pulteney bridge

All you need to know about Pulteney Bridge – one of Bath’s most photographed landmarks

29 December 2017

If it’s your first visit to Bath, at the very top of your ‘must-see’ list will be the remarkable Pulteney Bridge. This local landmark is one of the most photographed sites in the whole of the city, but why do thousands flock to see it every year?

Let’s take a look at the history of Pulteney Bridge in Bath and what to look out for when you visit…

The history of the bridge

Built in 1769 and fully completed in 1774, the bridge was designed by the Scottish neoclassical architect Robert Adam with the intention of connecting Bath with Bathwick, a newly formed Georgian town. It cost around £10,000 to build, which in today’s money would be the equivalent of several million pounds. It is now a Grade 1 listed building, and also has a reputation for being one of the most romantic bridges in the world.

The Palladian style

What makes the bridge so unique is the shops and restaurants that run across and are built into it, but the reason it is one of the most photographed landmark in Bath is its breathtaking Palladian style.  Built in limestone, the classical southern façade features a focal point of a central Palladian window in a temple-like central bay, sitting over three sweeping arches.

Fascinating facts about Pulteney Bridge:

  • Along with Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Pulteney Bridge is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful bridges in the world.
  • It is only one of four bridges in the world to have shops spreading across both sides and spanning the whole length of the bridge.
  • Pulteney Bridge starred in one of the biggest films of 2013, Les Misérables. The memorable scene where Russell Crowe’s policeman Javert falls from a bridge was filmed at Pulteney.  

Visiting the bridge

If you plan to visit, the first thing to know is that cars cannot drive over it – and parking at Pulteney Bridge is definitely not permitted. Buses, taxis and cycles can all use the bridge, although it is so close to the centre of the city that it would be no problem to walk there on a fine day.

And a top tip for photographers – one of the best times to capture the bridge in all of its glory is late morning, as it is reportedly in shadow for much of the afternoon.

Want your own very view of Pulteney Bridge?  

Bath Holiday Rentals’ very first property when our business first began was our Argyle Riverview Flat, a unique apartment right at Pulteney Bridge itself. 12 years have passed since then and Bath holidaymakers still absolutely love it.

From the Georgian windows of this generous 2 bed, 2 bath apartment, you can look right out over the expanse of the River Avon and the majestic Pulteney Bridge. Those staying at Argyle Riverview don’t have to join the throngs of tourists visiting the bridge – they can drink in every last detail while sipping a coffee in the comfort of their ‘home from home’.