We enjoyed a lovely afternoon in this beautiful part of North Northumberland combining a walk over the Union Chain Bridge with a visit to the nearby Chain Bridge Honey Farm.
The Union Chain Bridge is a grade l listed building, scheduled as an ancient monument. It is a working bridge spanning the beautiful river Tweed (famous for its Salmon Fishing). The bridge links England and Scotland from the tiny village of Horncliffe in England to the Scots village of Fishwick
. The Union Chain Bridge was designed by Captain Samuel Brown and cost £7,500 to build. When it opened in 1820 it was the longest wrought iron suspension bridge in the world (137 metres)
Until this year, vehicular access to the bridge had been prevented for some time due to a landslip. With the landslip finally repaired, light vehicular access is restored (there are weight limits which are clearly displayed at the approach). Cyclists are welcome – the bridge is on the Pennine Cycleway. River boat trips from Berwick Upon Tweed, up the River Tweed to the Stately Home of Paxton House take you under this magnificent bridge, however, the best experience is to walk over it!!!
We walked over the bridge from England to Scotland to take in the tremendous view up river and of the surrounding countryside, taking in the tranquil atmosphere. In just a few minutes we saw a wealth of birds and animals along the river side, only visible from the bridge.
Recently the future of the bridge was discussed at Scottish Borders Council with a figure of 4.7 million quoted for its refurbishment. Its future could be uncertain, although at the moment it saves an 11 mile detour around the Berwick Upon Tweed area for local residents,not to mention its value as a visitor attraction.
Once a toll bridge, access is now free. Nearby is The Chain Bridge Honey Farm which provides huge amounts of information on bees, honey, local history, has an unusual café serving delicious local produce and an interesting shop. It was to the Honey farm we ventured next. For those wanting further information on the Honey Farm I have written a separate review – The Chain Bridge Honey Farm.