Greatest Driving Roads, The Evo Triangle

The Evo Triangle from A5, A543 to B4501

The Evo Triangle

The Power of Three

Apparently 'three' is the magic number and indeed many great things do come in threes: Lions on the shirt; Charlie's Angels; Wine, Women and Song; London, Paris and New York; Father Ted, Father Dougal and Father Jack; the original Star Wars films; Playstations; the Sugababes; and Snap, Crackle and Pop - to name but a few. On a bright July morning I left the quiet Welsh village of Ruthin in search of another great trio. A set of roads many petrolheads will have heard of but few lucky enough to have driven. I was in North Wales headed for the Denbigh Moors, home to the Evo triangle, so called because of its admiration from the writers at Evo magazine (high praise indeed). This triple crown of roads could well feature as a backdrop in various car publications on a monthly basis.

My journey west took in the B5105, a road that I can only describe as the Evo triangle's fluffer. Through the dappled sunlight I sat back and let this lovely road prepare me for what lay ahead. I blissfully cruised towards my destination and could already feel that today was going to be a good day. Needless to say, I arrived suitably alert and ready for action! A quick splash from the petrol station in Cerrigydrudion and I was ready.

The Evo triangle is made up of bits of road from the A5, A543 and B4501, each as individual as the last. The result is a 20 mile geometric jaunt across the rolling moorland. The A5 starts like a massive pit straight but a very pleasant one at that. Instead of the team garages you have a few houses, the odd farm and quite a bit of bugger all. Halfway along the road wakes up and realises it's not an American freeway and pulls out a few little wiggles to remind you what the round thing in your hand is for and sooner than you think you've hit Pentrefoelas and it's time to turn it clockwise and aim for the A543.

Through the trees the tarmac makes a dash for higher ground, quickly exchanging the overhanging canopy and unforgiving granite walls for the vast bleak moorland and tons of sky. Within a mile of the turn off the scenery should be a blur. Seven miles into the Evo triangle things start to get really good as numerous quick straights and long lazy cambered turns unfold beautifully in front of your wheels. The road gets busy trying to squirm away from you into the distance but the visibility is so good it can't hide for long enough to throw any great surprises your way. It veers off into the distance, wiggling downhill, ducking behind a few craggy mounds then up again arrowing off into the distance like a life-size Scaletrix track. After countless straights, sweeps, swoops and climbs you'll forget you're on a public road and think you're in Disney World for driving enthusiasts. Stay alert though, if there's one thing that will remind you that you're in the middle of nowhere (as it nearly did me) is a quick 'hello' with the local livestock which frequent these fantastic Welsh roads.

The threat of sheep death appears to abate in the final third as you accompany the B4501 into the woods. While the surroundings change, becoming greener and less rugged, the sweeping turns and undulating terrain thankfully don't. The third section is every bit as engrossing as the second and the views from your window, although blurred, are just as impressive. As I past Llyn Brenig reservoir, a guilty pleasure swept over me. I was playing around on a public road. Roads that were meant for getting from 'A' to 'B' and not for going from 'A' buggering off in a loop and back round to 'A' again and yet here I was. Like a child I was half expecting it to be taken away from me, as punishment until I'd learnt my lesson. But of course it wasn't and I carried on under its spell. As the third section pierces its way through the hinterland, its trajectory manages to make you feel more like a fighter pilot than a motorist. Unfortunately, like all good things, it came to an end and my dogfight was over. I was back where I started at the Cerrigydrudion petrol station. As I parked for a moment I realised that although I'd gone nowhere fast, I'd definitely found happiness here in the bleak and mostly deserted area of moorland. The saying tries to make you believe that two's company and three's a crowd but take it from the Evo boys, this threesome gets on like a 458 Italia on fire.

Summary

If it's good enough for Evo, it's good enough for anyone. Expect an absorbing and quite technical road in places, with minimal traffic and stunning Welsh countryside (and sheep). Forget the Bermuda triangle, the Evo triangle is where it's at and as you're not going anywhere you won't mind getting lost.

Text comments
Llandudnoboy (2015-10-25 17:26:54)

For such a short section of public road, the Pentre Foelas, Cerrigydridion Denbigh Moors road, is a superb driving experience. Starting from the A5, the road gradually winds itself on to the Moors, and introduces itself gradually, but eventually the tarmac twists and turns and offers magnificent fast straights, until you reach the Tafarn Y Heliwr residence. A right turn towards llyn Brenig, reminds me of the Wipperman at the Nurbergring, fast chicane motoring with some blind downhill sections. Never have i encountered a usually quiet backwater road in rural North Wales full of exotic machinery of every kind. The occasional Ferrari, 911s a plenty, Focus RS seem to be awfully popular, and boy racers in their budget hotrods. Only around fourteen miles in length, if this was a private road, the owner would be putting up turn stiles, and charging petrol heads money to enjoy the ride. Apart from the occasional stray sheep, this road is usually totally quiet in the colder months, but for a road so short, it offers considerable frills for experienced and amature motorists.

saysbreslin (2014-07-11 07:10:01)

What a ride! Went there on a Sunday and there was hardly any traffic, just a tractor and a couple in a beat-up camper. Resist the urge to cross the lines because there WILL be bikers coming the other way who might be having a similar idea. I almost regretted ignoring the road signs that said "new surface - 20mph". Drifting is an acquired taste and one only enjoyed when you are expecting it and intending to do it. As it was I resisted the urge to brake, which would have sent me into the looming trees, and surged out in a cloud of dust and gravel. Great roads, great views, great day out.

tailslide (2014-03-07 15:11:20)

Great fun and only 1.5 hours away from home, and half the trip there is on interesting roads from the Midlands, at reasonable speeds if you miss the busy traffic times.

At a glance

Distance

20 miles

Things you'll love.

It's a free rollercoaster for cars, I don't need to say anything else.

Look out for

Sheep, other roads users (possibly hikers) and getting overly excited, (you could regret the later).

In and around the Denbigh Moors

Llyn Brenig

Home to Llyn Brenig Reservoir, the fourth largest lake in Wales.
If you need a pit stop there is a Cafe and Visitor Centre.
Also a great destination for walking, biking and fishing.


Dolwyddelan Castle

Square stone keep, dating from the thirteenth century, remains of this castle built by Llywelyn the Great (Prince of Gwynedd in north Wales and eventually de facto ruler over most of Wales) The site was remodeled by King Edward I


Original Butterfly Man, Corwen

If ornamental wall Butterflies, Ladybirds and Dragon Flies are your bag then visit the Original Butterfly Man. All products are weather durable, easily fitted and complete with fixing bracket, designed and produced by The Original Butterfly Man.
www.theoriginalbutterflyman.co.uk


Great Orme Ancient mines

Visit one of the most astounding archaeological discoveries of recent time. Dating back 4,000 years to the Bronze Age Great Orme mines change our views about the ancient people of Britain and their civilized and structured society 2,000 years before the Roman invasion.
www.greatormemines.info


Welsh Mountain Zoo

North Wales Tourism describes the Welsh Mountain Zoo as Britain's most beautifully sited zoo. Free daily presentation of Chimp Encounter and Sea Lion feeding, children's farm, Jungle Adventureland.
www.welshmountainzoo.org

Driving in Britain

Speed

The UK is the only country in Europe to measure their speed in Miles Per Hour, not Kilometers. Along with Malta and Cyprus they are the only country in Europe to drive on the left hand side. The UK speed limits range from as low as 20mph in built-up city areas up to 70mph on the motorway. It's understood that Police will allow you to drive 10% over the speed limit but it's the speed cameras you need to look out for. They are scattered everywhere and will take a picture of your car / plate while speeding. If you're driving a hire car when caught by a speed camera you'll probably be tracked down through your rental agency and issued with your ticket! Speed cameras are always accompanied by warning signs so look out for them while enjoying your drive.

Mobile Phones

The law states that it is illegal to ride a motorbike or drive a car while you are using a hand held communication device. Hands free phones may be used, but they are ultimately a distraction and you are still open to a charge of careless driving should a police officer think you are driving poorly while using one.

Driving Checklist

Things you might want to have with you

Driving licence (if from UK both card and paper licence)
Vehicle registration form
Insurance certificate
MOT certificate.
Headlight beam deflectors
First aid kit
Spare bulbs
Fire extinguisher
High visibilty jacket
Warning triangles

For more information on driving in Europe visit the European Traffic Police Network website www.tispol.org