|From:||Church Stoke (SO272942)|
|Length:||22 miles (35.4 km)|
|Meets:||A489, A483, A458, A495, B4391, B4393|
|Former Number(s):||A483, B4391|
|Route outline (key)|
An interesting piece of trivia is that the quickest way to England from the middle of Church Stoke is to head west along the A489 for a quarter of a mile (not that this is the obvious route to most of England!).
Church Stoke – Llanfyllin
The A490 heads north along a single-carriageway road, following the course of the River Camlad. It also crosses the border into England a mile north of Church Stoke. The river is a field's distance away on the right, largely obscured by trees and hedgerows. After passing the site of an old fort, we gradually leave the course of the river, running through arable land to the village of Chirbury, where we have a staggered junction with the B4386; a left turn takes you back into Wales, to Montgomery.
A mile and a half later, the A490 crosses back into Wales, not at the bridge over the Camlad as you might expect, but a couple of hundred yards further on. After crossing a minor road, our route begins to climb and just before the junction with the B4388, we cross Offa's Dyke, near Kingswood. There's a sharp right turn here, but we gradually resume our course to the north-west after passing through the village. Over the brow of a hill, then we drop down towards a railway line, and just beyond, the River Severn.
In Cilcelwydd, the road deviates to the left again, over the railway and then over the Severn. We then pass Montgomery (Mid Wales) Airport. I don't think there is any danger of this overtaking Cardiff as Wales's premier airport. Less than a mile later, we reach the A483 at a roundabout. That road bears off to the right to form the Welshpool bypass whilst we continue ahead to continue into the town centre along the original line of the road. Except we don't - for some reason this is signed and mapped as a spur of the A458 even though the A490 number is more obvious.
On the way into Welshpool, we pass on the left hand side the grounds of Powis Castle. In the town centre, we turn left at a crossroads onto a multiplex with the mainline of the A458, still alongside the Powis Castle grounds. At a roundabout, the A458 turns left and we go straight on, resuming our trip northwards, passing the end of Glyndŵr's Way. We continue through gently undulating countryside – a mix of arable and wooded land. We pass the B4392 before making our way down a steepish slope, across the River Vyrnwy, arriving at a T junction on the A495.
We take a short multiplex to the right, before resuming the A490 to the left up a wooded valley and over the crest of a hill at Bwlch-y-Cibau. We descend into the Cain Valley and thread our way between some steep hills to Llanfyllin. From there we go on for another mile, then the road becomes the B4391 at the junction with the B4393. Thus we have an A road terminating on a B road. This is unusual in that it happens here, in the middle of nowhere. Why not in the last village, or why not 5 miles before, on the A495? It strikes me as very odd.
Original Author(s): Simon Davies