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The Sarn Helen - Conwy to Worms Head

In August 2012 Kelly and I cycled from Conwy to Worms Head Swansea, see the blog posts for more details of each day. An overview and map will appear on here. There is a link to the photos we took and Kelly has written a poem about our trip, some written in the van in the evenings then after 6 months, the finished article is here! If you have any questions or would like the route then please do get in touch by commenting below.

DAY 5 and 6
Day 7
DAY 8 was never written up as an individual post, we had a long drive back home and then moved house pretty much straight away. You get a good feel for it towards the end of the poem below.

The Sarn Helen
Kelly Hillyer

The day has finally come,
Now all we need is a little bit of sun.

We waved goodbye to mum near the sea,
Now all was left were the trails, Dave and me.

Llyn Cowlyd's ascent was a leg busting killer,
Let’s hope its decent will be a true thriller.

Whilst on the descent Dave lost his wheel,
A big muddy hole made the steal.

Kelly joined in flying over her bars,
Fortunately it ended without seeing stars.

Our legs kept turning, mile upon mile,
But the sight of the Cwm soon stole our smile.

Our pedals soon came to a grinding halt,
Push up the hill...it’s the Sarn Helen’s fault!

Through the bog, feet sopping wet,
Kelly called out "are we there yet?"

Refueled by raspberries, what a find,
Will they cure my sore behind?

Finally we arrived at our night’s destination,
Greeted with Eccles cakes we felt elation.

The evening was spent chillin' in Cae Gwyn,
Admiring just how far we had been!


Bright eyed and bushy tailed,
We start our day on some forestry trails.

Down the tracks of the Minatour trail,
Whopping and hollering without fail.

Upon the road from Dolgellau,
Saw us peddling way up high.

Cadair Idris standing tall,
Concentrate Dave, do not fall!

Halt, pull the brakes, stop peddling now,
This man eating puddle needs passing somehow.

Faster and faster down the hill,
This descent is such a thrill.

Hello to the man with the cheeky wave,
Back up the hill, now Kelly behave!

The brow of the hill, brings the rain,
This does not help the tired leg pain.

We arrive at camp all wet and muddy,
But where oh where is our supporting buddy??


An early start to the day we had,
But the steep hard hill made us sad!

Round and round our pedals went,
All our energy burnt and spent.

But wait, look there, the top of our hill,
Surely this leads to a mighty big thrill.

We stopped at the top for food and drink,
But how did the midges get through our stink?!

Slipping and sliding on the cattle grid,
Puddle roulette, make your bid.

Crossing the river, up to our knees,
Where is the bridleway, please oh please?

Push, push, push, through the bog we go,
One step forward, one step below.

We made it to our track, what joy, what smiles,
Easy riding to come for miles and miles.

Around the ressy Dave drafts Kelly,
How did he sit behind a girl so smelly?

Nant yr Arian, we're suddenly there,
'High as a kite', its time for some air!

Greeted by mum with Melon, yum yum,
Down the big hill, what good fun!


Sore bums, sore legs, was how the day began,
Please mum, just today, can we go in the van?

Over the winding roads we went,
Where letters take weeks to reach if sent!

Up and over, round and round,
Even in the distance, there’s not a sound.

Claerwen reservoir, what a ride,
What other beauties does this place hide?

Flowing down hills and dry rocky ground,
What a great place, smiles all round!

Zooming down the hill in the heat of the sun,
Dads are all grinning at our fun.

Soon we arrived in the Elan valley,
This was the end to our downhill rally.

A quick pit stop for a water refill,
Then back on the bikes to tackle another uphill.

Soon enough it was the end of our day,
But the rough old track made Dave’s bike pay.

The bike needs fixing before riding anymore,
Although Kelly’s knees were also pretty sore.


A broken bike, what a pest,
This day will bring a well earned rest.

Off the bike went, into the shop,
Down to the swimming pool, off we pop.

The day was full of sunshine and rest,
The bike soon fixed, Clive, you’re the best!


Soon enough the morning had come,
Back on the saddle for my sore bum.

Killer steep hills on the road,
With all these ups our pace had slowed.

Punctures galore, one, two, three,
Dave was attacked by a great big tree!

Through rows of stingers, don’t dilly dally,
Ouch, ouch, ouch, painful nettle alley.

Dodging our way through thistles head high,
We found our road with a great big sigh.

Cycling fast, down the valley like a dream,
Into Brecon for some famous ice-cream.

Oh no, what a mistake, the jazz festival is here,
What is the chance of finding a campsite near?


Dave is quiet, it must be hard!
Off to follow the trail by the yard.

Look out for the gorse and finger post we were told,
Or you’ll become like the rest and get lost and cold!

Through the forest on a bumpy track,
Jellied snakes to fuel our way onto our final map.

Uphill, the legs turned, heads were down,
Our final major hill left no frown.

Down we flew through forest and fields,
Wheels locked in narrow tracks … got to keep those eyes peeled!

Smiles of pleasure from ear to ear,
Wind on our faces, whipping up a tear.

Whoops of joy, relief, surprise and excitement,
Loose stones and rocky slabs took control of our movement.

We reached the bottom in one piece,
Look at our faces as the smiles increase.

A final push through the town,
To be greeted by mum, who needs a crown!

We ate, we drank, and we collapsed in the sun,
Our riding today is definitely done!


The final day, sounds of rain on the tent,
But all had stopped when we got up and went.

Down the roads along to Swansea,
Black skies looming, quick lets flee.

Hiding in shelter from the heavy rain,
Soon it had past, back into the cycle lane.

Along the seafront, we were flying along,
Excitement and smiles, we were going strong.

A stop at Mumbles for late breakfast and tea,
The bikes left outside in the rain by the sea.

Up and down on the coastal road hills,
Signs for Port Enyon, provided the thrills.

Almost there, not far to go,
Big smiles, fast legs, we’re in our flow.

The final track towards Worms head,
Suddenly our legs don’t feel like lead!

Hugs and cheers all round, “We made it!”


The day had suddenly come,
The ride is finally done.

There was 7 days on our bikes riding,
And 7 days of bridleway finding.

North, Mid, South Wales we’ve travelled,
We feel, we look, a little bedraggled.

It’s time to rest our legs and our bums,
We can now work out our mileage sums.

I’m sure this trip won’t become a blur,
…it’s time to plan our next adventure!

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