Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Take A Ride Down The World's Steepest Street

Take A Ride Down The World's Steepest Street

The residents of Harlech believe Pen Ffordd Llech, a street in their town, is the true holder of the title and are now surveying the claim to send to Guinness World Records.

The Welsh town of Harlech is challenging New Zealand's claim to the steepest street in the world, forcing the city of Dunedin to contemplate losing one of its most famous and lucrative tourist attractions.

Measurements are being taken on Pen Ffordd Llech and will be submitted to Guinness World Records, with a decision expected later this month.

The street is one-way and only allows traffic to descend the hill, a restriction that is thought to thwart cyclists from attempting the gradient. Thousands flock there every year to climb, cycle and skate down its 35º, 1:2.86 gradient.

People living in the Welsh town of Harlech are hoping it is.

The road has become a hit with Instagrammers as when photos of houses on the street are taken on an angle, it creates the illusion that they are sinking into the ground.


Ffordd Pen Lech lies within Snowdonia National Park and is close to the grand Harlech Castle. "I was driving down it in the summer when it struck me how steep it could be", he told BBC Radio Wales' Good Morning Wales programme.

We feel exhausted just thinking about walking up it. "It may not be the only record they lose this year", referring to the Rugby World Cup in September - a trophy New Zealand now hold.

But the mayor of Dunedin appeared to brush off the challenge to its record by telling the Guardian Baldwin Street had faced them before but had 'seen them off'.

Guinness measures the record by maximum gradient over a ten metre span, comparing the vertical rise to the horizontal distance. The street or road must also by a thoroughfare that is commonly used by the public, who are able to drive vehicles across it.

Most people live at the bottom of the street.but the shops are at the top!

With a gradient of 21.81 degrees, it may have a slope even steeper than Ffordd Pen Llech's 36.6 per cent.

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