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Homepage. This page: A 1930's leaflet issued by the RAC describing enjoyable motoring tours of North Wales.

Motorists' trips from Betws-y-Coed by the RAC.

This slim, pocket-sized, leaflet was produced by the RAC (Royal Automobile Club) in the 1930s, and describes a number of enjoyable day and half-day trips that the keen motorist could undertake in and around Bettws-y-Coed [sic] in North Wales. If one's automobile was of the less-than-reliable type, day trips to the countryside could easily end up being multi-day trips of course, a good reason to be a member of an organisation such as the RAC.
The cover features a two-seater coupe, possibly inspired by the contemporary SS2 Coupe, with gentleman and lady on board, enjoying their RAC Touring Department-prepared tour. This leaflet was one of many produced by the Department, describing enjoyable routes to be found across all areas of the country. Each leaflet cost 3d, or 3.5d if posted. Where trips from larger towns and cities were covered, larger publications were offered, incorporating larger maps and street plans.
Motors tours of Wales by the RAC
A number of advertisements for local businesses are sprinkled throughout this leaflet's twelve pages. These include those for hotels, such as the Erw Fair (Beddgelert), The Towers Guest House (Capel Curig) and Maelgwyn House, in Betws-y-Coed itself.
In the days before sat navs, and internet reviews of villages, towns, and tourist destinations, embarking on trips such as laid out in a guide like this could really be a voyage of discovery, and I'm sure - with the aid of a modern map in case roads have changed their layout since the 1930s - trips such as those in this guide could still be undertaken. To re-visit some of these routes in a car contemporary to the instructions would be a bonus, with a picnic hamper strapped to the luggage rack, a pipe clenched firmly between one's teeth, and headgear to match the climatic conditions, would be a real pleasure I've little doubt.
The instructions themselves would require the services of a co-driver cum navigator, as junctions are only vaguely described. An efficient mileometer was essential, as cumulative distances are given with each step of the journey.
Tour one, for example, takes the motorist and his/her companion out of Betws, up the Conwy Valley in the direction of Llandudno, where one proceeded to Colwyn Bay (in the days before the A55 dual carriageway), Llandulas, Abergele, and on towards Denbigh. On arrival you'd continue on to Groes and Llyn Bran, before venturing towards Penmachno and, finally, Betws once more.
The aforementioned journey measured 67 miles in all, a comfortable trip in a car of, say 14-16HP or more, perhaps less so in a smaller-engined machine, especially given some of the hills in the area. Although average road speeds were much lower in those days, traffic was far lighter, and no doubt numerous halts were made along the way, for refreshments and to admire the views on offer. Certainly looking through my own collection of old photographs, a good number portray roadside halts, picnics, and kettles being boiled on a primus stove, taken at half-way halts on trips such as those described in this handy publication.
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