Menai Suspension Bridge
See the Menai Suspension Bridge, a historic structure designed by Thomas Telford. It is a dominating landmark of the town of Menai Bridge. The bridge spans the Menai Strait and was built as a trade link between Anglesey and mainland Wales. When opened in 1826, Menai Bridge was the biggest bridge of its kind and one of the world’s first iron suspension bridges.
Go to the small park at the base of the bridge for uninterrupted views of this imposing structure. Gaze up at its huge stone arches and thick steel chains, each made of 935 metal bars. The suspended roadway stands at a height of 98 feet (30 meters), thus allowing tall ships to pass beneath.
The bridge is 1,001 feet (305 meters) long. Cross it on foot in about 5 minutes. Get a close look at the supporting chains as you stroll along the walkway. Peer down at the perilous Menai Strait, look over the rooftops of the town of Menai Bridge and marvel at the surrounding green countryside.
The area near the bridge offers opportunities for picturesque walks. Follow a coastal path west to Church Island, the site of the 15th-century St. Tysilio’s Church. Continue to Britannia Bridge, designed by Robert Stephenson in the mid-1800s. Note the bridge’s two tiers, the upper for car traffic and the lower for trains.
Walking east along the coastal path you’ll pass rows of quaint cottages. Watch for Prince’s Pier, the boat landing and main location for strait crossings prior to construction of the bridge.
Be sure to visit the Thomas Telford Centre, a heritage museum located in the town. Discover the history of Menai Suspension Bridge and Britannia Bridge and the engineers who designed them via original artifacts, photography displays and video presentations. Join guided tours of the bridges and town.
Menai Suspension Bridge is about a 10-minute walk from the town center and a 30 minute drive from Holyhead. The museum is open from April to October and has an admission fee. Find information about exhibits and guided tours on the museum’s official website.