This won­der­ful Welsh ride is a MUST

Motorcycle News (UK) - - News - by Justin Hayzelden

Wales has some truly amaz­ing roads, and the town of Machyn­l­leth is ide­ally placed to ex­plore the best of them. This ride kicks off from the fill­ing sta­tion on the A487 where you can top up be­fore head­ing north.

The first sec­tion fol­lows a me­an­der­ing wa­ter­course through a nar­row val­ley, en­gulfed in trees un­til the left turn for the B4405 where the world opens up to present a spec­tac­u­lar skim along the edge of Tal-y-llyn Lake. At the junc­tion with the A493 turn right for Dol­gel­lau and within a few turns you’ll be re­warded with a view that feels pos­i­tively Mediter­ranean; with the Llŷn Penin­sula on the hori­zon and glimpses of golden beaches be­low. The ride up Cardi­gan Bay is breath­tak­ing.

Stick with the coast road as it turns in­land to run along the River Mawd­dach and when it reaches the T-junc­tion take a left to­wards Betws-yCoed. Fol­low the A470 for a rel­a­tively straight cruise to Ffes­tin­iog then turn right on the B4391 to Bala. This black­top rib­bon climbs quickly to run through the hills, feel­ing ever more re­mote as the ter­rain grows wilder. As with any­where in ru­ral Wales, keep an eye out for sheep as they have a habit of do­ing what you least ex­pect.

When you hit the A4212 con­tinue to­wards Bala; if you fancy some scoff there’s a great lit­tle café at Fron Goch, oth­er­wise roll into town where you’ll find fuel if needed (at the pave­ment­mounted pumps).

From there take the B4391 to Llang­ynog, a road that climbs rapidly via a cou­ple of steep hair­pins to cross the windswept up­per moor­land. There’s a sen­sa­tional view from the top of the pass be­fore you make a dra­matic de­scent into the val­ley be­yond; ride on to Pen-y-bont-fawr then turn right to fol­low the B4396 to Lake Vyrnwy.

At Aber­tridwr turn right on the B4393 to en­joy a bim­ble around the pic­turesque lake; anti-clock­wise has the bet­ter views. This sin­gle track will take you over Hell­fire Pass – one of the high­est roads in Wales and a pop­u­lar prov­ing ground for Bri­tish mo­tor­cy­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers back in the day.

Even­tu­ally you’ll emerge on the A470 where a left turn will take you to Mall­wyd and a stop at the ser­vice sta­tion to de­cide which roads to ex­plore next.

‘You’ll be re­warded with a view that feels pos­i­tively Mediter­ranean’

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