Wales in Winter : Wales in a Weekend : February 2017

In February 2017 I took on the AdventureBikeRider Wales in a Weekend Route.  Starting South of Brecon and heading north I would take in the Beacons then head into Snowdownia National Park before crossing into England from North Wales and returning back to Northern Ireland on an overnight ferry.  All of this would be done in a mere three days.  If you lived close enough to the starting point this is a great route that can easily be done in 2 days – even in winter!

Day 1 : Northern Ireland to Aberdare : http://tbni.blog/2018/02/22/wales-in-winter-wales-in-a-weekend-day-1-20-02-2017/

Day 2 : Aberdare to Aberystwyth : http://tbni.blog/2018/02/26/wales-in-winter-wales-in-a-weekend-day-2-21-02-2017/

Day 3 : Aberystwyth to Betws-y-Coed (and Liverpool to Northern Ireland) : http://tbni.blog/2018/02/27/wales-in-winter-wales-in-a-weekend-day-3-22-02-2017/

Wales in a Weekend Route
Wales in a Weekend Route

Winter in Wales : Wales in a Weekend : Day 3 : 22/02/2017

If you happen to be a Twitter or Instagram User and do this route (or something similar through Wales) I have used the hashtags (Wales In Winter & Winter In Wales) #WalesInWinter and #WinterInWales – make sure to add to them!

Weather forecast for 22/02/2018
Weather forecast for 22/02/2018

Day 3 – the final day of my Wales in Winter trip and this leg takes me from Aberystwyth to Betws-y-Coed then onto the Liverpool for the return overnight ferry back to Northern Ireland.

So far it has been two days of good hardcore rain and this final day won’t be changing that format in any major way.

In fact it is due to get worse at some stage with the approach of Storm Doris bringing more and heavier rain and some gales, gusts and other variants of high winds thrown into the mix.  The biggest question is when will Doris visit?  Whilst on the road or on the boat?

In case you missed it Day 1 can be found here : http://tbni.blog/2018/02/22/wales-in-winter-wales-in-a-weekend-day-1-20-02-2017/

Day 2 can be found here : http://tbni.blog/2018/02/26/wales-in-winter-wales-in-a-weekend-day-2-21-02-2017/

The route can be found here : https://www.adventurebikerider.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=140&t=36263&hilit=wales+in+a+weekend

Should you need it the sat nav gpx file can be found here : Wales in a Weekend Sat Nav GPX Download Link

As far as accomodation goes I am absolutely sold on ‘The Glengower’ – clean and comfortable room with good food, a good bar, big TVs for the Sports Channels and a couple of pool tables, all with a sea view.  You need nothing more, but you’ll get it in the form of a delicious breakfast.

The Glengower Breakfast Menu
The Glengower Breakfast Menu

After breakfast, I make the short trip round the back of the hotel to get the bike.  Having turned on all the radiators in the room over night my gear was dry for starting.  After a 50 metre walk I was back to being as soaked as I was when I finished yesterday.  And looking at the forecast this is only the start of the rain.

Read moreWinter in Wales : Wales in a Weekend : Day 3 : 22/02/2017

Wales in Winter : Wales in a Weekend : Day 2 : 21/02/2017

If you happen to be a Twitter or Instagram User and do this Wales in a Weekend route (or something similar through Wales) I have used the hashtags (Wales In Winter & Winter In Wales) #WalesInWinter and #WinterInWales – make sure to add to them!

Weather Report Wales 21/02/2017
Weather Report Wales 21/02/2017

It’s Day 2 – although for the Wales in a Weekend Route it is actually Day 1.  Confusing eh?

If you made it to this post via some strange and startling way then the simple explanation is that Day 1 (for me) was actually a travel day from Northern Ireland to the start of this route.

In case you missed it Day 1 can be found here : http://tbni.blog/2018/02/22/wales-in-winter-wales-in-a-weekend-day-1-20-02-2017/

The route can be found here : https://www.adventurebikerider.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=140&t=36263&hilit=wales+in+a+weekend

Should you need it the sat nav gpx file can be found here : Wales in a Weekend Sat Nav GPX Download Link

As I concluded in my write up of Day 1 this first day of the actual route was set to be a wet one.

The overnighter at the Mount Pleasant Hotel was just that – pleasant.  The bed was very comfortable, the place was clean, tidy and friendly.  The shower lacked a bit of power but no doubt the rain that was forecast for arround midday should sort that right out!

However I was experiencing one slight hiccup…

Read moreWales in Winter : Wales in a Weekend : Day 2 : 21/02/2017

Wales in Winter : Wales in a Weekend : Day 1 : 20/02/2017

If you happen to be a Twitter or Instagram User and do this route (or something similar through Wales) I have used the hashtags (Wales In Winter & Winter In Wales) #WalesInWinter and #WinterInWales – make sure to add to them!

This time last year (20/02/2017) I set off on a quick trip through Wales.  I was using up the remanants of my leave from work and in an effort to feel that I wasn’t taking time off just for the sake of it, I found a quick route that I could do for very little outlay that would take in the entire length of Wales.

Starting South of Brecon and heading north I would take in the Beacons then head into Snowdownia National Park before crossing into England from North Wales and returning back to Northern Ireland on an overnight ferry.

I found the route on www.adventurebikerider.com and having never seen Wales before, but with the ease and affordability of travel to and from Northern Ireland it seemed like a sensible option.  Accomodation was also easily sorted with a bucket load of options available on sites like Booking.com – and prices ranging from very reasonable to ‘oh that must be quite fancy.’

The route can be found here : https://www.adventurebikerider.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=140&t=36263&hilit=wales+in+a+weekend

Wales in a Weekend Route
Wales in a Weekend Route

Should you need it the sat nav gpx file can be found here : Wales in a Weekend Sat Nav GPX Download Link

The route is called Wales in a Weekend – which is realistically two days long especially in the Winter – if you like a good long distance challenge you probably could snort round it in a (long) day, but spread over two it is easily managable and very enjoyable.

Remember to factor in any travel time to get to the ‘Starting Point’ just outside Aberdare.  But from Aberdare to the end of the route at Betws y Coed you should set aside 2 days to complete.

Read moreWales in Winter : Wales in a Weekend : Day 1 : 20/02/2017

The Northern Ireland Game of Thrones Tour

The Dark Hedges, Ballymoney, Northern Ireland

With biking season now rapidily approaching you may be thinking to yourself, ‘Where shall I go?  What shall I do?’

The Northern Ireland Tourist board have an entire section of their website dedicated to GoT locations (and since I did their original tour they have updated it further):

https://www.discovernorthernireland.com/gameofthrones/

Northern Ireland - Game of Thrones Filming Locations
Northern Ireland – Game of Thrones Filming Locations

Personally I haven’t seen a single episode of Game of Thrones, crazy eh?  But forgetting that each of these locations are simply stunning!  The show has picked them for very obvious reasons and when you you see them for yourself you will understand why!  Simply set the location into your satnav, and press the Winding Roads Button (if you are lucky enough to have one) and enjoy the ride, because you will absolutely enjoy the fnal destination!

Here is just a little taster for each location to wet your appitite, the rest I will leave up to you :

Read moreThe Northern Ireland Game of Thrones Tour

Update 28/10/2016 : VIDEO ADDED to #WAWIn1Week : Wild Atlantic Way In 1 Week : Day 1– Kinsale to Kenmare.

It’s better late than never, and this whole video editing lark is a lot harder and more time consuming that I initially would have anticipated, however after far too long a wait here is the footage from Day 1.

I literally had to trawl through hours of footage but the fact that it is over a year old is pretty irrelevant, the route itself is still very much there, it took 10,000s of years to for the earth to make the coast, hopefully it has millions more years left for us to enjoy, so once again apologies it took so long, and apologies for the fact I am a supreme novice when it comes to video editing, however hopefully you can enjoy the scenery, (and the soundtrack) and maybe even be inspired to pop over to Ireland to experience this epic route!

The remainder of the videos are coming and will be uploaded as soon as I can piece them together, if you want to make sure you get notifications when they are available make sure to follow this blog or me on Twitter or Facebook.

Thanks…

Scotland’s North Coast 500 GPX Route File – NC500 GPX

North Coast 500 : Scotland : NC500

I have now uploaded my galleries and Ride Report of my 2016 trip around the Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500).  You can find them all here :

http://tbni.blog/2017/12/09/scotlands-north-coast-500-nc500-ride-report/

One thing I did notice (for example in comparison to the Irish Wild Atlantic Way) was the lack of signage.  Unless you knew you were actually on the NC500 you probably wouldn’t know you were on it.

The GPX file is available from the official North Coast 500 site, along with a printable map however my Sat Nav (a Tom Tom Rider V) found it far too complex, there are thousands of way points on it, and the sat nav just just refused to load it.  The printable map is nice, but let’s be honest an A4 map covering 500 miles isn’t an ideal solution either.

Thankfully there is a good solution.  I found this GPX, I have no idea where, or who made it but is sat nav friendly and guides you perfectly around the route.

Enjoy

http://www.tbni.blog/downloads/North-Coast-500.gpx

(If you have any trouble downloading the file just Contact Me and I will email it to you.

North Coast 500 : Scotland : NC500
North Coast 500 : Scotland : NC500

New Year – New Gear (Part II) : Helmet – Arai X4 Detour

The official line from Arai pretty much says it all…

Adventure, grand touring or off road, no matter the riding conditions, the Tour-X4 motorcycle helmet is ready for anything. The Tour-X4 has a complete new outer shell. Redesigned to be tougher, stronger and stiffer than ever. As the Tour-X4 may be used under extreme conditions, the ventilation system has been redeveloped for maximum efficiency. The new Facial Contour System (FCS) offers more support and comfort to the lower jaw and creates a tighter fit. For an even better personal fit, there is a removable 5 mm surface foam layer on the cheek pads and temple pad from the headliner. Wear the Tour-X4 with or without peak, with or without visor and combinations of these two. The large visor opening offers plenty of room for motocross-style goggles when riding without visor.

The spec listing is as follows :

Read moreNew Year – New Gear (Part II) : Helmet – Arai X4 Detour

STICKY POST : The Wild Atlantic Way : The World’s Longest Dedicated Coastal Route – In 1 Week : #WAWIn1Week

WAWIn1Week #WAWIn1Week Logo

Here are the links to the complete ride report on my #WAWIn1Week Trip, there is plenty of other interesting stuff on the site, I hope, so feel free to have a look about, but if you have come here for the Wild Atlantic Way reports, here is everything you need.  Thanks for stopping by and having a look and hopefully you enjoy the photos and reports!

#WAWIN1WEEK – WILD ATLANTIC WAY IN 1 WEEK – THE GEAR… : https://tbni.blog/2015/08/10/wawin1week-wild-atlantic-way-in-1-week-the-gear/

#WAWIN1WEEK : WILD ATLANTIC WAY IN 1 WEEK : DAY 0 – TRAVEL DAY : https://tbni.blog/2015/08/18/wawin1week-wild-atlantic-way-in-1-week-day-0-travel-day/

#WAWIN1WEEK : WILD ATLANTIC WAY IN 1 WEEK : DAY 1 – KINSALE TO KENMARE : https://tbni.blog/2015/09/02/wawin1week-wild-atlantic-way-in-1-week-day-1-kinsale-to-kenmare/

#WAWIN1WEEK : WILD ATLANTIC WAY IN 1 WEEK : DAY 2 – KENMARE TO BALLYBUNION : https://tbni.blog/2015/09/13/wawin1week-wild-atlantic-way-in-1-week-day-2-kenmare-to-ballybunion/

#WAWIN1WEEK : WILD ATLANTIC WAY IN 1 WEEK : DAY 3 – BALLYBUNION TO CLIFDEN : https://tbni.blog/2015/09/20/wawin1week-wild-atlantic-way-in-1-week-day-3-ballybunion-to-clifden/

#WAWIN1WEEK : WILD ATLANTIC WAY IN 1 WEEK : DAY 4 – CLIFDEN TO SLIGO : https://tbni.blog/2015/10/11/wawin1week-wild-atlantic-way-in-1-week-day-4-clifden-to-sligo/

#WAWIN1WEEK : WILD ATLANTIC WAY IN 1 WEEK : DAY 5 – SLIGO TO LETTERKENNY : https://tbni.blog/2015/11/06/wawin1week-wild-atlantic-way-in-1-week-day-5-sligo-to-letterkenny/

#WAWIN1WEEK : WILD ATLANTIC WAY IN 1 WEEK : DAY 6 – LETTERKENNY TO MUFF (DONEGAL) : https://tbni.blog/2015/11/17/wawin1week-wild-atlantic-way-in-1-week-day-6-letterkenny-to-muff-donegal-2/

Wild Atlantic Way - The Route
Wild Atlantic Way – The Route

Please feel free to tag your images with the WAWIn1Week hashtag!

INSTAGRAM #WAWIn1Week : https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/wawin1week/

TWITTER #WAWIn1Week : https://twitter.com/search?q=WAWIn1Week&src=typd

#WAWIN1WEEK : WILD ATLANTIC WAY IN 1 WEEK : DAY 6 – Letterkenny TO Muff (Donegal).

WAWIn1Week #WAWIn1Week Logo

It is now Saturday 1st August 2015, the last day of my Wild Atlantic Way Trip.  From start of the trail to this point has been five full, long days, today being the sixth.  My target – The Wild Atlantic Way in 1 Week.  I have only one more leg to do and it will be achieved, with a full day to spare.  Result, almost.

Today’s leg looks a short one, Letterkenny to Muff in Donegal.  Muff as you can already expect must be one of the most photographed town signs on the whole island.  It is called Muff after all!  I estimated today leg about 200 miles, for once this estimate was reasonably accurate!

Yesterday’s horrendous weather is a distant memory, but there are still a few very dark and ominous clouds floating about.  Fingers crossed!

WAWIn1Week – Letterkenny to Muff – Day 6
WAWIn1Week – Letterkenny to Muff – Day 6

One Signature Point on the Route today :  (The most Westerly point on the above map is Fanned Head which was covered on 31/07/2015).

  1.  Malin Head :
Wild Atlantic Way – Malin Head
Wild Atlantic Way – Malin Head

Rugged yet inviting, Donegal’s Malin Head is steeped in history and offers activities such as walking, fishing, swimming and bird watching. Here, north of Trawbreaga Bay, you can view Five Finger Strand, home to some of Europe’s largest sand dunes. At low tide, you can even spot the wreckage of the ‘Twilight’, which sank in 1889 while sailing to Derry. For more history, follow the coast road. You’ll pass the old radio station, built in 1910, and The Tower, a derelict signal station located on Banba’s Crown, the most northerly point in Ireland. It’s the perfect place to relax with a picnic, as the stunning panorama includes Inistrahull and Tory islands, as well as the Scottish hills on a clear day. Plus, you can work off any extra indulgences with a walk along the cliffs to Hell’s Hole, a chasm where the tide rushes in with impressive force. If treasure hunting is more your speed, head east to Ballyhillion beach, which dates back to the ice age and is known for its many semi-precious stones.

Read more#WAWIN1WEEK : WILD ATLANTIC WAY IN 1 WEEK : DAY 6 – Letterkenny TO Muff (Donegal).