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Review: Union Chain Bridge

Attraction - Others

Scottish Borders, United Kingdom

Small but majestic

  • By SilverTraveller DRSask

    399 reviews

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  • May 2017
  • Adult family

45 people found this review helpful

On a recent visit to the Borders we stayed near the Union Chain Bridge 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 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 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.

45 people found this review helpful

This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 4 Comment(s)

  • DRSask
    about 3 years ago
    It makes for a good day trip between Paxton House, the Chain Bridge and the Honey Farm.
  • baconbap
    about 3 years ago
    That's really interesting. never heard of it, despite frequent visits to my grandparents in the borders
  • ESW
    about 3 years ago
    I'm glad you enjoyed this - it deserves more publicity.
  • discerning-traveller
    about 3 years ago
    What a fabulous bridge. I did a tour of the Higlands last year but missed this