We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: there’s no better way to explore Wales than driving through it! With so many different routes to take and iconic attractions to stop off at along the way, venturing through Wales by car is guaranteed to be one of the best trips you’ll ever make. We’ve put together a list of some routes we believe are the best, as well as sightseeing spots you can stop off at along the way.
Black Mountain Road, Powys
It’s the famous mountain route of Wales, with twisting roads, dips and climbs through the western part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The Black Mountain Road became particularly popular after Jeremey Clarkson was seen driving his Merc through it on Top Gear. Driving this route is the perfect way to see the Welsh landscape from a height as it reaches an amazing height of 1,617ft over a 20-miles long stretch. The route usually begins at Lower Brynamman and ends at Llandovery.
Carreg Cennen Castle
The historic ruins of Carreg Cennen Castle can be found just a few miles west of the Black Mountain Road route. Sitting on limestone cliffs, the view from here alone is worth stopping for.
The Gower Peninsula
Famed as one of the most stunning coastal routes in Britain, the Gower Peninsula became the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956. The Gower Peninsula stretches along the southern coast, passing through areas like Rhossili Bay, a surfers’ paradise, and Caswell Bay. It’s a route that’s beautiful throughout every season, with plenty of sightseeing spots and attractions along the way.
When driving the Gower Peninsula, you’re sure to pass through Rhossili, but stopping off here for a few hours is a must. Rhossili Bay is one of Britain’s most stunning beaches, with its golden sand and clear water which makes the Bay so popular for water sports.
What was originally a Victorian pier built in 1898 has recently reopened after an extensive multi-million-pound refurbishment project. Mumbles Pier is one of Swansea’s oldest and most famous landmarks, particularly renowned for fishing.
Visitors can find this Norman stone castle on the east side of the Gower Peninsula, overlooking Swansea Bay and near the village of the Mumbles. The castle ruins are very well-preserved, thanks to huge amounts of work that has taken place over the years, making the castle both safe and sustainable.
The Llanberis route stretches for just over 5 miles, starting at the village of Capel Curig and passing through the incredible mountain ranges of the Glayderau and the Snowdon massif. With so many mountains, Llanberis also makes a popular area for rock climbers, so, for the drivers who also consider themselves climbers too, here is definitely worth stopping off at.
Standing at around 80 ft above Llyn Padarn, Dolbadarn Castle was built by the Welsh prince Llywelyn the Great during the early 13th century. Today, the round castle still remains in solid condition at 40 ft tall and guarded by walls that are 8 feet thick.
Snowdon Mountain Railway
The Snowdon Mountain Railway takes tourists to the summit of Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales. It’s the only public rack and pinion railway in the UK that has been operating for more than 100 years, attracting more than 140,000 visitors each year.
As the highest road in Wales, the Gospel Pass might not be for the faint hearted. Starting from Hay-on-Wye, this route, which is mostly a single-track road, climbs to a height of 1,801 ft at the head of the Vale of Ewyas in the Black mountains and passes through the town of Abergavenny. It’s thought that St Paul took the Gospel Pass route to bring the bible to Wales which is why it got its name.
Abergavenny Castle and Museum
Abergavenny Castle and Museum is one of the town’s best highlights. The museum which is set in the grounds of the ruined castle educates visitors on the history of the town and, of course, the castle itself.
St. Mary’s Priory
Often referred to as ‘the Westminster Abbey of Wales’ because of its size, St. Mary’s Priory Church in Abergavenny has been standing since the 14th century. Having survived Henry VIII’s suspension of monasteries, St Mary’s Priory is steeped in history.
At Best of Scotland Holidays, we arrange private driver tours around Wales, so driving on the ‘wrong side of the road’ needn’t be an issue! We put together chauffeur drive packages or private driver tours that are entirely custom built to suit our customer’s needs and budget. Check out our private driver tour of Wales here, or you can check out the other private driver tour packages we offer here. Alternatively, do not hesitate to get in contact with us if you’d like to speak to a friendly member of our team directly