Menai Bridge on the Island of Anglesey, North Wales

An Aerial view of Telford’s Suspension Bridge and Menai Bridge Town – courtesy of John Rowlands of Pentraeth

On the banks of the Menai Straits, the town of Menai Bridge (Porthaethwy) is well worth a visit. Menai Bridge is a small town with some quaint shops and several places to eat and drink. There are three or four antique shops that are interesting to visit.

Historically a port town, the town was made famous by the building of Thomas Telford’s suspension bridge, which was begun in 1819 and opened in 1826.

The Romans invaded Anglesey across the Menai Straits in 60 AD, where a savage battle was fought against the Celts who had settled on Anglesey. It is told that the screams and shouted curses of the Druids (Celtic Priests) made the Romans so frozen with fear that they left themselves open to being killed. That was not to last for long though as they massacred the Celts, and following a period where they left to help in the battles against Boadicea’s forces, they were back to stay on Anglesey for some hundreds of years.

A must-see is the views of `Church Island`. The island is the location of the 6th-century church dedicated to Saint Tysilio, and from the churchyard, one gets a perfect view of both Telford’s Suspension Bridge and Robert Stephenson’s Tubular bridge. The Belgian promenade was built by refugees during the first world war, and was named after them, and makes for a delightful walk. The walk along the Belgian promenade will take you very close to the Menai Suspension Bridge.

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