Another route from GC who hiked a varied route of paths, lanes and open country to complete the statue-to-statue challenge with a brief detour to the summit of Moel y Ci.
“This was a lovely route that took me out of Bangor on hidden trails, along silent lanes and then across some lovely wild country. If you use my route please note the detour to Moel y Ci adds a lot of distance and takes you across open mountainside with not much in the way of paths and landmarks – a direct route on the paths from the slopes of Moel y Ci to Dinorwig is an easier alternative! Whichever variation of the route you take, it’s a wonderful area to explore between the sea and the mountains, culminating in the descent through Parc Padarn on delightful woodland paths”.
Another bike route from GC – this time a scenic combination of single-track mountain roads and well-maintained cycleways forming part of the Lon Las Menai route. It totals 15 miles but it’s absolutely amazing and well worth the effort!
GC writes: “If you follow the GPS route I’ve recorded please ignore the 2 places where I took wrong turns and had to backtrack – the first of these was in Llanberis Village where I missed the turning called Goodman Street which takes you up into the hills. The second was on the descent from Bethel down to Y Felinheli where I turned too early and had to immediately U-turn. You’ll see those on the GPS route and it should be easy for you to avoid the same mistakes!
This route heads straight into Llanberis village and then climbs on a gorgeous and remote lane that’s barely wide enough for a car until you find yourself riding past epic viewpoints where you’ll not be able to resist stopping to take photos. Next you ride through the magnificent arch of Bryn Bras Castle and descend to cross the river Seiont near Bethel. A short section of B road here is the only place likely to be busy, but it does compensate by taking you past a shop – you might be craving a chocolate bar after those lakeside climbs!
After Bethel the route joins the Lon Las Menai cycle route, which varies between well-maintained pavement sections through forest and quiet waterside streets, before joining a shared-use path that takes you all the way to the turning for Treborth Botanic Gardens and the end of your quest – the Treborth Peace Statue. Every inch of this 15 mile route offers rewarding views and you’ll be glad you made the effort. Enjoy!
Here’s a bike route from GC, our main contributor this year – he calls it simply “The Google Route” for obvious reasons!
“I wanted to see what kind of quick and easy route Google MAPS (bike mode) would come up with – it’s just over 10 miles and takes in a variety of roads from quiet lanes to A road. For some reason Google doesn’t make use of the cycleways alongside the lake! Well, this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but it does include and easy exit from Treborth on shared-use paths, great scenery on the lanes around Llandeiniolen, then a fast run-in to Llanberis on the A road. I did this on a winter Saturday and there was no problem with traffic. If you want something quieter and more scenic see my return route via the lanes and cycleways around Llanrug and Bethel. For the quick and easy “google route”, follow signs from Treborth towards Greenwood Country Park / Greenwood Centre then after passing the Park go straight over at each junction until you reach the main road at Brynrefail. Turn right here then left on to the A road that runs right into Llanberis and brings you to Parc Padarn with no navigational challenges. If you want to, it’s easy enough to divert off onto the lakeside cycleway which is clearly signposted to Llanberis.”
GC from South Glos had a big weekend in which he completed the Peace Statue Challenge a total of 6 times! 4 were on foot and 2 by bike. Here’s his running route heading north from the lakeshore at Llanberis and finishing at the shores of the Menai Strait in the tranquil woodlands of Treborth:
This run was a mix of lanes and trails, mostly with next to nothing in the way of traffic, but there is a section around Pont Rhythallt that could get busy so take care there. There is no pavement for most of this route but I saw other runners out in the lanes which gave me a bit of confidence! As per usual I was in fluoro jacket with a flashing tail-light, following the be-safe-be-seen principle.
After my moment of peace at the Llanberis Peace Statue I ran down the lakeside following signs for the Quarry Hospital – the path winds up and over the railway on a bridge then takes you up the steps of the hospital – here a waymarked trail with green/yellow/white signs contours northward along the slopes above the lake. I followed this until it splits up into individual trails and then took the “white” trail all the way to the road that runs above the lake between Dinorwic and Brynrefail. Most of the trail was firm and runnable even on the damp winter’s day when I ran, but there were sections covered with wet leaves and those had to be walked.
In Brynrefail the route crosses the main road and immediately goes down the old route of the lakeside railway – initially it’s a surfaced lane (pictured) then it gets a little boggy in places but stays straight and easy to follow, plus it’s traffic-free. This bridleway/road section comes out in Rhythallt where you turn right and run up hill to Llandeiniolen, passing the ancient hill fort of Dinas Dinorwig. The route I took and which I saved on Map My Run included a “short cut” down a trail starting opposite the church surrounded by dense woods in Llandeiniolen – with hindight I should have stuck to the road! The road is only a few metres longer and the trail was overgrown with brambles and led into a deep bog where I lost a shoe and got very wet and mucky. It also involved negotiating a rotten bridge with broken panels that felt like it might disintegrate as I walked nervously over it. Anyway, you have been warned!
After that I ran the lane along a ridge from Llandeiniolen to Pentir, with amazing mountain views and barely a car in sight, before taking the hilly footpath past the hospital down to Treborth and it’s beautifully situated statue by the Menai Strait. A lovely route, if you miss out that dodgy path!
Thanks to GC from South Gloucestershire for this road-running route from the Treborth Statue to the Llanberis Statue. GC writes:
This is the route the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run took back in Summer 2019 when the North Wales Peace Statues were inaugurated. It’s just over 10 miles, tarmac all the way, mostly quiet lanes and a bit of shared-use path at each end to avoid running on the A roads. I did this on a midwinter Saturday and there was hardly any traffic – I took high-viz kit and a flashing light just in case but the few drivers that did pass me were respectful so no problem there. Might be a different story in the Summer!
I had a great meditation at the Treborth statue with Amit, the “caretaker” who looks after both statues. After that it was a peaceful run through the lanes with the views of Snowdonia getting better and better as the miles pass. At first you just head towards Caernarfon following signs for the Greenwood Country Park. Then once you have passed the Park entrance you go straight ahead at every junction until you’re crossing the river on the old stone bridge at Brynrefail and running down the side of the lake.
That final section is on a cycleway and then comes the “boardwalk” that takes you to into Parc Padarn, bringing you out right at the feet of the Peace Statue. A wonderful run. It’s all on Map My Run at:
We used 4 wheels instead of 2, but were very peaceful throughout! Easy route, lovely roads especially alongside Padarn Lake. Only slightly difficult bit is finding the entrance to the Wales Coast Path once inside Treborth Botanic Garden. It’s opposite the first little car park you come to. Both statue sites are charming, and have a handy bench for a little time for reflection and tranquility. Rather a rare provision today so thanks to both Treborth and Padarn for their offerings. if you’re up for a bit of a day out then both are places of interest – the Botanic Garden is between the 2 bridges over to Anglesey and I want to explore that whole area more. Sitting by the statue and looking over the water to the island, listening to the wind in the trees, is especially magical. Llanberis is full of history and vibrancy and there I especially want to sample the train rides. But again, I found that even though the statue is so close to the car park, and the kids are having noisy fun in the playground close by, still the place is touched with an almost tangible ability to replenish the jaded soul. Glad I did the challenge! Next time will try a longer route but starting and finishing in the same special and unusual way. Magic!
P. E. Cardiff
￼An international team of runners from the Sri Chinmoy Oneness Home Peace Run were the first to complete the Peace Statue Challenge. A dozen runners from seven different countries started their run at Treborth and used a combination of cycleways, shared use paths, country lanes and trails to cover the 11 miles to the Peris Valley Peace Statue in Parc Padarn.