Black Mtns to Glos via FoD - good/quick routes?

Questions and answers about routes.

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jameso
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Black Mtns to Glos via FoD - good/quick routes?

Post by jameso »

If I ride out to the Brecons + Black Mtns to get into mid Wales I tend to go via the bridge but I fancy a change. I don't know the Forest of Dean that well these days but still, looking on RWGPS I don't see many good E-W routes if you're passing through between the main cycle route along the Glos-Sharpness canal and the Abergavenny-Crickhowel area.

Any tips for efficient E-W route connectors, magic links or just a good main road that's not generally that busy? I'd be on a big-tyre gravel bike or road-compatible 29er. Happy to be on quiet roads. Cheers.
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psling
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Re: Black Mtns to Glos via FoD - good/quick routes?

Post by psling »

... I don't see many good E-W routes if you're passing through between the main cycle route along the Glos-Sharpness canal and the Abergavenny-Crickhowel area.
From Glos-Sharpness canal are you talking going north through Gloucester or south over the Severn Bridge?

I'm guessing via Gloucester? From Gloucester to the FoD you're on tarmac. The most direct and therefore quickest route would be along the A48 or the A40, both of which are busyish two lane roads with fast traffic although not really that dangerous. If it's a case of getting there quickly these are your best option!

There is a cycle lane through Gloucester and west to the A48 / A40 which can be followed to Highnam and you could then head for Tibberton and follow quieter lanes to Huntley and on through Blaisdon, Flaxley, Littledean to Soudley and into the Forest where fireroads and cycle paths can take you to Coleford. Obviously this involves a lot more route finding and is a lot slower.
From Coleford lanes and tracks can then take you on to Monmouth. From Monmouth you're pretty much on tarmac again although on much quieter roads and lanes either towards Pandy and up into the Black Mountains or towards Usk (Goytre Warf) to pick up the canal all the way to Brecon.
There are other options following the route of the A48 and on towards Usk but route finding is even more convoluted to get a good ride with off-road sections.

I could put a gpx trail together for you and email it if you'd like? pm me your email addy.
We go out into the hills to lose ourselves, not to get lost. You are only lost if you need to be somewhere else and if you really need to be somewhere else then you're probably in the wrong place to begin with.
chris n
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Re: Black Mtns to Glos via FoD - good/quick routes?

Post by chris n »

I'd do this - all on tarmac:
psling wrote: Thu Apr 27, 2023 1:34 pm cycle lane through Gloucester and west to the A48 / A40 which can be followed to Highnam and you could then head for Tibberton and follow quieter lanes to Huntley and on through Blaisdon, Flaxley,
Then Cinderford - Cannop - Coleford - Redbrook - Monmouth

Then NW through Rockfield - Newcastle and either Pontrilas or Llanvihangel Crucorny for the eastern end of the Black Mountains

Or Monmouth - Raglan - Abergavenny on minor roads parallel with the A40
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psling
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Re: Black Mtns to Glos via FoD - good/quick routes?

Post by psling »

chris n wrote: Thu Apr 27, 2023 4:25 pm I'd do this - all on tarmac:
psling wrote: Thu Apr 27, 2023 1:34 pm cycle lane through Gloucester and west to the A48 / A40 which can be followed to Highnam and you could then head for Tibberton and follow quieter lanes to Huntley and on through Blaisdon, Flaxley,
Then Cinderford - Cannop - Coleford - Redbrook - Monmouth

Then NW through Rockfield - Newcastle and either Pontrilas or Llanvihangel Crucorny for the eastern end of the Black Mountains
Scarey - have you got me on webcam?!! :o That's pretty much the route I've plotted out if James wants it! :wink: :-bd
We go out into the hills to lose ourselves, not to get lost. You are only lost if you need to be somewhere else and if you really need to be somewhere else then you're probably in the wrong place to begin with.
chris n
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Re: Black Mtns to Glos via FoD - good/quick routes?

Post by chris n »

:-bd Any other route between Monmouth and Abergavenny is seriously hilly, and there don't seem to be ANY bridleways at all until you get to the Skirrid.

Were you going to tell James to stop for lunch at the Red Door in Mitchel Troy too?
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psling
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Re: Black Mtns to Glos via FoD - good/quick routes?

Post by psling »

chris n wrote: Thu Apr 27, 2023 4:53 pm :-bd Any other route between Monmouth and Abergavenny is seriously hilly, and there don't seem to be ANY bridleways at all until you get to the Skirrid.

Were you going to tell James to stop for lunch at the Red Door in Mitchel Troy too?
Yes, there are a lot of little lanes but very few bridleways in that area.
My suggested route is similar to yours out through Newcastle and Cross Ash so not via Mitchel Troy, no cake there :sad: :sad: :lol:
We go out into the hills to lose ourselves, not to get lost. You are only lost if you need to be somewhere else and if you really need to be somewhere else then you're probably in the wrong place to begin with.
jameso
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Re: Black Mtns to Glos via FoD - good/quick routes?

Post by jameso »

From Glos-Sharpness canal are you talking going north through Gloucester or south over the Severn Bridge?
Yes, starting out on the canal going N to get around Glos and then going west into the FoD. I can use the canal to go S to the bridge also, there's not much in it.
It's really the Highnam to Abergavenny area routes I'm after, avoiding A-roads ideally. There just aren't m/any relatively direct lanes but I may be missing some good forest path links.
you could then head for Tibberton and follow quieter lanes to Huntley and on through Blaisdon, Flaxley, Littledean to Soudley and into the Forest where fireroads and cycle paths can take you to Coleford. Obviously this involves a lot more route finding and is a lot slower.
From Coleford lanes and tracks can then take you on to Monmouth. From Monmouth you're pretty much on tarmac again although on much quieter roads and lanes either towards Pandy and up into the Black Mountains or towards Usk (Goytre Warf) to pick up the canal all the way to Brecon.
There are other options following the route of the A48 and on towards Usk but route finding is even more convoluted to get a good ride with off-road sections.

I could put a gpx trail together for you and email it if you'd like? pm me your email addy.
This is helpful, thanks. Will have a closer look and pm you. I'd be in no rush and from Pandy I'm good, I know that area a little now.
jameso
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Re: Black Mtns to Glos via FoD - good/quick routes?

Post by jameso »

chris n wrote: Thu Apr 27, 2023 4:25 pm I'd do this - all on tarmac:
psling wrote: Thu Apr 27, 2023 1:34 pm cycle lane through Gloucester and west to the A48 / A40 which can be followed to Highnam and you could then head for Tibberton and follow quieter lanes to Huntley and on through Blaisdon, Flaxley,
Then Cinderford - Cannop - Coleford - Redbrook - Monmouth

Then NW through Rockfield - Newcastle and either Pontrilas or Llanvihangel Crucorny for the eastern end of the Black Mountains

Or Monmouth - Raglan - Abergavenny on minor roads parallel with the A40
Thanks Chris, I know you know the area well so I'll map this out. All road is fine, I'll have plenty of off-road once further into Wales. I've been off-road more on the Black Mtns and Brecon area when staying around there for a trip, what I'm after here is a way to pass through on alt routes to get further NW.
chris n
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Re: Black Mtns to Glos via FoD - good/quick routes?

Post by chris n »

Garway Hill is worth a visit if you're heading towards Pontrilas - I first learned about it in the Lost Lanes books.
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JackT
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Re: Black Mtns to Glos via FoD - good/quick routes?

Post by JackT »

I'd be inclined to skirt via the north of May Hill to Monmouth, James, taking in the Peregrine Trail beside the River Wye. It's gravel so not fast, but a nice off-road interlude mid-route. (B4215 from Gloucester to Newent is one of the more unpleasant B-roads round here so I'd avoid that)

Then the 'fast route' to Abergavenny on the Old Raglan Road.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/16lf1c7y7kxjs ... 0.png?dl=0

More scenic and slightly shorter would be via Ross on Wye and the Old Ross Road B4521, but noticeably more hilly.

I hope you'll drop in for a cuppa in Abergavenny!
jameso
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Re: Black Mtns to Glos via FoD - good/quick routes?

Post by jameso »

Thank Jack, on all 3 points!
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