I’m away for a long weekend with friends in South Wales this weekend with no cycling, so had to get a long ride in today to meet my 100 miles a week cycling target. I’ve also been wanting to ride to Llangollen and then up the Horseshoe Pass for ages now, so decided to make this the ride for today.
The weather was not forecast to be the best today but it was the only day I could realistically do the ride so needs must. I set off on the reverse of my usual route back from Wem i.e. Great Bolas, Little Bolas, Ellerdine Heath and 100 Steps. After Wem I took a nice quiet lane up to Ellesmere, trying to keep off the main road as much as I could.
In Ellesmere, I stopped at the Boat House for a coffee and piece of cake as we’d had a power cut this morning at home so I was not able to have a coffee before I left.
It was then along the A road to Overton (it’s a right pain with roads in this direction as you have to cross the River Dee and there are only 2 crossings – one near Overton and one in Bangor On Dee). Not too busy today thankfully.
After Overton, it was into new cycling territory for me as I headed to Ruabon and then down the valley to Llangollen. I rode straight through Llangollen and was soon on starting the Horseshoe Pass, unbeknown to me at the time!
It was only the road starting to kick up a bit that had me checking the maps on my phone and realising I was already 1/3 of the way up the Horseshoe Pass – doh!
As I rounded the corner into the horseshoe itself, the gradient picked up even more and I had the full force of today’s strong winds right in the face. Just what I needed – not! Anyway, I persevered and was soon rounding the corner at the bottom of the horseshoe and on the final leg of the climb. This was MUCH easier as the gradient settled out a bit and the wind was behind me.
At the top, I posed my bike for a photo with the top of the climb sign and then rode the few hundred yards further onto the Ponderosa Cafe for lunch.
Suitably fortified, I headed back out on my bike for the mainly downhill section back around the north end of the mountains and towards Wrexham. The road hugged the base of the mountain for most of this and was quite undulating but peppered with lovely scenic little villages.
After skirting the south side of Wrexham I meandered down lanes following the A525 to Whitchurch. I’d deliberately opted to not go on the main road and was soon recognising some of the lanes from the reverse of my 68 mile Whitchurch and Ellesmere route.
Approaching Tilstock, I decided to pop up the road a couple of miles to Dearnford Lake for a quick coffee and then ride home from here.
A great day out with a whole new area to cycle in for me. My legs were still not quite recovered from the Box Hill Sportive on Sunday, so I kept it pretty steady but had another great day out on the bike.
Route: click here