I first read about the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct back in the 1960s in a book I had borrowed from the local library about one man's travels around Britain in a narrowboat. It was probably Narrow Boat by L T C Rolt but the name meant nothing to me back then.
Ever since then I have wanted to experience the thrill of steering a boat along the narrow trough with the towpath on one side and the unguarded drop to the River Dee 126 ft (38 m) below on the other.
Alas it was not to be, and I had to settle for the view from the cabin of the tripper boat that runs from Llangollen Wharf.
However, returning later in the day and walking across was almost as good. If not better as I could take my time and stop to admire the view.
Competed in 1805, the aqueduct was designed by Thomas Telford under the supervision of William Jessop. It is the longest aqueduct in Great Britain and remains the highest canal aqueduct in the world.
It was the final act in an attempt to build a canal from Ellesmere in Shropshire to a new settlement called Ellesmere Port on the River Mersey. Work commenced from both ends, but funds ran out shortly after completing the aqueduct and the middle section was never built.
The canal, originally known not unsurprisingly as the Ellesmere Canal, was rebranded the Llangollen Canal by the British Waterways Board in the 1980s.