Rhyl to Conway return

 

This 50 mile cycle route starts at Rhyl and follows the coastal cyclepath (National Cycle
Route 5) to Conway and return. Total distance is about 50 miles round trip. Route is almost totally traffic free on dedicated cycle paths, with a couple of minor deviations onto roads for very short distances. Route surface varies between mostly tarmac, some compacted gravel, and in one stretch loose sand sometimes covers part of the trail. Majority of route is flat – but there are a couple of climbs, one as you approach Llandudno by the Little Orme, and a couple of short, but steep, gradients along a short stretch of the path as it has to pass over a couple of conveyors which feed large boats tied up alongside the path.

Click to enlarge

Refreshment stations are pretty good all along the route, passing as it does through seaside towns such as Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno and Conway. Some of these may be seasonal – but even in the depth of winter there is usually something available.

Start the route from Rhyl sea front promenade, starting as close as possible to Splash Point (eastern end of promenade). Drop down onto the promenade cycle path using one of the various sloping paths from the road pavement. With the sea on your right, follow the cycle path west towards the centre of Rhyl, passing the Sun Centre and Life Boat Station, until you reach a large metal road bridge spanning the estuary, with a small harbour on your right. Cross the bridge and follow the Route 5 signs Straight On (do not follow the road as it bears left) into the residential area, going Left and then Right at the end of the road down to a T junction (Route 5 signs point the way). At the T junction – go straight across onto a dedicate cyclepath which takes you after a 100 yards onto the sea front again, turning Left back onto coastal cyclepath.
Now it’s just a matter of following this path all the way along the
coast, with sea on your right and rank upon rank of holiday caravans to your left. There are a couple of short – but sharp! – gradients, as you pass the loading piers on your right. But you eventually drop onto the promenade of Colwyn Bay, with the old abandoned pier in the distance. Follow all the way into Rhos-On-Sea until you reach the Information Point, at which point you will need to ride on the road for 200 yards or so until you regain the cyclepath again. As you rejoin the path, keep an eye out for a tiny chapel build to stones (even the roof) which is open to visitors.

Follow the cyclepath until it veers away from the coast (there is a golf course on the opposite side of the road) and leads up a slight slope, until it comes out by a small roundabout by a garage. Go around the roundabout and follow the dedicated cyclepath as it parallels the B5115 up the (steep) hill. You come out of the tree lined path at an intersection dominated by a large sign “Welcome to Llandudno”. Turn left (don’t follow the B5115) onto a road and drop down 400 yards or so until you see a Route 5 sign on your Left, which takes you down a narrow cyclepath which turns into compacted gravel and drops back down through a residential area until you come out onto the sea front and the B5115. Turn Left, following the cycle path on the pavement until you have to drop onto the road and follow this along the frontage until you come to the Cenotaph, where the road curves to the Left and comes out at a roundabout. Go Straight On at the roundabout – following signs for the West Shore – down a broad street until you reach the sea front once more (you have actually skirted the Great Orme, which looms over you as you cycle down to the West Shore).

Rhyl to Conwy Cycle Path

Turn Left at the sea front and follow once more the cycle path, coming to a car park which you cycle straight through and onto a gravel pathway which is bounded by the estuary on the right and a golf course (hidden by dunes) on the left. Beware as this path is susceptible to drifting sand (you are right on the beachfront here), so whilst always passable, you may need to hop off for very short stretches if the drifting is deep. Follow this all the way to Deganwy, where you come out onto a small road fronting the estuary. Within a couple of hundred yards you reach a railway crossing – take the way marked path on the Right immediately before the crossing (by a slipway to the beach).

Follow the cyclepath which is sandwiched by the railway on the left and the estuary on the right, crossing an access road to a new marina development until it bears away to the Right from the railway. This curves around a promontory in the estuary and brings you to the bridge which is dominated by Conway Castle and takes you across the estuary into Conway, where you can toast your success on the harbour frontage, which as well as housing a pub is also the location of Britain’s smallest house.

Conwy

To return, follow your original route back.

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