida to Pontrhydfendigaid (2 km) is possible.

    Where’s the start?

    I suggest that you start just off the tarmac SN804 568, by the gate 700m south of the disused farm, Nant Ystalwyn. This is about a mile from the Devil’s Staircase.

    Let’s do it

    Head southwest on a tarmac lane to the junction with the Llyn Brianne road at SN811 563. Turn left here and climb up the back end of the Devil’s Staircase. At summit of climb take second forest road on left and follow it down south-westward back to tarmac at cattle grid.

    The next section, along the Irfon valley is a delight. The river splashes away down to your right, dropping faster and faster through a series of gorges and falls whilst you follow a tiny tarmac strip high above. The road descends gently at first, then steeply to Abergwesyn (SN855 527). Turn left- northeast, here and follow easy lanes into the forest. To your left you may spot purpose made trails beside the stream, it is possible to follow these to Nant yr Hwch/ Trallwm holiday cottages (SN883 544) where you need to turn up into the forest for a steady climb up the forest road to Spot 413 (SN881 552).

    The junction here is quite complex, perhaps with an array of signs from various rides and routes in the past. The trail needed is straight over, Northwards, down to the stream and then up through the trees to leave the forest at SN883 564, on Esgair yr Wyn (NB, this area may well have been harvested/ clear felled). Open ground now rises up to Carnau, one and a half kilometres to the north. Aim for the cairn. There’s possibly a bit of pushing here as the track is ill defined and steep in places, but the views southwards are something else. Track cleans up about 300m before summit of Carnau.

    From Carnau head northwards once more, following an intermittent line of small boundary markers for some time. In the boggy col, Bwlch y Ddau Faen, continue north following the eastern side of the Nant Paradwys. The three-kilometre singletrack from Carnau is stunning, a high moorland valley initially gently descending and then swooping down to the valley floor at Rhiwnant Bridge. This is a great place for a swim, and marks the end of the first third of the route.

    At Rhiwnant Bridge (SN901 695) the route leaves the map for 200m. Cross the bridge, turn left, and head up the four Km. of gently ascending tarmac to Claerwen dam. Do not cross the dam, but follow the gravel track for nine kilometres around the north shore of the lake to the end, Claerwen (SN821 673). Follow the track, to leave the map again at the ford at Rhyd Goch Fach, SN802 679. Follow the track and one kilometre later, back on the map, tarmac is regained and briefly followed to Llyn Egnant, by taking the left (southward) turn at SN794 680. Cycle to the dam, and then follow the exceptional piece of singletrack down to Tynycwm, with the river roaring and cascading over the rocks way below. Tynycwm is the start of the final third of the route.

    Pass by the farm and then down to the road and the old chapel. Turn right and follow the lane to the ancient Strata Florida Abbey (SN746 658). It is possible to take an easy detour to Pontrhydfendigaid at this junction.

    From Strata Florida, take the lane that heads southeast past the ruins into the forest at Pantyfedwen, and then take the track hidden in the trees to the left of the main forest road. It is a long climb up to the forest to Bwlch, at SN766 628. Head east from here, down to Rhyd y Meirch at SN79 626.

    An enormous puddle, the size and depth of a small canal usually marks Rhyd y Meirch. It is rideable, but many may prefer to take the forest road above it, heading east parallel to the floods, and then cut down to the track at SN783 624. Follow the stream/ track southeast out of the forest to meet with a large concrete bridge at SN800 613.

    This is the ‘Tywi Track’. Just follow the river downstream. Do not bother trying to stay dry, the puddles and fords can be very deep indeed, but all bar one of the many fords are rideable.

    At SN806 609 there is a reasonably sizeable confluence, where the Afon Tywi and Nant Gwinau meet. The latter perhaps appears to be larger, with the Tywi entering from the east. Two hundred metres or so up the Tywi, in a clearing and just visible from the confluence is Moel Prysgau, a cottage owned by Forest Enterprise and maintained by the Mountain Bothies Association (SN806 611). It is weathertight and warm, with a supply of tinder and fuel, as well as non-perishable food. Please replace anything that you consume. The logbook makes interesting reading, especially the entries about the motorbike in the floods.

    Continue down the Tywi Track for another five kilometres of excellent riding, with the pace quickening almost to the very end. Once at the old farm, Nant Ystalwyn, it is just one kilometre south along the track and through the gate to return to the start.

    Physical 5
    Technical 4
    Fun 5
    Scenery 5
    Singletrack 5
    Rideability 5


    Hey guys thanks for all the input, did some of this ride as part of the Transwales back in 2009 so it all a bit vague now. Fingers crossed the weather holds up 😯

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu

    the good guys do that section in about 11 minutes, btw!


Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

The topic ‘Llyn Brianne Doethie Valley Strata Florida Loop?’ is closed to new replies.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks are open.

Skip to top