Bridge of Avon near Ballindalloch
This old bridge, sometimes called Bridge-end, Old Bridge of Avon and Ballindalloch Bridge, used to be the main historic crossing of the River Avon (pronounced 'awn' in Gaelic) until it was bypassed in 1991 by the new bridge that is in use today.
On my way to Fife on the bike, I stopped by the bridge and was impressed by it. I've passed it many times but always in a hurry!
Who designed the Bridge of Avon?
It was designed by architect George Burn, and construction began in 1800. The bridge has two spans, one larger single span which used to arch over the river until the course of the river changed and now flows under the north bank arch too. The bridge is constructed from rubble sitting on stone abutments on either side of the river.
There are two plaques. The upper plaque reads: "Built by General Grant of Ballindalloch 1800. G. Burn Arct.". The remaining plaque on the south side of the bridge shows the level of the river during the 1829 flood known as the Muckle Spate, when the waters rose by 7 metres (22 feet).
The gatehouse at Avon Bridge
At the north east end of the bridge, a fairy-tale-like gatehouse stands by the entrance to the castle grounds. The Baronial-style gatehouse is a 3-storeyed building with a conical tower at the SW corner. The gatehouse and arch were designed by architect Thomas Mackenzie. Above the arch, the Macpherson-Grant coat of arms and the family motto can be seen: Touch not the cat bot a glove.
Location of Old Bridge of Avon
The bridge is approximately one mile SW of Ballindalloch and half of one mile to the SE of Ballindalloch Castle in the county of Moray, Scotland.
Access to the bridge and gatehouse is easy via a slip road from the A95, almost opposite the Ballindalloch post office and fuel station, and there is space to park several cars next to the gatehouse.
The bridge is worth a walk across, with great views up and down the river.
In 1972 Bridge of Avon was designated a Category A listed building.
Today the bridge is only used by walkers.
What else is near to Bridge of Avon?
Ballindalloch Castle itself is well worth a visit and is a short distance from the bridge; however, you would have to enter via the entrance further north on the A95 and not via the arch next to the gatehouse. The castle has fantastic gardens, a playground and a nice little teashop and gifts store.
There are two bronze-age stone circles a few hundred metres to the west of the bridge. See my article here on the Lagmore Stone Circles to find out more.
Cragganmore Distillery & Visitor Centre lies to the west, one of the smaller distilleries in Speyside; they create one of the most complex single malts.
To the south lies the ruin of Drumin Castle built sometime in the 1300s and once owned by Alexander Stewart - the "Wolf of Badenoch".
There is also an excellent hotel/restaurant south of the bridge called "The Delnashaugh Hotel", great for a stay while exploring the countryside from Ballindalloch to Tomintoul.
Avon Bridge Video
Here is a short video clip from my visit to the Bridge of Avon.
FAQs on the Bridge of Avon
Here are a few frequently asked questions about the Bridge of Avon.
Do cars still cross the Bridge of Avon today?
No, the bridge is no longer in use for vehicles; the bridge remains a picturesque reminder of the past.
Is it possible to walk across the Bridge of Avon?
Yes, the bridge is fully accessible to walkers, and a stair will take you up to the new bridge at the far side of the river.
Can you cycle across the Bridge of Avon?
You can take a detour down to the Bridge of Avon from the A95, but you will have to carry your bike up some steps to rejoin the A95.
Can you access Ballindalloch Castle from the Bridge of Avon?
You can, but you should go to the main Ballindalloch Castle entrance further north on the A95. A paid ticket is required to access the castle and gardens, so entering via the gatehouse may be deemed a bit naughty!
Can you access the Bridge of Avon from Ballindalloch Castle?
Yes, you can walk from Ballindalloch Castle to the Bridge of Avon and provided the gatehouse is open, you can access the bridge. It's a fairly long walk to reach the bridge - about 20-30 minutes.
Key information on the Bridge of Avon
The Bridge of Avon was built-in 1800.
Designed by architect George Burn.
Comprised of two spans over River Avon.
It was once the main road bridge on the A95 but was bypassed in 1991 with a modern two-way bridge.
A lovely place to stop and have a picnic, although there are no picnic tables.
The nearby gatehouse is also a fantastic building.
The A95 is a fairly winding road, and if a stop is needed, this is a nice place to do so. Ideal for a quick picnic or a stretch of the legs at a pretty heritage site off the busy main road.
Please see my other articles on bridges and viaducts in Scotland, including Spey Viaduct and Culloden Viaduct.
Drone photography in this article is by John Luckwell.
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