Today I am hoping to get a short day out on a Corbett near Garva Bridge. The Corbetts are the mountains in Scotland between 2500 and 3000 feet high, with at least 500 feet of descent on all sides. Meall na h-Aisre is a fairly featureless plateau in the Monadhliath. The main attraction is the solitude and emptiness that this area offers just what I need just now. I could do with a wander nothing to hard but just to help clear the head as I have not been out for a while after all the travelling. It will be a bit of a drive past Aviemore and then down the A9 to Newtonmore and then on to Laggan and Garva Bridge.
Garva Bridge – This historic bridge across the River Spey was built by General Wade in 1731 to carry the new Military Road from Dalwhinnie to Fort Augustus. Consisting of two spans in a style that could almost be described as ‘typical Wade’, this narrow stone arch bridge stretches for 180′ across the River Spey. Each arch is a 45′ span, with a very wide central cutwater sitting on the rocks in the river. Unlike the humpbacked style of Wade’s single arch bridges that abound on his roads, Garva Bridge has a fairly level roadway between the two arches.
Despite the massive buttressing that Wade provided, the bridge has still struggled to stand the test of time, with iron straps on both arches which are believed to have first been installed in the 19th Century. Whilst the bridge is now universally known as Garva Bridge, it appears that Wade originally christened the structure St Georges Bridge. It is perhaps understandable while the name didn’t stick, as the patron saint of England had no place in the heart of the Scottish Highlands amidst the turmoil of the Jacobite era!
The forecast looks good so I am away early.