Brig o' Balgownie
Brig O' Balgownie © Gordon Robertson
Built from granite and sandstone, the single-arched Brig o' Balgownie, stretching over the River Don, dates back to the 13th century and was completed in 1320 during the Scottish War of Independence. Although part of the bridge has never changed, it was extensively renovated in the 1600s after it had fallen into disrepair. It is a very picturesque structure and these days its main allure is purely aesthetic, but for five centuries the bridge was strategically vital as the only means of moving large armies quickly along the east coast of the region. It also formed part of an important trade route to the northeast of Scotland.
The bridge stretches for 39 feet (12m) and offers beautiful views of the river. It is only open to pedestrians and bicycles and is popularly used by students as a fun place to jump into the river during the summer months. The area around the Brig o' Balgownie is rather charming, with some quaint cottages, making it a lovely place for a stroll. The modern Bridge of Don is only a 15-minute walk away from the Gothic original, and the lovely Seaton Park is also just a stroll down the path from Brig o' Balgownie. There are plenty of pretty picnic spots located near the bridge or alongside the river, making this a wonderful activity to undertake on a balmy summer's evening or a crisp, wintery afternoon.
Address: River Don, Old Aberdeen