The A48x group includes the third and fourth longest Axxx roads in Britain - namely the A483 and the A487, at 162 and 175 miles long respectively. The second longest is the A470, which is also a North-South Wales route, and it is near the point where the A483 and A470 cross, at Builth Wells, that the A481 begins its much shorter trek eastwards. However, the A481 was much longer before over half its route was pinched to lengthen the A483!
The A481 heads east from the Royal Welsh Showground at Llanelwedd along a short multiplex with the A483, which then turns north, leaving the A481 continuing eastwards along the north side of the Wye Valley past Llanelwedd rocks. The A470 heads south along the opposite side of the Wye Valley.
Soon, we take a sharp left, climbing up the valley of a tributary of the River Wye, before descending to the River Edw. We climb again, reaching the A44 in the middle of nowhere, to the south of Radnor Forest. And that's it: 10 miles of windy mountain road linking Builth Wells with nowhere in particular, doing its bit to keep the average length of road in the A48x group down. In fairness, however, the A481 did start in Llandovery till 1935 when the section of road from there to Builth became part of the A483.