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Explore Elan Valley

Undertake the variety of cycle routes in and around Elan Valley.

Escape to Elan! It is a world away from the relentless pace of modern life but close enough to make a memorable day trip from Birmingham (where much of our water travels to!), Cardiff and Manchester.

Our Visitor Centre below Caban Coch Dam is a good place to learn about the remarkable building of the dams and the alternative ways to explore. There is a gift shop with useful maps, local produce and mementos of Elan. We also have a spacious cafe alongside the River Elan which serves homemade snacks and meals.

Elan Valley is here to be enjoyed by all of us. Each year we welcome around half a million visitors, from the young to the young at heart and very active, to those looking for rest and relaxation. You may only be with us for a couple of hours but you will find plenty to interest and whet the appetite for a return visit; or you may be staying on the Estate itself or close by and you will still leave looking forward to next time.

Cycling

With its breathtaking landscapes and abundance of wildlife, the Elan Valley is a hidden gem located in the very heart of Wales, and there’s no better way to explore it than by bike. You can, of course, bring your own bikes but if you prefer to hire:

The Elan Trail

Following the line of the old Birmingham Corporation Railway for most of the way, the Elan Valley Trail offers families, novice cyclists and committed enthusiasts the opportunity to experience this beautiful part of the country at its best whilst staying healthy and helping the environment.

Mountain Biking

Elan has earned a solid reputation for natural mountain bike trails, echoed by Red Bull’s vote placing Elan in Wales’ Top 10 for mountain bike trails.

Set amongst a spectacular backdrop of Victorian dams and reservoirs, open hills, old railways and woodlands, the scenery is as much a reward as the sweeping valley descents.

Choose from beginner routes through to more technical, longer rides, you’re all welcome at Elan. 

Routes:

The Ant Hills

1 – 1.5 hours/ 9 km (Blue)

Around Caban

1 hour/ 15 km (Red) 

Roman Camp

3-4 hours/ 32 km (Red)

Nannerth Loop

3 hours/ 29 km (Red)

Golf Links

1 hour/ 13 km (Red)

Wye Valley Loop

2 hours/ 19 km (Red)

Black Cottage

3-4 hours/ 30 km (Black) 

Elan Epic

7 hours/ 60 km (Black)

International Dark Sky Park

In 2015, the Elan Valley Estate achieved International Dark Sky Park status and became the first privately owned but publicly accessible park in the world to do so.

Here on the Estate we were granted the silver-tier status by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) based in Arizona, USA. This status now means that the entire 45,000 acres of the Elan Valley are protected against light pollution for the benefit of those who live and work here, in addition to the many visitors each year. The status also provides sanctuary for the abundance of wildlife and nature which can be found by day or night here on the estate.

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