Awesome Family Day Out: Bike Park Wales
Looking for an exciting activity to do with the kids at the weekend or school holidays? Something to get the family out on their bikes? Take a look at Bike Park Wales.
Hurtling down hillside bike trails following kamikaze kids may be a little nail biting at times, but it’s also the BEST fun and great for developing the children’s cycling skills.
We took Max for his 10th birthday, and Charlie has already chosen a trip back to Bike Park Wales for his 8th birthday later this year!
Where/What is Bike Park Wales?
Nestled in the sloping Gethin Woods just South of Merthyr Tydfil, is a network of mountain bike trails meandering through trees and meadows. From beginner bikers to downhill pros, there’s something for everyone all centred around the hub, woodland café and shop at the bottom of the mountain.
If you like biking and are looking for a bit of a thrill, Bike Park Wales is a great day out with the family.
Bike Park Wales with kids
- Can you take kids to Bike Park Wales? YES!
- Are the tracks too challenging for children? NO!
Unlike some other mountain bike centres, Bike Park Wales is great to visit with kids: here’s why.
1. Mountain Bike Hire
Our kids have got hybrid bikes for both road and off-road cycling. Though these would be just about fine on the tracks, a mountain bike is definitely more suitable and more fun.
Bike Park Wales offers a ‘youth bike hire’ package which includes a hardtail bike and all protective equipment needed (full face helmet, knee and shin protection, elbow pads and gloves). This meant that the kids were riding bikes that were way nicer than ours…..
You can also book coaching sessions.
2. Kermit Green Trail
There are over 40 trails at Bike Park Wales for all levels of experience. The Kermit Trail is perfect for beginners/kids.
A green-rated slope, the trail is 5km long so gives you a good run down the hill, and throws out some fun challenges along the way which kept us all entertained.
There are berms (banked turns), jumps, rock slabs, roller coaster sections and tree-lined flow sections but the design means you can hit the brakes and take it slowly if you’re feeling nervous…..
On this trail, slower riders have priority so there’s no feeling of pressure, but if you want a break on the way down, there are loads of pitstops and picnic benches.
If you conquer the Kermit Trail and want more of a challenge, you can progress up to the Blue intermediate trails on your next run down.
One word for the uplift…. Game changer!
Let’s be honest, the main problem with mountain biking is the uphill bits. Well, problem solved. Book onto the uplift service and hop on to one of the mini buses waiting to transport you and your bike up the hill. Simple.
These were a life saver. I’m not sure how many runs down we would have had if the kids were cycling to the top. Instead, after cruising down the trails, we could hop onto a mini bus and get a lift straight back to the top. The large number of mini buses means you’re not left waiting and we generally got back to the top in about 10-15 minutes. Perfect time for a leg-rest and a snack.
If you want a longer break, stop in at the café to grab a coffee, snacks or lunch.
What biking level should the kids be at to visit Bike Park Wales?
All budding mountain bikers needs to start somewhere so there’s no mimumum age to visit and all are welcome. Confidence is probably the biggest indicator as to whether the kids are ready.
The Kermit trail is great for riders of all abilities because you can take it as fast or slow as you like.
That said, to get the most out of your visit and not freak the kids out, it’s worth making sure they have a decent level of confidence when riding their bikes, plus enough control to get down the course.
Ours were tentative at first, but were bombing down the burms and hitting the jumps by the end of our session.
Bike Park Wales is quite expensive as a family day out (see prices on website) but as an experience it can’t be beaten. We laughed and whooped the entire time and it was great to see the children’s confidence grow across the day. There’s no doubt that they were way better than me by our final run….
After some food and refreshments, we drove home all buzzing about our day out and talking about our various jumps, runs and tumbles…. Can’t wait to go back.