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It's getting to that time of year where the nights are still dark, the days are still cold and the memories of summer spent in the sun felt like too long ago. So it's about the right time to make some plans for the coming year and get some riding dates firmly in the calendar. Especially if you are of the gravity persuasion, and don't fancy pushing your bike up all the time, Wales has some of the best uplift centres you can find. Not only is Wales a well know home for lamb, good ale and green valleys, but it is also home to some of the best natural and man-made riding that the UK has to offer. There has been a lot of growth recently in new uplift centres over the last year or so, further strengthening the claim the welsh already have for ace riding in their backyard! So here is a quick round up of some road trip ideas for the diary.


1. Revolution Bike Park, Llangynog
Found just over the Welsh border next to the Snowdonia National park, Revolution Bike Park has some of the best steep, natural and man-made trails found across the UK. Packing in a flowy red, filled with jumps and berms, as well as some steep, techy blacks, it has got a great mix of trails to keep you stoked. The uplift is also super efficient, meaning you get great value for money (You can get up to 12-14 runs in a day for £30). They do an ace BBQ at lunch with local produce and there is also a good B&B to stay at less than 5 minutes away. You can even have a snoop around the Atherton's legendary quarry line situated next to the uplift road. Head over to their website for more details and booking, and checkoutour report from last year.

The Atherton's Quarry line

Fast and open bottom section

2. Llangollen, Denbighshire
Well known for outrageously steep BDS tracks, if you like big gradients you'll love Llangollen. The local farmer Martin runs an uplift service using a modified trailer for group bookings. There are 4 tracks on the hill that cater from the intermediate upwards. Ranging from an intermediate track which traverses on the hill, to the more expert orientated old BDS and 'squirrel' track (know for being nuts), which are definitely entertaining enough to ride all day! Lunch is covered and you can expect around 10 lifts up in a day.

View from the top of the Llangollen hill

Steep and loose! (Photo Credit: Duncan Philpott)

3. Antur Stiniog, Blaenau Ffestiniog
One of the most recent additions to the welsh uplift scene, Antur Stiniog has some really rugged tracks built in an old slate mine. It has a really good selection of trails that cater for all level of rider and with some also being a little more trail bike friendly. However, there is still the 'Y Du' (The black) and 'Black Powder' best enjoyed on big rigs! Antur has probably the quickest uplift you can find, with two minibuses running, meaning you can expect 20 runs in a day enough to rival even the chairlift accessed european counterparts. It also have some great facilities with a bike wash, showers and cafe to grab some grub after your arms have got too tired.

Photo credit Adrian Bradley
(Photo Credit: Adrian Bradley)

4. Bike Park Wales, Merthyr Tydfil
Another new addition, found in South Wales, Bike Park wales has the biggest array of uplifted trails to be found arguably within the whole of the UK. You can find something to suit everyone, beginner to expert with trails from steep and technical, to open and fast with big jumps. They also have a great riders centre with bike hire, cafe, showers and also do they occasional pub quiz. The uplift in vans and trailers as they do at Antur, but if you come equipped with a trail bike you can also pedal up for a cheaper entry. If you feel like you need a few pointers on your riding, coaching sessions are also available. Well worth a visit!

5. Cwmdown, Cwmcarn
Another South Wales gem, you can find two full down DH trails (red and black graded) with big jumps, steep switchbacks and drops down the two trails. However, its not only for big bikes as a new XC loop has just opened, which you can use the uplift for. You can pack up to 11 runs in a day down the 250m with a good turnaround time to get you back up to the top.

Photo Credit Cwmcarn

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