Welcome to Harlech, where the Welsh are a modest people. The small country inside the United Kingdom only has 3.1 million people, and yet it’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
The small town of Harlech can boast seaside views, 13th-Century castles, and charming locals. Today, Harlech also became the proud owner of something else: the world’s steepest street.
According to the Guinness World Records, Ffordd Pen Llech is a long and winding road in Harlech that reaches extraordinary gradient levels of 1:2.6. This means that those traveling up or down the street go one meter in height for every 2.67 meters traveled across.
The previous known record was for Baldwin Street in New Zealand’s Dunedin. It has a ratio of 1:2.86 and held the record for more than 10 years.
It was after hearing about Baldwin Street that Harlech residents banded together and decided to challenge it with Ffordd Pen Llech. To qualify as a ‘street’ or ‘road’, the pathway must be used by the public to drive a car from one destination to another.
Local resident Gwyn Headley was the motivated individual who spearheaded the campaign.
“I first realized this street was a contender for the steepest street in the world when my car slid straight down with all four tires locked,” he said.
According to Headley, Guinness was incredibly strict with the criteria and it was touch and go for a while. Fortunately, it was all a success and Baldwin Street was dethroned.
“I cannot say how pleased we are that Ffordd Pen Llech has now been recognized as the steepest street. Not just in Wales, not just in the UK, not just in Europe, but in the entire world,” he added.
Tourists are recommended not to cycle up Ffordd Pen Llech and leave it to the local professionals.
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