Parallel bridges cross the river into glorious Conwy
Thomas Telford left his distinctive mark on north Wales. In the early 19th century his grand engineering projects, including the Menai Suspension Bridge, made his name synonymous with industrial innovation.
Telford finished building the Conwy Suspension Bridge in 1826, complete with towers that echo those of Conwy Castle. It replaced the ferry as the means of crossing the River Conwy, and formed part of the overall design for Telford’s crowning achievement – the epic road from London to Holyhead. The bridge’s suspension rods (made of wrought iron) needed to be anchored in the rock upon which Conwy Castle stands.
Since the late 1950s the bridge has been closed to traffic; it offers instead a wonderfully elegant footbridge for walking into Conwy in the shadow of the castle. Why not stop to visit the tollhouse, which is located on the pedestrian access to the bridge? Inside it looks as it would have done in Victorian times.
Visitors are also treated to the sight of the best surviving example of a wrought-iron, tubular bridge. Running parallel to the suspension bridge is the Conwy railway bridge, opened in 1849 but finished the year before. The design was evolved by Robert Stephenson and William Fairbairn. The bridge acted as a pioneering test for Stephenson’s larger tubular railway bridge – the magnificent Britannia Bridge that spans the Menai Strait. All of Fairbairn’s prototyping of the bridge’s design paid off – aside from extra columns underneath, it is unchanged and still carries trains from Llandudno Junction to Conwy.
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Good Walks Nearby
A547 Conwy to Llandudno Junction
Conwy Castle bus stop
National Cycle Route 5
From Conwy Castle walk east towards river.
Dogs allowed on suspension bridge. No access to railway bridge.
Full Grid Reference: SH 784774
OS Landranger map sheet: 115
- 01492 573282
- Telford and Stephenson Bridges, Conwy, LL32 8LD