A5 road

From Academic Kids

Marble Arch - the start of the A5 road
Marble Arch - the start of the A5 road
The A5 is a major road in the United Kingdom. It runs from London to Holyhead, on Anglesey in Wales, following in part the route of the Roman Watling Street. It was constructed by Thomas Telford and large stretches of the road in Wales remain much as it was originally built with many of the toll houses still present. It was designed to allow stage coaches to post between London and Holyhead, and thence to Ireland, and throughout its length the gradient never exceeds 5%.

Starting at Marble Arch, the A5 runs north-west up the Edgware Road. The A5 as numbered disappears near Edgware, but re-emerges south of Luton. However, the road itself continues as the A5183 from Edgware to Elstree, Borehamwood, Radlett, St Albans and Redbourn, to junction 9 of the M1, where it becomes numbered as the A5 again. It then travels through Dunstable, Milton Keynes and Towcester, near Rugby and Hinckley, then through Tamworth. Passing through urban Brownhills, the road is intersected by roundabouts and slip roads for the M6 Toll motorway before it continues via Cannock to Telford. There it forms part of the M54 for a short stretch. After bypassing Shrewsbury, Nesscliffe and Oswestry in Shropshire it enters Wales just west of Chirk and continues through the middle of the towns of Corwen, Llangollen and Betws-y-Coed and then ascends through Capel Curig and reaches its maximum height at 312 metres shortly before passing Llyn Ogwen. The road then descends between some of Snowdonia's greatest peaks before passing through Bethesda and through Bangor before crossing the Menai Strait on the Menai Suspension Bridge near Bangor. The A5 then crosses Anglesey in parallel to the A55 before arriving at the port of Holyhead, where it has traditionally ended at Admiralty Arch (1821, designed by Thomas Harrison to commemorate a visit by King George IV en route to Ireland).

Parts of the A5 have been replaced by sections of the M1 north of London, the M54 through Telford, the M6, and the M6 Toll. The A55 route in North Wales is now the conventional way to get from Chirk to Holyhead, avoiding the mountainous A5 route through Snowdonia and instead going via the much gentler Cheshire Gap and then along the coast.

External links

  • A5 website (

There is also an A5 road in Northern Ireland. It runs from Derry south, via Strabane and Omagh, to join the N2 road at the border with the Republic of Ireland.

The Isle of Man has a further A5 road that runs from Douglas, through Castletown to Port Erin.


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