Brecon Snowden & Peak District Rally
The Welsh county of Powys, hosts some of Wales’ most spectacular scenery. The views from the B4520 south out of Builth Wells to Brecon are the perfect case in point.
This road climbs through some impressive mountain landscapes and is as exhilarating as it is challenging to drive! As you reach the routes natural summit, there is a beautiful plateau, which runs for 3-4km, with some amazing sweepers, offering views directly down to the Brecon Beacons some 20km south. As you then start the ascent towards Brecon, you then run through farmland, with small stone walls, but always maintaining great views, and a a good road surface.
The historic market towns of Builth Wells and Brecon provide the perfect start and finish points with ample options for refreshments and accommodation – and boy are you going to need it!
Sheep and farm vehicles are going to be your biggest threat here once you’ve navigated what can be a rather tame first few miles in comparison to what is to come. Crests, sweeping curves, cattle grids and MOD exercises all combine, pushing your senses into overdrive.
Black Mountain Pass
The Black Mountain Pass crosses The Black Mountain to the west of the Beacons. One of the most talked about roads in the British Isles and the setting for countless magazine car reviews, automotive films and driving challenges.
A must-drive for petrolheads and anyone who has that nagging feeling that a drive is more than simply getting from A to B. Consistently ranked as a ‘dangerous road’, this one will take all your driving skills and reward you with miles of grins! Sweeping corners, hedgerows, valleys, bridges, dry-stone walls, moorland and resident sheep all battle to consume your senses…but process this all and you will come away a Black Mountain convert.
Best driven in the summer when the weather is most likely to be clement, ensure you set off early to avoid other adventurous drivers and the odd wayward tourist.
We have fixed the road to start from the Tregib Arms, since the end hotel at The New White Lion is a perfect overnight, though some people argue it’s better driven in the opposite direction – so why not just turn around and head back over again for twice the enjoyment.
Mountains To Coast
The lesser driven Mid-Wales holds a hidden gem in the form of a mountain to coast jaunt worthy of its place in the Ultimate Drives.
Start the drive in the village of Rhayader, heading west. As the scenery unfolds before you expect to catch glimpses of waterfalls (particularly well known is the Devil’s Bridge Falls in the Rheidol Gorge). Reservoirs meet an industrial heritage which might conjure feelings of nostalgia, although there won’t be much time to dwell on this as you press on along sweeping bends through undulating hills; the odd mountainous twist and turn to keep you on your toes.
Some recommend driving the opposite direction, however the UD team prefer finishing in the historic yet vibrant market town of Aberystwyth, where you’ll be sure to discover a plethora of accommodation, dining and entertainment options to suit a wide range of preferences.
A quick blast through the foothills of the Snowdonia National Park following the amazing B4391 east to west. In our humble opinion, this road is the best in Wales, and therefore a strong candidate to be the best in the UK – simply because of a combination of near perfect road surface, long fast and sweeping curves, and great panoramas in all direction – the three main ingredients for any great road.
This drive passes lakes, hills and the odd spot of white water! Farmland gives way to forest, then moorland and epic valleys as the route crosses scenery that will leave your heart pulsing before you’ve even shifted down a few gears and embraced the sweeping turns which lie ahead of you.
This road is of course also popular with tourists, driving enthusiasts, residents and the local constabulary so make sure you keep your whits about you,also if you can make the drive during the week and outside the peak holiday you can be sure of a good drive. A magical mix of Welsh mountains, a beautiful changing setting, some quality tarmac and Welsh charm will ensure you’ll leave smitten with the National Park and its residents…even if they are predominantly of the fluffy sheep kind.
Snowdonia – The Llanberis
This quick jaunt crosses the northern section of the Snowdonia National Park, from Capel Curig to the coastal town of Caernarfon over the famous Llanberis Pass. Situated at an altitude of 359 metres, the Pass road was built in the early 1800’s and has a ‘magical’ quality – the sense you are following in the footsteps of countless weary travellers from days gone by. Except you’re behind the wheel of an automobile and driving for pleasure. And this drive delivers.
Without doubt this is the most dramatic (scenic) road in Wales, though as a drivers road, it loses a few points as it does get very narrow in parts, and tourist and local buses also use the route, meaning you need to keep your wits about you..
Setting off from Capel Curig through trees and with views of the lakes of Llynnau Mymbyr and in the distance imposing mountains. The road runs alongside the water for a mile or so before reaching a wonderful section with curves and elevation changes.
Session starts with tea, coffee, some drinks and cakes, followed by an introduction to clay shooting, gun handling and safety instructions. The group then shoots a mini-competition over three differing shooting stands, with each person shooting a total of 30 clays.
Your session will end with prize-giving for the winner of the competition, plus to finish off with flavoured gins and lots of laughter and discussion over who missed that easy clay!
Group shooting events usually last around 2 hours, but could take a longer or shorter amount of time, depending on the confidence of the shooters.
The Snake Pass
The Snake Pass is a fantastic road located within the Derbyshire county area of the Peak District National Park. The road itself winds its way over spectacular mountain scenery across the Pennines mountains between Glossop and the Ladybower