Wales is home to some of the UK’s most scenic drives and a road trip is one of the best ways to see the countryside and coast. You’ll undoubtedly find yourself pulling over to the side of the road on lots of occasions to take in the scenery and capture the beauty with your camera.
You might be asking yourself what the most scenic drives in Wales are and, in this guide, we take a look at the best ones you can go on and what you can see along the way.
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Things to consider before you start your road trip
Before you head off on your drive there are lots of considerations you will need to take on board and we’ve listed them here:
- Plot your route – You want your journey to go as smoothly as possible and you should, therefore, plan your route before you head off.
- Consider any additional insurance you need – For long drives you might want your passengers to be insured driving your car so they can take over the driving and it is, therefore, worth looking into the different options for one day car insurance and other short term cover.
- Look at excursions – If there are attractions along the route that you would like to visit then plan in parking up somewhere and visiting them.
- Check your car – Pump up tyres, fill-up oil, check brakes and lights before you start your road trip.
The best road trips in Wales
Here are the top routes you can drive when you are visiting Wales, the third best place for drivers in the UK.
A4069 Black Mountain Pass
Referred to as ‘the Top Gear road’ by many locals after Jeremy Clarkson was filmed driving it, the Black Mountain Pass is popular with motorists and bikers.
It is the scenery that makes this stunning drive a must with the Tywi Valley, one of the most picturesque sections of the route.
Driving for Pleasure explains where the route begins and ends: “The route begins at the junction with the A474 at the north of Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, and travels through Lower Brynamman and Brynamman. The route then crosses over the Black Mountain range of the Brecon Beacons and emerges at Felindre near Llangadog. It then crosses through Llangadog and continues northeast until the junction with the A40 at Llandovery. It reaches a height of 493 m (1,617 ft) above sea level.”
If you want to spend a few days in the area there are lots of activities you can try such as canoeing. With Want To Canoe you can hire a canoe and paddle along the River Wye to discover the beauty of one of the most picturesque areas of Britain.
The Abergwesyn Pass
Top attractions you can see: Soar y Mynydd (Wales’ most remote chapel)
— BBC Wales News (@BBCWalesNews) April 2, 2016
One of the most scenic drives in Wales is the Abergwesyn Pass, which runs from Tregaron to Llanwrtyd Wells.
The route is renowned for its wild landscape of moorlands, pine forests, streams and cliffs. The drive also features a series of hairpins that are aptly named the ‘Devil’s Staircase’.
As a result of the hairpins and hilly terrain, the route isn’t built for speed so the 20-miles will take a bit longer to drive. Petrol stations are few and far between for those of you driving along the route so make sure you fill-up the tank before you set off.
Snowdonia is a must-visit for anyone. As Wales’ first national park it is something to behold with its unspoilt scenery and spectacular mountains.
Travel blogger Lucy, who runs On The Luce Travel Blog, said that when she visited Snowdonia she went on a road trip that was 39 miles long and took around an hour and 30 minutes to drive.
“Our route started in the town of Porthmadog on the North Wales coast. This was our base for the weekend, and it’s also the hub for the West Highland and Ffestiniog railways and is close to the quirky Italian-style village of Portmeirion. From Porthmadog, we followed the A498 past the village of Tremadog and on through the Aberglaslyn Pass to the town of Beddgelert.”
You can also drive along the edge of the Llyn Gwynant lake, which has some beautiful views. A great time to drive along this route is during autumn as the leaves on the trees turn red and gold.
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Tenby to St David’s
If beach hopping in Pembrokeshire sounds like something right up your street then this route is perfect for you.
Pembrokeshire is home to some of the UK’s best beaches and this road trip is one of the most scenic drives in Wales.
Starting in Tenby you can enjoy all the trappings of the British seaside and then you can head west to the picturesque Barafundle Bay.
Some great beaches you can stop off at include Freshwater and Newgale Beach before you finish your journey at St Davids, the UK’s smallest city.
Swansea to Rhossili
The Gower Peninsula is a stunning area of Wales and this drive takes in some of the UK’s best coastal scenery as well as its beaches.
Starting off in the vibrant city of Swansea you will need to get onto the A4118 west, and along this road you’ll be able to drive through lots of picturesque villages such as Knelston and Nicholaston.
Staying on this route you will come across the stunning Rhossili Bay, which is ranked amongst the best beaches in the world. The three-mile long beach is a great place to watch the sunset or if you fancy stretching your legs at the end of your drive then there are lots of coastal trails you can follow.
The top scenic drives in Wales
Wales has lots of scenic drives that you can enjoy and here is a reminder of the routes you just have to drive.
- A4069 Black Mountain Pass
- The Abergwesyn Pass
- Tenby to St David’s
- Swansea to Rhossili