Why not get out of the city for a day trip and see what else Scotland has to offer? If you want a break from Edinburgh and fancy an exciting nautical adventure that won’t involve too much travel then you should hop on a train to North Queensferry. It’s easy to get there by car or bus as well, but the train is more fun.
Forth Rail Bridge — Photo courtesy of James Allan
It takes less than half an hour to reach North Queensferry by train from Waverley Station and you’ll pass across the grand Forth Rail Bridge, which is one of Scotland’s best-known and best-loved landmarks. The bridge opened in 1890 and is over 8,000 feet long. It was the first major structure in Britain to be constructed from steel.
Before the bridges were built there used to be regular ferry crossings and the village is believed to have been established by Saint Margaret of Scotland (the Queen of King Malcolm III) hence the name North Queensferry. It’s a picturesque place with a few B&Bs, a hotel, and some restaurants, cafes, and bars. You’ll find South Queensferry on the other side of the Firth of Forth.
Shark at Deep Sea World — Photo courtesy of Mike Pennington
The main attraction in North Queensferry is Deep Sea World. This aquarium is packed with sharks and other exotic sea life and you can view them from the safety of a transparent underwater tunnel over 100 meters long. There are various interactive activities for kids to enjoy and you can listen to presentations about the sea creatures on show, as well as watch them feeding. Check the times of the various activities before you visit to avoid disappointment.
Abbey on Inchcolm Island — Photo courtesy of David Dixon
If you like the idea of hopping on a boat for an adventure to see some marine wildlife, for some bird-watching, or perhaps to explore the beautiful Inchcolm Island, then you should try Forth Sea Safaris. They take small groups out in inflatable boats and you can tailor the trip to take in whatever you want to see. If you prefer to go in a bigger boat, at a more sedate pace, then hop back across the bridge to South Queensferry and head for Hawes Pier where you’ll find boat trips on offer from Maid of the Forth and Forth Boat Tours.
When you’re done exploring why not stop off at The Wee Restaurant in North Queensferry before jumping on the train back to Edinburgh? This family-run eatery has a fantastic reputation for serving up the finest of local produce and it’s a great place to go for a revitalizing and delicious lunch or dinner.