The 4 Castles Cycle Route
The route is waymarked with blue signs - a bicycle surrounded by four castles.
This 52KM (32 MILE) circular route is entirely on roads and takes in the castles of Abergavenny, White Castle, Skenfrith and Grosmont. Although not particularly difficult it is suited to more experienced cyclists used to sharing the road with other traffic. There are several challenging hill climbs.
Cycling is an ideal way of exploring this quiet part of Monmouthshire, where you can make unscheduled stops to enjoy unexpected views of the Black Mountains, the Brecon Beacons and the Monnow and Usk Valleys or to stop off at one of the country pubs on the route.
Abergavenny to White Castle - 45 mins; Hard; 14km
Turn left out of the bus station. take the first left into Holywell Road. Turn right at the T junction signed Rockfeild. The road begins with a long steep uphill climb (the hardest on route) dropping and climbing again before reaching Llanvapley. Continue straight on through the village to reach Llantilio Crossenny. Turn right off the road into the village. Continue through the village and bear left back to main road. Carefully turn right then immediately left; signposted White Castle.
White Castle to Skenfrith - 30 mins; Easy; 10km
From the castle return 100m to the road, turn left and go downhill. Take the first right and continue uphill past houses. Fork left near old school and follow around to the T junction. Turn left. Do not turn off until you reach the main road B4521. Carefully turn right. Continue through Cross Ash and on to Skenfrith. Turn left into village with castle on your right.
Skenfrith to Grosmont - 30 mins; Easy; 8km
Continue straight on past castle and church and over stream, bearing left. Follow the lane to the T junction. Turn right. Follow the road to Grosmont with good views over the Monnow Valley. The road crosses a stream before a short, steep climb to Grosmont village. The castle is signposted on right.
Grosmont to Graig Syfyrddin - 30 mins; Hard; 5km
Turn left immediately behind Town Hall signposted Cross Ash. After a steep descent, the road levels before forking right uphill land on to a T junction. Turn left. The road steepens uphill past Grosmont Wood Farm before bearing right and levelling.
Graig Syfyrddin to Abergavenny - 45mins; Medium; 15km (9.2 miles)
Take care to turn right before the old school down a narrow road. Follow it downhill (rough in places) to a T junction above the Three Salmons pub. Turn right with care onto the main road B4521 and continue to Llanvetherine. Keep straight on. A gradual climb takes you to the base of The Skirrid before descending gently to Abergavenny. After going under the two road bridges, fork left. Continue downhill past the houses to a T junction. Turn right, then left twice back to the start.
The Route - Recommended for experienced cyclists used to sharing the road with other traffic. Be aware that the B4521 can be busy, with fast moving vehicles. Some roads re narrow with high hedges. There are several challenging hill climbs, with the reward of excellent views in many directions.
Cycle Stands - You can leave your bike in safety at Abergavenny Railway Station, the Tourist Information Centre, and at White Castle and Skenfrith.
Your Bike - Ensure it is in good working order. Check brakes, wheels and tyres regularly. Always carry a small tool kit, puncture repair outfit and spare inner tube, a small first aid kit and drink/light refreshments.
Clothing - Be safe - be seen. Wear suitable and high visibility clothing. Wearing a helmet is advisable.
Cycling on Roads - Follow the advice given in the Highway Code. Leave a gap of at least 3 meters between riders in wet weather and take extra care downhill. Always ride in single file when roads are busy or narrow.