Travel around the Swansea Bay area using the excellent cycle routes, suitable for all ages
Whether your interest is in easy leisure cycling along the flat coastal path or former railway alignments in the Valleys; or the high adrenalin steep and rough Mountain Bike territory, Swansea Bay has it all.
Swansea has a network of cycling routes, many of them off-road, and others which are advisory ‘cycle friendly’ roads. The National Cycle Network (NCN) has a number of routes in and around Swansea:
NCN 4 (from east) through seaward side of South Dock and Marina to run along the seashore to Blackpill then Clyne Valley to Gowerton (to west); a local route connects Blackpill with Mumbles along the coast path.
NCN 43 from junction with NCN 4 near sail bridge, alongside A4217 road for two kilometres then through Enterprise Zone to Morriston (to north)
Attractive local routes are through Singleton Park; and from the city centre to the Liberty Stadium with two off-road routes through the Enterprise Zone.
Cycling in much of the peninsula is a challenge that only experienced and confident cyclists can tackle in safety. However there are some routes and quiet country lanes suitable for the less confident and family cyclists. We include four such routes, some of which we recommended cycles are brought by car to the start to avoid difficult main roads.
Blackpill to Gowerton and back
Part of the national cycle network (route NCN4), is completely off-road and well-surfaced; accessible from central Swansea using the coastal cycle way (NCN4). Refreshments and toilets are available at Blackpill, Killay & Gowerton.
Crofty to Llanrhidian and back (optional return over Welsh Moor)
Via the lightly-trafficked Marsh road between Crofty and Llanrhidian, a beautiful and flat ride of 5kms with views over the estuary; it can be windy and should be avoided at times of high tides when it is liable to flood. Refreshments are available at Crofty and Llanrhidian and toilets at the Service Station at Llanrhidian. Experienced cyclists can return on the minor road over Welsh Moor to Three Crosses to make a circle back to Crofty.
Two routes from Parkmill:
Green Cwm out and back
This quiet country lane leads up from Parkmill through secluded, attractive and historic (early industry) interest in Green Cwm. Ride for about 1.5kms into Park Woods before returning; refreshments and toilets at Gower Heritage Centre.
Reynoldston via Cefn Bryn and back
Start as above from Parkmill, taking the minor road to Park Woods, turn left at Gower Way (marker stone 15) through the woods to the public bridleway above Penmaen. Turn right and follow this to Cefn Bryn (Gower’s highest point) crossing the road near the summit and turning left to Reynoldston 500m further on. Return via the main road is not advisable for safety reasons so retrace your tracks as you came. Route length is 0.7kms each way. Refreshments/toilets at Heritage Centre and at King Arthur Hotel, Reynoldston
Three routes for the more experienced cyclist
We provide detailed information on three routes provided by Swansea Wheelrights which permit half day explorations of the (mainly north) side of the peninsula. Download the PDFs below
The coastal path has separate pedestrian and cycle lanes all the way from Swansea to Mumbles. This popular amenity is part of the Wales Coast Path and is dual use to Mumbles Pier. The walking trail continues round the coast through Bracelet and Langland Bays to Caswell Bay and the Gower peninsula.
Neath, Port Talbot and the valleys have a network of cycling routes, many of them off-road. The National Cycle Network (NCN) has a number of routes in and around Neath and Port Talbot:
NCN 4 (from east) through Margam, Port Talbot and Briton Ferry and on to Swansea and beyond.
NCN 43 from junction with NCN 4 at Swansea then through the Swansea Valley to Ystalyfera.
NCN 46 from Neath through the Vale of Neath to Glynneath and on to Merthyr and beyond.
NCN 47 from a junction with NCN 4 at Briton Ferry through Neath and a high level route to Glyncorrwg and beyond.
Attractive local routes are:
Port Talbot (connect with NCN 4) through the Afan Valley to Cymmer with junction to NCN 885 south to Maesteg and NCN 887 north to Glyncorrwg (NCN 47).
Port Talbot (connect with NCN 4 via street riding) to Bryn along Cwm Dyffryn.
Port Talbot (connect with NCN 4 via street riding) to Aberafan Seafront, Sandfields and Briton Ferry (connect with NCN 4 & NCN 47).
Mountain Biking in Afan Forest Park
Afan Forest Park is world renowned for its mountain biking trails and facilities, is close to NCN 4 and NCN 46; bisected by NCN 47. For those wishing to come by train, it is easily reached by travelling to Port Talbot Parkway, from which there is a connecting cycle trail to the Afan Valley.
Other advisory safe on-road cycling is shown on the cycling map.
National Cycle Route (NCN4) passes south of the area between Gowerton and Loughor and on to the Llanelli Millennium Coastal Path. There is a connecting local cycle path between Gorseinon and Grovesend (reached on-road between Gowerton and Gorseinon) with a future extension in prospect to Pontarddulais. NCN43 between Swansea, Morriston and Clydach is a good way to reach the Mawr via Craig Cefn Parc.
North of the M4 motorway, there is an extensive network of country roads bounded by Craig Cefn Parc to the east, Llangyfelach, Pontlliw and Pontarddulais to the south and west are quiet and very scenic (though steep in places) and good cycling country.
Five locations provide cycles for hire:
A small local charity who promote cycling for all abilities, located at Dunvant Rugby Club, adjacent to NCN4 at Dunvant. Bike rental and cycling training.
The Bike Hub
A rider-led bike shop in St Helen’s, Swansea, just 200 metres from the cycle path on Swansea sea front and a perfect base to explore the extensive network of trails and paths that Swansea and the surrounding areas has to offer.
Afan Valley Bike Shed
Located in the Afan Forest Visitor Centre, they provide mountain bike hire, instruction, servicing and repairs.
Afan Valley Mountain Bike Hire
Located in Glyncorrwg, they provide mountain bike hire and organise adventure bike rides.
Santander Cycles Swansea
Get a little bit more out of life with Santander Cycles – a fun, healthy and easy way to get around Swansea, based at Swansea Universities’ Singleton and Bay Campuses.