Five best drives in WalesCompact Cars, Bridgend
June 27, 2017 at 11:52 AM
Wales has some of the UK's most spectacular and scenic driving routes, and from Anglesey in the north to the Pembrokeshire coast in the south, there is always something different to see. Here are five very different trips that show the diversity of Wales:
The Black Mountain Pass
We start in the Brecon Beacons, in south-east Wales. The Black Mountains dominate the northeastern part of this national park, and the red sandstone covered with purple heather makes for an imposing sight. The Black Mountain Pass starts on the A474, just to the north of Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, taking you through Lower Brynamman and across the Black Mountain.
The route is around 23 miles in length, and there is plenty to keep both the driver and the passengers entertained, with frequent hairpin bends and a good chance of stray sheep wandering across the road.
The Pembrokeshire coast
Moving west, our next port of call is another national park, on the rugged Pembrokeshire coastline. The whole area has a wild and desolate beauty about it, which has to be seen to be understood, including vast sandy beaches and sheer cliff edges.
Keep a look out for a wide variety of wildlife along the way, including seals, whales and dolphins, not to mention the hundreds of species of seabirds that call this area home. Take the A487 south from Newport, and simply follow your nose as you travel through the national park. The sixth-century St David’s Cathedral is well worth a look along your way.
The Welsh Lake District
Heading north out of Pembrokeshire, our next destination is in the Elan Valley. Its natural, sweeping beauty makes it a perfect area to appreciate by car. There is 16-mile circular route that is regarded as one of the most scenic drives in the entire country. It is covered by speed cameras, but that shouldn't bother you, as this is definitely a journey to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace.
The Llanberis Pass
Venturing still further north, we enter another national park: Snowdonia. The Llanberis Pass begins at the pretty little village of Capel Curig. Follow the A4086, and you will experience the serenity of the Llynnau Mymbur Lakes, along with the majesty of Mount Snowdon on your 18-mile drive to Caernarfon. While the scenery could not be more different to what you experienced in Pembrokeshire, it is equally breathtaking and spectacular.
The EVO Triangle
Finally, one for the real car enthusiasts. This drive takes its name from EVO Magazine, as it is their route of choice when testing cars for their features and articles. It also goes very close to the famous “gearbox hill”, which was used by Austin back in the 1920s and 30s for similar purposes. The route is around 20 miles long and starts to the east of Betws-y-Coed, on the A5. From there, it follows the A543 towards Dinbych, along roads that start narrow and bumpy but soon open out. After around eight miles, you turn right onto the B4501 through the famous downhill twisty section that guides you back to the A5.