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Telford on Tour
2007 marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of the 'Father of Civil Engineering' Thomas Telford and there's still plenty to celebrate, because there are many examples of how his genius shaped our landscape throughout North Wales - and they're still in use today. Probably Telford's most famous is the Menai Suspension Bridge - the first iron suspension bridge of its kind in the world opened in 1826 linking the Isle of Anglesey to mainland North Wales and completing the A5 road.
To learn more don't miss the Bridges Exhibition and historic Waterfront Walk at Menai Bridge. London's Marble Arch marks the start of the A5 road, a 260 mile-long road link from London to Holyhead (the port to Ireland) which, at the time it was built was the biggest state-funded road project in Britain since the Romans. Conwy Suspension Bridge, adjacent to Conwy Castle, is a smaller version of the Menai Suspension Bridge and was in daily use until the 1950s.
It's now in the careful hands of the National Trust and you can combine a visit with a tour of its Toll House. Said to be Telford's most impressive work, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was built to carry the Llangollen Canal across the Dee Valley. It's an alarming 126 feet high and a staggering 1007 feet long, which makes it the longest and highest cast-iron aqueduct in the world. You can take a motorized or horse-drawn boat trip across (if you dare). But be warned, those with a delicate nature probably shouldn't look down.