One of Welsh Coastal Life magazine's Seven Wonders of the Welsh coast...
Photo: © Crown Copyright (2020) Visit Wales
For mariners, the Menai Strait is one of the most feared channels of water around the Welsh coast, thanks to its notorious tidal surges.
Prior to the 1820s, it cost many a traveller their luggage and even their life if their little ferry boat capsized in the strong current.
Just as terrifying was the ordeal for farmers who needed to get their cattle from the island of Anglesey to the mainland. They and their animals could walk across at low tide, but this journey could often be met with disaster.
In stepped acclaimed civil engineer Thomas Telford, who was tasked with building a bridge over the strait. Under normal circumstances, a support tower would have been placed in the middle of the waterway, but this would prevent the many tall ships that used it from being able to sail through.
Instead, Telford built what was at the time the world’s largest suspension bridge, held up by 16 giant chain cables attached to towers at either end.
The feat was not only a success, it’s regarded by many as Telford’s finest work, and this beautiful bridge is free for all to see and use to this day.
ENTRY: Free access year-round.
HOW TO GET THERE: It carries the A5 between Bangor and the town Menai Bridge. You can walk over it, and even beneath it at its northern end.
This is part of an article written in the October issue of Welsh Coastal Life magazine on the Seven Wonders of the Welsh Coast.