Union Chain Bridge

333 Reviews

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Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

May, 2017

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Travelled with

Adult family

Reasons for trip

On a recent visit to the Borders we stayed near the “Union Chain Bridge”:http://www.unionbridgefriends.com/ so it would have been remiss not to visit. The bridge joins England and Scotland. There is limited parking on the road by the bridge so for safer parking I suggest parking at the “Chain Bridge Honey Farm”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review?id=176104 and walking five minutes to the bridge as we did. However, if you have mobility issues, drive down to the bridge as there are steps if you walk from the Honey Farm.

From the bridge we could see the roof of “Paxton House”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/attraction/176076 which we had just visited. We could also see the tops of the event tents that were set up in the grounds for the Borders Bash Scooter Rally that weekend. Across the bridge there was a sign post directing us to a path to Paxton House one mile away along the river but there were no takers in our party! Alternatively you could park at Paxton House and include a walk to the bridge as part of your day out.

The bridge, designed by Captain Samuel Brown, was built in 1820 and crosses the River Tweed joining Horncliffe, Northumberland, England and Fishwick, Borders, Scotland. Although it doesn’t seem like a long crossing now (449 feet), when it was built it was the longest iron suspension bridge in the world. Nowadays it is the oldest suspension bridge in Britain still carrying traffic, though it is restricted to 2 tonnes.
According to the latest newsletter from the Friends of the Union Chain Bridge, Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council are working on a proposal for Heritage Lottery Funding to restore the bridge in time for its Bicentineary in 2020. I saw a BBC report last week stating that Scottish Borders Council increased its financial support from £500,000 to £1M. Hopefully this majestic old bridge will soon be restored for more traffic.

Denise Bridge

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