Here are some of the images I've taken along the many routes of the National Cycle Network in Wales. If you would like to see more of what I have collected here... all you have to do is get on yer bike and ride!

2017 - MAY 
Parkinson's UK & The National Garden Scheme Cycle Tour

Charged to promote the 90th Anniversary of The National Garden Scheme along with their partnership with Parkinson's UK, we set off on a one-day cycle tour visiting six unique gardens across the county of Glamorgan.

Three fellas + three bicycles + 6 destinations = one fantastic day!

Follow us on 65 miles of lovely Welsh countryside from Hengoed in The Valleys to Southerndown on the Vale of Glamorgan.

1. Pontygwaith Farm
Edwardsville, Glamorgan, CF46 5PD
☞  View website
Route: Hengoed to Pontygwaith Farm
Distance: 6.7 miles

Located just above Quakers Yard by the legendary "hump bridge", you've passed this garden every time you've cycled down the Taff Trail. What is most surprising is how much there is to see once you walk around back... it just keeps on giving with vignettes of varying scale at every turn.

2. The Cottage
Cwmpennar, Mountain Ash, Glamorgan, CF45 4DB
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Route: Pontygwaith Farm to The Cottage
Distance: 7.9 miles

Who would have thought the forests of California and mountains of North Carolina could be found in Mountain Ash? From azalea's and rhododendrons to towering redwoods, gardens don't get much thicker or more lush than this gem. Ya just gotta see this place to believe it.

3. The Old Post Office
Main Road, Gwaelod-Y-Garth, Glamorgan, CF15 9HJ
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Route: The Cottage to The Old Post Office
Distance: 16.2 miles

The gardens at the Old Post Office in Gwaelod-Y-Garth are equally eclectic and unusual. Built upon a delightful array of terraces, this destination was a complete surprise hidden within an already charming village. By the numbers seen visiting, you could tell others loved it as well.

4. 28 Maes y Nant
Creigiau, Glamorgan, CF15 9EJ
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Route: The Old Post Office to 28 Maes y Nant
Distance: 4.4 miles

And it was not just the gardens which we visited that we found lovely... the people we met were quite simply wonderful. At Meas y Nant, they pulled out all the fanfare to greet us. We were humbled beyond words. It's this kind of community that makes volunteering so special.

5. Bryn-y-Ddafad
Welsh St Donats, Cowbridge, Glamorgan, CF71 7ST
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Route: 28 Maes y Nant to Bryn-y-Ddafad
Distance: 5.9 miles

After seeing so much, it's hard to imagine what you might find next... and yet we were surprised yet again with a perfect "secret garden" at Bryn-y-Ddafad. Walking in through the gates we were immediately hit with the smell of Wisteria. THe pictures tell the rest of the story.

6. Slade
Southerndown, Glamorgan, CF32 0RP
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Route: Bryn-y-Ddafad to Slade
Distance: 13.2 miles

Of course, scale has it's own part to play in le grand scheme. And Slade covers that issue - hands down. A perfect location to end our epic cycle tour; Slade sits on the coast; cliffs and the Bristol Channel thankfully keeps us from going any further.

So our epic day comes to an end. What a blast. It was lovely to meet everyone and see these fabulous gardens. What can I say?

Thank you for giving us this opportunity! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

And one last special thanks to Ian Savage of Parkinson's UK and Rosamund Davies of The National Garden Scheme for making all this possible. You're the best.

Three fellas + 75 miles cycled + 12 hours on the road = sleeping like babies.

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