Scotland is renowned for its panoramic coastline, idyllic countryside and charming villages. However, what many people don’t know, is that Scotland is home to some of the world’s most famous bridges, and each has a story to tell.
Whether you want to learn about the history behind these iconic landmarks, or you simply fancy a stroll along the river, here are some of the most beautiful bridges in Scotland.
Brig O Doon, Alloway
Believed to have been built in the early 15th century, the Brig O Doon is a popular tourist spot, and it’s easy to see why. The bridge, sometimes called the Auld Brig, offers beautiful views of the River Doon, and is surrounded by the stunning Ayrshire countryside.
Less than 15 minutes from Sundrum Castle Holiday Park, Brig O Doon is famous for many reasons. Most people know it as the setting for the final verse of the Robert Burns poem Tam o’ Shanter. You may also recognise the bridge from a series of Scottish £5.00 notes from 2007, or from the Broadway musical – Brigadoon – which was named after the bridge.
This iconic landmark arches proudly over the River Doon in Alloway, where there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained. After taking in the views of the bridge, you can explore the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum – where you can learn all about the poet’s life and his inspirations. There’s also lots of family fun to be had nearby at Heads of Ayr Farm Park, where there are many animals to see, as well as exciting activities to enjoy. Culzean Castle and Country Park is also a highlight of the area, so whether you fancy taking in the beautiful views, going on a long country walk, or learning about historic battles, there’s something for everyone.
Video sourced from Stuart Little
Old Packhorse Bridge, Carrbridge
Sitting in the heart of the Scottish Highlands is Carrbridge, a small but lively village set in spectacular surroundings. Despite being renowned for its music events and unusual competitions, such as the ‘World Porridge Making Championship’, the village is best-known for its famous landmark; the Old Packhorse Bridge.
The bridge is located in the picturesque Cairngorms National Park, and is the oldest stone bridge still standing in the Highlands. Built in 1717 and crossing the River Dulnain, its original purpose was to allow funeral processions to access Duthil Church when the river was flooded. Because of this, the bridge is known locally as ‘the coffin bridge’.
All that remains of this iconic bridge is a single span, arching into the air across the river. Given the age of the bridge, it’s recommended that you only view this beautiful landmark from afar, taking in the pretty views that surround it. This popular attraction is just over 30 minutes from Nairn Lochloy Holiday Park, and is the perfect place for nature lovers. The forest, moorland and mountains surrounding the village are excellent places for spotting rare wildlife, such as red squirrels, deer and Scottish crossbills. It’s also a fantastic place to take the kids, as they’ll love Landmark Forest Adventure Park. This large nature-based theme and adventure park offers the whole family a chance to have fun on the Wild Water Coaster, Runaway Timber Train, the Tarzan Trail and more.
Video sourced from Paul Pritchard
Clyde Arc Bridge, Glasgow
If you’re longing to take a day trip to the vibrant city of Glasgow, then you’ll have the opportunity to see the first road bridge built over the River Clyde for more than 30 years.
The Clyde Arc Bridge, better known as the ‘Squinty Bridge’ because of its twisted arch, was built in 2006 – as part of a huge regeneration project on the Clyde Waterfront. Just 45 minutes away from Wemyss Bay Holiday Park, this iconic bridge in Glasgow is best viewed at night, when it’s beautifully lit up, creating a breathtaking and majestic view. You can either drive, cycle or walk across this 196-metre-long bridge, taking in the stunning sights of Glasgow as you pass.
This exciting city offers a variety of exciting attractions and activities. From taking in history at the Cathedral or Science Centre, to having fun at the Snow Factor or Glengoyne Distillery, there really is something for everybody in Glasgow.
Video sourced from geobeats
Craigellachie Bridge, Craigellachie
If it’s history that you’re looking for, then a visit to Craigellachie Bridge is a must. Opening in 1815, the Craigellachie is the oldest surviving cast iron bridge in Scotland. It was designed by one of the most famous engineers of its time, Thomas Telford.
Just under an hour away from Nairn Lochloy Holiday Park and crossing over the River Spey, Telford built the bridge to aid the periods of flooding that the Spey was prone to. For the best protection, he designed a single span bridge with an arch, using cast iron to create a lightweight frame of interlinked braces. The total cost for the bridge was estimated at £8,200, which was a huge amount at the time.
For the best views of the monument, you can go to the modern road bridge, which sits parallel to Craigellachie Bridge. However, if you want an up close and personal view of this landmark, there is a small parking area by the riverside. Once you’ve taken a stroll along this beautiful bridge, there are plenty of other activities in and around Craigellachie that you can enjoy – including fishing, walking by the river and a tour of Glenfiddich Distillery.
Video sourced from Scotia Quad