The trio of spectacular bridges over the Firth of Forth has quickly become one of Scotand’s most iconic images. The new Queensferry Crossing is the tallest bridge in the UK and its elegant, delicate structure of woven interlocking wires took many years to build, but was completed on time and on budget this month. Traffic is now using the new road bridge leaving the old Forth Road Bridge to taxis and buses.
Scotland has many beautiful bridges. One of my personal favourites is Clachan Bridge – a wee humpback stone ‘bridge over the Atlantic’ which joins mainland Argyll to Seil Island. It does cross the Atlantic as the sound opens up into the Atlantic and it’s also famous because the pub immediately over the bridge (on the island side) which goes by the name of Tigh na Truish – the House of Trousers in Gaelic – is where islanders changed from their plaid kilts (which the government had banned in 1746) to trousers before crossing to the mainland.
Another well known Argyll bridge is the old railway bridge (now a road bridge) at Connel that crosses above the Falls of Lora (one of Europe’s only seawater tidal falls). The Falls below the bridge are unique in Scotland and they were the feature of a recent BBC programme and it’s well worth viewing!
Bridges to islands are not that common in Scotland as most islands lie too far off shore and therefore have to rely on ferry crossings. However, the graceful arc of the Skye bridge, which despite the romantic allure of going ‘over the sea to Skye’, is an exception and it is my preferred route to this island idyll.
Some Hebridean islands are linked by causeways, but my definition of a bridge is that there must be space below and that the bridge goes over sea or land so for me they don’t count! However, no one can deny that a viaduct is a bridge – it may have been built to carry a railway line but because it is often built on a solid land base viaducts can be quite some length and their arches can be extremely tall. Probably the most famous viaduct in Scotland (thanks to the Harry Potter film franchise) is the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
Surely the best way to cross this viaduct is to take the steam train from FortWilliam as the Jacobite Express (which also featured in the Potter movies) rumbles its way across Glenfinnan Viaduct as part of the journey to the old fishing and ferry port of Mallaig. It’s a great day out for the whole family and the scenery is simply stunning.
Travelling around Scotland by car or train reveals many landmark bridges which are worthy or a photo. And even better these bridges are feats of engineering which demand respect, whether ancient stone cobbles, solid iron or modern steel, you can’t help but wander at the skill and mathematical precision required to complete these complex structures. Glasgow’s much loved ‘squinty bridge’ the newest of the 21 bridges that span the River Clyde (and the Clyde Arc to give the bridge its Sunday name) shows just how clever modern bridge design can be. The new Queensferry Crossing (I don’t think it’s been around long enough yet to have a nickname) is the best of the crop.
Thursday 24th Aug 2017
Let the Games Begin! If you’ve been on holiday in Scotland this summer you may have already enjoyed the spectacle of a Highland Games. The season runs from May to September and by August it’s in full swing with some of the most prestigious Gatherings happening this week in Argyll. Today it’s the turn of […]
Friday 4th Aug 2017
Last month we looked at Scotland’s Great Trails – walking routes throughout the nation which are perfect for hikers and ramblers. We mentioned then that the scenery of this wild land is equally accessible viewed through the window of a moving car so what are you waiting for! North Coast 500 – Scotland’s Route 66! […]
Friday 7th Jul 2017
If you’ve an inclination to explore Scotland’s amazing countryside and you’re reasonably fit and healthy then why not try one of Scotland’s Great Trails? Some of these waymarked long-distance routes are better known than others – notably the West Highland Way: this 154Km (96miles) route starts at Milngavie passes through Mugdock Country Park, hugs the […]
Tuesday 16th May 2017
The Paws for a Break Pet-Friendly Award winner has been announced! The judges ruled, by a whisker, that Mains of Taymouth in Perthshire is the worthy victor. So a big congratulatory tail-wagging goes to Pauline and her team at Mains of Taymouth. We must give a paw to the five other finalists, Ardtornish Estate, Cologin, […]
Tuesday 16th May 2017
The Enjoyable Rut is a travel blog aiming to inspire you to get outside and make the most out of life. It aims to show you the beauty and wonder in the every day, that the edge of the map isn’t as far as you can go and that the ends of the world aren’t limits at […]
Wednesday 19th Apr 2017
As it’s the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, we asked Mike Spencer-Nairn, owner of Eagle Brae, for some more recommendations on delving into the past in the Highlands – here are some of his suggestions: Corrimony Chambered Cairn If you love exploring a stone circle site (or you are an Outlander fan!) Corrimony Burial Cairn lies near […]
Tuesday 28th Feb 2017
Guest post by Emma Gibb There is nothing quite like rugged Scottish scenery to quieten a busy mind. During a particularly busy week, when my mind was whirring with to-do lists, we headed to Eagle Brae – a luxury self-catering eco resort nestled between Glen Affric and Glen Strathfarrar. It is impossible to do anything other than switch off […]
Tuesday 14th Feb 2017
We asked the public to nominate their favourite pet-friendly self-catering property on EmbraceScotland for our Paws for a Break Award 2016/17 and we are delighted to announce our 6 finalists! These self-catering holiday properties go the extra mile to make sure that pets and their owners are made welcome, with all the facilities and services you need for a […]
Thursday 2nd Feb 2017
With over 8,000 miles of coastline we are spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful beaches in Scotland (and you can often enjoy these gorgeous sandy stretches to yourself). Of course not all beaches are dog-friendly and, to give dog owners some holiday inspiration, we asked bloggers, our holiday home owners and lovely Instagram […]