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Pen-y-Clip Bridges Now Open for Cycling and Walking

On Friday 19th June 2009 the new Pen-y-Clip section of the National Cycle Route 5 between Penmaenmawr and Llanfairfechan was opened to the public.

Comprising two bridges connected by the spectacular and rarely used carriageway built by Thomas Telford in the early nineteenth century, this upgraded coastal headland route not only meets an important need for the communities immediately involved, but also provides a safe passage for commuting and leisure cyclists. Suggested routes through Penmaenmawr and Llanfairfechan are give on the bottom of the page after the photos.

The photographs below provide a picture of the scheme.

Photo of new bridge on Penmaenmawr side

Instead of having to cross the eastbound carriageway, cyclists and walkers will now have a safe route above the traffic


Photo of bridge, Penmaenmawr side

Another view of the Penmaenmawr side of the headland


Photo of cycle bridge on Llanfairfechan side

The Llanfairfechan side of the headland


Photo of Telford Old Road round Pen-y-Clip headland

The path round the headland (the Telford Old Road) will afford spectacular views - this photo is facing the Llanfairfechan direction


The path facing the Penmaenmawr direction


Looking towards Pen-y-Clip from the Llanfairfechan side


Looking westward from the bridge on the Llanfairfechan side


The first cyclists to use the bridge were Sue Booth and Sonia Oldershaw celebrating the 70th birthday of Chester and North Wales CTC with a ride from Holyhead to Bangor


Your website editor Roy Spilsbury, who has long campaigned for this safe route over Pen y Clip, had the pleasure of accompanying Sue and Sonia on their ride.



There will no longer be the need to risk life and limb when visiting grandparents a mile or two up the road


This gentleman from Hong Kong, currently touring the UK, found the views from Pen-y-Clip unforgettable - and a blessed release from the A55 Bangor road that has no separate cycle path.


Pen-y-Clip in the 1930s from the Penmaenmawr side.

The road to the left, probably following the line of an ancient track, was constructed by Telford about 1830. The tunnel to the right of the picture was constructed in 1935 when we assume this photo was taken. Note the two touring cyclists taking the old highway. The bicycle wheel now coming back into vogue?

Routes to Pen-y-Clip

Approaching from the east on the NCR 5 path from the Conwy direction you reach Penmaenmawr prom and enter it through a chicane fence, which can be cycled through by most cyclists if they slow down and take care. (There is a ‘Cyclists Dismount’ sign on this fence. This sign is advisory only. Cycling on the prom is not prohibited and most cyclists do cycle along it. CTC and Sustrans would prefer to see this misleading sign removed.)

Route 1: You can cycle along this attractive promenade for most of its length, enjoying the fine views. After a car park, bear right uphill and continue along the sea front until you come to a zig zag ramp, which brings you out at a road close to the bridges. Turn right for a few yards to reach the start of the bridges.

Route 2: This is for those who would like to visit Penmaenmawr village and shops. Shortly after entering the prom you pass an attractive beach café with both indoor and outdoor seating. Immediately after the café turn left under a tunnel and continue winding uphill to join the main road in the centre of the village. This is probably the stiffest climb of all to the main road. Turn right at the cross roads passing the Spar shop to your left and continue 760m to the start of the bridges path.

After the second cycle bridge on the Llanfairfechan side there is a cycle sign that guides you a little left and uphill. To avoid a short climb many cyclists prefer to ignore this sign and go straight ahead along Pendalar, though there is a chicane fence half way along this road, for which you will have to dismount. Either way there is soon a sign to guide you into Llanfairfechan. You will see an A55 roundabout to your right – don’t go there. Go left and forward to the town centre – or if you wish to visit the pleasant sea front at Llanfairfechan, turn first right at Shore Road. At the western end of the seafront you can follow the road back up into the centre of Llanfairfechan where you turn right at the traffic lights to continue westwards on NCR 5.

Photo of Penmaenmawr village centre

Penmaenmawr village centre