Day 226 Mile 226: Lunchtime Escape Run. Today’s run goes through beautiful woodland at the bottom of the Ogwen Valley just outside the village of Bethesda It starts by the entrance to the Penrhyn Slate Quarry although with the trees in leaf it is almost impossible to see any of the massive piles of rock only a few meters away. The quarry was first developed in the 1770s by Richard Pennant, later Baron Penrhyn. From then on, slates from the quarry were transported to the sea at Port Penrhyn on the narrow gauge Penrhyn Quarry Railway built in 1798, one of the earliest railway lines. In the 19th century the Penrhyn Quarry, along with the Dinorwic Quarry, dominated the Welsh slate industry and at the end of the nineteenth century it was the world’s largest slate quarry; the main pit is nearly 1 mile long and 1,200 feet deep, and it was worked by nearly 3,000 quarrymen. It has since been superseded in size by slate quarries in China, Spain and the USA.
The route took me along the cycle path which now follows the course of the quarry railway, along through the trees beside the river. The water sparkles as it cascades down the rocks in the sunshine and the bright light and wind in the trees seem to manage to block out the external world entirely. It is a little tunnel haven of green leaves, cadmium sunshine, slate blocks and the raw umber of the wet rock in the river.
Reaching the bridge to the Ogwen Bank the route then turned north and up onto the A5 or to give it one of it’s older names ‘Watling street’ the road that connects the English Channel to the Irish Sea striding the land from Dover to Holyhead. Luckily I didn’t have to go that far and a quick downhill jaunt took me back along Telford’s 1826 reworking of the original route.
All in all a lovely lunchtime escapade!
I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.
Distance: 1624.7 meters recorded
(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
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Thanks as ever for all the support!