When it comes to world class roads for motorcycle riding you are spoilt for choice in Wales. From scenic sea views and golden beaches in the north, to the rugged and raw coastline around the Southwest.
The VisorDown.com team have been lucky enough to sample the best roads in Wales quite a bit recently, with a number of launches and trips across the border from our base in Coventry, England. We’ve selected the best roads we’ve ridden, to help you pick out some gems to enjoy, and great places to stay and visit on the way.
The north coast and Eryri (Snowdonia)
If you are looking for some contrasting scenery, heading along the north coast of Wales and then looping down into Eryri (Snowdonia) is a pretty and varied ride. The A548 hugs the north coast, and runs through the seaside favourites of Prestatyn, Rhyl, and Colwyn Bay. Just before you reach the bridge over the River Conwy, hop onto the A470 and watch how the scenery changes in the blink of an eye.
As you leave the golden beaches and sand dunes behind, the forest takes over and you’ll hug the river down to Tal-y-cafn. Here you can cross the River Conwy and pick up any number of the roads that head west and into the stunning Eryri National Park. This is quite possibly the best bit of Wales, whether you are on a naked, sports bike, or adventure motorcycle. The views are stunning and you have a seemingly endless number of roads, tracks and trails to explore.
Places to stay and visit in the area
For our recent Energica Experia tour of the region, we based ourselves at the Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia and made full use of the free EV charge points provided by the hotel.
The A5 all the way to Anglesey
The island of Anglesey is a lovely destination to ride to, and the fact that the A5 runs basically from London all the way to Holyhead at the tip of the island makes it very simple to get to. The A5 might be fairly boring as it slices through the centre of England, but once you get into Wales it changes dramatically. The further north and west you the better it gets, peaking on the section that leads from Capel Curig and all the way to Bangor. The section that runs alongside the Llyn Ogwen is particularly beautiful, and with lots of places to park up and enjoy the views, it’s well worth adding to your list.
Heading across to Anglesey also grants you the chance to head over the Menai Suspension Bridge. Once you are on the island of Anglesey, you can either take the A55 all the way to Holyhead or take the original A5 which is more scenic and enjoyable to ride.
Places to visit in the area
Ynys Lawd South Stack is a great stop-off point and you can check out the famous lighthouse that warns approaching ships and guides them to safety. Here you can walk right down to the lighthouse, or simply enjoy the views from one of the many benches and viewing points in the area. A little way from the lighthouse is the RSPB South Stack Cliffs Reserve. The cafe is a great place to grab a coffee and some cake, and best of all parking for motorcycles is free.
Another place you should try and visit is Trac Mon, also known as Anglesey Circuit. This place is called the Welsh Philip Island and when you see it, you can understand why. The fast, sweeping circuit is framed by the stunning coastline, and if you get decent weather, it’s a fabulous track to ride. Should you be lucky enough to visit on a day that an event is taking place you’re in for a treat – just pray the weather stays dry!
West coast, Pendine Sands to Bosherston Lily Ponds
If you’re a petrolhead, Pendine Sands is well worth a visit. Pendine Beach is the scene of many a historical record attempt and more recent two-wheeled endeavours too. It’s one of the few beaches in the UK where bikes and cars are allowed to drive on in some places, and groups like the Vintage Hot Rod Association still host two and four-wheeled events here.
A nice route from Pendine for those that want to explore is to follow the road to Saundersfoot and then on to Tenby. Tenby is a great town, with a bustling high street full of pubs, cafes, shops and restaurants. Once refuelled, follow the A4139 and pick up the B4585 to Manorbier. Here you can stop at Manorbier Castle and pop in the grounds for a walk about or a coffee. Most of the ruins of the castle are open to the public and you can climb the towers for great views of the coastline.
A short ride from Manorbier is the very pretty Bosherston Lily Ponds, a stunning collection of lakes that, you guessed, are absolutely covered in lily pads. The lakes are crisscrossed by a series of raised walkways and bridges making it easy to explore the entire area. A short walk from here is Broadhaven South Beach, quite possibly one of the prettiest beaches in the whole of the UK.
Lake Vyrnwy to Portmeirion
I’ve stayed at the Lake Vyrnwy Hotel twice in the last couple of years, once on the press test of the KTM 890 Adventure and again on the UK launch of the Harley-Davidson Pan America. It’s a beautiful place, with the dam at the eastern end of the lake providing the perfect backdrop for a picture of your bike – especially if it is in full flood! A nice route from here to the coast is to take the back roads to Portmeirion. Begin by hugging the north shore on the B4393 and pick up the signpost to Bala at the western end of the lake. This road will take you past the lakes of Llyn Tegid and Afon Tryweryn, and as you pick up the A4212 the road and views just get better and better.
The final destination on this ride is the pretty village of Portmeirion, a quaint little spot built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975. His vision was to create a village that had the look of an Italian town, a trick he pulled off pretty well. Here there are a number of cafes and eateries, allowing you to rest and recharge before heading off to your next stop.
Places to visit in the area
If after all this riding you still haven’t got your motorcycle fix, you could head over to the Mick Extance Kawasaki Experience, where you can try your hand on any number of machines, from Enduro bikes all the way up to the Harley-Davidson Pan America. It’s a short ride from Lake Vyrnwy and caters for absolute beginners right the way up to experienced rally racing pros. Mick's facility has miles and miles of tracks and trails meaning you can ride from dawn till dusk, without ever touching a piece of Tarmac.