I put Bwlch in brackets cos everyone calls it Nant yr Arian, or actually just “Nanty” most of the time, but lets give it its full name for a moment – Bwlch Nant yr Arian. It translates as “Silver Stream Pass” or “Pass of the Silver Stream” and is named after the silver lead ore that was mined in the area. There’s an old mine and museum just down the road, that would be a great spot to drop off the non-mountain biking members of your family while you have a ride or an additional activity if you wanted to have a longer stay.
“Nanty” is a great little trail hub. Not just for mountain bikers but also for walkers, hikers and horse riding and has been “awarded the Gold Award by Visit Wales for attractions which make an exceptional effort to create an enjoyable and memorable experience for their visitors.”
The area is also great for wildlife and in particular bird watching – specifically Red Kites. In 1999, Bwlch Nant yr Arian became a red kite feeding station as part of a programme to protect the small number of red kites in the area at that time and the the red kites are fed by the lake every day. Its quite sight to behold and the sky was full of these magnificent birds most of the time we were there.
The mountain bike trails are lots of fun. Not the most challenging but still well worth a visit while in this part of the country. In a couple of hours you can ride “The Summit Trail” that takes in most, if not all of the singletrack at Nanty, including plenty of flowing and twisty sections such as the Mark of Zorro. There’s decent climb in the middle to provide you with some excellent views.
The trail is a lot of fun and has some imaginative and descriptive section names.The final High as a Kite section will find you speeding your way back to the visitor centre for some great food at very reasonable prices.
I enjoyed the ride at Nanty and if you are planning your first North Wales adventure I’d recommend it as a gentle way to get you tuned to the rocky trails and steeper hill sides before you head off to the legendary Coed y Brenin.
Or if you are simply planning a weekend away somewhere different, its only half an hour away from Aberystwyth and mixing it all up would make a nice family weekend trip with an excellent excuse to take your bike along!
Go check out Bwlch Nant Yr Arian here.