Bridge to Nowhere

New Tolsta, Tolsta, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, HS2 0NF

Type:Historic Sites

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Bridge to Nowhere, Tolsta

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Image: @Strathspeyloon57.19.0   

The Bridge to Nowhere can be found at the very end of the road on the northeast side of Lewis beyond the village of Tolsta. The bridge was named the Bridge to Nowhere as there is no road beyond this point and was built as part of an ambitious plan by Lord Leverhulme in the early 20th Century, to have a road from Tolsta to Ness, but the plan never came to fruition.  

Lord Leverhulme had established the very successful soap manufacturing company, Lever Brothers and bought the Isle of Lewis in 1918. He lived in the Lews Castle and later bought Harris. His intention was to revolutionise the lives of the population of these islands.

His plans included industrialisation of the island resources including fish, seaweed, peat, and unproductive land. Lewis would grow to become an island of up to 200,000 people and major infrastructure was to be built to support the industry which included a railway.

However, conflict arose when servicemen returned from the Great War to discover a new landlord who wanted to them to be tenured wage-earners and not independent crofters and fishermen. The government had promised land to returning war veterans and they fought back against Leverhulme's land re-settlement plans which caused a disgruntled Leverhulme to abandon his plans.

Today there is a waymarked walking route from the bridge to Skigersta in Ness. It’s around 11 miles and although a tough walk, you are rewarded with breath-taking scenery.

The Bridge to Nowhere is also a location on our Peter May Trail and the bridge is featured in The Chessmen book. 

Check out the East Coast of Lewis Audio Tour.

Map & Directions


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