Forth Bridge – Scotland's Sixth World Heritage Site

Scotland's Sixth World Heritage Site

Crossing the estuary of the River Forth, the imposing Forth Bridge, Scotland's sixth World Heritage Site, is one of the country's most recognized engineering marvels. After its grand opening in 1890, the structure became known as the world's eighth wonder. This prominent landmark appears in many books and postcards about Scotland.


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A masterpiece of Victorian engineering, the Forth Bridge had the world's longest single cantilever bridge span when it opened in 1890, with a span of 521 m (1,709 ft); now, it is the world's second-longest, after the Quebec Bridge in Canada.


I went from Edinburgh to South Queensferry specifically to see the Forth Bridge. Photographs make the structure appear impressive, but in reality, it looks even more incredible. Just wow! I could say that the color red perfectly emphasizes its uniqueness. Every day, over 200 trains pass through the bridge; they appear to be caterpillars from afar. In addition to the Forth Bridge, two other bridges cross the Firth of Forth here: the 1964 Forth Road Bridge and the 2017 Queensferry Crossing.

Scotland's Sixth World Heritage Site
View of the Forth Bridge and Inchgarvie Island from South Queensferry

Forth Bridge
Three double-cantilevers of the bridge

Forth Bridge
View of the bridge from the yacht marina

Scotland's Sixth World Heritage Site
A train on the bridge

Forth Bridge
The Scottish flag

Forth Bridge
View of the Forth Bridge and the town of South Queensferry from the Forth Road Bridge

History


Since the 12th century, people have crossed the water between North and South Queensferry. Unfortunately, ferries were weather dependent. It wasn't until the Victorian period that the spot became one of Scotland's most vital transportation centers.


Construction on a new bridge in Queensferry started in 1882 when railways began to spread throughout the United Kingdom. Construction work took seven years and ended in December 1889. On March 4, 1890, the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, celebrated the opening ceremony of the Forth Bridge.


Design


The Forth Bridge was the first steel-framed structure in the United Kingdom, and its chief engineers were Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker. Construction of the bridge required approximately 53000 tonnes (58422 US tons) of steel. There are no ornamental components because the emphasis was on the steel skeleton; the engineers adorned the Forth Bridge only with red paint.


How to Get There


The Forth Bridge is about 13 km (8 mi) west of Edinburgh. It connects the town of South Queensferry and the village of North Queensferry on the Edinburgh-Aberdeen line.


By Public Transportation:

Bus (lines x55, x58, x59, x60, x61): Edinburgh, Princes Street (Stop PD) – South Queensferry, Slip Road.

Bus (line x54): Dundee, Crichton Street (Stop 1) – North Queensferry, North Access.


Best Places to Stay Near the Forth Bridge


You might want to stay at Crawsteps, an elegant apartment building dating back to the 17th century, which offers breathtaking views of the Forth Bridges, just 20 minutes away from Edinburgh. There is a traditional decor with all the comforts you need.


The 19th-century Rooms at Ravenous Beastie, a hotel only 1 minute's walk from the beach, is another excellent option. Blueberry pancakes and vegetarian meals are available on the breakfast menu in addition to traditional Scottish dishes.


Edinburgh: 'Firth of Forth' Three Bridges Sightseeing Cruise


Take the 90-minute Three Bridges Sightseeing Cruise if you want to enjoy a unique boat trip on the River Forth with incredible views of the three Forth Bridges (including a UNESCO World Heritage one), Inchcolm Island, Augustinian Abbey, and the Edinburgh skyline.


Have you ever seen the bridge? If so, were you as impressed by the structure as I was? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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