Marble Arch to Dublin, courtesy of Thomas Telford
The A5 follows one of the most ancient routes in Britain. We first encounter it in Roman records where it is referred to as ‘Iter II’. Centuries later it was adopted by the Anglo-Saxons as the famous Watling Street in England.
The modern route of the A5 is a consequence of the Act of Union of 1800, which united Great Britain and Ireland. Improved communications were needed between London and Dublin, so the Scottish engineer Thomas Telford was tasked with construction of a turnpike post road - lôn bost in Welsh. This road was to link London with Holyhead and the Dublin mail boat.
The Welsh section of the road runs some 80 miles from Llangollen to Holyhead on Anglesey. It retains many of Telford’s original features, including many surviving toll houses and storage 'depots' as well as distinctive and remarkably well-preserved milestones. In addition this section of the road features two impressive bridges. Waterloo Bridge, a cast-iron bridge, spans the River Conwy at Betws y Coed, while the famous Menai Suspension Bridge links Anglesey with the mainland. The latter, an innovation in bridge design, marked the completion of Telford’s road when it was opened in 1826.
- Accessible by Public Transport
A5 Cerrigydrudion - Bangor
Stations at Betws y Coed and Bangor
This is a busy road so when stopping to see milestones, tollhouses and bridges, please ensure safety.
OS Landranger map sheet: 116 and 115
- Telford’s Road (A5), Cerrigydrudion–Bangor , Cerrigydrudion