Starting Point: Circular route so you can start anywhere along the route (Porthmadog, Borth y Gest or Morfa Bychan).
Length: Long loop – 10 miles; Medium Loop 6 miles;
Elevation Gain: Long loop 500 feet; Medium loop 430 feet;
Terrain: Road, trail, sand but road trainers should be sufficient.
Facilities on Route: Toilets in Porthmadog, Borth y Gest and Morfa Bychan (seasonal)
This is one of our all-time favourite running routes and one we try and complete every time we are up in Porthmadog visiting family. The long route is 10 miles and there is a medium route of 6 miles but really you could tweak your run quite easily to be shorter than 10 or 6 miles if you wish. The routes are a combination of quiet roads, trails along the amazing Wales Coast Path, about 2 miles along Black Rock Sands and some pavements alongside the A497 back to Porthmadog.
We start our run by the fire station in Porthmadog. If you want to you could park in the Leisure Centre car park which is nearby. From the fire station cross the road just after the roundabout and run down a single lane track with Bodawen Care Home on your left.
Continue running down this lane adjacent to the grounds of Ysgol Eifionydd and parallel to the Porthmadog Bypass. Turn right after about a mile when you see Clwb Chwaraeon Madog and continue along a quiet road past Porthmadog FC’s Y Traeth football ground and a level crossing. After about half a mile and as you come back into Porthmadog you will need to make a sharp left turn onto Cob Crwn, a walking route around the flood defence system of Porthmadog. Continue around the embankment until you come to Porthmadog High Street. Cross the street and run past the Ganolfan Centre on your right hand side and the harbour on your left hand side. Continue through the harbour area keeping the harbour to your left. Keep bearing left, past Madoc Yatch Club and continue for a few minutes passing numerous boat yards. At the end of this road you will need to bear right up a sharp climb that brings you into the stunning colourful seaside village of Borth y Gest.
After reaching Borth y Gest continue along the promenade and through the car park aiming for the coast.
Once you are on the coast you will be able to follow the Wales Coast Path signs for a couple of miles. This follows narrow in places but well defined trails.
Once out of the woods take a second to admire the views across the Dwyryd Estuary with the mountains of Snowdonia in the background.
The Wales Coast Path signs should direct you from Borth y Gest to Morfa Bychan along well defined trails, passing a number of picturesque coves and Porthmadog Golf Club. This part of the run is probably the highlight with long range views towards Harlech across the estuary.
**If you want to cut the run into a 6 mile loop then turn right the first time you see the golf course and continue past the clubhouse of Porthmadog Golf Club. From here turn right and run on the pavement back to Porthmadog. It is quite undulating!**
If you have followed the Wales Coast Path signs correctly then you will have come around the headland to arrive on Black Rock Beach, a 2 mile long golden beach which is a favourite among locals and visitors alike. You will need to run the whole length of this and it is normally quite firm although you may have to navigate a couple of rivers coming down into the sea along Black Rock sands but it’s all good fun!
Continue running across the beach towards Criccieth Castle until you come to the furthest vehicle entrance onto the beach (yes vehicles are allowed onto the beach so please be careful as you run). Pass the portacabin and the toilets on your right and hand side and then make a left turn onto a single track road.
This single track road is called Treflys and will connect you back with the A497 main road. It is a hilly but enjoyable section with nice views. It’s generally very quiet and peaceful but you may get the odd car using it as a rat run to the beach. Follow the road until you come to the A497. Once you reach the A497 then simply run along the pavement back to Porthmadog. It is about 2 miles and slightly downhill back to the town.
Food and drink facilities are aplenty in Porthmadog so don’t forget to check them out. Some of our favourites for a post run coffee include Siop Coffi TH, Siop Fawr Portmeirion Café and the Big Rock Café. If you want something a bit stronger then The Australia Pub run by local brewery Mws Piws / Purple Moose is a great pub that does good food.