110 MILES OF HEAVEN
This wonderful Welsh ride is a MUST
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’