Last year’s Hills & Valley was brilliant, so here we are again to see if Kidderminster
Car Club could provide another enjoyable Tour ………….. We weren’t disappointed!
A full entry gathered in beautiful sunshine at the event’s new start and finish venue of Welshpool Livestock Sales for the 12th running of Kidderminster Car Club’s Hills & Valley Scenic Tour. After the usual preliminaries and bacon or sausage baps/pastries we set off and were immediately faced with a steep climb onto Long Mountain with its extensive views over both England and Wales before heading west on easy driving open roads through picturesque countryside for the rest of the opening 32 mile section.
The morning rest halt was taken at Meadow Springs Country Park where we were treated to the delights of morning coffee and homemade cakes kindly provided free of charge in return for a donation to Parkinson’s UK in memory of KMCC President, Leigh Webb.
This wonderful country and leisure park was busy with people keen to look at the array of classic cars on show. Even the toilets deserve a special mention – truly spectacular.
Duly refreshed, we were reluctant to leave but then headed west on the second section climbing steadily to enjoy a spectacular view over Llyn Clywedog reservoir. The delightful lakeside drive then headed through Hafren Forest and on to the stunning scenery around Dylife where we stopped at the Cadair Viewpoint to take some memorable photos.
The route then descended into the Afon Dulas valley and on to Machynlleth and the super lunch stop at the Corris Craft Centre where we enjoyed a picnic lunch and a wander around the varied craft workshops. Crews had the use of an excellent café and the opportunity of a little retail therapy including locally brewed beers and gin.
After lunch the third section headed east through the extensive Dyfi Forest on roads where our ‘Mk1 Escort’ was thoroughly at home. Having passed through Dinas Mawddwy we tackled the serious climb of 1 in 5 up Bwlch y Groes to enjoy more stunning scenery at the top of the pass.
This was followed by glorious views from the forestry drive around Lake Vyrnwy and, after crossing the spectacular stone dam, we enjoyed complimentary tea and shortbread overlooking the reservoir at the afternoon rest halt at Lake Vyrnwy Hotel.
We delayed our departure so as to enjoy the afternoon sunshine on the hotel’s terrace but we had to be on our way. The Tour now headed back to Welshpool via no less than five crossings of the River Vyrnwy and included a nice relaxed open route through picturesque countryside in the hills north of Welshpool. Some careful navigation was required to take us through the outskirts of the town before we arrived back at the Welshpool Livestock Sales for a wonderful hot buffet and dessert with a chance to catch up on the exploits of other participants. We then headed home, tired, but clutching our commemorative souvenirs and with big grins on our faces, having had another terrific day.
The road book was first class, with its easy to follow directions, 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 most enjoyable rest halts.
We had a brilliant day and the ‘Escort’ never missed a beat. Here’s looking forward to the 13th Hills & Valleys Scenic Tour – we’ll definitely be back.
Richard Stallard/Dan Gibbs, car 54