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8 day Wales Roadtrip

We'll be spending about 8 days in lovely Wales, already have all our reservations, and need advice on things to see and do in the areas we'll be. Last year we took a two week trip and toured Scotland, Wales, England, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. What a whirlwind!! We found ourselves driving too much, not getting to enjoy any place for very long, and with a lot of missed opportunities because of having to rush to the next place we had reservations. We tried to slow things down this year by only going to Scotland and Wales for 3 weeks.We'll be in Scotland first, and then on to Wales. Still not sure I planned things too great as I was worried about getting reservations before they were filled up. So, our reservations have been made for several months, and since, in doing more research, have found places I'd rather go, but can't because of where we're staying. Live and learn! Following is our itinerary: Thanks for any input!

Llanfairfechan for 2 nights
Llanwyryfon for 1 night
Fishguard, Pembrokeshire for 2 nights
Crickhowell for 2 nights
Newtown for 1 night

Posted by
1838 posts

The Tregaron Mountain road mentioned by Richard is very narrow - you may have to reverse to a passing place.

When in Llanfairfechan, I would suggest that you drive just a short distance to visit the Aber Falls - which is about a 45 minute walk up a valley from the parking place.http://www.eryri-npa.gov.uk/visiting/walking/accessible-walks/Aber-Falls-Path
Also be sure to visit Conwy (castle) and Bodnant Gardens from Llanfairfechan. Also consider the Snowdon Mountain Railway and Caernarfon Castle. If you want beaches - head over to Anglesey. Llandudno is worth a look if you have time.

LLANWYRYFON. The drive here will take you through spectacular country. I would take the A470 to Betws Y Coed. If you want the fastest route - stick with the A470 all the way to Dolgellau. However, even more scenic is this route from Betws-Y-Coed :> A5 to Capel Curig then A4086/A498 to Beddgelert & A4085 to visit PORTMEIRION - an Italian style village you pay to enter. Then take A496 coast road to visit HARLECH CASTLE before heading south to Barmouth and up the Mawddach estuary to Dolgellau. Then it will be A487 to Aberystwyth though you may like to detour via B4405 to Tywyn and on to the ABERDOVEY.

I have never heard of LLANWYRYFON. I think that a day on the VALE OF RHEIDOL RAILWAY from this location would be enjoyable combined with a look at Aberystwyth.

On your transfer day down to FISHGUARD, I would call in at these places:> ABERAERON, NEW QUAY, maybe LLANGRANNOG - lack of parking means using a mini bus link from village edge - look on street view. Proceeding SW, PENTRE IFAN BURIAL CHAMBER near Newport is worth a look.

From your FISHGUARD base, I would go to STRUMBLE HEAD and then down the coast to WHITESANDS BAY & ST. DAVID’S. SOLVA is also worth a look. On day 2, drive to the south Pembrokeshire coast & visit the seaside town of TENBY. Then MANORBIER, BOSHERSTON - park by church and walk past the lily pools to the coast - turn E and you reach BARAFUNDLE BAY. On return - visit PEMBROKE (castle).

FISHGUARD > CRICKHOWELL :> maybe NATIONAL BOTANIC GARDEN OF WALES (just E of Carmarthen) > CARREG CENNEN CASTLE (in the hills E of Llandeilo) > BRECON BEACONS NATIONAL PARK MOUNTAIN CENTRE (which can be reached via a backroad if you are good with maps) > CRICKHOWELL.

CRICKHOWELL is surrounded by lovely countryside. If there weather is bad, consider going down the BIG PIT COALMINE at Blaenavon (free). Llangors is OK but also consider climbing to the top of the BRECON BEACONS - but beware of the weather. 3 soldiers died last year on the mountain due to the heat! The valley going from Talybont SW past the reservoir is very pretty. Where the road crosses a stone bridge prior to a steep hill, park the car and follow the track for about 20 minutes & pass through a metal gate to BLAEN-Y-GLYN FALLS.

CRICKHOWELL > NEWTOWN. From Builth Wells, the A470 is more scenic than the A483 to Newtown. At Rhayader, consider taking a circuit of the ELAN VALLEY RESERVOIRS.

NEWTOWN = visit POWIS CASTLE (near Welshpool).

Google place mentioned for more info. How you did all those countries in 2 weeks I’ll never know.

Posted by
15 posts

James! Thank you so much for the wealth of information. I will be printing this out to take with us.

Posted by
1838 posts

When in Crickhowell, you may like to consider this as a circular day tour:> at start, put into satnav RAGLAN CASTLE = follow A40 all the way. On leaving Raglan Castle, satnav ST. ARVANS (not of interest). When you reach St.Arvans - turn L onto A466 and take the first minor road on left (at bend). Drive up narrow road for about 3 minutes to car park on R by a bend. Now walk up the zig zag path through woods for about 17 minutes until it levels off. Not the first path to the R but just after - go R to EAGLE'S NEST VIEWPOINT high up on a cliff over looking the Wye valley. (It is not signposted).

Return to car and proceed N up the A466 to TINTERN ABBEY. On leaving TA, satnav YAT ROCK and continue N up A466 towards Monmouth. Look at this map:>https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.8285528,-2.7347182,13z/data=!5m1!1e1
You will be coming up the Wye Valley to Redbrook (near bottom right). YAT ROCK is where it says ‘Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. Park in the car park and walk across the bridge for a spectacular view. When you leave the car park - you are sent in a loop. Head for Monmouth - you can go either way but I think it best if you go via the A4136. Drive into MONMOUTH & maybe have a look around. (A medieval bridge is found at the west end of the mainstream). On leaving Monmouth satnav SKENFRITH = a little village with a ruined Castle. Now satnav GROSMONT - when you reach the A465 turn L and head for Abergavenny/Crickhowell but if you wish to see a smaller ruined abbey - look out for R turn to LLANTHONY. (The road up the valley beyond Llanthony is very narrow).

Posted by
742 posts

The places I mentioned are in the green heart of Wales.
Strata Florida abbey ruin is also in that bit of the world and Devils Bridge.
The Centre for Alternative tech. again is in the region.
If you are looking for a short but impressive walk, Cwn Idwal might well be the place, maybe a half hour drive from Llanfairfechan .