LLC - Harlech

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honesty
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LLC - Harlech

Postby honesty » 17 Feb 2016, 12:46pm

It seems a bit of a silly detour into the hills behind Harlech on the face of it, just to get people of a short stretch of A road. Is it worth it? Ditto the 2 smaller diversions that have Llanbedr in the middle, are they worth doing or is it better to just stick to the main road?

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Re: LLC - Harlech

Postby PDQ Mobile » 17 Feb 2016, 1:47pm

I would say you are correct. The section is very hilly and some of those hills are very steep indeed. Nearly all the height gained is lost again several times.
The more inland main road to Harlech is not too busy though it is rather narrow and blind in places but provides the most direct route.

Having said that the Sustrans route into the hills will provide wonderful quiet cycling with woods, lakes and rivers to camp beside.
It will take quite a lot longer than the lower route and above all is very strenuous on a loaded bike. Very low gears almost essential.

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honesty
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Re: LLC - Harlech

Postby honesty » 17 Feb 2016, 2:14pm

As it falls for me that will be the start of a day which ends with me climbing over the the mountain between Dolgellau and Machynlleth so eliminating climbing earlier in the day seems sensible to me, but I have seen a number of people say its one of the better areas of the route and well worth it if you can do the climbs so I am of two minds at the moment.

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Re: LLC - Harlech

Postby pwa » 17 Feb 2016, 5:17pm

I have cycled the main road between Barmouth and Harlech and found the road mostly okay. Not as enjoyable as a truly quiet road, but not a death trap.

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Re: LLC - Harlech

Postby 531colin » 17 Feb 2016, 5:32pm

We did Machynlleth to Porthmadog in a day (B&B, not camping). It was a spectacular day, certainly among my best days on the bike. https://www.flickr.com/photos/52358536@N06/albums/72157645911182502/with/15980847149/
We approached Harlech Castle from the south, of course, this is the view of the castle from a bit of parkland right on the main road. The main road was OK for us.

Image

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Re: LLC - Harlech

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 17 Feb 2016, 6:12pm

pwa wrote:I have cycled the main road between Barmouth and Harlech and found the road mostly okay. Not as enjoyable as a truly quiet road, but not a death trap.

Agreed. The route above Harlech is delightful (including the unsigned section recommended on the LLC maps) but, given that the Aberllefenni hill before Mach is a killer, I'd be tempted to err on the side of caution.

When I did LLC many years ago, I cycled from Mach to Criccieth that day. I stayed on the main road as far as the edge of Harlech (heading north) but then took the signposted route up the hill - a good compromise to get some of the views but without undue self-knackeration, I think.
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honesty
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Re: LLC - Harlech

Postby honesty » 17 Feb 2016, 8:17pm

So main road from Badmouth to Harlech. Seems reasonable. May take the smaller of the diversions as it's basically flatandonly a few hundred metres longer.

So what about the bit from Harlech onwards? That's the biggest climb and I'm thinking sticking to the main road there as well.

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honesty
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Re: LLC - Harlech

Postby honesty » 17 Feb 2016, 8:26pm

I'm thinking of something like this https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/5407443

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honesty
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Re: LLC - Harlech

Postby honesty » 17 Feb 2016, 8:36pm

By the way, Colin looking at your photos seems you did exactly the daysame I'm planning (but the other way!) Looks fantastic.

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Re: LLC - Harlech

Postby PH » 18 Feb 2016, 12:17am

It's a great bit of the route, I did it in 2004 and am back later this year to do it again. That whole section is under 12 miles and pretty much starts and ends at sea level, so six miles of uphill about half of it tough, I'd get off and push rather than miss the scenery. It is a decision you can make on the day, if for example the weather was so bad you'd miss the scenery... I do think this route gets bigged up to appeal to non cyclists looking for a challenge, not an easy route, just not the most difficult one in Wales either.

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Re: LLC - Harlech

Postby pwa » 18 Feb 2016, 10:01am

I would probably stick to the main road from Barmouth to the Penrhyndeudraeth turn off, but have to inland alternatives ready in case the traffic is heavier than I feel comfortable with.

The main road going north east from Harlech is pancake flat for a while, on a sandy plain that was once part of the sea. It may be longer than the more inland alternative, but it is much faster and easier. On the occasions I have used it there was not that much traffic and it was pleasant.

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honesty
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Re: LLC - Harlech

Postby honesty » 18 Feb 2016, 10:07am

Ok. I will plan it so that I stick to the main road but depending on weather/my mood/traffic i may divert onto the "proper" route. This way I have one major climb each day then, which seems to make sense to me (so Dolgellau day 2, Machynlleth day 3, Gospel pass day 4, Wentwood day 5).

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Re: LLC - Harlech

Postby PDQ » 18 Feb 2016, 9:28pm

I was going to add to my earlier comments that going South to North on the minor roads (LLC) the gradients are overall less steep than going North to South. It is just the grain of the country.
Going South to North, by turning into the hills at Llanbedr, the highest point can be reached without any brutally steep sections but Harlech is missed out.
Views North to Snowdon massif and over the sea are wonderful though.

I personally would always use the more easterly of the two main road options in any direction (not the pankake flat one) but the relatively gentle climb through the woods. It will bring you directly into the town centre. Going South to North it is a fun blast down a long gentle twisting hill.

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Tail End Charlie
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Re: LLC - Harlech

Postby Tail End Charlie » 19 Feb 2016, 9:25am

The hills behind Harlech were one of the highlights for me both times I've done LLC. I would do them. In particular the road through Eisingrug is superb, but it is very tough.

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Re: LLC - Harlech

Postby PH » 28 May 2016, 8:57pm

Few of us did this last week, 15 - 19th May
Most took the unsigned route above Harlech, and well worth it with all the bluebells in the woods.
A few took the costal path and also enjoyed in.
Some photos here
https://www.flickr.com/groups/2944082@N25/pool/