Bridges in the Lake District

I like characterful old bridges, especially the ones that seem to meld into landscapes and look like they have been part of the environment for just about forever. I like the period charm of such bridges. They don’t need to be grand nor pretty, but they do need to look like they belong just exactly where they stand.

One of the most photographed bridges in the Lake District is Ashness Bridge. The position of this tiny old packhorse bridge, surrounded as it is by a backdrop of valleys and high fells makes it a wonderful focal point for the avid photographer.

ashness bridge

‘Looking over Ashness Bridge to Derwent Water and Skiddaw’ by Ben Barden.

Another bridge that comes to mind is the one at Aira Force. Here, one can peer down over it onto the cascading waters of Aira Force.

aira force

The main bridge at Aira Force forms part of this Victorian parkland. Peer over it onto the Force itself.

Here is a rustic looking bridge at High Dam, not far from Blenheim Lodge. It has been simply made, but doesn’t it sit well within its surroundings?

high dam, lake district

Newby Bridge is about 4 miles from Bowness-on-Windermere. Near it, is High Dam at Finsthwaite village, a lovely tarn which one may often enjoy by one’s self unlike some of more populous Lakeland waters, where crowds gather. (Photo courtesy of

At Longsleddale, Sadgill Bridge has enjoyed a long history of service to this farming community. A petition for building a bridge to cross the River Sprint, was made as early as 1717, when this rivulet used to significantly flood its banks.

Sadgill Bridge over the River Sprint, Longsleddale. (Photo by Ben Barden.)

Sadgill Bridge over the River Sprint, Longsleddale. (Photo by Ben Barden.)

There are lots of bridges little and large in the Lake District. Many of them are centuries old, and look capable to remaining in situ for many more years to come. They have served Lakeland locals and visitors well over time, and look just the part for this basically rural area.

For visitors who wish to enjoy Lakeland’s scenery, Lakeland’s bridges form an integral part of its economic and environmental heritage. If you are thinking of a little getaway, why not escape for a few days or more to this most beautiful part of England, and look out for bridges such as these which encapsulate certain episodes of history and enhance the landscape they grace? It makes touring the Lakes all the more interesting!

duddon valley, lake district

One of the quieter areas of the Lake District is the Duddon Valley. Here you can see Cockley Beck Bridge over the River Duddon in the far ground. (Photo by Dave Willis.)

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