One of the most famous bridges in the world, Swilcan Bridge is the iconic stone bridge on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Sometimes spelled Swilken, it is a packhorse bridge that was once used by pack animals to travel between the town market and the harbor. Not all that common in Scotland, the bridge is just 30 feet long, eight feet wide and six feet tall and is likely about 700 years old, although no one really knows for sure. It was called the Golfer’s Bridge as early as 1810 and the first hole on the course was known as the Bridge Hole until the 20th century.
Spanning one of the most famous water hazards in golf, the bridge has become a cultural icon and it is the rare visitor who leaves St. Andrews without snapping a photo on it.
If you aren’t playing a round of golf at the Old Course, the best way to see the Swilcan Bridge is by booking a guided tour of the course. A full day tour from Edinburgh is also great way to combine a visit to St. Andrews with the surrounding area. Traveling independently, you can take the train from Edinburgh to Leuchars and, from there catch a bus or taxi to St. Andrews.