The Great Strait Raft Run I

Great Strait Raft Run

Date

4 June 2017

Location

Britannia Bridge
SH 54165 70870; 53.21480°N, 4.18546°W

Information

The Great Strait Raft Run is an annual event that raises funds for local causes. The route along the Menai Strait is approximately 6 km long and starts from Y Felinheli and ends in Menai Bridge, passing under the Britannia Bridge, past Ynys Gored Goch, and under the Menai Suspension Bridge. The raft run started in 1984 but was discontinued later that decade with it being restarted in 2002.

Further Reading

Great Strait Raft Run (official site);
Britannia Bridge;
Menai Strait

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Treborth Botanic Garden

Treborth Botanic Garden

Date

20 May 2017

Location

Treborth, Bangor
SH 55240 71098; 53.21714°N, 4.16947°W

Information

The land for Treborth Botanic Garden was purchased by Bangor University in the 1960s in order to develop a plant collection for its Botany Department. The garden had previously been developed in the 1840s as part of the Chester and Holyhead Railway’s planned tourist destination Britannia Park. This was designed by architect and gardener Sir Joseph Paxton (1803 – 1865) – best known for designing the 1851 Great Exhibition’s Crystal Palace. However, lack of funding led to the project being abandoned.

The botanic garden is host to more than 2,000 native and exotic species and the university maintains six glasshouses on the site. The university provides free access to the grounds to the public throughout the year.

Further Reading

Treborth Botanic Garden

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Tynal Tywyll, Lon Las Ogwen – Dinas Railway Tunnel

Dinas Tunnel – the former branch-line railway tunnel between Tregarth and Bethesda, known informally as Tynal Tywyll (dark tunnel).

Date

14 May 2017

Location

Dinas Tunnel, Lon Las Ogwen, Tregarth
SH 60818 68185; 53.19247°N, 4.08473°W

Information

In 1884 a four-mile-long, single track branch line of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) from Bangor to Bethesda opened to passengers, linking to the Chester and Holyhead main line just outside Bangor. The route included Dinas Tunnel, a 297-yard-long (272 m), single-bore tunnel approached from the Bangor (northern) end through a sheer-faced rock cutting. On exiting the tunnel at the Bethesda (southern) end, the track crossed the Ogwen river over the Bryn Bella Viaduct. Increasing competition from buses led to the closing of passenger services on the branch line in 1951, with the line finally closing to all traffic in 1963.

In 2016 Gwynedd Council set aside £200,000 and secured an additional £230,000 from the Welsh Government in order to develop the disused tunnel so as to open a new section of the Lon Las Ogwen ‘multi-user’ path. This 11-mile-long cycle route follows parts of the trackbeds of the narrow-gauge Penrhyn Quarry Railway and the standard-gauge LNWR branch line and has until now been interrupted by a mile-long detour around the tunnel by road.

The development work was carried out by Trawsfynydd-based contractor G H James and involved: securing the rockface in the cutting; lighting the tunnel; installing safety railings on the viaduct parapets; and clearing and surfacing the path. The new 800-metre-long section of the route opened in May 2017.

Further Reading

All posts about Dinas Tunnel;
Lon Las Ogwen

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