The Unique Newport Transporter Bridge
Many attractions bring people to visit the United Kingdom and Wales, yet walking across a unique Newport Transporter Bridge isn’t something that springs to mind.
Stepping foot on UK soil after almost a year of travelling around Asia, surprisingly I found myself on the way to Wales. The destination was the Newport Transporter Bridge
Was this something I’d always dreamed of doing? Walking across a historic transporter bridge and marvelling at its engineering brilliance?
Well, no not really.
Ok, technical engineering stuff is quite interesting to me in a geeky sort of way. This is why I studied Mechanical and Motorsport Engineering at University.
It’s just bridges aren’t something that gets me excited. I still respect the amount of design and engineering work that has gone into constructing them.
This would be the downfall that lead me into walking across the unique Newport Transporter Bridge.
Known as Pont Gludo Casnewydd in native Welsh, Newport Transporter Bridge was built as a crossing for River Usk in Newport, Wales. It’s now Grade I listed because of how rare this type of structure is. There is only a handful of bridges like this remaining around the world.
The Newport Transporter Bridge is dated way back to over 100 years ago and was designed by French engineer Ferdinand Arnodin.
It was officially opened by Godfrey Charles Morgan on the 12th September 1906.
The unique design was selected due to the river banks being very low at the chosen crossing point, just located a few miles from Newport city centre.
Constructing a traditional bridge in this location would have required a long approach ramp to allow the bridge to be tall enough for the ships to pass along the river underneath.
Yes, the weather was a tad miserable as I arrived at the Newport Transporter Bridge on a cloudy day. Slightly windy and not perfect for my bridge climb, but I wasn’t put off.
Tip: bring a jacket or some warm clothing if you plan on visiting.
Some comfort can be found when your body starts to generate a little heat during the 277 stair climb.
As you ascend up each flight of stairs the view of the city expands until you reach the top.
All those feeling energetic enough to make the climb will be treated to a delightful surprise – the flooring is see through. Yes, see through!
It takes a second or two for the mind to process what’s happening. Is this chicken mesh floor going to support me? Will I fall?
Once you settle back into reality, it’s then you realise you haven’t fallen it into the river. It’s then you realise just how unique walking across the Newport Transporter Bridge is.
Wait a minute, is that an old toilet in the middle? Yes – no flusher, just a hole to drop in the river!
The official height of the towers is 73.6 metres, with the height of the underside of the main girder above road level being 49.97 metres.
Anyone with below average fitness should be able to defeat the 277 steps up and then 277 steps down on the other side.
For current ticket pricing check the official Newport Transporter Bridge Website.
When I visited the ticket price included walking across the bridge as many times as you like. It also included trips back on forth on the motorised gondola.
Things to Do in Newport
Caerleon Roman Fortress – Wales was the furthest outpost of the Roman Empire. In AD 75, the Romans built a fortress at Caerleon that would guard the region for over 200 years.
National Roman Legion Museum – Learn what made the Romans a formidable force and how life wouldn’t be the same without them.
Newport Wetlands – This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city, but is a great place for people too with a new RSPB visitor centre, a café, shop and children’s play area.
Belle Vue Park – Belle Vue Park opened in 1894 and features typical of a Victorian public park, including conservatories, pavillion, bandstand and rockeries.
Newport Cathedral – The cathedral is situated on top of Stow Hill overlooking the city of Newport. It is of very ancient foundation and has a long and fascinating history.
Walking Across The Unique Newport Transporter Bridge image created by Tools of Travel.