This tour sounded interesting and was a good opportunity to get a little bit out of the city. From the same departure point on Waverley Bridge it was a 45 minute bus ride out to South Queensferry.
I didn’t delve into much pre-reading about the tour other than to grasp there was a boat ride and there was something about bridges across the Forth River.
As we neared South Queensferry suddenly this big red metal structure loomed. This was the rail bridge and it was immediately clear why they make a big deal of it. We pulled up near the pier and I then saw the big road bridge, a little further to the west. It was quite a striking sight.
The bridges play a major role in joining north and south Scotland on the east coast. The cantilevered rail bridge came first in 1890 and is 2.5km long. 70 years later the road bridge was opened. This tour would travel under both bridges and further out into the Firth of Forth – where the Forth River meets the North Sea.
The dozen or so of us on the tour shuffled from the bus down the pier to the boat.
We circuited under the road bridge first, then the rail bridge and beyond.
The firth has a number of islands, two of which we saw fairly close up. This was the first.
And this was the second. Inchcolm Island looked fascinating and if I could’ve jumped off for an hour I would’ve. It has a mix of ruins from several centuries ago to World War II.
Other firth features…
As well as seals we were told to keep an eye out for puffins. Which I did, though didn’t really know what I was supposed to be looking for. As it turned out they were feeling a bit shy on this day.
We headed back. The tour commentary said that there were estimates of around 500 wrecks lying at the bottom of those waters. 500!
All in all, worthwhile. And I didn’t connect the dots but I would be travelling across the rail bridge the next day when I was to catch a train to head north.