Tag Archives: Firth of Forth

A Trip on The Forth Belle ~ Diana’s Virtual Tour of Fife

DSCN3010.JPGDidn’t we choose a perfect day for our Three Bridges and Inchcolm Island trip along the Forth yesterday? It was magic.

Friends from down south were staying in Edinburgh and so we suggested meeting at Dalmeny Station. We have been known to walk down the cliff steps from the station to the pier on a couple occasions but, since the day before we had endured a snowy blizzard, we decided to drive and park near the quay. ~ It is the old car park, in fact, for the original car ferry crossing between South and North Queensferry before the first road bridge was opened in 1964, linking road users to the northern parts of Scotland. DSCN4541.JPG

Seals, whales, dolphins,  porpoises and even puffins can be seen at different times of the year but yesterday we were content to spot the occasional seal camouflaged on the rocks.

 

 

DSCN4538.JPGOne day we will alight at Inchcolm and explore the island and Abbey and maybe have a picnic but we’ll leave that pleasure for another time. Inchcolm Abbey is affectionately nicknamed The Iona of the East, aptly so if you compare photos of the two Abbeys. Adjacent to the quay there is Inchgnome Island! I’ll leave you to use your imagination as to how the little people got there.

As well as the beauty of a trip along the Firth of Forth you are made well aware of the oil industry and the heritage of shale mining, which dates back to the nineteenth century when Burntisland and The Binn became prosperous for its paraffin; thus saving the whale from annihilation.

We floated over a few famous protected shipwrecks including Blessing, Charles 1st’s ferry which is allegedly still full of many of his possessions; and the Cunard HMS Campania. 

DSCN4543.JPGThe view of the three bridges including the new Queensferry Crossing is awesome from below. Last time we did this trip the 21st century bridge was still under construction but yesterday the light of the sun caught its sails in all its glory.

Back on shore you have many places to chose to eat including Hawes Inn of Robert Louis Stevenson Fame, Harry Ramsden Fish and Chips, the biker’s cafe or The Railbridge Bistro, complete with model railway.

Yesterday our friends were too replete on breakfast and so we didn’t stop, but we have enjoyed all of the above places in the past and The Hawes Inn does a delicious Sunday Roast.

As we floated along we listened to the interesting commentary but we were able to add a personal touch as we shared our thoughts of the different places along the Fife Coast with our friends, all familiar scenes to us now.

 

 

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Queensferry Crossing Experience in Photos

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The Queensferry Crossing, Scotland

We were fortunate to be allocated passes to walk over the Queensferry Crossing over the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh last Sunday. Catching the train from Kinghorn and alighting at Inverkeithing, we had a short walk to Ferry Toll, where we were security checked andDSCN4190 bused to the bridge. The organisation was slick, cheerful and efficient and reminiscent of The Olympics (or The Commonwealth Games)

We were given only an hour to walk the 1.7 miles. This was perfect to include regular pauses to take photos and enjoy The Queensferry Crossing, the old Forth Road Bridge and The Forth Bridge, the iconic rail bridge admired by thousands over two centuries.

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Here’s the rail bridge appearing Nessie – like through the gaps in the wind shielding glass; a photo which will never again be taken except from a moving vehicle.

 

At intervals information boards gave us fascinating facts and figures about the bridgeDSCN4227 and its construction and also historical background. On this one we were told that, whilst clearing the site, signs of the oldest dwellings in Scotland were discovered.

The views of the other bridges wowed us by their grace and symmetry.

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The glimmers of sunlight through the clouds enhanced the beauty of The Queensferry Crossing itself. I couldn’t help but wonder, half way across, what Queen Margaret (or St Margaret (1045-1093) would have thought of it all, since she instigated the first ferry route for pilgrims over the Firth of Forth, which existed until the first road bridge was opened in 1964.

(Diana Jackson is the author of ‘The Healing Paths of Fife’ a fantasy memoir of her walk along the Fife Coastal Path)

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