Dales and Wales Tour


Where: Derbyshire Dales and Wales

How Long: 6 Days

A tour of south and west Wales and some new territory in Shropshire. However some roads and venues will be familiar from previous tours but there will be some interesting new sections, new points of interest and new hotels.

Tour Operator: cct (MK)
Available: June 3rd - June 9th 2018

Click here to visit the website and find out more.

is not a reverse of the 2017 Dales to Wales Tour!

Firstly the Dales in question are the Yorkshire Dales (not Derbyshire as last year), and we go much further into south and west Wales and return along the border into some new territory in Shropshire. However some roads and venues will be familiar from previous tours but there will be some interesting new sections, new points of interest and new hotels.

Sunday 3rd

We will meet for dinner at a new hotel near Worcester. This helps reduce the mileage tomorrow, Stratford was a little too far away, and it also opens up some new areas to visit.

Monday 4th

We leave the hotel and go straight into the Malvern Hills. We follow the picturesque valley of the Leigh Brook and pass through cider country on our way to the little town of Bromyard. More orchards line the route as we cross the River Wye west of Hereford and enter the Golden Valley which brings us to a coffee stop at Hay on Wye, the Book Town of England.

There isn’t too much time to peruse the plethora of second hand books, as Wales is beckoning. Taking the minor road along the edge of the Black Mountains we head south to Llangorse Lake where a circular route on the hillside gives super views over the lake to the Brecon Beacons. We by-pass the town of Brecon and take to more minor roads into the hills for a lunch stop at the Brecon Mountain Visitor Centre.

After lunch we continue over the hills and then drop down into Sennybridge on the edge of the huge Military Ranges on Myndd Eppynt. We don’t cross the military roads today however as we are heading further west and will take the main road to Llandovery, which cuts spectacularly through the surrounding mountains and forests. From Llandovery though we take to minor roads again and more rugged scenery as we now push further west. We skirt Brechfa Forest and climb to over 1200ft as we cross Myndd Llanybyther before descending into the Teifi Valley below. B roads then take us across country via Newcastle Emlyn as we make our way to the coast.

Our hotel for the night, the appropriately named Cliff Hotel, overlooks the beautiful Cardigan Bay – next stop America (if you miss Ireland)!

Tuesday 5th

Before turning around and heading back east into the heart of Wales we will pay a little visit to the Museum of Internal Fire. This should appeal to the petrol (or diesel) heads but perhaps not so much the ladies, as it houses just about every version of diesel engine ever produced, including the oldest surviving, running, engine, and one out of a Deltic rail locomotive.

From here we head along the coast briefly to Newquay for a coffee stop, before heading across country on mainly B roads, with a few scenic short cuts on minor roads to Lampeter. A main road run then brings us back into the mountains and some stunning scenery before we climb up to the fabulous Lyn Brenig, where the road twists and turns following the edge of the reservoir high above the water, providing superb views and photo opportunities, especially if you make the small detour to the dam at the bottom of the lake. At the top of the lake we loop around the forest and descend ‘The Devil’s Staircase’. This is a short series of hairpin bends but not quite as dramatic as it sounds. i.e. not Hardknott Pass or the Porto do Inferno!

More B roads then lead us to our hotel in Llandrindod Wells, the familiar Metropole which is steeped in motoring history having been a checkpoint on many Welsh road rallies and even RAC rallies of old.

Wednesday 6th

Today we head east again and enter the Welsh Border country. We follow the valley of the River Lugg through rolling hills to Knighton before heading north to cross the awesome Long Myndd where the single track road climbs out of the valley hugging the steep hillside. If you dare look, there are spectacular views below and at the summit there is a fantastic panorama of the Shropshire hills, before the dramatic descent through the ‘Devils Mouth’ and Burway Hill into Church Stretton, where you might need a coffee.

Hopefully refreshed and recovered, we make a small detour into the hills east of Church Stretton before heading further north into flatter country on our way towards Welshpool. Here we follow the upper reaches of the Severn Valley making several small detours over hills and through forests as we zig zag our way north to eventually reach Chirk Castle where we will have a late lunch.

The final leg still has some surprises as we pass the famous Pontcysilite Aqueduct, go through Llangollen and then climb over the alarming sounding World’s End road. This road climbs out of the Vale of Llangollen through a wooded hillside, past the imposing rock formations of Trevor Rocks and Craig Arthur to the hairpin bend and ford at World’s End. The road continues to climb onto an open plateau where, on a good day, the Wirral Penninsula and Merseyside are visible ahead.

We don’t go this far however as we loop around the mountain and skirt Wrexham to pass through the almost un-pronounceable Rhosclanercrugog and then head east cross country past Cholmondley Castle to our new hotel, Crewe Hall, just outside the town of Crewe.

Thursday 7th

A slightly different day today with not so much spectacular scenery to start off with and even some motorway driving. There just isn’t an easy way to get between the Liverpool and Manchester conurbations, the M6 over the Thelwall viaduct being the simplest route. The afternoon route brings us into some more attractive countryside in the Ribble Valley and around Pendle Hill.

We start with a short run to Jodrell Bank, the famous radio telescope, where you can spend sometime in the fascinating visitor centre before having coffee.

Now the awkward bit! We head north through the Cheshire lanes before joining the M6 motorway for approximately 20 miles. Whilst it may appear we are still in the Greater Manchester ‘sprawl’ as we skirt Wigan and its elusive pier, we will soon turn off into some quite rugged countryside around the Rivington Reservoir and then climb over the open fells above. We then turn north passing through forests and past more reservoirs on our way into the Ribble Valley. The lunch halt will then be in the little village of Barley in the shadow of the imposing Pendle Hill, famous for its stories of witches.

From Barley we loop around over the hills and descend back into the Ribble Valley with panoramic views of the rolling countryside ahead. We cross the Ribble and meander through quiet lanes, following the Leeds – Liverpool Canal for a while before reaching our hotel on the edge of the Dales at Coniston Cold near Skipton.

Friday 8th The BAR T’AT and BRONTE Tour

A slightly different tour today, hence we have opened it up as a separate event for local entrants. ‘Bar t’at’ is Yorkshire for ‘without hat’ from the song, On Ilkley Moor Bar t’at, so with or without hat we will be visiting Ilkley Moor and the area made famous by the Bronte sisters.

First we have to visit the Dales proper, heading north from Coniston Cold to that quintessential Dales village, Grassington. We then head east onto Hebden Moor and past Stump Cross Caverns before looping round Flat Moor, which doesn’t really prepare you for the steep descent into Pateley Bridge. From here we head up Nidderdale running alongside pretty Gouthwaite reservoir. At Lofthouse, beyond the head of the reservoir, we climb steeply upto Pott Moor with views down the valley we have just left. We then descend past more reservoirs on our way into the market town of Masham, where we will stop for coffee and a visit to the ‘Black Sheep Brewery’.

Fortified, but hopefully not too fortified, we then proceed southwards through the wonderfully named villages of Grewelthorpe and Kirkby Malzeard before climbing up to the open spaces of Dallow Moor. A little detour then takes us past the fascinating rock formations at Brimham Rocks before the steep descent into Summerbridge. We pass more reservoirs as we go through Blubberhouses village at the foot of the pass with that name, although on this occasion we don’t go over the pass, but instead we loop across Fewston Reservoir and head down into the town of Ilkley itself. We climb out of the town on the flanks of the famous moor (unfortunately the road across the moor is not passable) and then drop down to the outskirts of Keighley. We don’t go into this less than attractive town as we follow the River Aire to Silsden and then cut across the valley to the built up area which is the heart of Bronte country. First we cross the Keighley and Worth Valley steam railway at Oakworth, which featured in the film, The Railway Children. (The camera work in the film was amazing as somehow they made it look like an idyllic countryside setting without showing any of the surrounding dark satanic mills!). We have to drive through the now mainly derelict mills to get to Howarth and the Bronte Parsonage Museum. The village is quite quaint with steeply cobbled streets and lots of cafes and pubs for lunch. The railway engine sheds are at the foot of the hill for anyone energetic enough to walk down – and back up!

The afternoon run takes us back into open countryside as we pass the ‘Salt and Pepper Pot’ monuments on Earl Crag before we climb over Carleton Moor with panoramic views of the Ribble Valley below. It is then just a short run across the valley back to our hotel and the finish.