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As northbound hordes cross the border, pick the other road.
After Lion Quays, at the following roundabout take the B5070 and follow it over the River Ceiriog, then turn left in Chirk to pick up the B4500 down the unspoilt Ceiriog Valley.
Chirk Aqueduct and Viaduct are on your left, Chirk Castle on the right.
The route winds gently down the river valley; this is not supercar country, but a flowing driving road that pleases in any car.
Follow it upstream to the quiet village of Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog. It’s a great place for an overnight stop.
In the morning, explore the local roads that radiate from the village – these are narrow so take care. You are in the heart of the Berwyns, hills rising to 700m that are far less well known – and far less frequented – than their Snowdonia cousins. All manner of walks abound here, too.
To complete the loop, go south-east via Rhiwlas and over the hills to Rhydycroesau to join the B4580. Another lovely drive, crossing the River Morda then arrow-straight past the old racecourse to Oswestry. Stay on the B4580 to rejoin the A5: c25 miles of pure driving heaven.
Words: Ian Crammond, Three Castles Classic Rallies
Image: Max Earey
- Where to stay The West Arms: an owner-run, car-friendly pub in Llanarmon
- Where to eat The Bridge Inn: views of River Ceiriog
- What to see Chirk Castle: fortress begun in the 13th century
- Hidden gem Old Oswestry Hill Fort
- Pitstop Shell on the A5, Lion Quays
All information correct at date of original publication