Thursday, 23 July 2015

Harlech to Porthmadog - 22 July 2015 - 10 Miles by Bike

Another very early start to catch the first (6:30am) train out of Smethwick Galton Bridge for my journey to Harlech, changing at Machynlleth to travel along the scenic Cambrian Coast Line.  I had delayed this journey for some time whilst waiting for the Pont Briwet Bridge to be rebuilt following storm damage a couple of years or so ago.  The rail bridge had been opened opened a few months earlier, but I had to wait until two days before my journey for the road / bike / pedestrian route to be available.

Harlech Castle

The train arrived at Harlech on time at 10:25 and soon I was cycling, or rather walking up the steep hill next to old grey stones of Harlech Castle.  The sky was overcast and there were a few people around, but the expected hoards of tourists were thankfully missing.  Harlech is an attractive small town containing a mixture of stone and whitewashed houses.  At the crossroads, I turned left onto the B4573 and was quickly hurtling downhill out of Harlech with trees on both sides and occasional glimpses of Glaslyn estuary on my left.  Soon, the road leveled out onto the coastal plain and I continued to Tygwyn (11:10 - 3.5 miles).

At Tygwyn, I joined the surprisingly quiet A496 and pedaled on to the village of Talsarnau which lined the road with stone and whitewashed cottages and the occasional chapel.


Continuing along the road, I reached the turning to the rebuilt Pont Briwet at Llandecwyn (11:26 - 5.8 miles).  Except for work continuing on the approach roads, the bridge is now complete and offers excellent views upstream for walkers or cyclists.  The downstream views are better appreciated from the train!

View from Pont Briwet

Onwards to Penrhyndeudraeth (11:40 - 6.5 miles) where I met a couple of visitors from London who were looking for Snowdonia.  I pointed them towards Ffestiniog and continued on my way into the village, another well kept hamlet similar to those I had already passed through.  The village did possess a few interesting features including a nicely painted green corrugated iron shed, a railway bridge and three ancient tractors.

Shortly after leaving the green shed, I cycled under the Ffestiniog Railway (11:53 - 7.8 miles) through a narrow stone arch.  Despite hearing noises in the distance, the picture I took does not include a steam train.

Ffestiniog Railway bridge

One of the tractors I encountered soon afterwards looked as though it had just emerged from the showroom.  The other two were in a ruinous state.

Pristine tractor

I continued to the Cob, the causeway which takes both road and Ffestiniog Railway over the Glaslyn River to Porthmadog.

View from The Cob
Arriving at Porthmadog (12:20 - 10 miles), I had a real treat as a steam train made its way across the main road and continued on its way towards Ffestiniog.

Ffestiniog Railway
It was then time for food.  I visited Allports Fish and Chip shop and devoured my purchase at the nearby park, close to the Ffestiniog Railway and overlooking the Glaslyn Lake.

I had plenty of time before my train at 2:00, so I visited the Station Inn for a pint before my uneventful but punctual return train home.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had a good ride judging from your report here..... I must arrange to cycle in that area at some point in the future.... I know of a couple of good hills I want to tackle....