One of the most unique features of Velothon Wales is the mass start in the heart of Cardiff city centre. This affords competitors the privilege of cycling on completely traffic free roads in this beautiful city, passing an abundance of striking architecture and iconic landmarks before rolling out into the Welsh countryside.
We encourage all Velothon Wales participants to make the most of South Wales’s attractions, culture and entertainment and have a weekend to remember with friends and family. There are a number of things to see and do to suit all tastes within just a few miles of Cardiff city centre, as outlined below:
Right at the heart of the city is Cardiff Castle. Surrounded by beautiful parklands, the Castle’s walls and fairy-tale towers conceal 2,000 years of history and it is one of Wales’ leading heritage attractions.
The Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay was inspired by the Welsh landscape, language and culture and provides a suitably impressive stage for the Welsh National Opera, as well as a wide variety of international musicals, ballet, theatre and modern dance performances.
On the stylish waterfront of Cardiff Bay, as well as the wide selection of bars & restaurants, you can take a trip in the Tardis at the Doctor Who Experience and get up close to Daleks, Cybermen and Weeping Angels as well as many of the props and sets from the series old and new.
If retail is more your thing, then Cardiff will not disappoint, having recently been named the 6th best shopping destination in the UK. Cardiff has the whole spectrum of shopping, from charming Edwardian and Victorian arcades that date back as far as 1858 right through to the ultra-modern shopping centres including high street and high end shops.
Cardiff has a wide range of accommodation to choose from to suit every taste and pocket, ranging from luxury 5* hotels to boutique properties, bed and breakfasts and budget hotels. With close to 58 hotels offering just under 5,000 serviced bedrooms and 11,000 serviced bed-spaces in the city, you won’t have any problems finding a room for the night!
Newport is just 90 minutes from London by rail with direct coach services from Heathrow and Gatwick airports and other major centres. Cardiff and Bristol International Airports are within an hour's drive. It's surrounded by beautiful landscapes including the Wye Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the undulating Vale of Usk, famous for its salmon fishing, the Brecon Beacons National Park and Forest of Dean - both less than an hour's drive away.
Monmouthshire is a beautiful county nestled between the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A place to escape amongst idyllic landscapes with over 1,000 miles of public footpath. You can feel on top of the world in the Black Mountains, or experience the beauty of the Wye Valley. It’s not just the stunning landscape that’ll take your breath away. So will the majestic castles, dark starry skies, mountain climbs, and fabulous food.
Monmouthshire is the only county in Wales to have been given the title of Top Food Tourism Destination at the ‘Wales The True Taste Awards’. From Michelin starred restaurants to an array of restaurants offering dishes with locally sourced produce. The 5 main towns, Abergavenny, Caldicot, Chepstow, Monmouth and Usk all offer unique places to stay, shop and eat.
For more information, find out where to stay and what to do in beautiful Monmouthshire please have a look at www.visitmonmouthshire.com there is also a short film which explores this fantastic county.
With such close proximity to Cardiff, Newport and the Brecon Beacons, the county borough of Caerphilly is an ideal base for exploring southern Wales.
Located just 20 minutes away from Cardiff, the county borough of Caerphilly is an ideal base for visitors participating in the Velothon. The county borough has a broad range of accommodation on offer from boutique hotels, quaint B&B's and self-catering properties with excellent facilities for cyclists.
Dominating an impressive 30 acre site Caerphilly Castle resides as Wales’ largest and Britain’s second largest castle behind Windsor. With its impressive leaning tower which out leans that of Pisa and captivating history, this mammoth stronghold is a must visit!
With over 80% of countryside, the County Borough of Caerphilly is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors. From tranquil walks lapping up the wildlife in one of the borough’s five country parks to embarking on an adrenaline-fuelled mountain bike trail in Cwmcarn Forest, there’s mile upon mile of beautiful rolling countryside to explore.
The location mixed with a fantastic blend of activities, stunning countryside and first class visitor attractions offers something for everything.
You will receive a 'warm Welsh welcome' from the friendly people of Torfaen as you discover the three towns of Cwmbran, Pontypool and Blaenavon.
Located at the gateway to the South Wales Valleys, partly within the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape is a testament to the human endeavour of miners and ironworkers of the past. Set in 33 square kilometres, the attractions, activities and landscape make this a perfect destination for a short break.
In 2000, UNESCO inscribed the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape as a World Heritage Site for the part the area played as the world’s major producer of iron and coal in the 19th Century. Today you can see the remains of this once great industry, including a coal mine, furnaces, quarries, railway systems, ironworkers’ cottages, churches, chapels, a school and a workmen’s hall. All set in a landscape that is favoured by walkers, cyclists and mountain bikers.
You can travel below ground at the Big Pit; explore the footpaths throughout the Industrial Landscape, step back in time on a steam train, experience the sights and sounds of ironmaking at Blaenavon Ironworks, take time out at a local nature reserve, or simply explore the Heritage Town.
With so much to choose from visit www.visitblaenavon.co.uk to help you plan your visit, find somewhere to stay and view a short film which explores this historic site, or contact the tourist information centre on 01495 742333 where the knowledgeable staff can help you plan your visit.