Cycling in the Welsh Borders
...of England, UK
The Welsh Borders is just made for a cycling holiday. It is one of the most unspoilt areas of England, with little traffic and loads of mediaeval castles. Picturesque black and white villages abound. The landscape is lush and gently undulating. Ideal for cycling.
The Welsh Borders are sometimes referred to as the Welsh Marches or the Welsh Borderlands. Technically it is either side of the England/Wales border, but for the purposes of this site it is the western portion of the English counties of Cheshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.
The name Marches (meaning mark or line) came about when William I, having conquered England in 1066, sent his troublesome blood-thirsty earls west to take whatever land they could sieze. Of course they took the best land, built lots of castles, ruled like warlords, and treated the locals like dirt. It was only with the 1536 Act of Union that these Marcher Lords lost some of their privileges.
Typical border country this. Its bloody history has left a wonderful mix of Celtic, Norman French, and Anglo-Saxon heritage for the curious cyclist to explore. Winding lanes lead to castle ruins, picturesque churches (many sporting pagan carvings of The Green Man and Sheila-na-gig), and apple orchards. This is reasonably easy cycling country with lots of variety en-route.