Welsh town could claim steepest street Guinness World Record from New Zealand

Tackling the world’s steepest street on Strava could become a lot easier

Fford Pen Llech in north Wales (Picture: Google Maps)

A small Welsh town could claim the title for steepest street in the world, taking the record from Baldwin Street in New Zealand.

Harlech in north Wales could claim the Guinness World Record for steepest street, pending the official measurements.

Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand currently holds the record, hitting 35 per cent at its steepest point.

But residents of Harlech, which is in Gwynedd, believe their street Ffordd Pen Llech is steeper at 36 per cent.

Resident Gwyn Headley was the first person to notice the Welsh street’s record breaking potential.

He told BBC Radio Wales: “I was driving down it in the summer when it struck me how steep it could be.”

An official measurement was due to take place on Wednesday (January 9) with results being sent to Guinness World Records.

It could take weeks before residents know if they have been successful.

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The Guinness measurement is based on the maximum gradient over a 10 metre span, comparing the altitude rise to the distance.

Cars are warned not to use Ffordd Pen Lech, which is the steepest street in Britain.

Dunedin is proud of the world record it holds – Baldwin Street has a sign acknowledging it’s status.

The mayor of the town, Dave Cull, told The Guardian: “If Wales turns out to have a steeper one, we will just have to arrange one of our periodic earthquakes and tilt Baldwin a bit more.”

According to Stava, Baldwin Street is 0.23 miles long, with an average gradient of 18 per cent.

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The current KoM holder is John Wazowski, who reached the top in 1-19, averaging 10.5 mph and 667 watts.

By comparison, Ffordd Pen Llech is just 0.14 miles long but averages at 21 per cent according to Strava.

Mike Morris holds the KoM in a time of 1-03, holding 8.4 mph over the duration and pushing 501 watts.

Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.