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north wales

giants of culture and heritage

Owain GlyndwrNorth Wales is full of giants. Seriously, they're everywhere. Don't worry, there's no need to climb a bean stalk. No call for magic beans. Just hop over the border and in no time at all you can be crossing giant Pontcysyllte Aqueduct – Britain's loftiest aqueduct, devised by giant of engineering Thomas Telford. Or meeting the ancestors at our giant collection of castles, medieval Europe's most ambitious building project (the ones at Caernarfon, Harlech, Conwy and Beaumaris are World Heritage Sites). How about a modern building venture? There's a giant one going on right now at the top of Snowdon, the highest peak in England and Wales. It's called Hafod Eryri and when it's complete you'll have somewhere to check the weather and plan your route back down. In fact, after a coffee at the summit you'll feel on top of the world. Well, Wales at least.

Giant status isn't reserved for the big things. We have small giants, too. Like the tiny Chapel of St Trillo on the shore at Rhos on Sea, the smallest chapel in Britain. And how about a little pilgrimage of cultural discovery? See Sir Kyffin Williams' North Wales captured in paint and pencil at Oriel Ynys Mon, Anglesey. Hear giant of music Bryn Terfel hit the high (and low) notes at the Faenol Festival Faenol Festival. Or watch performers from more than 50 countries battle it out at Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod every August.

Menai Suspension BridgeLeaf through the literary collections of Victorian Prime Minister W E Gladstone at St Deiniol's Library, Hawarden. Or peruse the childhood home of First World War Prime Minister David Lloyd George at Llanystumdwy, on the Lleyn Peninsula.

Partial to a tall tale? We've giants of mythology from folk to fairy, including the legend of Prince Madog, who set sail for America a giant 300 years before Columbus. Best of all, the giants of North Wales are so easy to get to. Less than an hour from Liverpool and Manchester, and a matter of minutes from Chester. So, unlike Prince Madog, there's no call for a giant expedition.