Union Chain Bridge

Northumberland / Scottish Borders | Horncliffe | Road bridge | ★★

[Union Chain Bridge, seen from the Chain Bridge Honey Farm on the England side]

Most motorists use the M74 or A1, but a quick count shows there are actually about 25 different points at which you can pass between England and Scotland by car. Of all these, which is the most poetic? The A68 at the Carter Bar pass is certainly a contender, as is the unclassified road winding through the vast Kielder Forest, far from civilisation. But we think the prize has to go to the Union Chain Bridge, which celebrates 200 years of linking the Scottish and English banks of the wide River Tweed in July 2020. The architect was Samuel Brown, who designed what was then the world's longest wrought iron suspension bridge. Isambard Kingdom Brunel was one of a succession of engineers who later visited the site as inspiration for their own projects. It's testament to the quality of construction that the bridge remains open to (most) traffic despite the ravages of time and severe floods; amazingly, river levels have occasionally been documented to reach as high as the roadway. Parking is at either end - you're not allowed to stop on the bridge, cars must cross one at a time, and there's a strict weight limit.

[View across the bridge towards Scotland]

Location & info

📌 Union Chain Bridge ★★
On minor road 1 mi north of Horncliffe, G.R.: NT 934510 ///hobby.squaring.restored
Always open (weight restrictions apply) | Free

[River Tweed from the bridge]

[Entering Scotland]

[Entering England]

[View from the English side]

[Anchor on the English side]


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