Star grey.pngStar grey.pngStar grey.pngStar grey.pngStar grey.png

A5/Chirk - Betws-y-Coed

From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
< A5
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Cameraicon.png No pictures uploaded (Upload?)
From:  Chirk (SJ298398)
To:  Betws-y-Coed (SH798557)
Meets:  A5, A483, A543, A494, A543, A470, A5
Highway Authorities



Caernarfonshire • Denbighshire • Merionethshire

Route outline (key)
Arrownorthwest.jpg West Betws-y-coed - Bangor
A5 Chirk - Betws-y-Coed
East Arrowsoutheast.jpg Telford - Chirk

South East | North West

We finally cross the Welsh border on a bridge over the Dee Valley on the Chirk bypass, and turn left to regain the original route. The area of road signs increases once we're in Wales because the signs have to be bilingual. Here begins the section where Telford really left his mark when improving the road, and because most of it hasn't really been improved since, many of the original features are still evident. For example, the majority of Telford's milestones are still standing by the roadside, quietly doing their job. The Welsh Office have recently erected brown tourist signs along the road to mark its status as an "Historic Route".

The A5 and the Shropshire Union Canal run side by side until the village of Froncysyllte, whereupon the canal boldly turns north and crosses the River Dee on the most audacious piece of canal engineering in the country: the Pontcysyllte aqueduct, designed by Telford, which is not for the vertiginous! We continue along the south side of the valley and descend into Llangollen.

West of Llangollen, we continue to follow the Dee upstream. It's much more obvious we're in a river valley, as the road hugs the steep southern side, squashed up by the railway (formerly an important east-west link, now a tourist line). Passing through the tiny village of Berwyn, which gives its name to an extensive range of hills to the south, we look down on the railway and the B5103 turns off, threading its way under the railway and over the river. Meanwhile, we climb as the railway goes into a tunnel and the river goes around the long way.

We pass through two small villages: Glyndyfrdwy (which simply means "Dee Valley"), with a 30 mph limit, and Llidiart-y-Parc (national limit - but take care!), soon arriving at the larger settlement of Corwen. Here's where we part company with the Dee at last - the valley turns to the south, but we're continuing west. Shortly after we cross the river on a fine stone bridge, there's a signal-controlled junction with the A494 to Ruthin and Queensferry. The A5 and A494 multiplex for a mile and a half, crossing Afon Alwen (a major tributary of the Dee - we haven't left it completely!) on a recently realigned section.

The A494 leaves us again at Druid, another signal-controlled junction. We continue, tight against the river for another 7 miles, the old twisting line interrupted by a brief stretch that was widened in the 1990s near Ty-nant. The new road cuts through a bend and gives a climbing lane - one of the few overtaking opportunities in this area.

At Cerrigydrudion, the straight line of the road appears to head straight into the village, but we bear left, using a short 1920s[?] bypass to pick up an equally straight road on the other side. It's straight on the map, but in the vertical dimension, it's anything but!

For a while, the road is a sequence of straights and modern sweeping bends, with a few "traditional" corners thrown in for good measure. A mile or two after the village of Pentrefoelas this changes again, as we duck into the woods to follow the River Conwy downwards. We hug the river tightly (there's no alternative in this narrow gorge), winding down, and crossing at a bridge about halfway down the gorge. The road in this section is supported by walls that keep it perched above the river. After a while, we emerge from the woods and the valley widens a bit. Make the most of the bright sky while you can, for a mile or two later we're back in the woods, again closely following the Conwy as it twists down to Betws y Coed.

South East | North West

Abbey Hill Roundabout • Anglesey Arms Roundabout • Antelope Roundabout • Bayston Hill Roundabout • Brockley Interchange • Caldecotte Interchange • Canons Corner • Carreg Bran Interchange • Centurion Junction • Chalton Interchange • Churchbridge • Churncote Roundabout • Cluddley Interchange • Crackleybank Interchange • Crick Interchange • Cross in Hand • Dalar Hir Interchange • DIRFT Rugby East Roundabout • DIRFT Rugby North Roundabout • Dodwells Roundabout • Dordon Roundabout • Druid Junction • Dunstable Crossroads • Edgebold Roundabout • Emstrey Island • Felton Butler Roundabout • Five Crosses • Forge Interchange • Friars Wash • Gailey Interchange • Gailey Island • Gibbet Roundabout • Glan Menai Junction • Glascote Interchange • Gledrid Roundabout • Grendon Roundabout • Halfway House Roundabout (Northants) • Halton Roundabout • High Cross • Higham Roundabout • Hockliffe Crossroads • Hollinswood Interchange • Holly Lane Roundabout • Kelly's Kitchen Roundabout • Kilsby • King Harry Junction • Limekiln Bank Roundabout • Little Brickhill Interchange • Llys y Gwynt Interchange • Longford Island • Longshoot • M42 J10 • Mancetter Roundabout • Marble Arch • Marylebone Flyover • Mile End Roundabout • Mile Oak Junction • Muckley Corner • Nant Turnpike Interchange • Norton Canes Interchange • Old Stratford Roundabout • Park Street Roundabout • Peahen Crossroads • Pen Caledog Interchange • Pickmere Roundabout • Portway Roundabout (Milton Keynes) • Preston Island • Priorslee Interchange • Priorslee Roundabout • Queens Head Junction • Red Gate • Redmoor Roundabout • Rising Sun (Brownhills) • Sheeps Lane Roundabout • Smockington Hollow • Staples Corner • Stretton Baskerville • The Column Roundabout • The Turf • Thorn Roundabout • Tove Roundabout • Ventura Park Interchange • Wall Island • Watford Crossroads • Weedon Crossroads • Weedon Roundabout • Weeford Interchange • Whitehurst Roundabout • Whittington Roundabout • Wolfshead Roundabout • Woodcote Roundabout • Wynns Corner
Related Pictures
View gallery (295)
Road to Bugbrooke - Geograph - 272538.jpgA5 - Menai Bridge - Coppermine - 3084.jpgA5 and Llyn Ogwen from Tryfan's North Ridge - Geograph - 71613.jpgNew roundabout on A5, Weedon - Geograph - 5647524.jpgA5 M42-Atherstone - Copy.png
Other nearby roads

SABRE - The Society for All British and Irish Road Enthusiasts
Home - Discuss - Digest - Discover - Help