Dales and Wales Tour

Description

Where: Derbyshire Dales and Wales

How Long: 5 Days

The Dales on this occasion are the Derbyshire and Staffordshire Dales making it easy to combine routes here and across the Cheshire Plain to Wales.

Tour Operator: cct (MK)
Available: May 21ST - May 27TH 2017

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DALES TO WALES

The Dales on this occasion are the Derbyshire and Staffordshire Dales making it easy to combine routes here and across the Cheshire Plain to Wales.

SUNDAY 21st START – Dinner at the IZAAK WALTON Hotel in Dovedale.

Day One – Monday 22nd

First we head east to the pretty village of Tissington where we drive around the village green and onto minor roads which take us across to Carsington Water. We loop north to go around this expanse of water going through Kirk Ireton before looping back on moorland roads to the fascinating Tram Museum at Crich for a coffee stop.

From Crich we head north past Ogston Reservoir and across the hills east of Chesterfield going over “Big Moor” and Burbage Moor. We descend to Hathersage via Burbage Rocks and take the main road to Castleton for lunch. After lunch there is the spectacular climb over Winnats Pass where the road threads between rock faces as we climb to one of the Peak Districts highest peaks, Mam Tor. We pass the Blue John caverns and head through the stunning scenery near Rushup Edge before dropping down into the more built up areas of Chapel en le Frith and Whaley Bridge. The main road then takes us back to Buxton with views over the picturesque Goyt Valley. We go through the town and loop eastward to the equally picturesque Millers Dale and Cressbrook to the picture post card setting of Monsal Head. We can have tea here overlooking the famous view of the viaduct.

The final run takes us back on country roads to our hotel in Dovedale.

Day Two – Tuesday 23rd

We leave beautiful Dove Dale and head west on some narrow but very scenic roads on our way to the village of Butterton with its unusual combination of cobbled street and river/ford! (An alternative route will be available if we have heavy rain). The open moors of Staffordshire then bring us to Longnor before we cross the hills again to a coffee stop at the famous ‘Cat and Fiddle’ pub.

From coffee we travel down most of the spectacular pass of the same name before turning off into the forest above Macclesfield. We join the main road past Bosley Reservoir and avoid the built up areas as we cut across the Cheshire Plain to the impressive Jodral Bank telescope. We then skirt Northwich on our way to lunch at the amazing Anderton Boat lift. This massive structure is the Victorian equivalent of the Falkirk Wheel – “like a giant three-storey-high iron spider”.

From lunch we head further west back into the countryside and on to the more picturesque Delamere Forest. We then head south through quiet country lanes, passing Cholmondley Castle on our way to our hotel outside Whitchurch, just over the border in Shropshire.

Day Three – Wednesday 24th

Today we cross into Wales at the un-pronounceable village of Rhosclanercrugog? before heading north to Minerva. We then turn into the mountains and cross the open moors before passing the impressive rock formations of ‘Worlds End’ and as we descend from here we get wonderful views down into the Llangollen valley. Down in the valley we make our way to the amazing Pontcysilite Aqueduct for a coffee stop. (The brave and more energetic may like a walk across the vertigo inducing structure!).

After coffee we pass through Llangollen itself and stop to look around a fascinating little motor museum on the banks of the canal. Frome here we head north again over the fabulous Horse Shoe Pass and head towards Ruthin where we turn onto more minor roads which take us into the infamous Clocaenog Forest. (Famous for RAC rallies of old and used on the 2016 RALLY GB – we will stick to the tarmac though and not venture onto the gravel tracks). After cutting through the heart of the forest we will stop on the shores of tranquil Lyn Brenig for lunch.

After lunch we take a loop north before turning south again with views of the Snowdon Mountain range ahead. We then cut across country to Bala and go over the mountains back to Lake Vrynwy via the breathtaking road which runs high above the Tanat valley.

Day Four – Thursday 25th

The route today takes us back to Bala, but as you would expect not on the same road! We use another mountain road before passing through Bala and on to picturesque Lyn Celyn. We then cut across country to Betwys Coed for a coffee stop.

It is then back into Snowdonia, passing the Swallow Falls and Capel Curig to the top of the Llanberis Pass. We don’t go down the pass on this occasion but carry straight on down the spectacular valley road to Beddgelert. We continue south through the Aberglaslyn Pass and south to the fascinating village of Portmeirion for lunch.

After lunch we approach the town of Harlech on the coastal road which provides magnificent views of the castle above. We then follow the coast to Barmouth and the Mawdach estuary before turning inland to Dolgellau and on to Machynleth. Here we take a minor road up into the mountains again where we get spectacular views in every direction – on a clear day! A stop for tea at a remote little inn in a deserted mining village breaks the journey across the mountains back to Lake Vrynwy.

Day Five – Friday 26th

We go further south today, meandering through minor roads on our way to the impressive Powys Castle for coffee. From here it is a good main road run to Newtown and on to Llanidloes. We then follow the shores of the beautiful Lyn Cilwedog for some time before turning into the Hafren Forest. This little road continues for some miles through woods and over moors before we join the main road through spectacular scenery to the little village of Ponterwyd for a stop for lunch at the summit of the beautiful Vale of Rheidol.

After lunch it is back onto minor roads as we climb to the remote but picturesque Nant y Moch Reservoir. We follow the reservoir to a spectacular little mountain road which affords views as far as Barmouth Bay before descending steadily to the coast. We pass through Machynleth again before tackling the southern half of the “Hellfire Pass”. This awesome climb then brings us to our final mountain road back to Lake Vrynwy and down the west side of the lake to our hotel for a farewell dinner.