2020 ROUTE OVERVIEW
Following the very best and off-beat cycling routes each nation has to offer, the race places emphasis on cultural identity and historic locations unique to Celtic heritage.
Riders will start in Cornwall, famed for its wild moorland, sprawling coastline and jagged ascents – best served early on in the race when legs are fresh and hungry for climbs. Cycling through areas of outstanding natural beauty and ancient Celtic history, riders will journey west to the furthest point on the British Isles – Lands End. From there the route north-east will have riders hugging the coastline, soaking up fresh sea air and visiting fishing ports such as Padstow, along with the famed Tintagel Castle and its links to the legend of King Arthur.
The route passes through the English ‘Celtic Corridor’ visiting world famous Glastonbury Tor and spectacular Cheddar Gorge before heading over the Severn Bridge and into the home of Dragons – Wales.
Journeying through South Wales, riders will climb through the Brecon Beacons, with epic views, river valleys and ancient forests on their way west. The route takes in the Pembrokeshire coastline and travels to the furthest point west – the ancient Celtic city of St Davids. A short spin north and riders will reach the ferry point at Fishguard.
Into Ireland, the route explores the west of the Emerald Isle offering stunning scenery, villages tucked away in the rolling countryside, bustling coastal towns and of course Guinness. Standing stones and monuments can be found along the route. Heading onto the Dingle Peninsula, home to the most western point in Ireland, riders will climb the revered Conor Pass before heading east across country to the Wicklow Mountains and then onto Dublin for the final ferry crossing.
The Port of Holyhead and the Isle of Anglesey will greet riders as they arrive in North Wales. Once home to Celtic Druids, the island was known as the ‘Bread Basket of Wales’ (Môn Mam Cymru) in the Middle Ages due to its abundance of fertile land. The Welsh coastline and mountains will keep the riders eye busy as they cross over to the mainland and head towards the majestic Snowdonia National Park. A ride through the Ogwen Valley will gift the riders with stunning roads, flanked by high mountains and lakes. The final run to the finish will see riders pass through UNESCO World Heritage Site of Conwy and its medieval castle, then journey on to the seaside resort of Llandudno and a lap of the Great Orme before the finish.
The breath-taking route has an overall race distance of 1600 miles / 2575 km, with 100,000 ft / 30,480 m of elevation gain.
There are 2 ferry crossings on the route, giving riders time to relax and reflect on their adventure so far; Fishguard – Rosslare and Dublin – Holyhead.
GPX files and ferry links will be uploaded in the future over the next few weeks. In the meantime, If you have any questions about the route, please get in touch and we’ll get straight back to you.
ROUTE & RIDER INSPIRATION
Below are photos showcasing some of the 2020 route highlights, along with some rider photos from the 2019 race. Please click on them for full views.