View of wooded valley with autumn trees and grey cloudy sky
View of wooded valley with autumn trees and grey cloudy sky

Ceredigion - Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest

It's a MTB dream at Bwlch Nant yr Arian

Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre is well-known for its custom of feeding red kites every day but for runners, mountain bikers and walkers, there are tons of waymarked trails to explore.

If you're feeling particularly energetic, there's also a skills park with a mountain bike-practice track where you can perfect your jumps before heading out on one of the main trails.

Views of Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains can be seen from the visitor center, which is perched on a dramatic hilltop between the lowlands and the uplands. Along the trails, you can still see signs of the lead mining industry, but now the hills are covered in bilberry and heather, and majestic red kites fly overhead.

There are three main trails to follow here - the Barcud Trail, the Miner’s Trail and the Ridgetop Trail. (Be aware that these are also used by walkers.)

The Barcud Trail is an easy 1km circular route, following the Lake’s Northern edge. It's accessible and gives the best view of the daily feeding of the red kites, hence the name Barcud, which means red kite in Welsh.

The Miner’s Trail is 2.3km. It has well defined paths but some long and steep climbs and descents. At the top there's the famous Giant’s Chair, which gives a fantastic view of the valley.

The Ridgetop Trail is a bit longer at 4km. However, it's worth it as every section rewards you with stunning views of Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains.