Visit the Forth Bridges

Spring has certainly sprung here in Scotland, and everywhere you look, people are looking for the best place to take photos here in beautiful Edinburgh.

And, as Edinburgh celebrated World Heritage Day earlier this week, team member Gavin has a suggestion that’s a little more epic than the usual landmarks the city has to offer…

“So, you are in town and you’ve done all the tourist attractions, The Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh Castle and The Palace of Holyroodhouse amongst others, and you fancy something different, somewhere to escape the hustle and bustle of springtime in Edinburgh. Well why not take Lothian Buses’ frequent number 43 bus to South Queensferry in just 50 minutes to visit three marvels of engineering, The Forth Bridges.

Old bridgeNo visit to Edinburgh is complete without a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site and to take a photo or two of these iconic bridges. The Forth Rail Bridge is a marvel of Victorian engineering: opening in March 1890, a span of 2,467 metres and a whopping 53,000 tonnes of steel and 6.5 million rivets were used in the construction.

Still to this day, 200 trains connect the Lowlands to the Highlands, and if you’re exploring the country by train you’ll be lucky enough to go across it. Cross your fingers for good weather – the Forth Rail Bridge offers unprecedented views over the river Forth.

If you’re travelling by bus to explore Scotland, the next Bridge may be a little more convenient. The Forth Road bridge opened 1964. A free bridge to cross these days, a dual carriageway, the Forth Road Bridge was once open to all cars but today is only open to public transport and emergency vehicles. The bridge offers incredible views over the rail bridge and the Firth of Forth. It is a suspension bridge, spanning 2500 metres, and was open to cars for 53 years before making way for the newest of our Forth Bridges.

All 3 bridges

The Queensferry crossing opened in September 2017 after a long construction period which was met with a few delays, thanks to our wonderful Scottish weather. The cable-stayed style of bridge spans 2700 metres and holds a world record for largest continuous underwater concrete pour. The 24-hour non-stop operation successfully poured 16,869 cubic metres of concrete into the water to construct the base of the south tower.  The bridge was a major undertaking with 23,000 miles (yes, you read correctly, miles!) of cabling used. In fact, laying out all the wire used to support the bridge deck would very nearly stretch around the entire planet earth!

I was lucky enough to visit the bridge during construction due to my job at the time: here is a picture I took from the top of the south tower, 208 metres above sea level, overlooking the iconic bridges.

View from the bridges
Click to expand this epic view!

So after a day of visiting the bridges and grabbing some snaps of the iconic structures you might be in the mood for a snack or two. No visit to the seaside is complete without fish and chips, and visit to the Hawes Inn at South Queensferry is a must do. Of course, with weather like this you’ll want some ice cream too. The Little Parlour is a great place to grab a cone, come rain, hail, snow or indeed that stunning Scottish spring sunshine. Sit back, and enjoy the views.”

Want to find out more about things to see and do in Edinburgh? Check out our list of what to do in Edinburgh – there’ll be something for you, whatever the weather!

Gavin McDougall Photography


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