The Brailsford Way 75

Llanberis Pass © Cicerone
Blaenau Ffestiniog © Cicerone
Towards the Snowdon Horseshoe © Cicerone

The Brailsford Way 75 is a loop around Snowdonia that includes Betws-y-Coed and Blaenau Ffestiniog, named after Sir David Brailsford. The Brailsford Way involves 2400 metres of ascent over the 76 miles, making it a far more demanding proposition than the Brailsford Way 50 option.

The route description by Richard Barrett starts from the junction of the A498 and A4086 east of Pen-y-Pass at the famous Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel, where Edmund Hilary and his team stayed while they did some of their training for the first successful ascent of Everest in 1953. However, as the route is circular you can of-course start at any point.

Start from the junction of the A498 and A4086 at the famous Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel and follow the Brailsford Way 50 to Beddgelert (40/38 miles). Cross the bridge and follow the A487 towards Porthmadog. After 2 miles, turn left towards Penrhyndeudraeth, cross the bridge over the lovely Afon Glaslyn and follow this flat road to Garreg (47/31 miles). At this point you are riding around land that was reclaimed from the sea when The Cob was built across the estuary at Porthmadog in 1812. Turn left along the B4410 towards Llanfrothen and follow this minor road through the tiny hamlet of Rhyd (49/29 miles) and down to meet the A487 at Tan y Bwlch (51/27 miles).

Turn left, join a stretch of shared-use path past The Oakley Arms, ride over the Afon Dwyryd, past the converted chapel near Maentwrog and then turn left along the A496 towards Blaenau Ffestiniog. After 2 miles, turn right and follow the B4391 through Llan Ffestiniog (54/24 miles) and into Blaenau Ffestiniog (57/21 miles), which is a suitable place for a stop before the next climb. Turn right towards Betws-y-coed at the roundabout at the north end of the town and climb steeply up the 'Crimea Pass', past the ruins of the slate industry that once thrived here.

Once over the top, enjoy a long descent down through Dolwyddelan (62/16 miles) which, with sufficient momentum, will carry you all the way to the A5. Turn left towards Bangor and follow the A5 through Betws-y-coed (68/10 miles), past Swallow Falls to Capel Curig (73/5 miles). At the end of the village, turn left towards Llanberis and follow the A4086 back to the start at the Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel, hopefully enjoying a clear view of Snowdon and its neighbouring summits directly ahead of you.

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