anyone got any ideas how easy or hard the A5 through Snowdonia is? Is there a very steep climb or is it gradual over a few miles? Have been trying to map out this route but difficult to gauge the gradient and how spread out it may be.
I assume you mean Betws to Bethesda through Nant Ffrancon - bit of a drag but no major climb like Llanberis. Like the Doc says, it's busy and not that wide, so drivers do tend to get a bit stupid (to use some British understatement ) in their desperate attempts to get past you.
Anyone got tips for the best route to cycle from Holyhead to Chester? I've driven the A55 in North Wales along the coast and can only imagine that cycling along it could spell death or serious injury so have somewhat ruled that out. Had thought the A5 might be easier. Looking to cycle that way with some friends in August but don't want to be responsible for picking a crappy road.
There's a bike route along the A55 from Bangor to Conwy - it may even go further but after Conwy you've got more choice and I turned south to Betwy-y-Coed last time I was around there. The bike route was mainly on tiny lanes, really narrow and lumpy but pretty much traffic free. It may be part of a national cycle route so check Sustrans website for more info - I found it by chance on the way out of Bangor a couple of years ago, so it could be things have changed or it might be better marked.
The A5 across Anglesy isn't so bad as most traffic, especially to/from the ferries uses the A55, of course. But the roads around the north of the island are a real pleasure if you're not in a hurry.
I've only ridden on the A5 once through Snowdonia - Bangor to Chirk. It was very quiet, but then again it was through the night (last part of 2008 Irish Mail 400km Audax). From what I remember the gradients were very gentle. Nothing nasty at all.