Welsh town Harlech claims world’s steepest street
The seaside town of Harlech in Wales is now home to the world’s steepest street, Guinness World Records has ruled, knocking a New Zealand road off the top spot after more than a decade.
Ffordd Pen Llech, a winding street through the historic part of town, has a gradient of 37.45%. That means for every 2.67 meters a person travels horizontally on the street, there is a one-meter rise.
“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,” Harlech resident Gwyn Headley told Guinness.
The Welsh street beats the record previously held by Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand, which has a one-meter rise for every 2.86 meters.
Residents of Harlech came together to apply for the official record, which required verification by an expert surveyor.
The record is measured based on the steepest 10-meter section of the road, according to Guinness World Records.
“It was a lot tougher than we thought,” Headley said. “Guinness World Records was ultra-specific in the criteria demanded for it to qualify as the steepest street in the world, and although we were confident in meeting or exceeding nine of them, we were worried about the tenth.”
Resident Myrddyn Phillips, who took the measurements that led to the world title, said: “To have the steepest street in the world, recognized by Guinness World Records, is brilliant for Harlech, it’s brilliant for Wales.”
Residents are celebrating the new record with a “street” party at the end of July. And in August, Welsh Cycling will visit the town to hold uphill time trials on the street, according to the town’s website.
The title of steepest street is just another accolade that Harlech, already a UNESCO World Heritage site, can add to its collection.
“I am super proud of the achievement, it will really put our small town with a big heart on the map. It’s amazing news, the town is buzzing today,” Judith Strevens, local resident and business owner, told CNN.
The title of steepest street is hotly contested. The World Atlas gives the accolade to Canton Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but it is the Guinness World Record that is the most sought after.
Residents of Ffordd Pen Llech didn’t seem to feel too bad about taking the title from New Zealand’s Baldwin Street.
“I’m thrilled for us but in every game there has to be a losing team,” Headley said.
“I feel sorry for them, but a record is a record, figures are figures — it’s inarguable.”
CNN’s Amanda Sealy contributed to this report