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The Complete Guide To Kylesku Bridge

The Complete Guide To Kylesku Bridge

The NC500 (North Coast 500) is a devastatingly scenic drive featuring natural attraction after natural attraction. But, every so often, something a little different pops up. And, in this case, it’s the wonderful, sweeping curved structure of Kylesku Bridge. Located in Kylestrome and passed along during the famous Scottish road trip, it’s become quite a popular attraction. Viewing Kylesku Bridge has been made pretty straightforward with the additional construction of two viewing car parks and even a hotel. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about visiting one of the best bridges in Scotland.

Read 25 Epic Beaches To Visit On The NC500 and Complete Guide to Hikes Along the NC500 guides.

About Kylesku Bridge

Kylesku Bridge, known officially now as the Gaelic ‘Drochaid a’ Chaolais Chumhaing’ is a beautiful curved bridge in the Scottish Highlands, often crossed as part of the NC500 road trip. Kylesku Bridge was designed to sympathetically blend into the beautiful Scottish Highlands it sits within. And, it does just that. Even the north and south entrances to the bridge were carefully chosen in order to reduce the impact on the surrounding land. And now today, Kylesku Bridge is quite the attraction in its own right in a landscape of some pretty exceptional sights.

FYI, the correct pronunciation of Kylesku is ”kai-leh-skyoo”.

Aerial shot of Kylesku one of the best bridges in Scotland

When Was Kylesku Bridge Built?

Construction of Kylesku Bridge first began in August 1982 and was completed and opened to traffic by July 1984. Queen Elizabeth II officially opened Kylesku Bridge in August 1984. It cost £4 million to build.

Where Is Kylesku Bridge?

Kylesku Bridge sits in the Sutherland region of the northwest Highlands of Scotland. The bridge crosses Loch a’ Chàirn Bhàin, replacing the old Kylesku Ferry, which linked Kylestrome to Kylesku. Because of its location, Kylesku Bridge is passed over by thousands of visitors each year on the A894 road of the NC500. So, to make viewing this incredible structure nice and easy, you’ll find two car parks and viewpoints to pull into to enjoy the splendid Kylesku Bridge.

Feel free to click on the interactive Google Map below to check out the location of Kylesku Bridge.

Kylesku Bridge map
Kylesku Bridge map

Kylesku Bridge Viewpoint Parking

At either the end of Kylesku Bridge is a car park. Depending on whether you’re driving the NC500 in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, you’ll either arrive via Kylesku or Kylestrome. Below, we’ll describe the views from both Kylesku Bridge car parks. But, to be honest, we recommend pulling in at both.

Kylesku Bridge North Car Park

The Kylesku Bridge North Car Park lies a little south of Kylestrome and has possibly better views of the whole bridge. It sits at a slightly higher elevation than the south car park, and the views of the wider area are quite exceptional, especially those across the loch and towards Quinag. There are a couple of unofficial trails that descend over the lip of the car park, leading down to the loch edge. You know, just to try and find the best views. The north car park also has a plaque to commemorate the opening of the bridge by the Queen.

There’s often a food truck parked at the north car park too, so you can enjoy a bite to eat whilst you enjoy the views. Also, from the experience we had, we found the north car park, on the Kylestrome side, to be the busier of the two.

Quinag from the Kylseku Bridge north car park near Kylestrome
Quinag views from the north car park

Kylesku Bridge South Car Park

The Kylesku Bridge South Car Park lies at a lower elevation and provides awesome views of underneath the bridge. It also gives a better perspective of the size of Kylesku Bridge. The south car park is also where you’ll find public toilets for your convenience.

Close to Kylesku Bridge South Car Park is the Kylesku Hotel, which we’ll talk a bit more about below.

Views of Kylesku bridge from the hotel
Kylesku Bridge from the south car park

Photographing Kylesku Bridge

Dan and I were lucky to have our drone with us, which really helped capture some awesome aerial photos of Kylesku Bridge and the surrounding Highland wilderness to its fullest. But, we also made good use of the camera too.

To capture the whole of Kylesku Bridge with a camera, many people choose to climb the small hill behind the north car park to gain some elevation. You’ll see faint trails to follow in the footsteps of others. Basically, it’s fairly easy to explore and hunt out your perfect shot, just be mindful that this is a road, and not all traffic will be slowing to pull into the car parks.

Accommodation Close to Kylesku Bridge

Although Kylesku Bridge is pretty remote, there are a few options when it comes to accommodation and where to stay. Let’s take a look.

Kylesku Bridge Hotel

The Kylesku Hotel in Scotland is the best hotel option in terms of proximity to Kylesku Bridge. The hotel is located a little further down the minor road that the Kylesku Bridge South Car Park is on. The views from Kylesku Hotel are really something, overlooking Loch Glencoul and Loch Gleann Dubh. Although there aren’t direct views of Kylesku Bridge from the hotel, it’s only a short walk to reach the south car park.

In addition to a wonderful night’s accommodation, Kylesku Hotel also offers boat tours on Loch Glencoul and Loch Gleann Dubh. Typically lasting just over an hour, they leave four times a day from 10:30am, 12pm, 2pm & 4pm (commencing in April). The boat tour gives visitors the chance to see some pretty incredible wildlife such as seals, razorbills, cormorants, puffins, sea eagles, and golden eagles. Also, the Kylesku Boat Tour travels to one of the best viewpoints of Britain’s highest waterfall – Eas a’ Chual Aluinn. Warm clothing is advised, whatever time of year you go. For inquiries, click here.

Kylesku Lodge

On the opposite side of the road to the Kylesku Bridge South Car Park is the Kylesku Lodge. The selection of little triangular wooden huts, shaped like mini mountains, all enjoy pristine views of Loch a’ Chàirn Bhàin and surrounding views of Highland peaks. In fact, you’ll spy Quinag on a clear day, which is a wonderful hike in the Kylesku and Kylestrome vicinity.

The huts sleep 2–3 people and a number of them are pet-friendly. Each lodge comes with a small and basic kitchen too. Just like Kylesku Bridge, the lodge huts sit sympathetically in their natural surroundings, with this Scottish wilderness always a favourite spot to spend the night along the NC500.

Kylesku Bridge Wild Camping

It’s possible to wild camp at Kylesku Bridge. Stopping in at both car parks is permitted, and is very straightforward for those with a camper or caravan. Tent pitches can be made, although a little less straightforward. You’ll likely have to hunt a bit for a good spot.

As always, campers need to follow a standard set of guidelines. These rules revolve around respecting the countryside and ultimately staying safe. Tents should also be out of view from the roadside, where possible.

There aren’t a huge amount of official campsites close to Kylesku Bridge. Dan and I stayed at Ardmair Point Holiday Park near Ullapool and can highly recommend it for those wanting a hot shower and electricity. Our tent pitch was great and the facilities top notch. Ardmair Point is around a 40 minute drive away and there’s plenty to stop off at en route. See the following section on ‘Other Things to Do in the Kylestrome Area’.

For a spot of glamping, you can’t go far wrong with a stay at West Coast Hideaways. Units come with a hot tub, so a stay here would be perfect in summer and winter.

one of the best bridges in Scotland near Kylestrome

Other Things to Do in the Kylestrome Area

  • Eas a Chual Aluinn: a hike to Britain’s highest waterfall has to be up there as one of the best things to do in the Kylestrome area. But, as previously mentioned, you can always take a Kylesku Boat Tour to see this huge cascade instead.
  • Ardvreck Castle: one of the most beautiful historic castle ruins in Scotland is located on the banks of nearby Loch Assynt.
  • Wailing Widow Falls: a little south of Kylesku Bridge is one of NC500’s most popular waterfalls. And it’s easy to see why.
  • Quinag: the huge form of Quinag dominates the landscape in this part of Assynt and is easily seen from Kylesku Bridge. It’s certainly an incredible hike to three Corbetts and is a fantastic day hike along the NC500. In fact, views of Kylseku – one of the best bridges in Scotland, can be enjoyed from Quinag.
  • The Bone Caves: a short circular hike to see The Bone Caves is one of the easiest and most history-filled hikes in the area.
Dan hiking Quinag close Kylestrome

Travel Insurance For the NC500

Whether you’re from the UK or further afield, travel insurance is a necessary evil, especially if taking on a road trip like the NC500.

Heymondo is one of the best budget travel insurance providers on the market. They provide comprehensive travel and medical insurance that won’t break the bank. Whether it’s single trip insurance, annual multi-trip insurance or long stay insurance, Heymondo offers affordable travel and medical insurance to suit all of your needs. Personally, we use Heymondo travel insurance and highly recommend it. To find out more about Heymondo travel and medical insurance, read our Heymondo travel insurance review.

Travel Insurance

Heymondo Travel Insurance

Don’t leave for your trip without booking travel insurance. We all know accidents can happen and having Heymondo travel insurance could save you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong. Click the button below to receive a 5% discount!

Travel Essentials For Kylesku Bridge

These are our travel essentials for visiting Kylesku Bridge in Kylestrome – one of the best bridges in Scotland.

Anker Portable Power Bank
Anker Portable Power Bank

Keep your phone, laptop and other accessories charged while you’re on the go with the Anker Portable Power Bank. We wouldn’t travel without this high-quality portable charger.

Sea to Summit DryLite Towel
Sea to Summit DryLite Towel

The Sea to Summit DryLite Towel is the best quick-dry microfibre towel. This compact, lightweight and super-absorbent towel is perfect for travel.

EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter
EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter

Having an EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter is one of the best accessories to travel with, especially if you’re travelling to multiple continents during your trip.

Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise Cancelling Headphones

If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly yet high-quality noise-cancelling headphones for travel, then look no further than the Anker Soundcore Space Q45.

Wise Multi-Currency Card
Wise Multi-Currency Card

We use the Wise Multi-Currency Card to pay online and when we travel abroad. It’s really easy to use and a lot cheaper than using bank cards. To order a free card, click the button below.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite travel gear, camera gear and hiking gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

Bonus Tips

  • If you need a break: on the southern approach to Kylesku Bridge is the Rock Stop Café and Exhibition Centre. Dan and I stopped here for a quick drink and the views from the cafe are outstanding.
  • Ancient broch: in Kylestrome, you’ll find an ancient Scottish broch.
  • Other bridges in Scotland: Scotland has plenty of epic bridges, and one of the most popular is the Glenfinnan Viaduct, also known as the Harry Potter Bridge.
  • If you don’t have your own vehicle to get you to Kylseku Bridge: of course, if you don’t have access to your own set of wheels, then we recommend hiring something.

Car Hire

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

Share this post with your NC500 road trip buddies!

Beck Piggott

With an art and design based background, Beck uses photography and writing to help inspire readers to climb mountains, hike coastal trails and chase waterfalls around the globe.

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