JOURNEYS through the stunning Mid Wales countryside feature in a car insurance website’s ‘Top 12 Driving Routes in the UK’ to try now that the pandemic is beginning to lift.

Although Covid-19 has meant for a tumultuous 15 or so months for the Welsh population, with both physical and mental health, not to mention financial security, all causing concern, the easing of restrictions in recent months has at least meant people can begin to plan road trips and holidays. And staycationing is definitely the new summer holiday abroad, with people appreciating what they have around them.

We Mid Wales residents certainly have lots to be thankful for living where we do – and the Brecon Beacons and Cambrian Way are two of the routes that feature in Heritage Classic Car Insurance’s ‘Top 12 Driving Routes in the UK’ to inspire people’s holiday and staycationing planning.


The Beacons offering is a 134-mile circular route that takes around four hours to complete. This route is described as perfect for road trippers looking for an adventure – featuring the Gospel Pass, the highest road in Wales, as well as the A4069 Black Mountain Pass, otherwise known as the ‘Top Gear Road’, driven by former presenter Jeremy Clarkson.

Your route begins in Brecon in the south of Powys and follows the A40 west towards Llangadog, visiting Upper Brynamman, Caehopkin, which is just a few miles from the National Showcaves Centre for Wales and Craig-y-Nos Country Park.

Next, it’s on to Merthyr Tydfil and through ‘Waterfall Country’, continuing along the A465, dipping in and out of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Before long, you’ll reach the Gospel Pass in the Vale of Ewyas in the Black Mountains. The pass is the highest road in Wales, and offers beautiful panoramic views of the Welsh mountains.

You’ll then double back on yourself along the A40 through Abergavenny, Crickhowell and Tretower, before ending your journey at the Brecon Beacons National Park Visitor Centre.


If you think the Beacons will be a spectacular drive, check out the Cambrian Way, already a popular walking route which follows a path down the centre of Wales.

Starting in Cardiff and ending 200 miles north in Conwy, this route slices through the heart of Wales and also takes in the Brecon Beacons National Park, before heading north to Rhayader and the stunning Elan Valley and its many reservoirs. The Cambrian Way continues north into Montgomeryshire and towards Corris and Machynlleth, but another route to explore here is the beautiful and ancient old Rhayader to Aberystwyth mountain road, following the B4574 to Cwmystwyth and on to Devil’s Bridge.

The Abergwesyn Pass beginning in Llanwrtyd Wells also provides another breathtakingly scenic drive. This lonesome stretch of rough single track runs to Tregaron through an almost brutally wild landscape of moors, escarpment, pine forest and scurrying streams. In the middle, there’s a steep series of hairpins called the Devil’s Staircase. It’s not built for speed and its 20-odd miles can seem much further, especially when you might not pass a single soul for the entire trip.

On the way, Soar y Mynydd, the most remote chapel in Wales, is well worth a short diversion, as is the Llyn Brianne reservoir a little further south.

Full information on the two Mid Wales routes, as well as the other 10, is available on the Heritage Classic Car Insurance site. Other routes around the UK include five in England, three in Scotland and two in Northern Ireland. So if you’re looking to stay local for this year’s holiday and fancy enjoying the trip to your destination as much as the holiday itself, check out these stunning routes by visiting