DISTANCE/DURATION: 2.4 miles (3.8 km) off road, 7.9 miles (12.7 km) circular route. Time: 2 hours.
CHARACTER: A moderately difficult ride which includes a long gradual ascent on road out of the valley. A few minor technical sections of bridleway.
The best access points for the Gwaun valley are either Sychpant (SN 045350) in the valley itself, or Tafarn Bwlch (SN 084336) on the main mountain road (B4329).
Which you choose will depend on whether you want to cycle out of the valley at the start or end of your ride. All the bridleways into the valley are very steep and are only suitable to be cycled downhill.
The Gwaun valley was created by glacial meltwater during the last ice age. The steep sides of the valley make them impractical for agriculture and so the broadleaf woodlands have not been cleared.
Much of this woodland is extremely important from a wildlife conservation point of view.
Starting at Sychpant, cycle out of the valley towards Cilgwyn and follow the road that takes you to the B4329, pause in a small layby to admire the view of the Preseli Hills, the largest area of common land in Pembrokeshire.
Just after joining the mountain road turn right on to the bridleway to Gernos Fach and continue on to Gernos Fawr. Look out for a pair of standing stones on your right, one of a number in the area.
Once at the road turn right. After passing Gellifawr, where you can stop for a cup of tea, you will descend through a couple of fields before entering 'bluebell wood'.
This woodland is typical of those in the Gwaun being a mix of oak, ash, birch and hazel. It is well worth a visit in early spring when it is a carpet of bluebells. Once at the road turn left and return to Sychpant.