The work of great engineers has shaped the North Wales we know today. After all, what is the Menai Strait without Telford's suspension bridge? Or the River Dee Estuary without its iconic cable-stayed bridge? And without the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct to hold it up, the Llangollen Canal would be little more than a waterfall.
Over the years, the battle with rocks and rivers has prompted some ingenious methods of traversing our landscape. Which is why today we have a tunnel through a mountain at Penmaenmawr, a road under the Conwy Estuary, trains that go up mountains – and Sarn Helen, one of the least straight Roman Roads in Britain.
When Thomas Telford's Menai Suspension Bridge was opened in 1826 it was the longest of its kind in the world. It also cut the journey time on the A5 road from London to Holyhead by a whopping 9 hours. Telford's other triumphs in North Wales include Conwy Suspension Bridge, and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct near Llangollen – still the highest aqueduct in Britain.
In the 1840s Robert Stephenson built a second bridge over the Menai Strait, this time to carry the London to Holyhead railway. And we've more in the way of railways all over North Wales. Including the Great Orme Tramway, Llandudno – Britain's oldest cable-hauled tramway. The Llangollen Railway – very handy for sightseeing in the Dee Valley. The Snowdon Mountain Railway - tirelessly scaling the highest mountain in England and Wales since 1896. And Rhyl Miniature Railway – the oldest miniature railway in Britain.
Civil engineer Robert Stephenson was born in Newcastle in 1803, the son of famous railway engineer, George Stephenson. Just as Menai Suspesnion Bridge provided the first road link between Anglesey and the main land, so Britannia Bridge would provide the very first rail link.
This attraction is Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Service (VAQAS) approved.
Snowdon Mountain Railway has been scaling the highest mountain in England and Wales since 1896. Today it’s one of the most popular attractions in North Wales, drawing thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.