It's National Bike Week! Bridgend County is home to a whole host of bike rides for visitors to explore, including traffic free trails and ambling pathways. From epic mountain bike trails to seaside views, here are some of our top picks for biking around Bridgend.
Best for… A refreshing ride
Starting in the tranquil Bryngarw Country Park and ending in Blaengarw, this gentle, eight mile route takes cyclists through a scenic trail of old railway track, deep forests and countryside views. Hungry cyclists can enjoy plenty of pit stops along the way, including a stop at a cafe half way along the route at Pontyrhyl. You'll also get the chance to spot an array of wildlife along this traffic free route - head off the beaten track to explore the green hilly glades of the Garw Forest, a haven for bird watchers.
Best for… little legs
Pedal to Porthcawl
A trip to Porthcawl in the summer would be incomplete without taking the seaside town's new cycle route for a spin. Running from Trecco Bay to Rest Bay, the brand new route will help you explore what the town has to offer, from its golden sands to its ocean views. Mostly off road, little ones can use the 2.5 mile path to catch a wave, play on the beach or even stop for an ice cream along the way.
Best for… Adventurers
Take on the adrenaline filled Darren Fawr Mountain Bike Trails
Those after an adventure will find plenty of adrenaline on the epic Darren Fawr mountain bike trails. Intermediate riders will love the single winding Glengarw, blue trail track, whose well crafted berms offer plenty of acceleration. Or, if you're an expert rider, take on the 3.2km adrenaline busting Gellideg route, made up of a leg burning climb to test the fittest, natural quarry and thrilling descent for speed and terrain.
Best for ... Nature lovers
Parc Slip Nature Reserve has over 4km of traffic free cycle paths and 10km of walking tracks for families to explore. Join the 4km stretch of the Sustrans National Cycle Route and Celtic Trail East which passes through the reserve and see if you can spot the 1,000 species of wildlife lurking here. After making your way through this well-maintained track, stop off at the Parc Slip Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre, where a bike rack, toilets and refreshments are available.
Best for … A day by the beach
Inject some adrenaline into your seaside escape by fatbiking down Wales' tallest sand dunes in Merthyr Mawr. Hire a fatbike from Porthcawl Bike Hire, whose fatbikes are designed to move over a range of terrain, getting you around safely as you make your way over great big rocks, golden sands and a flat stretch of smooth sea wall. When you reach Merthyr Mawr, walk your bike to the top of the 'Big Dipper', the epic sand dune which will have you accelerating to incredible speeds on your descent.
Best for... competitive cyclists
If you're looking for an event to base your trip around, look out for the many competitive cycling events passing through Bridgend County. Starting in Cowbridge, the L'etape de la Defonce is a two day, three stage competitive cycle race which passes through Bridgend in August. The race consists of a seven mile team time trial and a 52 mile race on the Saturday and a 44 mile Road Race on the Sunday. The L'etape de la Defonce takes place 17th/18th August 2019.