Plan an epic Welsh ride

Motorcycle News (UK) - - THIS WEEK IN MCN - By Justin Hayzelden

On the north­west bor­der of the Bre­con Bea­cons Na­tional Park lies the Welsh mar­ket town of Llan­dovery, a pop­u­lar meet­ing place for rid­ers and a great base from which to ex­plore some truly amaz­ing roads; from twisty moun­tain passes to un­paved for­est fire trails, there’s some­thing dif­fer­ent in ev­ery di­rec­tion. This bril­liant ride will take in many of the de­lights that a purely tar­mac-based route through mid-wales can of­fer. Fuel stops will be few and far be­tween, so top up be­fore head­ing off at the only petrol sta­tion in town, Mor­ris Isaac’s by the level cross­ing. De­part via the A483 to­wards Builth Wells and the fun will soon be­gin…

The first sec­tion is es­sen­tially a hump, ris­ing steadily through fast flow­ing, shal­low bends to­wards the tech­ni­cal com­pound curves at its mid point and a lazy drift down to Llan­wr­tyd Wells. As with any­where that is sus­cep­ti­ble to harsh win­ters the qual­ity of tar­mac can vary and although some cor­ners fea­ture shell grip, it’s not guar­an­teed to be in the best of con­di­tion.

Take the first left in Llan­wr­tyd, sign­posted Aberg­wesyn. From here the road nar­rows con­sid­er­ably and loses all mark­ings to be­come a blank grey strip in con­trast to the in­creas­ingly re­mote yet breath­tak­ingly beau­ti­ful scenery. It climbs from the hedgerows of farm­land through a cover of trees to burst into a stun­ning U-shaped val­ley with the River Ifron sparkling be­low.

River and road slowly con­verge as the val­ley lev­els out, be­fore the black­top rises again; the views are in­cred­i­ble as the route runs ever higher, but be cau­tious of the tight alpine turns and lack of any bar­rier – run off is largely non-ex­is­tent. At steep­est the gra­di­ent is 25%, though with few places to stop it’s best to keep push­ing to the top. Take it easy on the de­scent and keep an eye out for sheep, as they can be ev­ery­where with­out warn­ing. You cer­tainly won’t fail to no­tice the lone red tele­phone box, one of the re­motest in the UK, so be sure to stop for an oblig­a­tory selfie.

Af­ter tak­ing the op­por­tu­nity to gas up in Tre­garon, head west on the A485. This is a corker of a road and af­ter the nadgery-ness of the pre­vi­ous leg is a wel­come chance to let loose a lit­tle. From here the curves just keep on com­ing and when you pick up the A482 be­yond Lam­peter things get even bet­ter. It’s two lane nearly all the way, twist­ing and turn­ing with a nat­u­ral flow that is guar­an­teed to make you grin. The go­ing nar­rows to­wards the end but that only serves to help you roll off and chill out, ready for a brew and a bite at Llan­dovery’s famous West End Café.

‘River and road slowly con­verge as the val­ley lev­els out then rises again’ Roads

All the lat­est com­mu­ni­ca­tions: red phonebox and match­ing post box

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