02 Builth Wells to the Horseshoe Pass Snowdon and Bangor
Published: 02/03/2021
RP 19 Blaenau Ffestiniog
This route starts from The Cedars Guesthouse in the small market town of Builth Wells situated on the banks of the River Wye and uses the much underrated A483 to travel northward. This is a very nice road with lots of twists and turns and the urge to twist the throttle is great but beware of traffic cops. A convenient stop for coffee is at Oswestry RP 9 there are several places all visible just off of the roundabout. Don't be greedy though as the well known Horseshoe Pass and Ponderosa cafe (bikers meeting place) are just 30 minutes away and a lunch stop is highly recommended. The Horseshoe Pass starts from the town of Llangollen where the steam trains can be viewed from the bridge crossing the River Dee. The Pass is well known for the Ponderosa Cafe at its highest point 417 m and the scenic views along the road. Both the cafe and the pass itself are extremely popular with cyclists & motorcyclists. From here, you can see where the route will take you next, the mountains of Snowdonia National Park.

After lunch the route enters The Snowdonia National Park and pass two reservoirs where you can stop for a picture. You will then start to climb through forested roads towards the slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. There is a great viewpoint from route point (RP) 19 where you can see all the way to Cardigan Bay on a clear day. After passing through the very busy tourist town of Betws-y-Coed the route then arrives at Mount Snowdon (1,085 metres), the mountain that the park gets it's name from. The Pen-Y-Pass to Llanberis is spectacular with steep mountain sides towering above you in this rock and boulder strewn river valley. The town of Llanberis is where you can take a steam train to the top of Snowdon.

The accommodation at Bangor is just a short ride away from here and will act as a good base for exploring North Wales and the Isle of Anglesey.

Links for the guesthouse, accommodation at Bangor, Ponderosa Cafe, Snowdon Mountain Railway and an MRA route of a Round trip from Bangor to Conway Castle and Caernarfon Castle starting from the end of this route can be seen below this review.
Ponderosa Cafe. RP 13
View from RP 23 and the start of the Pen Y Pass. (Llanberis Pass)
Useful links:
The Cedars Guesthouse, Builth Wells.
Orme View Lodges, Bangor.
Ponderosa cafe, Horseshoe Pass.
Snowdon Mountain Railway
03 Round trip from Bangor to Conway Castle and Caernarfon Castle

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Waypoint, used to construct the route
Sight, here you can see something
Viewpoint, a short stop for taking a picture
Stopping point, for hotel, lunch, etc
Attention, see the text in the waypoint for more information

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Nick Carthew - (MRA Senior)
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View route collection Great 6 day tour of Wales
About this route collection
This collection of 6 routes all pass through at least 1 of the 3 spectacular national parks of Wales'. Each park is unique and individual and the landscapes vary from the vast, remote and wide open moorland of the Brecon Beacons to the rugged mountains and glistening lakes of Snowdonia and the spectacular coastline of the Pembrokeshire coast. Each is a delight to travel through and these routes will take you to some of the best beauty spots.
There are some great attractions to visit too, as well as having more than it's fair share of fantastic castles and historic buildings, there is the worlds fastest zip line, a balcony road used for world rally stages, mysterious caves and magical waterfalls and a museum of land speed records. All of these can be seen on the routes in this collection.
Although each route in this collection is a separate stand alone route, they will all link up seamlessly to make a 6 day tour that you will remember. The tour starts and ends in Gloucester which can be easily reached in a day from any of the Channel ports.
Enjoy Wales.