B4391, Ffestiniog, North Wales
The various A-roads that traverse north Wales are littered with caravans and lorries, but turn off the beaten track and you’ll discover a wealth of deserted, twisty tarmac, with few stretches better than the B4391 from Ffestiniog.
Initially ambling through the remnants of the village as the speed limit opens out to national, the road ascends through a series of bends. Tackling the road, its sweeping nature allows me to pick up more speed in the 3.4-litre 991 as the hills of southern Snowdonia sit to the west.
The road continues its rolling nature, now gradually meandering up and downhill over the course of the next few miles, throwing in a few blind bends that tighten up on the exit.
I’m now deep into a valley, with gorse bushes to my right and more imposing hillsides to my left. If the road doesn’t float your boat then the landscape most certainly will.
Some of the corners are now providing good sightlines, letting me take more of a racing line, but soon the edges close in as I race uphill. This roughly signals the halfway point, with the corners tightening and requiring more use of the second gear.
A perilous drop replaces the countryside to my right, a knee-high rock wall being the only thing between me and disaster. The flat six echoes off the sheer rock face to my left as I shoot downhill.
Latitude: 52°57’29.9″N 3°55’49.5″W
Length of drive: 8.1 miles
Points of interest:
Llechwedd Slate Caverns,
Blaenau Ffestiniog, LL41 3NB
Queen’s Hotel, High Street,
Blaenau Ffestiniog, LL41 3ES
My verticality provides an advantage, as I can spot any traffic for miles around, and this is possibly one of the most rewarding points on the route. It’s particularly spectacular on a summer’s evening, as the warm glow from the sun adds extra visual drama.
Beyond this, the road migrates onto a straighter blast, the already-impressive surface improving further. The hilly vistas remain impressive, before a plunging, off-camber left-hander sends us into a forested section.
The final few miles are peppered, like the whole route, with a range of corners, blind crests, cambers and sheep, all of which add up to an intoxicating mix that had us driving the route over and over again.
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