Bristol to Swansea

jackfeeder Posts: 269
I am going to ride Bristol to Swansea in the next few months.
Has anyone done this?
I would prefer to ride my road bike for speed but am unsure to what conditions the cycle routes are in. Has anyone got a good route on quiet roads that would do the job (distance realistic for 1 day's cycling)?
Otherwise it may be on my mountain bike with semi-slicks which will take me longer I presume even though I would be on route 4 all the way?
Does anyone know if you folow this route could you ride a road bike all the way?
I know from Port Talbot to Swansea would be ok but unsure of the miles&miles before that.
Any advice?
All my life I've wanted to be someone; I guess I should have been more specific.


  • craker
    craker Posts: 1,739
    My 2p worth... the A48 will take you from Chepstow to Newport as a good route but is urban and fast beyond Newport.

    If you want to go North of Newport and Cardiff then you're into the valleeees, which you'll be crossing perpendicular to their routes South. Lots of hills. (Do it on a roadie though).

    How about going Chepstow -> Usk -> Abergavenny -> Merthyr -> Swansea???
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    I have done much of route 4 from Swansea going west, and regularly cycle Bristol to Newport on 4, it is all ridable on a road bike, there is 1 stretch of 2 miles with gravel about 5 miles from Newport, but its fine on my Planet-X carbon with 23mm tyres (though a bit uncomfortable). Most of the route is quiet roads and a bit of dedicated bike path beside bigger roads. It is well signposted (occasionally obliterated by overgrown hedgerows, so watch out at junctions). I would say this is an excellent route, though of course I have not yet experienced the middle bit, I would expect it to be pretty similar to the bits I have done.
  • mr si - what do you reckon the mileage is for that route you suggest, inc from Bristol?
    Done the Dragon Ride/Autumn Epic before so can do hills/mountains.

    Alfablue - your route sounds more direct therefore saving me time. What's the mileage for that one do you reckon?
    All my life I've wanted to be someone; I guess I should have been more specific.
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    My Celtic Trail guide book shows Chepstow to Quaker's Yard (north of Pontypridd) 44 miles, easy; then a choice of two routes, a southern route to Swansea, 40 miles easy, or a "high level route" which goes further north, 44 miles strenuous. Bristol to Chepstow is about 18-20 miles, so around 100 miles in total.
  • craker
    craker Posts: 1,739
    a little knowledge is a dangerous thing ... AlfaBlue is better informed than me I suspect. Chepstow -> Usk -> Abergavenny can't be much more than 30 miles, I've no road experience beyond that. The A465 is the trunk road - it's lumpy to Merthyr (one of those roads with sand traps at the sides for vehicles with failed brakes) can't speak from personal recommendation though.
  • oldwelshman
    oldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    I would stay away from the heads of the valley route, and cross country over all the valleys would be a nightmare.
    I would stick to coastal B roads using OS map, much more scenic and less dangerous or hilly.
  • No way would I be going on the Heads of the Valley road, I'd like to stay alive!
    The high level route from Ponty to Neath is forestry roads I think, not suitable for a roadbike I'd guess.
    Could be the low level route - just over 100miles should be ok, as long as there's no s#d of a headwind!
    Any other suggestions?
    All my life I've wanted to be someone; I guess I should have been more specific.
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Jackfeeder, apols if you know this already but I can thoroughly recommend

    For free, you can see if anyone has already mapped a route or you can play around with it yourself creating routes and evn check the elevation as you go (essential for me :oops: ). Still, it is no substitute for real knowledge, as evidenced on the responses to date.