Tenby is a "postcard-maker's dream", according to Lonely Planet. You can spend two nights there in the seaside town at the Fourcroft Hotel and cycle around on some of the most beautiful parts of Pembrokeshire. It will be a challenging bike route. The course can be split into three different distances and according to your abilities you can pick and choose which one you will tackle over the weekend. Ideally you should be going for the whole 179 kilometres (112 miles)... The shortest distance is 72 Kilometres (45 miles) the mid distance is 106 kilometres (66 miles) and the full distance is 179 kilometres (112 miles). The shortest distance is just one lap of the small circuit whilst the mid distance one, will head off towards Angle before finishing the small circuit. The full distance is the same route as the mid course; however has an extra lap of the small circuit.
Arrive and check-in at your hotel or apartment, relax and enjoy the lovely restaurants, bars and microbreweries scattered around Tenby. My favourite is ‘SandBar’. A craft-beer and street-food bar at the top of Upper Frog Street. Fuel yourself as you will need to deep hard in to your energy reserves for tomorrows ride.
Today, let’s try completing the full IRONMAN Wales and Long Course Weekend Tenby cycling route which will take you around some amazing countryside of Pembrokeshire. Now, pick and choose which distance you will go for today. I recommend the mid but if you want to push your limits go for the full... The first part of the circuit will take you down to Angle for a loop around the coast, while the second part will take you further inland around the beautiful village of Narberth before you head down to the coast for the steepest hills of the course the ‘Wisemans bridge’ and Saundersfoot for the ‘heartbreak hill’ climb on the way back in to Tenby.
Let’s start with the first segment heading towards Pembroke an 18 kilometres (11 miles) with some fast sections. Head out from Tenby to Penally and carry on straight all the way to Lamphey. You’ll get to know this junction as you will cycle pass it 3 times during the full course. Turn left for Pembroke and then after 2.5 km (1.5 miles) turn left on the roundabout and follow the road around. After the school turn left on to St. Daniel’s Hill road for the first fairly tough climb. After 1.8Km (1.1 miles) bear left and stay on the B4319 all the way to Freshwater West . Take the opportunity to enjoy some of the spectacular scenery on this part of the course. Take care as there are a few very tight turns, one of which you’ll be negotiating at speed. Follow the road into Angle for a quick loop around the village and a quick stop. Take the B4320 towards Pembroke. Bear right into Clay Lane and then on to B4319 for a fast descent down the St. Daniels Hill back into Pembroke. Follow the same road into Lamphey junction.
The course will follow some pretty narrow roads as you head yourself northward towards Carew. You’ll have to negotiate some long climbs and tight downhill sections, where you need to take care and be more careful. The Lamphey to Carew section is just over 9 kilometres (5.6 miles) long. From ‘The Ridgeway’ lane, turn left on to ‘Coal Lane’ towards Sageston and then onto Carew. Enjoy the scenery as immediately after Carew, you’ll hit a long and steep hill. These little hills will keep coming up constantly as you cycle northward. Stay on A4075 and turn right towards Templeton on A4115. Turn left on to A478 towards Narberth. Get ready for another tough climb overTempleton Hill with a 4.6% average gradient.
Once, on the outskirts of picturesque Narberth, you will have to negotiate a long descent with a few turns before hitting the Narberth Hill , a steep incline with average 7% gradient, into the town.
The last section of the second part is where you meet all of the famous climbs. From Narberth take the B4314 towards Princes Gate and turn left on to B4314. Just before Tavernspite turn right and follow the lane towards Amroth. Turn left and ride through a village called Summerhill. Follow the road down into a little village by the sea’s edge called Wiseman’s Bridge. The hill after Wiseman’s Bridge is the steepest of all the hills so far with the highest incline reaching roughly 20%. The descent into Saundersfoot is quite technical, descending through a narrow twisty lane down toward the seafront. Then, ahead is the famous ‘heartbreak hill’ . Ride up toward the sharp bend and then hit the hill. It’s very steep to start with. It is a long climb and the peak incline is 12% gradient. Just keep in your mind, that when you reach the top of the hill you will have a nice long downhill back into Tenby. When back in Tenby, relax and refuel as you’re going to have to do that entire second loop again. By now you would have done about 106 Kilometres (66 miles) so get ready for the last 72 Kilometres (45 miles) loop. For the IMW and LCW event a strong second loop is what makes the difference between a good and a bad course time.
At the end when you’ve arrived back into Tenby, give yourself a pat on the back and rush straight into Sandbar for a quick refreshing pint...
Distance: 176.12km - Elevation Gain: 2538mStrava Print GPX
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