A4069, Black Mountains, Wales
Like a number of superb roads we’ve previously examined, the A4069 has all the high scorers in the Total 911 ‘I Spy’ book of great drives. The entire route is blessed with a good surface, plenty of bends, Armco-style barriers, good sightlines, oodles of open scenery, a hairpin, and even a range of changes in altitude.
Besides this, I’ll bet you recognise it when you get there. This is because it’s been the staple destination for many factions in the motoring media for road tests or group shoots for years.
The long uphill to the small car park by the quarry has been used again and again, but latterly the more performance-based media also love the hairpin, which is pretty much always branded with long black tyre marks from the apex thanks to its perfect angle and flattering uphill, low-speed character.
We’re a little more cerebral on Total 911, so let’s forgo the bravado and break down the drive itself. It can be done either way, but to enjoy the hairpin uphill, we suggest going north to south.
Starting at Llangdadog, regular rural Wales blends into the Brecon Beacon National Park, and instantly the road alters. We weave hard along a narrow valley to our right, swing around a right-hander and steadily gain in altitude, still weaving up to the left-hand hairpin.
Wide vistas on our right suddenly swap to the left as we rise further, up past the two photo location car parks en route to the summit. The glorious Carmarthenshire scenery opens up and the road levels off for a brief section, gracefully threading off into the distance.
We weave and bob down, then arc steadily through the moorland. Passing the large car park on the right, we then take a sharp right on the side of the valley and roll down into the end of our 12-mile drive into our destination of Brynamman.
This is a cracking drive, where the constant weaving and wiggling of the road is superb fodder for 911 driving. There’s always inputs to make and feedback coming from the car, all at totally legal, safe and responsible speeds. Set the alarm and get there for sunrise, to really appreciate the road and the landscape.