Ffordd Pen Llech in Harlech - steepest hill?


Residents of a Welsh coastal town are confident they can strip a city on the other side of the globe of the fiercely contested title of being home to the steepest street in the world.

Helped by a small army of citizens, Myrddyn Phillips spent a tiring day trekking up and down Ffordd Pen Llech in Harlech, north-west Wales, to try to prove it was steeper than Baldwin Street in Dunedin.
Headley said he was “quietly confident” Harlech would pinch Dunedin’s title. “But I’ll be on tenterhooks until we hear,” he said. The people of Harlech suspect that Ffordd Pen Llech is slightly steeper than Baldwin Street, with a gradient of 36% to Baldwin’s 35%.
The people of Harlech received a boost from Ordnance Survey, which has analysed the street from afar.

Eddie Bulpitt, a developer and consultant on geospatial information systems at OS, said the road rose 60 metres over its 350-metre length. He said: “The steepest five-metre section of road is a crampon, belay, rappel-needing, roped-on 46.30%. That’s steep.”

He continued: “However, the steepest 10-metre section [the crucial distance for the world record] is 39.25%.” Bulpitt added: “So, great test of the legs to cycle up and a test of nerves to keep braking to a minimum on the way down. Might need a few spare chains and brake blocks too.”

England's steepest street has been named by the Ordnance Survey for the first time as as a hill in Bristol, where residents tie their cars to lampposts to stop them from rolling away.

Bristol's residential Vale Street has the steepest gradient in England with a slope of 22-degrees.

It measures in at four degrees steeper than Old Wyche Road in Worcestershire at 17.54 degrees, and is followed by roads in Sheffield, Lincoln and Dorset.

Mat Goren, who lives on the street, said the only way to tackle the hill was to walk up it "like a mountaineer, with a slow pace".

Fellow resident Julie Wheat, who has lived on the street for two decades, said driving and parking on the street were particularly problematic.
While the hill may be tricky it does have its upsides. Katherine Haddow, who lives on the street, added that the slope gives home-owners the advantage of a “completely un-obscured” view across the city.