The very best driving roads in Wales
From Snowdonia to Pembrokeshire, we hunt down Wales's very finest driving roads in a BAC Mono
Posted: 21 Mar 2014
The home of record-breaking
We have a deadline to meet. So instead of investigating the Gower Peninsula, we hitch our train to the A48/A40 that picks up the baton after the M4 has run its course. I suspect there are good, empty B-roads in these parts, but if we're not at Pendine by 3.30pm, we can't get on the beach. The dual carriageway is quick, but the Mono protests by refusing to hold a steady speed, hiccuping the throttle every few seconds. Accelerate and lift, and it's fine. Odd, but also essential, because that's the only way to stop the mirrors vibrating like hummingbird wings, blurring the rearward view. Plus there's the downdraft. At speed, the wind deflected south by the roll hoop is strong enough to close your nostrils for you. To combat this, I adopt a two-hat-and-ski-goggles strategy.
We swing south from St Clears down the high-hedgerowed A4066 to Pendine. It's a village dominated by caravan parks these days, but 90 years ago its seven-mile beach was the centre of land speed record-breaking. We drive the Mono onto the beach and look along the almost endless expanse of flat sand. There's something about this place. We wander into the museum, a quiet building that looks out over the beach. It's little more than a mausoleum for John Parry-Thomas's car, Babs, so we read about this man who died in pursuit of the 174.883mph record. It makes our little jaunt seem rather tame.