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Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (5)
From:  Penygroes (SH467528)
To:  Rhyd Ddu (SH569529)
Via:  Talysarn
Distance:  7.5 miles (12.1 km)
Meets:  A487, A4085
Former Number(s):  A487
Highway Authorities


Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
B4418 Penygroes – Rhyd Ddu

The B4418 is a largely rural road in central Caernarfonshire.


B4418 near Drws-y-coed, between Nantlle and the A4085

The route starts at a roundabout on the A487 Penygroes bypass, and heads east for a short distance to the next roundabout on the old main road (former A4085) where it turns left onto Water Street. It then runs north along the old main road for less than half a mile into the centre of town. Here the B4418 TOTSOs right into Heol Buddug / Victoria Street, past the shops and, after merging with Ffordd y Sir / County Road at another TOTSO, heads eastward out of town. This appears to have always been the route, and is still the signed route, but for some reason the OS show the route bypassing Victoria Street by continuing north on Water Street to meet the western end of County Road. There are only a couple of fields separating Penygroes from the next village, Talysarn, and for almost a mile there are two roads running parallel. The one on the left, now serving local traffic needs only, was the original route of the B4418. Today, however, it follows the trackbed of the old railway line as far as a T-junction near the centre of Talysarn.

Having turned right at the third, and last TOTSO, the B4418 skirts the south side of an area of disused and flooded quarries together with their associated tips, on a by-pass route constructed in the mid-1930s, the original line of the road having been largely destroyed by these workings. This new road crosses the Afon Llyfni, which has also had its course changed, twice. Both bridges are concrete structures typical of their time, and the road between is a reasonably wide and well aligned carriageway. The result is that today the B4418 enters Nantlle from the south, rather than the west, with the B4418 curving right to resume its overall eastward direction. The small village is soon passed, and then the route winds westwards through trees between fields, and a lonely terrace of houses to the north of Llyn Natlle Urchaf. The white line disappears at the school and soon there are glimpses of the valley ahead through the trees.

As the route winds steadily up the valley, there are several narrow pinch points, but for the most part the road is wide enough for two cars to squeeze past each other. The road sits on a narrow ledge on the hillside, with a stone wall below and steep bank above. Farms and houses can be seen scattered across the valley floor, either side of the small river, but the eye is drawn to the steep hills rising up into the clouds beyond. After a mile or so of constant winding, the road crosses the small mountain stream and finds a long straight which is just about wide enough to chance an overtake if necessary. At the end of the straight lies the tiny settlement of Drws-y-coed with less than a dozen houses clustered around the chapel. The hills are really closing in now as the road approaches the head of the valley of the Afon Drws-y-coed. A rather comical sign reminds drivers to give cyclists space, if only the road was wide enough to do so!

The final ascent is steep, narrow and twisting, but offers some spectacular views across to the steep scree slopes dropping from high cliffs to the north. Down below, the map marks old mine workings at the head of the valley, but unlike elsewhere little can be seen on the surface. A ruined cottage, Bwlchgylfin, sits on the right of the road, nestled against a rocky outcrop, and then one last climb brings the route to its summit at just below 250m. The road squeezes through the narrow pass at the summit, between dramatic slopes, and then begins a rather tame descent, although the landscape ahead looks rather desolate. A few bends leads round to the small reservoir of Llyn y Dywarchen, with the road curving below the dam, and then it begins its descent towards Llyn y Gader. A sharp left bend around a clump of trees turns it north east for the last couple of hundred metres, with the houses of Rhyd Ddu suddenly coming into view. A short distance further on it comes to an end as it meets the A4085 at a T-junction.


The original line of the B4418

Until 1944 Nantlle was the terminus of the route but by 1946 it had been extended eastwards to meet the next classified road (which at that time was a former route of the A487 and is today the A4085), some four miles further east. As noted above, the route from Penygroes to Talsarn now follows the old railway line, although the (disused) railway is still marked on the 1969 OS Map. The original alignment from Penygroes to Talsarn is still intact, albeit closed to traffic between the two villages. A left turn off the bypass then leads onto the narrow road, lined with parked cars, which winds above the bypass before the two slowly diverge. When the new road to Nantlle opened in the 1930s, the B4418 still followed Station Road in Talsarn, curving as it still does at a T junction with the older alignment through to Nantlle. This continued ahead along Bryncelyn Road to a roundabout which allows buses to turn at the end of the public road.

Some of the old road between Talsarn and Nantlle survives, and can potentially be walked (depending on access rights). There is certainly a continuous track through the old workings, although this seems to deviate from the original line of the B4418 past the flooded remains of Dorothea Quarry. At Nantlle, the old road enters the village from the west, winding past a long terrace of cottages to reach the B4418 at a sharp bend. Again, this bend has been added since the road was originally realigned, with old maps showing the road originally passing behind the row of bungalows to meet the old line at a much sharper junction.

Related Pictures
View gallery (5)
The B4418 out of Rhyd-Ddu - Geograph - 464457.jpgFlood Warning - Geograph - 252156.jpgThe B4418 near Drws-y-coed - Geograph - 169861.jpgSpeedLimit15.jpgView west along Heol Buddug (Victoria Road) - Geograph - 886408.jpg
B4400 – B4499
B4400 • B4401 • B4402 • B4403 • B4404 • B4405 • B4406 • B4407 • B4408 • B4409 • B4410 • B4411 • B4412 • B4413 • B4414 • B4415 • B4416 • B4417 • B4418 • B4419
B4420 • B4421 • B4422 • B4423 • B4424 • B4425 • B4426 • B4427 • B4428 • B4429 • B4430 • B4431 • B4432 • B4433 • B4434 • B4435 • B4436 • B4437 • B4438 • B4439
B4440 • B4441 • B4442 • B4443 • B4444 • B4445 • B4446 • B4447 • B4448 • B4449 • B4450 • B4451 • B4452 • B4453 • B4454 • B4455 • B4456 • B4457 • B4458 • B4459
B4460 • B4461 • B4462 • B4463 • B4464 • B4465 • B4466 • B4467 • B4468 • B4469 • B4470 • B4471 • B4472 • B4473 • B4474 • B4475 • B4476 • B4477 • B4478 • B4479
B4480 • B4481 • B4482 • B4483 • B4484 • B4485 • B4486 • B4487 • B4488 • B4489 • B4490 • B4491 • B4492 • B4493 • B4494 • B4495 • B4496 • B4497 • B4498 • B4499
Earlier iterationsB4407 • B4409 • B4414 • B4416 • B4423 • B4424 • B4426 • B4428(W) • B4428(E) • B4432 • B4433
B4454 • B4455 • B4456 • B4458 • B4459 • B4464 • B4477 • B4482 • B4485 • B4486

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