9 of the prettiest bridges worldwide

9 of the prettiest bridges worldwide

The right bridge can ooze romance, atmosphere and stunning views. Alexandra Gregg has picked 9 of the prettiest overpasses on the planet

Bixby Creek Bridge, California, USA

This landmark overpass is an icon of the USA's beloved Pacific Coast Highway. Located 190km south of San Francisco, it's also one of the tallest single-span concrete bridges in the world. Bixby Creek is more than just your average bridge though; its curves are unique and beautiful, without detracting from the incredibly romantic, surf-sculpted surroundings.

Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

Romantic poet Lord Byron once said that if a couple were to kiss under the Bridge of Sighs on a gondola at sunset, they would enjoy eternal love. Stretching high above the Rio di Palazzo, with angelic faces sculpted into the limestone, you can see why the wordsmith was so inspired by this particular passage.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York, USA

First opened in 1883, Brooklyn Bridge certainly isn't the oldest or most unique bridge. That said, it does have one trump card: location. You can walk, cycle or drive across this 1,825m-long structure, all the while taking in panoramic views of New York City. You can even hang a lovelock here as you gaze out across the East River and the Big Apple's skyscraper-lined horizon.

Chengyang Wind-Rain Bridge, China

Legend has it that this pavilion-style bridge represents a powerful, iridescent dragon, wrapping itself around the local village to ensure a bountiful harvest. The story goes that the dragon was inspired to help the villagers when a newlywed couple were almost separated by a gust of wind (and an evil crab demon!) as they crossed the bridge. Suffice to say, this shelter has witnessed hundreds of romantic love stories since it was built in 1912, and no doubt will continue to do so for years to come…

Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland

Perhaps most famous for its appearance in the Harry Potter movies, the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct overlooks the wild West Highlands as well as the enigmatic Loch Shiel. The fourth largest loch in the country, this immense lake stretches 32km south-west, flanked by towering peaks and dotted with uninhabited isles - perfect spots for a touch of romance.

Khaju Bridge, Iran

The Khaju Bridge is Persian architecture at its best. First constructed in the 15th century it was once decorated with artistic artwork and paintings, some of which can still be seen today. But it's even better experienced under the cover of darkness: at night, its 24 arches are illuminated, the light delicately bouncing off the water below.

Kintaikyo Bridge, Japan

Kintaikyo is a bit greedy. It's not just one bridge, but five huge wooden arches stitched together by mammoth stone piers. It's extremely beautiful too, mirrored in the tranquil Nishiki River below. Visit this pretty overpass in spring and you'll see it at its most picturesque, bordered by overhanging cherry blossom branches in full candy-coloured bloom.

Pont du Gard, France

Forget the double-decker London bus: France's Pont du Gard brings you the triple-decker bridge! This 30m three-tiered structure is an ancient Roman aqueduct, but is more than just an impressive and confounding piece of ancient engineering - it's a great aesthetic achievement too. Think graceful arches, intricate stonework and a postcard-perfect location atop the Gardon River.

Tower Bridge, London, UK

With its looming duo of towers, Tower Bridge doesn't naturally spring to mind when contemplating traditionally pretty sights. But, along with Big Ben, it's one of London's iconic landmarks - the epitome of the city - and we reckon it deserves a mention. After all, there are few better places to get down on one knee and propose than on London's most famous bridge.

For an even more magical experience, try the bridge's new glass walkway, sitting 42 metres above the River Thames and the bustling London traffic below.

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Image: Dreamstime

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