Fancy checking out a few of the most famous bridges in England? From London’s iconic bridges to the North’s record-breaking feats of engineering, England’s best bridges shed light on the nation’s history, culture and ingenuity.
Whether you want to soak up views of scenic rivers surrounded by sprawling country vistas or take a trip back in time to the Industrial Revolution, one of the best bridges in England has you covered.
On top of being impressive sights that offer even more impressive views, many of England’s bridges represent milestones in the nation’s history.
For example, Telford’s Ironbridge became the world’s first iron cast bridge when it opened over two centuries ago. There’s also the Humber Bridge, which became the world’s longest suspension bridge when it was constructed in 1981.
So, where are the most iconic bridges in England? Here’s everything you need to know about the most fascinating ones.
Best Bridges in England
From London’s iconic Tower Bridge to the record-breaking Humber Bridge, here’s our selection of the most interesting bridges in England.
1. Tower Bridge, London
Kicking off our list of the best bridges in England is London’s Tower Bridge, which is one of the most famous bridges in the world.
Tower Bridge has been one of the most iconic landmarks in London since its construction in 1894. Back then, this bridge was considered a feat of engineering, being one of the world’s largest bascule (moveable bridges).
The bridge’s elegant towers rise 213 feet into the air, making them a dominant feature of London’s skyline. You’ll get the best view of these towers by either driving or walking across the bridge.
You can make your visit to Tower Bridge extra special by purchasing tickets to the Victorian engine rooms and high-level walkways – the view of the Thames backdropped by London’s cityscape is incredible.
2. Westminster Bridge, London
While we’re on the subject of London, we need to give a quick shout out to Westminster Bridge, which connects the City of Westminster to the borough of Lambeth.
Though perhaps not quite as striking as Tower Bridge, Westminster Bridge’s Gothic design is still a head-turner. But the best thing about this famous bridge in London is the views it offers of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben – both must-visit landmarks on a day out in London.
If you’re visiting the Great British Capital for a spot of sightseeing, you might want to read about some of London’s best viewpoints. Taking in the cityscape is one of the best free things to do in London.
3. Severn Bridge, Gloucestershire
Spanning a distance of just under a kilometre, the Severn Bridge connects South Gloucestershire in England to Monmouthshire in Wales.
When it opened in 1966, this motorway suspension bridge became one of the world’s first bridges to feature the distinctive box design, with very little decoration. Since being unveiled to the world, the minimalist Severn Bridge has inspired the designs of bridges such as Hull’s Humber Bridge and Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge.
The Servern Bridge crosses the rivers Severn and Wye, two of the most interesting rivers in England for those who love a stroll along the banks in the country.
While you’re in the area, you might want to check out a few more of the best things to do in Gloucestershire.
4. Infinity Bridge, County Durham
If you want to see one of the most striking bridges in England, head over to County Durham to walk or cycle across the Infinity Bridge, whose design resembles the infinity symbol (the figure 8 on its side).
The sweeping arches of the Infinity Bridge give the appearance of a skimming stone hopping across the surface of the water. Some nights, the bridge is illuminated by blue and white LEDs, which makes for a pretty relfection on the River Tees.
The Infinity Bridge connects the University of Durham’s Queen’s Campus to the Teesdale Business Park. As it’s for pedestrians and cyclists only, you don’t need to worry about dodging vehicles.
5. The Bridge of Sighs, Cambridgeshire
The Bridge of Sighs is famous for being the only covered bridge that crosses the River Cam. This bridge may be small, but it’s bursting with character.
The Bridge of Sighs was built in the Gothic style nearly two centuries ago, and its design takes inspiration from the Ponte dei Sospiri Bridge in Venice.
It was originally built to connect Cambridge University’s New Court to St John’s College’s Third Court. Thanks to its good looks, it’s now a popular tourist attraction – certainly not one to miss on a day out in Cambridgeshire.
6. The Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire
The Grade II listed Ribblehead Viaduct may not technically be a bridge, but its awe-inspiring design and stunning surrounds make it deserving of a position on our list of the best bridges in England.
This historic viaduct passes through the Ribble Valley, which is a beautiful expanse of unspoiled nature in North Yorkshire. The bridge spans a length of about 400 metres and stands out due its 24 distinctive stone arches.
7. Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol
One of the most widely recognised landmarks in Bristol, the Clifton Suspension Bridge spans the Avon Gorge in Bristol, which is flanked by scenic woodlands on either side.
The bridge opened in 1864 and took 33 years to construct. It was designed by the ingenious architect Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who tragically passed away before his brainchild came to fruition.
While it was originally built to accommodate horse-drawn carts, it today carries around 9,000 vehicles per day.
After taking in the views from the Clifton Suspension Bridge, you might want to visit attractions such as the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and the Science Museum on your day out in Bristol.
8. Ironbridge, Staffordshire
A symbol of the Industrial Revolution, Ironbridge is the only UNESCO-listed bridge in England (Scotland’s Forth Bridge is another UNESCO-listed bridge in the UK).
In 1779, Ironbridge became the world’s first bridge to be constructed from cast iron. On top of being a marvel of engineering, the bridge offers sprawling views across the River Severn. You’ll find more historical structures by crossing the bridge into Telford, such as Lilleshall Abbey and the Telford Steam Railway.
If you fancy doing something a little different while you’re here, you might want to try paddle boarding. Ironbridge is one of the best paddle boarding spots in the West Midlands.
Interested in seeing more of the nation’s symbolic cultural and historical landmarks? Read about England’s great UNESCO sites.
9. Pulteney Bridge, Somerset
If you want to see one of the most unique bridges in England, you should embark on a day out in Bath to discover the Pulteney Bridge, which is one of just a few bridges in the world to have shops on both sides across its full span.
This Grade I listed bridge was constructed in 1774 in the Palladian style, making it a stand-out feature of Bath’s distinctive Georgian cityscape.
Thanks to its central location, Pulteney Bridge offers sublime views of the River Avon and the architecture of Bath.
After spending the day in Bath, see what else there is to do while exploring Somerset.
10. Humber Bridge, East Yorkshire
The Humber Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in England thanks to being the world’s longest bridge that can be cycled or walked over. You might recognise it from the James Bond film, “The World is Not Enough”.
Situated in Hull, the Humber Bridge crosses the Humber Estuary and spans a distance of 2,200 metres. After opening in 1981, it remained the world’s longest suspension bridge for 16 years.
On top of everything, the Humber Bridge in England is an excellent spot for wildlife watching. The Humber Estuary is an important habitat for many species of birds, including wading birds, wildfowl and seabirds. It’s also home to several rare and endangered species, such as the short-snouted seahorse.
Looking for more things to do in the area? Find out about the best days out in East Yorkshire.
Any of England’s best bridges in your area?
Bridges are a true symbol of human ingenuity and evolution. If you want to visit historic structures that reflect the engineering skills and designs of some of the nation’s most brilliant minds, you simply need to pay a visit to the best bridges in England.
Looking for more amazing bridges in the UK? We suggest checking out the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wales, the UNESCO-listed Forth Bridge in Scotland and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in Northern Ireland.
Have we missed any bridges in England that you think deserve a mention? Let us know in the comments below.
Quick list of the best bridges in England
- Tower Bridge, London
- Westminster Bridge, London
- Severn Bridge, Gloucestershire
- Infinity Bridge, County Durham
- The Bridge of Sighs, Cambridgeshire
- The Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire
- Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol
- Ironbridge, Staffordshire
- Pulteney Bridge, Somerset
- Humber Bridge, East Yorkshire