Trails for Wales

Making it easier for everyone to explore our fantastic countryside

Wales has some fantastic landscapes, just begging to be explored by bike – from enticing lost lanes winding through valleys, to forest tracks or moorland trails climbing up to misty mountains.

But the problem is, it’s not always clear where you can go, and it can be hard to put together a route. Only 21% of rights of way are open to cyclists, and they don’t always link up.

Following years of campaigning by Cycling UK, OpenMTB and other outdoor access groups, in 2019 Welsh Government promised to allow cycling and horse riding on most rights of way, and enable more activities on open access land.

That was a huge win, but there’s still a lot of work to do. Four years after the announcement, not much has happened. Access is in danger of dropping off the agenda.

Cycling UK is working to build support in the Senedd for access reform, and remind Welsh Government of their commitments to increase access to the countryside.

The benefits of off-road access

The campaign so far

2015 - Trails for Wales round 1

The Welsh Government began a consultation on outdoor access, and Cycling UK launched a joint campaign with OpenMTB to call for increased access for cycling.

2017 - Trails for Wales round 2

A second consultation, and this time we went bigger, uniting with other organisations to create the Outdoor Access Wales alliance.

2019 – Welsh Government commits to increase access

Over four years and two consultations, we mobilised 12,000 people to write to the Welsh Government in support of the proposals. And thanks to you, they listened, and announced some big changes to public access.

2020 – Expert advisory groups

Cycling UK and OpenMTB joined other outdoor organisations and land manager representatives on expert advisory groups to discuss the details of how the access reform proposals should work in practice. The groups submitted a report to Welsh Government at the end of 2021 setting out the options.

Unfortunately, the government still hasn’t made any decisions on what they are going to do. The people and rural businesses of Wales will miss out if we wait any longer.

Cycling UK has championed off-road cycling for over half a century. We won the right to cycle on bridleways back in 1948, influenced ground-breaking legislation that effectively gives you the right to roam by bike in Scotland and secured a commitment to increase access in Wales.

We can only do this thanks to the support of our 70,000 members. We have big plans for off-road cycling across the rest of the UK - but we need your help.

If you want to play a part in helping more people discover the joy of cycling in our forests, glens and moors, then join Cycling UK today.We'd love to have you along for the ride!