North Wales Coastal Cycleway / Cycle Path National Cycle Network Route 5
Talacre to Penmaenmawr
There is 34 miles of cycle path along the North Wales coast between Talacre and Penmaenmawr. It is mostly hard surfaced and nearly continuously off-road, apart from a 2-3 mile gap at Llandudno, a 260 yard gap on a main road at Rhos on Sea and a handful of very short linking sections on quiet roads. (There is also an official, signed, on-road short-cut between Rhos-on-Sea and Conwy that avoids Llandudno.)
It is part of National Cycle Route 5, except for the first 2½ miles from Talacre.
The route passes through the resorts of Prestatyn, Rhyl, Kinmel Bay, Pensarn (Abergele), Llanddulas, Colwyn Bay, Rhos-on-Sea, Penrhyn Bay, Llandudno, Deganwy, Conwy and Penmaenmawr. It goes along the promenades or seafronts at all these places except Llandudno, where Conwy's cabinet have contentiously refused to rescind an ancient bylaw, so old it almost predates the invention of the bicycle, and which is used in an attempt to ban cycling on the promenade.
Obviously there are fine and varied views of the coast and the sea, but also of the countryside, the Clwydian hills, the mountains of Snowdonia and the Great and Little Ormes.
Talacre to Pensarn, Abergele (photos)
Pensarn to Llandudno North Shore (photos)
West Shore, Llandudno, to Conwy & Penmaenmawr (photos)
Spur from Conwy Cob to RSPB Nature Reserve (photos)
Talacre to Pensarn, Abergele (12 miles)
There are car parks on or near the sea front at Point of Ayr, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Kinmel Bay and Pensarn and the path can be joined at any of these places.
To reach the cycle path from Point of Ayr go inland along the road and Turn very sharp 1st Right
After less than 300 yards enter the path through a cycle gate at Grid Ref 122848 (OS 50,000:1 map No 116 Denbigh & Wrexham).
Enter the Presthaven caravan and holiday park through a narrow gate.
Go through the holiday park to its main entrance and then through a narrow gate to enter Prestatyn Golf Course - from now on you are on National Cycle Route 5.
The path goes through the golf course and past the club house
At the course's main entrance Turn Right on to a quiet residential road
At the end of this short road Turn Right on to a cycle path and follow NCR 5 signs to the eastern end of Prestatyn promenade
Turn Left and continue along the sea front through Prestatyn and on to Rhyl (there is a ¾ mile section along the top of a large revetment - bold cyclists ride along the slope!)
Continue on the promenade through Rhyl
At a main road near the harbour continue carefully on the narrow pavement over a large girder bridge, dismounting if necessary
After the bridge Turn Right after the Mayquay pub and at the end of the short residential road follow the NCR 5 sign through cycle kissing gate and along a short path to rejoin the sea front at Kinmel Bay and Turn Left
Continue along the cycleway to the promenade at Pensarn
Photos of Talacre to Pensarn section
Pensarn to Llandudno, North Shore (12 miles)
The route now becomes more scenic. The cycleway between Pensarn and Colwyn promenade, although constructed some years ago, was built to a very high standard and is mostly in excellent condition with a very good running surface. There is a steep hill at Llanddulas: low gears help and care should be taken on the descent. There is another short, steep climb from Penrhyn Bay to get to the top of the little pass overlooking Llandudno's beautiful bay.
Go along the attractive promenade at Pensarn, where there are a couple of small cafes with outdoor as well as indoor seating.
At the end of the promenade follow the NCR 5 signs to join a short road with a marked cycle path at the side.
Shortly enter the dedicated cycleway and follow it till it joins the promenade at Colwyn Bay.
There is a marked cycle track along the promenade. Follow it for just over 2 miles to the little harbour at Rhos on Sea.
Here the cycleway ends and restarts 200 yards further along the coast. One can either walk on the pavement or cross to the other side of the road by a zebra crossing and cycle with care the short distance to Rhos point where the cycle path restarts by going down on to the lower promenade at Rhos on Sea. There are no markings at this section on the promenade.
At the end of the promenade the path rises to road level and goes along the pavement, at first following the coastline in the direction of Penrhyn Bay and the Little Orme and then inland to a roundabout in Penrhyn Bay village. Follow the marked path round the roundabout and then climb up a cycle lane to the pass above Llandudno bay.
At the top turn Left along a quiet road for 500 yards
Join a signposted bridleway (hard grit surfaced) at the start of the first Right Turn and descend to Llandudno north shore.
Turn Left on to pavement/cycle path alongside the coast road.
The official path ends at a toucan crossing just after a children's paddling pool on the promenade.
Since early 2012 cycling has been permitted on Llandudno promenade. Unfortunately the county council perversely refuses to recognise that the promenade (or the seafront Parade if one is an experienced cyclist confident enough to cope with its high traffic levels in the holiday season) is the obvious choice for the NCR 5 route. Instead it has created a so-called route round the often dismal periphery of the town and signposted it as a link to NCR 5.
We recommend that to access the next section of the coastal route at West Shore, Llandudno, one can go along the promenade at North Shore to the cenotaph near the pier and turn Left down a dual carriage way called Gloddaeth Avenue. After a first busy section with roundabouts this pleasant boulevard is wide and safe to cycle on, though CTC is campaigning for a cycle path to be created along it.
Photos of Pensarn to Llandudno section
West Shore, Llandudno, to Conwy & Penmaenmawr (10 miles)
This section is very scenic with fine views of the Conwy estuary, the foothills of Snowdonia dropping steeply to the sea, the island of Anglesey and the ancient town of Conwy with its impressive castle. From time to time high winds cause a build-up of sand on an 150 metre section near the West Shore end of the cycle path, sometimes making this short section impossible to cycle on, in which case you have to push your bike over the soft sand. The local authority clears it around the end of each month. There is a large car park at West Shore and other car parks in Deganwy, Conwy and Penmaenmawr.
The cycle path starts in the car park situated on the southern side of the sea-front (Grid Ref: 773814 OS map No 115 Snowdon). The section to Deganwy prom is not tarmacadammed.
After a mile go along Deganwy promenade and then a short sea-front cul-de-sac (Marine Crescent).
Just before the level crossing at the end of Marine Crescent turn right on to the cycle path that runs along the side of the estuary.
Continue through the Deganwy quay and marina development. The path then goes again along the edge of the estuary.
Follow the path to Conwy cob.
Go along the cob to Conwy
Turn Right and go down on to Conwy quay
At the far end of the quay go through a opening in the town walls and follow the signs Right on to a pleasant path that skirts the estuary.
After passing a school Turn Right on to a short quiet road that leads to Conwy marina
Turn Left at T junction and shortly Left again at a mini-roundabout.
Turn Right shortly before the road reaches the A55 Expressway and follow this cul-de-sac which ends in the Conwy Morfa beach car park.
Go straight through the car park on to a tarmac cycle path through the sand dunes with superb mountain views.
Cross a cycle/foot bridge over the railway and continue on the cycle path round Penmaenbach headland and along the coast to Penmaenmawr promenade.
Despite the Cyclists Dismount sign by the chicane gate on to the prom, cycling is permitted on the promenade.
Click here for suggested routes through Penmaenmawr to Llanfairfechan via the cycle bridges and path round the Pen-y-Clip headland.
Photos of Llandudno West Shore to Penmaenmawr section
Spur from Conwy Cob to RSPB Nature Reserve
From the eastern (Deganwy/Llandudno Junction) end of the cob there is a 1 mile scenic spur along the right bank of the river Conwy to a large RSPB nature reserve (cafe). When funding is available it is intended that this path be continued to Glan Conwy further down the valley.
Coming along the cycle path from the Deganwy direction Turn Left at the beginning of Conwy Cob, into a wide path opposite a rectangular, stone memorial arch.
Go under the main road by an underpass, ignoring the absurd Cyclists Dismount sign, unless you happen to be a giant riding a penny farthing, and immediately cross the railway by a cycle bridge, which has long, easy gradients.
Follow the path to the track leading to the nature reserve's large car park.
Photos of the spur to the Conwy valley spur