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Great Drives of Wales

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Great Drives of Wales


  • Abergwesyn Pass – scenic very slow minor mountain road from Llanwrtyd Wells to Tregaron; also accessible via Rhandirmwyn, Llyn Brianne and the remote Capel Soar-y-Mynydd
  • Mynydd Eppynt – from Brecon, B4520 to Upper Chapel, then B4519, and a minor road to Llanwrtyd – possible to link to Abergwesyn above, fine for minibus / car tours
  • Other Powys backroads – the minor road from Howey to Llansantffraed-yn-Elwel (off the A483, south of Llandrindod Wells) is fantastic, one minute a quiet backroad with hedges either side, suddennly you’re crossing a mountain pass with amazing open scenery
  • A5 – the obvious classic, passing the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Llangollen, Corwen, the Dee Valley, great views down the Lledr valley (the first many see of Snowdonia), before Betws-y-Coed, Swallow Falls, Capel Curig, the Ogwen Valley, Tryfan, Nant Ffrancon.... And then over Telford’s Menai Suspension Bridge to Anglesey.
  • Nebo mountain road – the B5113, off the A5 at Pentrefoelas, high viewpoints across whole of Snowdonia ranges, best done in the morning 
  • The Berwyns – winding B4391 from Llanfyllin, over the top, finishing with views down the Vale of Edeyrnion towards Bala; the road joins the A4212 at Bala, heading around Llyn Celyn (under which lies the drowned village of Capel Celyn) before heading down towards Trawsfynydd, the Rhinog range and the A470; the B4391 branches off before going through dramatic mountain scenery to Llan Ffestiniog.
  • Elan Valley – B4518 then minor road around the lakes – possible circuit back into Rhayader, otherwise remote mountain road to Cwmystwyth and Devils Bridge
  • Vale of Ewyas – the minor road from Llanfihangel Crucorney past Llanthony Priory, Capel-y-Ffin and the Gospel Pass, eventually dropping down into Hay-on-Wye. 
  • Black Mountain – A4069 over the Black Mountain, possible clockwise circuit via A40 and A4067 down Swansea Valley road; you can also access one of the backroads to Carreg Cennen castle from the A4069.
  • A470 – a possible itinerary of three or four days: you’ve got the Brecon Beacons, upper Wye valley, Elan Valley a few miles from Rhayader, the great Bwlch yr Oerddrws mountain pass near Dinas Mawddwy, Coed y Brenin, Blaenau Ffestiniog, the Crimea Pass, Dolwyddelan Castle and the Lledr valley, Betws-y-Coed and the run up the Conwy Valley to Llandudno.
  • A470 “short cut” – from Llanidloes, B4518 to Llyn Clywedog, then minor road past Dylife and spectacular open mountain road down to Machynlleth – from there, the A487 passes Corris and Talyllyn Lake before climbing to join the A470 at Cross Foxes, just south of Dolgellau.
  • Bwlch y Groes – minor road from Dinas Mawddwy to Bala Lake, with option of turn acroiss the moor to Lake Vyrnwy.
  • Ceiriog Valley – beautiful unspoilt backwoods route south of Llangollen, especially in autumn – would combine well with Dee valley around Llangollen, or the Horseshoe Pass (A542) to the north.
  • A487 – especially Newgale to St David’s – and the minor road south from Newgale towards Nolton Haven is also stunning, with views over St Bride’s Bay.
  • Backroad Pembrokeshire – from St David’s minor roads towards Abereiddi, Trefin, on to Abercastle (going right past Carreg Samson burial chamber), then up minor roads towards Garn Fawr hillfort, Strumble Head and Fishguard. After Newport, there’s a wonderful minor road with views of the Preseli Hills, eventually winding up at Ceibwr Bay, and, finally St Dogmaels.
  • Aberdaron and Around – Bardsey Island one way, the four mile sweep of Hell’s Mouth beach (Porth Neigwl) the other, with the National Trust-owned Plas yn Rhiw house overlooking the latter.
  • Snowdonia Scenic – several itineraries possible – E.g. A5 Betws-y-Coed to Bangor, then A4244 to Llanberis and up Pass, then down A498 to Beddgelert nad north up A4085 along west of Snowdon massif to Caernarfon, with possible detour up Nantlle valley.
  • Tywi Valley – gardens and castles, so Aberglasney, National Botanic, and Dryslwyn, Dinefwr, and Carreg Cennen Castles.


Wales is home to some of the most stunning landscape in the UK.  Driving Wales website has linked three award winning Welsh hotels which aims to showcase the magnificent scenery of Mid and North Wales.



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