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Have you given much thought to styling your garden? Adding functional and decorative structures such as a gazebo, a garden arch or a garden bridge, gives another layer of visual interest and use to your garden design. Link two close but separate areas of your garden with a bridge; add extra height and interest to a flower bed with one; or use a bridge as it’s originally intended, as a passage across a water feature such as a stream, a pool or a pond. Wherever you place it, a garden bridge is both decorative and functional, adding interest to that part of your garden as well as being an eye-catching structure in its own right.
Our best garden bridges made from wood or metal review looks at garden bridges that are mainly decorative and ornamental, though most can take the weight of an occasional adult of some kids sitting, standing or passing over them. We look at the pros and cons of each bridge, discuss the features and give our recommendation.
Our Buyer’s Guide presents the three most important considerations to keep in mind when deciding which garden bridge to purchase.
Our Best Wooden Garden Bridge is the UK Gardens 4ft Wooden Garden Bridge. This is an ornamental teak stained garden bridge in an Asian style. It looks spectacular above a water feature, perhaps with koi fish, and the grooved treads in the high-arched walkway give anti-slip protection. Overall a great bridge to consider.
Our selection for Best Metal Garden Bridge is the DanDiBo 1.6m Metal Bridge. This bridge has a protective black-brown powder coating that is neutral enough to fit in with any garden design. Its decorative and airy side panels are open enough to encourage climbing plants to grow up, adding to the ornamental feel of the bridge.
Best Wooden Garden Bridge
Best Metal Garden Bridge
Top 5 Best Garden Bridge Reviews
1. UK Gardens 4ft Wooden Garden Bridge
Best Wooden Garden Bridge
The UK Gardens 4ft Wooden Garden Bridge is a polished teak stained garden bridge that looks more elegant than rustic. Those who like to look after the environment will be pleased to know that the wood comes from sustainably managed sources and is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council. Remember to regularly oil or stain the wood for continued protection from all weathers just like most wooden garden furniture sets.
At 4ft (120cm) long, this is a relatively short bridge but has four railing posts on each side – that’s one more on each side that the other bridges in this review. The top of each post are knobs carved in a gently rounded form so your hands fit around them naturally. Two levels of safety railings stop any children from climbing out through the bridge through at 63cm high, the bridge is relatively low to the ground.
The walkway is made of grooved wood slats arranged in groups of five with spaces between them. The grooves provide anti-slip protection which may be needed by those who have trouble walking as the arch of the walkway is rather high. Online reviewers suggest making sure to remove the water that gathers in the grooves after every rainstorm to stop the wood from rotting.
Assembly is easy as the bottom of the bridge comes in one piece. You need just to attach the side railings. However, online users state that they sometimes had to drill extra holes as the pre-drilled holes don’t line up properly, does expand and shrink so probably more to do with this as this is a common problem with wooden furniture too. This is a common complaint from purchasers of any garden bridge kit.
- Asian-style wood bridge is teak stained with a beautiful natural finish to suit any garden style.
- Made in Britain from Forestry Stewardship Council certified wood (unspecified species) to protect the environment.
- Functional bridge over ponds streams and borders or just decorative in a flowerbed.
- Four posts per side with rounded tops for a simple, clean appearance.
- Grooved timber used for deck treads for anti-slip protection.
- Assembly is easy as curved arch section comes in one piece.
- Dimensions: 122cm (length); 50cm (width) and 63cm (height).
- Pre-drilled holes don’t always line up (common complaint).
The UK Gardens 1.2m Wooden Garden Bridge is our selection for Best Wooden Garden Bridge. Its Asian-style suits most garden designs. We like its style and design features, its teak-coloured finish and its ease of assembly. It’s for you if you focus on natural materials in your garden and want an elegantly designed structure. Overall its a good quality product and offers excellent value for money.
2. DanDiBo 1.46m Metal Bridge 111252
Best Metal Garden Bridge
The DanDiBo 1.46m Metal Bridge version 111252 is definitely a decorative garden bridge. It appears to have two style personalities which means that it fits into a wide variety of garden designs. Overall, it’s made of powder-coated metal in a neutral black-brown colour. But the sides and walkway of this bridge look completely different.
The walkway of this DanDiBo bridge is made of slats of metal, spaced fairly wide apart. The underlying crossways support metal struts serve to give a gridded appearance to the structure. The arch of the walkway seems to hang in the air as there isn’t any straight horizontal support, making the bridge appear light and airy.
The sides of the bridge add to this ethereal feel but in a different way. The sides are rectangular and are sited in the middle two thirds of the length of the walkway, leaving the ends of the walkway exposed.
The sides have open scrollwork in them, in an organic style in contrast to the geometric grid of the walkway. The posts at each end of the sides have round tops. The scrollwork is open enough for you to grow climbing plants on it, encouraging them to wind up and through the metal. If you’re a successful gardener, the plants and flowers could end up completely covering the sides of the garden bridge in a mass of colour.
- Metal frame bridge power coated in a black-brown colour for a neutral look.
- Contrast in designs – arched gridded base and rectangular sides with scroll-work – make it a design statement in its own right.
- Scroll-work sides act as trellis to grow climbing plants up and along.
- Dimensions: 145cm (length); 87cm (width) and 80cm (height).
- Handrail not across all the length of bridge.
The DanDiBo 1.46m Metal Bridge is our selection for Best Metal Garden Bridge but you are limited when it comes to garden bridges which are made from metal.
We like its hybrid style, the airiness of its design and its double-duty as a trellis for climbing flowers. If you want a garden bridge that looks fairly delicate and won’t overpower its surroundings, and can act as a support for flowers. This is a great choice and is made from metal so there is less maintenance when compared to wooden bridges which ideally need treating once a year to keep them looking good.
3. Gaspo 1.52m Garden Bridge
The Gaspo 1.52m (5ft) Garden Bridge is a wooden bridge made from solid pine treated for long life and to be resistant to the tough UK weather. This is a sturdy-looking bridge with a distinctive nautical flavour due to the handrails which are made from thick rope. By its very nature, the rope gives little stability as a handrail. The pine seems to have a fairly rough finish which lends to a rustic look to the bridge.
The walkway is formed of wood planks arrange in a slatted manner with a gap between each. This lets any water on their surface run down between them to the ground.
The curve of the walkway is shallow so it’s relatively low to the ground. This bridge is useful if you do want an active passage between two parts of your garden, rather than a purely decorative feature.
The handrail posts are quite short and are notched close to the top to give some visual interest. This is the least high bridge in our review.
Online reviews suggest treating the pine wood before assembling the bridge as the factory treatment doesn’t seem to be enough to fully protect the wood. Its certainly wouldn’t hurt to give it an extra coat of oil or paint.
- Made from treated solid pine in Austria for a weather resistant and sturdy rustic bridge.
- Square posts with a notched top and a rope handrail give this bridge a nautical or rustic appearance.
- The very low arch adds to the ‘walk the plank” feel.
- The deck is made of wooden planks spaced to let any water through.
- Dimensions: 152cm ( height); 67cm (width) and 50cm (height).
- Handrail has no stability – it’s rope.
- Wood may need to be treated before you use it.
The Gaspo 1.52m Garden Bridge is a basic pine garden bridge with a nautical/rustic look. The rope handrail gives it character and the low arch of the walkway makes it suitable in situations where you don’t want the viewpoint to be far above the ground.
If you think a simple wood bridge would complement your garden, this is a solid choice.
4. Wido 1.52m Wooden Garden Bridge
The Wido 1.52m Wooden Garden Bridge is of a similar style and size to the Gaspo Garden bridge. However, it has two levels of gently arched wooded railings for stability and security.
Another difference is that the Gaspo garden bridge is made of solid pine while the wood of this Wido bridge is of an unspecified species, although it is pre-treated to withstand inclement weather.
The walkway is made of slatted wood decking. Although similar to the Gaspo garden bridge, this Wido 1.52m Wooden Garden Bridge was less expensive when we did this roundup.
- Wooden (unspecified species) bridge pre-treated for resisting weather of all kinds and for durability.
- Square posts notched at the top connected by a two level slightly curved handrail give stability to the structure.
- Walkway is made from slatted wood to let water run through but that won’t catch the heels of your shoes.
- Dimensions: 150cm (length); by 64.5 (width) by 51cm (height).
- Wood (unknown species) is soft.
The Wido 1.52m Wooden Garden Bridge is another basic bridge but is made of an unspecified wood. It has gently arched wooden railings and slatted wooden decking.
The tops of the posts are gently shaped but are still rectangular. This could be your choice if you prefer a simply-styled wooded bridge with sturdy handrails.
5. TecTake 1.4m Wooden Garden Bridge Pond Bridge
The TecTake 1.4m Wooden Garden Bridge is another natural pine bridge but it’s slightly smaller than the previous Gaspo pine bridge we reviewed. The TecTake bridge is a light colour that blends into the background of most gardens.
Everything is rectangular in this bridge, except for the knobs at the top of the posts. While still of a geometric form, these have been carved into a many-sided shape. They are easy to grasp while being interesting to look at.
The side rails of this TecTake bridge are straight lengths of pine wood but do provide some security. The rails go almost to the ends of the walkway for the safety of those who use the bridge. The walkway arches gently over streams and ponds as there isn’t any horizontal support for it at the bottom of the bridge structure.
What’s of interest about this garden bridge is that it’s one of the few where the manufacturer gives the maximum weight it can support – that’s 150kg. This is a lot of weight and online reviewers of this bridge suggest that you don’t try this out. They state that the pine used in this structure is maybe a little more flimsy than you might expect. The wood easily cracks and you should consider this to be a purely ornamental garden bridge.
- Natural pine bridge with square posts and rectangular handrails at two levels for safety.
- Maximum load is 150kg so holds the weight of an adult of several kids.
- Light colour blends into any garden landscape to be unobtrusive.
- Wood slats in walkway are slightly separated to allow rain to drain through.
- Dimensions: 140cm (length); 60cm (width) and 59cm (height).
- Walkway slats are a little close together.
The TecTake 1.4m Wooden Garden Bridge Pond Bridge is a short-span pine bridge that’s mainly decorative. While the manufacturer states that it can hold 150kg, users recommend that you don’t put this much weight on the bridge. Its light colour blends into most garden landscapes. Check this bridge out if you want a pine structure that blends into the background. It’s on the lower end of our price range.
6. FoxHunter 1.52m Wooden Bridge
The FoxHunter 1.52m Wooden Bridge is the only garden bridge in our review that’s made of fir. The fir wood is varnished to protect it against bad weather and sunshine, and to improve the length of its service life.
Six rectangular posts hold the double layer handrails that are gently curved for some visual appeal as well as safety. However, the handrail doesn’t stretch the whole length of the bridge; it’s confined to the middle two-thirds of the walkway length. The tops of the posts are carved into an intricate 14-sided geometric shape that is easy to catch hold of if you need to.
As with the TecTake bridge, the FoxHunter manufacturer also claims that up to 150kg of people can use the bridge at the same time. The walkway this time does have a horizontal bracing to support the arch from bowing and bending. Our same warning applies, based on online feedback from some owners of this bridge – don’t put this much weight on the bridge at the same time or, if you do, be very cautious.
- Wooden bridge made of fir varnished for weather-resistance and long life.
- Handrail has six posts with ornately carved tops and extends along the middle two-thirds of the bridge, leaving the side-ends of the bridge open.
- Double safety rails along each side are slightly curved giving a softer appearance.
- Dimensions: 150cm (length); 65cm (width) and 53cm (height).
- Maximum load is 150kg so an adult can walk across the bridge.
The FoxHunter 1.52m Wooden Bridge is a longer wooden bridge made of varnished fir to protect it from climatic elements. The walkway is supported by horizontal elements though the railings only cover part of the deck. This might be the right deck for you if you want a well-supported longer bridge of a natural material.
7. DanDiBo 1.52m Metal Garden Bridge
The DanDiBo 1.52m Metal Garden Bridge is the second metal bridge in this review and is the largest and certainly the most eye-catching bridge in our review. Its antique-green powder coating makes it look as if the bridge has been in the garden (and in your family) for ages.
The walkway has quite a high arch and is constructed of metal slats in a gridded pattern. The sides of the bridge are made of spectacular scroll work in a curvy and scrolled shape. The whole bridge looks spacious, opulent and expensive.
The DanDiBo Metal Garden Bridge won’t suit every garden style. This is not a shy structure and calls out to be noticed, even though it has an open and airy appearance. It’s best placed over a pond or stream, especially one containing fish or water plants.
The widely spaced slats in the walkway let you look down into the water below. However, the arch of the walkway may be too steep for those who have trouble walking. Add to the glamour of this bridge by encouraging trailing and climbing plants to grow up and through the scrollwork sides.
- Metal bridge with patina in an antique green colour that makes it look like a family heirloom.
- Extensive scroll work in the curved sides bring ornate elegance to a classis or European-style garden design.
- Walkway is open metal stats that add to the airy feel of the bridge and let you look down at what’s below.
- The open scrollwork serves well as a trellis to train climbing flowers and plants up.
- Dimensions: 150cm (length); 82cm (width) and 80cm (height). 15cm (height of arch from ground).
- Arc may be too steep for those who have problems walking
The DanDiBo 1.52m Metal Garden Bridge is an antiqued green bridge that can’t be missed. It’s airy scrollwork sides and openly gridded deck offer a vantage point to view your garden from different angles, especially looking down to what’s below.
This is the best garden bridge for those who are unafraid to make a statement with their garden styling and have much to show off.
Buying a garden bridge is relatively easy compared to, say, buying a ride on lawn mower. But there are still a few things to be aware of when making your purchase decision. Here are the three most important ones.
More and more we find ourselves advising potential purchasers to measure their garden or patio spaces and then to double-check the dimensions of whatever they’re buying.
Many of the complaints that we find from online reviewers are that the item they receive is not the size they expected, and usually that it’s too small, probably because you’re trying to buying the cheapest model that makes you think you’re getting better value for money.
This is especially true with garden bridges. Even we were surprised at how small some of these items are. And it’s especially important if you’re buying a bridge to fit over a pond, stream or pool; if it’s not long enough, you end up with one end in the water.
Another dimension to consider is the height of the bridge. This is generally the height that the handrails reaches to. The lowest height of the bridges that we review is only 50cm – that’s barely knee-height on many adults. Make sure that you measure out in your garden exactly the size of the bridge that you plan on buying.
And while you’re seeing if the bridge will fit in its intended space, consider the height of the arch of the walkway. The bridges we chose for this review range from one that is close to being flat to another that has a high arch that may cause problems for people who have difficulty walking. Consider if the arch allows enough room for the garden bridge to go over the ground or water feature below. For example, you probably don’t want a flat or a low arch bridge over a pond as you won’t be high enough to really see down into the water below.
Decorative or functional
To be fair, all of the garden bridges we review here are decorative or ornamental bridges, not intended for regular use as walkways. Some of their descriptions even state this. But others do say that they have a maximum weight that they can take; the descriptions of the TecTake and the FoxHunter bridges claim that they support 150kg – that’s a large adult or several children at once. However, be wary of these claims as some online reviewers state that garden bridges, in general, are not built to support this load.
Taking together the “ornamental” use, the low hand rails and the general lack of information about how much weight these structures can bear, we recommend that you treat garden bridges as occasional look-out points, as alternate passageways to remote parts of your garden or just as decorative features.
Style and material
Style and material usually go together. The wood garden bridges in our review generally (though not all) look more rustic than the metal ones which usually have a more modern or contemporary appearance (though, again, not all).
Wood bridges usually come pre-treated to add to their weather resistance and long life, though you may want to treat them again before assembling them and at yearly intervals thereafter.
Metal bridges usually have a powder coating for rust resistance and durability. If this coating comes off or is scratched, make sure to paint the exposed metal so it doesn’t rust if it becomes wet.
As for the style you choose, consider the overall design of your garden and whether you want to complement or contrast with that. Don’t forget the other garden structures you may already have – a gazebo, garden furniture, your shed etc. – and choose a garden bridge that fits in with them.
A garden bridge is an inexpensive and small addition to your garden landscape that delivers a large decorative and functional punch. Even bridges designed primarily for decorative use can be walked over occasionally or stood upon to admire your garden from a different viewpoint.
Children can sit on the bridge to gaze down on the fish in the pond below or to look closely at the flowers underneath the arch. Train climbing plants up the rails of your garden bridge, especially metal ones, to fully integrate it into its setting in your outdoors space.
Our Best Wooden Garden bridge is the UK Gardens 1.2m Wooden Garden Bridge. This bridge is in a minimalist Asian style and looks best above a water feature, especially if you have fish in the water.
Our selection for Best Metal Garden Bridge is the DanDiBo 1.6m Metal Bridge. This neutral-coloured black-brown bridge is decorative in any setting, especially if you train climbing flowers up its scrollwork sides.
Why stop your garden styling at adding a garden bridge? Here are some other ideas and reviews of products that add functional and decorative structures to your outdoors living space.
Last update on 2021-01-19 at 14:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API