The Desert of Wales [n.]
a glorious, desolate area of Mid-Wales
Travel writer, John Henry Cliffe, first coined the Elenydd uplands “The Desert of Wales” back in the late 1800s; deemed a desert because of its desolation and inaccessibility. Today, the sweeping hills, moors, forests, rivers, remote roads and trails are still much the same but for the damming of several rivers and spread of man-managed forests; still desolate but for Red Kites sweeping the skies, felling forestry workers, wool and mutton…
“What an adventure! I’m relatively new to cycling so I was nervous at the thought of joining 10 people in the middle of Wales for my first bikepacking trip, but the Pannier welcome was amazing. The Basecamp setup was beyond expectation and the route was really special – it genuinely felt like an escape – the landscape was made for our bikepacking adventure and although it was a challenge, the 15KPH slow travel pace made it accessible. I’m officially hooked!” // Sophie
MEET (DAY 1)
Pannier Basecamp // nr. Rhayader // 13.00
FINISH (DAY 4)
Pannier Basecamp // nr. Rhayader // 11.00
Pannier Basecamp // Remote Bunkhouse
40KM // 55KM // 60KM // 0KM
50% Tarmac 50% Gravel // +3000M Climbing
10-14, including 2 x Pannier Guides/Hosts
Our intro ride to the group, the area and your bikes (if hiring). We ride a 40km loop of stunning quiet roads and gravel tracks, in and around the Elan Valley…
80% tarmac / 20% gravel
40% tarmac / 60% gravel
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Drinks, Bunkhouse Accommodation
75% tarmac / 25% gravel
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Drinks, Basecamp Accommodation
“This Pannier Camp has reignited my love for cycling again! Riding bikes in the wild, in Pannier style, is an entirely different experience; journeying at a speed that matches the glorious slow flow of nature, concentrating on how to negotiate the varied terrain rather than how to stay alive on main roads, and being fully exposed to the elements all make for a truly wonderful cycling experience … Oh, and ending the day with a log fire, negroni and homemade pizza is pretty special too!” // Meg
> Adventure Bike & Accessories
> Bikepacking Bags
> Camp Kit (sleeping bag, sleeping mat, liner)
> Private Tent (at Basecamp)
|+ADVENTURE BIKE HIRE||+£50.00|
|+BIKEPACKING BAG HIRE||+£25.00|
|+CAMP KIT HIRE||+£25.00|
|+PRIVATE TENT HIRE||+£25.00|
> 2.5 days of guided riding/adventure
> Basecamp & bunkhouse accommodation
> Food and drink
> Pannier Tourer Pack: dry bag, enamel mug and spork
> Pre-Camp Pannier Shop discount from our brand partners
> Travel to and from Pannier Basecamp
> Riding Insurance (required)
> Pub meal on the final evening
“The Desert of Wales trip was my first proper foray into gravel biking, having previously had a lot of experience with mountain bikes. From the get go, arriving at camp, there was an organised but chilled vibe and the Pannier staff were incredibly welcoming. A warm-up ride on the first day was a great sight-see around the immediate area and made for some good chat with the other tourers. The overnight leg of the trip took us to beautiful remote parts of the country where we ate exceptionally and shared story after story cruising a mix of winding gravel and sweet single-track roads. The Pannier Team put on a great show…” // Duncan
Llandrindod Wells / Caersws / Hereford
We’ll be in touch about opportunities for car-shares
The boring stuff. Sorry.
To confirm your place(s) on the Camp, we require a 50% deposit. At which point, we’ll be in touch via email or over the phone to have a chat about your requirements / arrangements. Please don’t book travel to Wales until the Camp is 100% confirmed by us 🙂
Pannier (Pannier Ltd) is a Tour Operator, and is compliant with the Package Travel Regulations 1992. We do not arrange or book travel to and from our Camps/Tours.
In accordance with the Package Travel Regulations, Pannier Ltd is is a company committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. At no extra cost to you, and in accordance with The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992 all passengers booking with Pannier Ltd are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form. The policy will also include repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Pannier Ltd. This insurance has been arranged by Towergate Chapman Stevens through Zurich Insurance PLC. Exclusions: Travel Insurance, and any claim relating to Air Flights.
Looks ace! How do I join one of the Camps?
Great. Check out the Booking Page. We require a 50% deposit to secure your place(s). Tell your friends 🙂
Is the cycling hard?
The nature of the places we ride mean that Pannier routes are curated to be challenging, but accessible. Challenging given the terrain (it’s not all flat, by any means) but accessible in the short-ish distances we ride each day.
What is the group size on your Camps?
Anywhere between 8 and 14, plus 2 x Pannier Staff. Small groups mean more access, better social, and reduced impact.
Do you run custom Camps, for groups, clubs, or companies?
Yes, they are great to run, but you’ll need to meet the min. number of 10 tourers. Please email David and Stefan at email@example.com for more…
I’m real keen to come, but I don’t have ANY bikepacking kit, or a suitable bike?
Our Camps are designed for both experienced bikepackers, as well as folk that have never tried it before. The minimum you need is some riding clothes, outerwear, shoes and ounce of wanderlust. We can have an adventure bikes, all the bags and camp kit you need ready for you to hire.
Do you carry everything for us?
No. For authenticity, Pannier groups are 100% self-sufficient on the road. Pannier Guides carry most of the kit and essentials, you don’t need a lot: layers for comfort on the ride and at the Overnight; ride snacks; Pannier mug and spork…
Can I join a Pannier Camp on a road bike?
Potentially, yes. We’d insist on a minimum tyre width of 33/34c, and low gearing. Please email David and Stefan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions…
Can you help with travel to and from Pannier Basecamp?
Yes, and even with things like car-shares once we know who is coming, but we can’t book for you. Please don’t book travel until a Camp has been confirmed by us (min. numbers)
I keep seeing you refer to yourself as the ’15KPH Club’, what does it mean?
It’s a somewhat tongue-in-cheek referal to our slow travel touring style. 15KPH has been our average pace on pretty much ever tour/trip we do – factoring in stops for photos, lunches, hot drinks, swims. Sometimes it’s even less.
What is the Basecamp accommodation like?
Ace. We’d call it off-grid glamping. The firepit area acts as a heart, around which our tipi accommodation and communal social, eating and drinking areas sit. Tipi accommodation is communal, they each sleep 5-6, layed out with your own Pannier blanket. If that’s not your thing, you can hire or bring your own private tent. We have composting loos, and a river to wash in (makeshift showers TBC), too.
What happens if the weather is bad?
We’ll enjoy riding in bad weather! Bar force majeure and dangerous conditions, the Camps will always go ahead. Pannier Staff will make informed calls on a day-to-day basis.
Do I need to wear a helmet?
We’re not pro/anti-helmet by any means, but the answer is Yes on all of our Camps and Tours. If you don’t, you’re on your own…
Do I need riding insurance?
Yes. We are a fully-insured Tour Operator but you’ll need your own personal travel insurance for your four days with us. Please email David and Stefan at email@example.com if you have any questions.