Well, folks, let me tell you about a hidden gem that has stolen my heart during my campervan travels across the UK and Europe. This time, it’s all about Kylesku Bridge, nestled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. As a travel expert living in a campervan, I’ve got the inside scoop on making the most of your time at this architectural marvel.
What Is Kylesku bridge?
Kylesku Bridge, completed in 1984, connects the remote communities of Kylesku and Unapool in the northwest Highlands. With its graceful curve and dramatic concrete structure, this bridge is a sight to behold. It has three spans and a staggering 275 meters across Loch a’ Chàirn Bhàin, boasting stunning views of the surrounding mountains and waterways.
It is one of the most photographed bridges in the north of Scotland and with good reason, the bridge is very impressive but the surrounding scenery is spectacular.
The bridge was designed to withstand high winds, heavy ice loads and severe sea conditions. It is well known for its graceful arch design, which complements the wild beauty of the islands and surrounding landscape.
The bridge was designed to withstand high winds, heavy ice loads and severe sea conditions. It is well known for its graceful arch design, which complements the wild beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Delving into Kylesku Bridge’s History
Believe it or not, Kylesku Bridge has a fascinating backstory. Before the bridge’s construction, the only way to cross the loch was by ferry. The idea of building a bridge was first proposed in the 1930s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that the project finally came to fruition. The bridge’s unique design allows ships to pass beneath it while maintaining its visually striking appearance.
When was Kylesku Bridge opened?
The Kylesku Bridge was opened on 8 August 1984 by the queen after 2 years of construction costing £4 million. The bridge was constructed as planned in 1987 when many residents were unhappy with the poor state of Lairg’s roads; this led to Lairg being known as “Lairgh oot o’ Sprott” or “Lairgh out o’ Spots”.
Kylesku Bridge has become an iconic landmark in Scotland and a popular tourist attraction. In addition to providing a convenient route across Loch Glencoul, it has also been used as the location for a filming location for numerous movies and TV shows.
What films and TV shows has the Kylesku Bridge featured in?
The bridge has been featured in Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and many other films. The bridge has appeared in many car TV adverts and also has appeared in TV programmes such as Top Gear.
Where Is Kylesku bridge Located?
The Kylesku bridge is located in the village of Kylestrome in North West Scotland. It crosses the Kyle of Tongue River and connects Kyleakin with Tongue. The bridge is 79 metres high and spans 276m.
Is there parking at Kylesku Bridge?
There are car parks at either end of the bridge deck. We parked in the North car park which has a higher viewpoint of the bridge deck.
This car park had a food van serving fish and chips when we were there last summer, which seemed quite a popular spot for people stopping to take photos and admire the bridge and the beautiful surrounding scenery.
How To Get to Kylesku bridge?
There are two lanes for traffic on each side of the main span of the bridge, which can carry around 4 vehicles per minute in both directions. The Kylesku Bridge provides a much-needed connection between two parts of the region which had been previously separated by a single track road.
When is the Best Time of Year to Visit the Kylesku bridge?
The Kylesku Bridge can be visited at any point of the year but you may want to visit on a clear day to get the best views of the bridge and also the absolutely stunning wider scenery.
If the weather is bad, it can also be a very windy spot which is something to be mindful of when you are parking in the car park. Especially if like us, you are there in a campervan or motorhome, then you will know that wind is the enemy!
What is the best way to photograph Kylesku Bridge?
For stunning photos of Kylesku Bridge, try capturing it from the laybys or viewpoints along the A894 road. Early morning and late afternoon light can create dramatic effects on the bridge and surrounding landscape.
Can I walk or cycle across Kylesku Bridge?
Yes, Kylesku Bridge has a footpath and is suitable for both walking and cycling. Enjoy the breathtaking views as you make your way across on foot or by bike
Are there any restaurants or cafes near Kylesku Bridge?
Yes, you’ll find a few local establishments near the bridge, including the Kylesku Hotel, which offers a restaurant and bar with stunning loch views.
Do You Have to Hike to Reach Kylesku bridge?
There would be many hikes in the surrounding area that you could do to see the bridge but it is generally a bridge that you would drive over to see.
Is Kylesku Bridge free to cross?
Yes, there is no toll to cross Kylesku Bridge. Enjoy the views and take your time as you traverse this remarkable structure.
Can I park my campervan near Kylesku Bridge?
You’ll find laybys and parking areas near the bridge, where you can safely park your campervan and take in the scenery.
How To Incorporate Kylesku bridge into Your North Coast 500 Route?
The Kylesku Bridge is one of the landmarks on the NC500 route so it is very easy to incorporate in as you will have to drive over it anyway!
If you’re planning your own Scotland road trip, and you’d like to find out more, we have a whole bunch of blog posts all about Scotland which you can check out here – Scotland – Three As A Bird – Van Life Travels
So there you have it, fellow campervan adventurers: Kylesku Bridge and its enchanting surroundings await you.
With its rich history, breathtaking views, and ample opportunities for exploration, it’s the perfect destination for a truly memorable Highland experience.
Pack your campervan, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey across the spectacular Scottish Highlands. And remember, as you traverse the Kylesku Bridge, take a moment to soak in the awe-inspiring scenery and appreciate the marvel of engineering that connects these remote communities.
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I have always wanted to travel and luckily I always got to travel to some amazing countries while I was growing up with my family and this really encouraged me to continue this and get out into the world on my own when I was older.
My goal growing up was really to see as much of the world as I could, but then I started going to work and really concentrating on my career and travel took a back seat. I still tried to get away a few times a year but I always knew there was an end goal which was to travel as much as possible.
So I got my head down and worked as hard as I could as an e-commerce manager. I have always been techy, I love computers and websites, so that’s where it gave me the idea to start this blog and also have my own web design agency. If you want to check it out or need any help then please take a look rrwebdesign.co.uk (shameless plug there)
But after covid, we both knew this was now the right time to take the leap and go and see the world after being trapped inside our house and working from home for a couple of years. We realised more than ever that you only get one life and you really need to make the most of it and do what you love!