A4212, Mid Wales, UK

This Great Road was initially published in issue 97 of Total 911.

It’s well documented in automotive circles that Wales generally provides an illustrious plethora of spectacular driving roads. In particular, Mid Wales has cropped up in discussion time and time again, and despite previous ‘Great Roads’ entries highlighting the area, we’ve mentioned almost casually that other nearby routes are worth exploring too.

Having looked at the popular ones – the ‘Evo Triangle’ or the B4518 most recently – we thought it worth running through another stretch to add to the collection. You’ll soon see that with a map, a highlighter pen and ten spare minutes, you can string a number together, forming your own loops or join-the-dot routes from A to B.

We’re not far from the ‘Triangle’ this edition, and also within a tootle from the B4407 or any number of other minor roads between Bala, Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd. You could argue that, broadly speaking, there is a larger triangle slowly building up between those three, but this month we’ll focus on the A4212, which connects Bala in the east with Trawsfynydd in the west.

It’s an ‘A’ classified road, which means it will typically be busy. Being as keen as we are, we’re already aware of making a start before the traffic of the day begins to build so as to get a clear run. Don’t expect it to be empty at midday during the week; we’d wager then that you’ll see many the rear of an articulated lorry for the duration of the route.

LOCATION: Bala, Gwynedd, Wales

LATITUDE: 52.9121 -3..595


Electric Mountain, Llanberis
Ray Hind Mountain Guide
Ffestiniog & Welsh
Highland Railways

Old Mill Farmhouse, Trawsfynydd

Pale Hall, Bala

The White Lion, Bala

The A4212 has a draw, which comes in the form of its good surface quality, wonderful altitude changes – as is typical for this part of the world – and its nice, regular bends. These factors blend to offer enough features to work against, without the need to frequently change down to first or second gear or experience wince-inducing surface imperfections.

It’s somewhere you can either roll leisurely along in fifth or press on in third as your mood takes you, losing yourself in setting up for the next apex.

There’s only one slower 40mph section, with the rest being national speed limit, but you feel like you’re making so much progress on it that there’s no need for anything more – which, we suppose, is the main reason for including this road; you definitely get a sense that you’re travelling to somewhere rather than weaving off the beaten track.

So if you’re looking to make a bit of a day, or even a weekend of it, this is definitely one to include. Get out that map, highlighter pen – and back issues of your Total 911 magazine – and sketch out a tour to suit yourself.

Take in the A4212 and freely join up the highly rewarding and spectacularly engaging roads as you go. As you’re in Wales, don’t just take in our chosen route this month; the minor roads surrounding are worth exploring, too. But you know that by now, right?

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