The Tailor-Made Top 21 Most Picturesque Bridges in Scotland That You Should Visit



Scotland can boast an impressive range of bridges, from modern feats of engineering to classic historical structures. Many of these bridges are set in beautiful surroundings, while others have a certain beauty all of their own. Some are large and impressive, others small and handsome. Join us as we show you our pick of the most picturesque bridges that Scotland has to offer.



Don’t forget that at Tailor-Made Itineraries we delight in creating bespoke self-guided tours. So, if visiting any of these bridges appeals to you, reach out to us by email. We would be more than happy to design a self-guided tour around your requirements incorporating the picturesque bridges of Scotland, or indeed, simply a general tour of this stunning country.


The Old Bridge of Livet

21 - 16. Bridge of Avon, Tay Bridge, Connel Bridge, Clachan Bridge, Cullen Viaduct, and Gairnshiel Bridge


The Bridge of Avon was built during the construction of the military road through Avonside in 1754. It was once the main route across the clear waters of the Avon.


The Tay Bridge carries the railway across the Firth of Tay in Scotland between Dundee and Fife. The bridge opened in 1887 and has a span of 2.75 miles (4.43 kilometres). It was built parallel to the original Tay Bridge which infamously collapsed in 1879 due to high winds, killing the 75 people on board the train that was crossing the bridge at that time.


Connel Bridge is a cantilever bridge opened in 1903 that originally served the railway. It was converted for the exclusive use of road vehicles and pedestrians in 1966. Below the bridge is the Falls of Lora, a tidal race which forms white water rapids for two to five days either side of the spring tides.


The Clachan Bridge was built in 1792 by engineer Robert Mylne. It is also known as the ‘Bridge Over the Atlantic’ since it connects the Scottish mainland with the Isle of Seil.

The Cullen Viaduct carried the coast line of the former Great North of Scotland Railway across the Cullen Burn. Open in 1886, the viaduct closed to traffic in 1968, but the railway line has now been converted into a pleasant and scenic walking track.


Gairnshiel Bridge, near Ballater, was built over the River Gairn between 1748 and 1752. Construction followed the Battle of Culloden, and was part of the Hanoverian military road network built by General Caulfield in the region.



15. Devorgilla Bridge


The Devorgilla Bridge was first built around 1270 by the Lady Devorgilla of Galloway. Her son, John Balliol, became King of Scotland in 1292. She is best known for the foundation of Balliol College, Oxford. The 13th century bridge would have been wooden but the name ‘Devorgilla Bridge’ has been attributed to all successive stone bridges on that site. A stone bridge replaced it around the middle of the 15th century, but in 1621 major floods severely damaged the bridge and much of it had to be rebuilt. By the early 19th century, three of the arches were removed as the river narrowed and land reclaimed.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: While in Dumfries, make sure to visit the many locations connected with Scotland’s most famous poet, Rabbie Burns, especially the Robert Burn House and his mausoleum in the graveyard of St. Michael’s.


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14. East Beach Bridge, Lossiemouth


The East Beach Bridge is a wooden pedestrian bridge, built originally to encourage day trippers on the old Moray Railway to visit the town of Lossiemouth in the summer months. The bridge straddles the River Lossie, connecting the town to the beautiful East Beach. Unfortunately, due to safety reasons, the bridge was closed in 2020 and is due to be demolished and replaced with a new bridge in 2022.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: While visiting the bridge, keep your eyes and ears open for the impressive Typhoon jet fighters taking off from the nearby RAF Lossiemouth.




13. Brig o' Balgownie


The Brig 'o' Balgownie was completed in 1320 and lies over a mystical deep pool known as the Black Neuk. The bridge was famously immortalised in Lord Byron's poem Don Juan. Nowadays the bridge is a contender for the title of the 'oldest bridge in Scotland'.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: Make time to visit the nearby by St. Machar Cathedral and then continue on to view the medieval architecture of Old Aberdeen and the University of Aberdeen.



12. Craigellachie Bridge


Craigellachie Bridge Is a cast iron arched bridge designed by the renowned engineer Thomas Telford. It has been given category A listed status by Historic Scotland and was the site of the historic meeting of The Gordon Highlanders and The Queen’s Own Highlanders on their amalgamation to form The Highlanders in 1994.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: The bridge in the heart of Speyside’s whisky country. Combine a visit with a tour of one of the many whisky distilleries nearby, such as Macallan, Aberlour or Cardhu.


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11. Corrieshalloch Gorge Bridge


This Victorian suspension bridge was built by Sir John Fowler (one of the chief engineers behind the Forth Bridge) and spans the Corrieshalloch Gorge. Corrieshalloch means ‘Ugly Hollow’ in Gaelic, but there is nothing ugly about it. Corrieshalloch is a slot gorge, or box-canyon, that was cut as far back as 2.6million years ago by Ice Age glacial meltwater. The River Droma forges through the gorge, dramatically dropping 100 metres in just 1.25km through a series of waterfalls, including the thunderous 45m high Falls of Measach.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: A brace of trails opens up the gorge to walkers, with a, a jaw-dropping viewing platform and a viewpoint, which allows you to take in the falls, with the bridge in the foreground.


Read on to find out which bridges are in our top ten.




10. Silverbridge at Black Water Falls


Silverbridge, which spans the Black Water Falls, gives a fantastic view of this small, but powerful waterfall. The bridge is part of an ancient route used by drovers herding their cattle. The river is known in Gaelic as An t-Alltan Dubh (the black burn) and is the subject of a famous hunting song written by Donald Fraser, the 'Fannich Bard'.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: There is a scenic short circular walk that takes you along both banks of the Black Water River, with Silverbridge being the northern most point and Little Garve Bridge in the south.



9. Forth Bridge


The Forth Bridge was opened in 1890 and is a Scottish icon that is recognised the world over as the most famous of cantilever designs. The world's first major steel structure, the Forth Bridge represents a key milestone in the history of modern railway civil engineering and still holds the record as the world’s longest cantilever bridge. The overall length of the Forth Bridge is 2,467 metres, with the main structure (portal to portal) measuring 1,630 metres. 53,000 tonnes of steel and 6.5 million rivets were used to construct the Forth Bridge. At the height of its construction, more than 4,000 men were employed, however, 57 lives were lost during the construction of the Forth Bridge.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: The Forth Road Bridge, which runs parallel to the Forth Bridge, can be traversed, giving fantastic views of the railway bridge. Since the opening of the Queensferry Crossing as a motorway, general traffic removed from the Forth Road Bridge, greatly improving the experience for pedestrians.



8. Linn O' Dee Bridge


The Linn O’ Dee is where the River Dee runs 300 metres through a narrow gorge and drops into rocky pools below which have been carved out over millennia. It is no wonder that this beauty spot was one of Queen Victoria’s favourites. The picturesque view is only made better by the lovely Gothic-style bridge which spans the gorge. The bridge was built by the 5th Earl of Mar and officially opened by Queen Victoria in 1857.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: As well as the spectacular channel, there are walking trails through the woods and picnic spots beside the falls.


Read on to find out which bridge tops the list.




7. Kildrummy Bridge


The bridge spanning the Kildrummy Castle Gardens is a copy of famous brig o' Balgownie and reflects beautifully on the largest of the four ponds which plays host to a wide range of water plants. The quarry left behind after the building of the castle in the 12th Century is now planted with fine examples of alpines and shrubs. Please note that the gardens and the neighbouring hotel are now private and not open to the public.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: The imposing ruins of Kildrummy Castle, stronghold of the Earls of Mar, is open to the public and well worth a visit.



6. Falkirk Wheel


Arguably not actually a bridge, the Falkirk Wheel is in fact the world’s first and only rotating boat lift. However, The Falkirk Wheel does bridge the gap between the Forth & Clyde Canal and the Union Canal, which were originally linked by a flight of 11 locks. The Falkirk Wheel was opened in 2002, is 35 metres tall and was made with 1,200 tonnes of steel. Amazingly, the Wheel only uses 1.5kWh of energy to turn, the same amount as it would take to boil 8 household kettles!


Tailor-Made Top Tip: You can book a boat trip and experience the 360-degree revolution while being on the wheel!



5. Glenfinnan Viaduct


The Glenfinnan Viaduct is a railway viaduct on the West Highland Line in Glenfinnan. Construction of the extension from Fort William to Mallaig railway line began in January 1897, and the line opened on 1 April 1901. It was built at a cost of £18,904. The viaduct is built from mass concrete, and has 21 semi-circular spans of 50 feet (15 m). It is the longest concrete railway bridge in Scotland at 416 yards (380 m), and crosses the River Finnan at a height of 100 feet (30 m).


Tailor-Made Top Tip: Glenfinnan Viaduct has been used as a location in several films and television series, including four films of the Harry Potter film series. You can re-enact these scenes by taking the Jacobite Steam Train, which runs from Fort William to Mallaig and back, once or twice most days.


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4. Eilean Donan Castle bridge


If the castle bridge was located anywhere else, it probably wouldn’t garner much interest in itself. However, this little bridge is intrinsic to the overwhelming beauty of Eilean Donan Castle, which is situated on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet, and surrounded by some majestic scenery. Arguably, the bridge is part of one of the most iconic images of Scotland all over the world.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: When crossing the bridge, be sure to recall the scene from the iconic film Highlander, when Christopher Lambert is driven from his clan home by a vengeful mob.



3. Culloden Viaduct


The Culloden Viaduct, known also as the Nairn Viaduct or the Clava Viaduct is a railway viaduct on the Highland Main Line, to the east of the city of Inverness. The viaduct was opened in 1898 as part of the Inverness and Aviemore Direct Railway, which was built by the Highland Railway. The 29-span viaduct crosses the wide valley of the River Nairn. At 1800 ft (549 m) in length, it is the longest masonry viaduct in Scotland.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: Be sure to combine a viewing of the viaduct with a trip to the nearby Clava Cairns and the Culloden Battlefield.


Have you guessed yet which bridge tops the list?




2. The Old Bridge of Livet


The Old Bridge of Livet is a truly picturesque structure, spanning the Livet at Bridgend of Glenlivet. Only two arches of the bridge have survived. The third was ripped away by floodwater during the great “Muckle Spate” of 1829. No-one knows exactly how old the bridge is, but it’s likely to have been built at the same time as nearby Blairfindy Castle (16th Century). The bridge is only one of the stunning features of the beautiful and peaceful Glenlivet estate, making this area of Speyside a must visit destination.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: The Glenlivet Distillery is just minutes away and has one of the best whisky tours around.



1. Sligachan Old Bridge


Sligachan lies at the head of Glen Sligachan on the stunning Isle of Skye. Views from Sligachan are dominated by the savage profile of Sgurr nan Gillean. The name Sligachan is Gaelic for "shelly place", after the shells found at the original location.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: The Sligachan Waterfall is only a short walk upstream from the bridge and well worth the walk.



Conclusion


It was difficult to pick just 21 bridges - Scotland is just so blessed with beautiful, impressive and awe-inspiring bridges! Comment below and let us know which was your favourite bridge and which bridges we should have added to the list. Perhaps a follow up post will be required!


Don’t forget that at Tailor-Made Itineraries we delight in creating bespoke self-guided tours. So, if visiting any of these bridges appeals to you, reach out to us by email. We would be more than happy to design a self-guided tour around your requirements incorporating the picturesque bridges of Scotland, or indeed, simply a general tour of this stunning country.


Join us next time on our family adventures when we discover the stunning and mystical islands of Staff and Iona. We post every two weeks and you can subscribe to our latest blog and newsletter here. Until then, happy reading and safe travels.


Barry


Contact Us: tailoritineraries@gmail.com


Tailor-Made Itineraries creates one-of-a-kind bespoke self-guided travel itineraries for adventurous and curious travelers.


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