A full entry gathered in beautiful sunshine at Lion Quays Hotel, on the A5 just north of, Oswestry, a new start/finish venue for the 11th running of Kidderminster Car Club’s Hills & Valley Scenic Tour. After the usual preliminaries and bacon baps/pastries, we set off on easy driving open roads of a 30-mile section. Having passed through the picturesque NT Erddig House Estate and Nant Mill we arrived at a tea/coffee stop at Alyn Waters Country Park near Wrexham. Homemade biscuits in the shape of cars were on offer – a nice touch!
After the usual preliminaries and bacon baps/pastries, we set off on easy driving open roads of a 30-mile section.Mr Blobby
Duly refreshed, we headed north on the second section and were immediately faced with a steep climb onto Hope Mountain with its glorious views over the scenery. No sooner had we descended than we turned west and were climbing again to the top of Moel Famau in the Clywydian Range of mountains. Having crested the summit of the Bwlch Pen Barras Pass, stunning views over Ruthin were enjoyed on the steep descent into the old town. A lovely drive through the valley of the River Clywedog was followed by another steep ascent onto moorland from the village of Cyffylliog. Flowing roads with views over the surrounding Welsh forests brought us to the picnic lunch halt at the delightful Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre
with its glorious views over the lake.
The afternoon session began in earnest with a stunning drive through Clocaenog Forest on roads more used to rally drivers. Still heading east we enjoyed lovely views of the Clywydian Range before arriving at the tea/coffee rest halt at Bwlchgwyn Village Hall where we were thoroughly spoilt with delicious cakes expertly baked by members of the local Women’s Institute.
Reluctantly, we had to leave on the final section of the tour and we were soon enjoying more glorious views as we descended the Horseshoe Pass towards Llangollen. Skirting around the town via the Kings Bridge over the River Dee we were once again climbing to the top of Vivod Mountain. A steep descent into the delightful village of Glyn Ceiriog followed before we enjoyed a final run into the finish through a ‘little bit of heaven on earth’ that is the picturesque River Ceiriog Valley.
A hot buffet and sweets were awaiting us at Lion Quays Hotel with a chance to catch up on the exploits of other participants before we headed home, tired, but clutching our commemorative souvenirs and with big grins on our faces, having had a most enjoyable day. The road book was first class, with its easy to follow directions and tulip diagrams and lovely snippets of information about features along the route. This 120-mile tour had everything, with easy driving roads taking in numerous hills and valleys with stunning scenery and memorable views all assembled around the most enjoyable rest halts.
Here’s looking forward to the 12th Hills & Valleys Scenic Tour – we’ll be there.
– The Stallard’s, cars 56, 57 and 58