On a quest to find the country's most glorious roads, Annunciata Elwes explores The Black Mountain Pass on the Brecon Beacons.
Turner identified the clifftop ruins of Carreg Cennen Castle with the Sublime — that 18th-century philosophical notion of beauty, Nature and a higher power — and it can still be felt here today.
This Marcher Lords’ stronghold was probably built following the death of the last native Prince of Wales in 1282 (that tradition runs deep; our current Prince bought a house nearby in 2006). Together with the equally sublime Tywi Valley, shaped by Wales’s longest river, is among the thrilling sights along the Black Mountain Pass, and it’s seen perfectly from what is one of Britain’s most scenic drives.
Twisting and climbing with aerobatic elegance through the sheep-speckled moors of the eastern Brecon Beacons like some ancient roller coaster to a height of 1,624ft at Foel Fawr, the route, between Llandovery and Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, is only about 21 miles, but it certainly packs in the gasp-factor, with the landscape’s otherworldly glory only tempered by occasional warnings to take it araf (slow) inscribed on the tarmac.
That Jaguar’s all-electric I-Pace is the 2019 World Car of the Year comes as no surprise to Mark Hedges.