Destination Forth - Tourism Minister launches new Forth Bridges Trail
A new visitor trail highlighting Scotland’s iconic Forth Bridges and the distinctive historic communities of North and South Queensferry has been launched.
The Forth Bridges Trail, a five-mile circular route brings together 16 points of interest in North and South Queensferry and along the Forth Road Bridge, offers historical facts, local tales and folklore, and panoramic views of the three crossings and the Firth of Forth.
Stops on the trail include Battery Road in North Queensferry remembering The Briggers, the men and boys who constructed the Forth Bridge, The Forth Road Bridge’s iconic towers with views from the walkway over Port Edgar to the west and the Forth Bridge to the east, Hawes in South Queensferry opposite the Hawes Inn featured in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Kidnapped and The Binks in South Queensferry, a natural rock jetty used by Queen Margaret in the 11th century to cross the Firth of Forth and where the name Queensferry originates.
Developed by the Forth Bridges Tourism Group, the trail has been designed to encourage visitors to explore the area further, on both sides of the Forth, and support the area’s year-round tourism businesses which include boat trips, outdoor activities, visitor attractions, cafes & restaurants, independent retailers and accommodation providers.
Supporting Scotland’s ambitions to be a world-leading responsible destination, the trail is accessible by foot, bike, and public transport, including train stations at North Queensferry and Dalmeny.
Signs marking points of interest along the trail have been designed to reflect the famous red steelwork of the original Forth Bridge, awarded UNESO World Heritage Site status in 2015. The panels feature illustrated maps, images and stories on the history of the Bridges, the Firth of Forth, and communities of North and South Queensferry in collaboration with local history and heritage groups. Each panel has a QR code linking to further information on the Forth Bridges website.
Tourism Minister, Ivan McKee officially launched the trail at Port Edgar Marina in South Queensferry with representatives from local tourism businesses.
Tourism Minister, Ivan McKee said:
“The Forth Bridges is one of Scotland’s most loved attractions and visitors are now being offered the chance to explore the area in a thought out and structured way.
“It’s great to be able to launch the Forth Bridges Trail and celebrate Scotland’s iconic bridges, whilst supporting economic recovery and developing the tourism offering to the community.
“The trail supports active and sustainable travel, whilst encouraging visitors to explore the local communities, learning not only about the history of the Forth Bridges themselves, but also that of the communities they walk through as part of their journey.”
Ken Gourlay, Chairman of the Forth Bridges Tourism Group and Executive Director of Enterprise and Environment at Fife Council said:
“I am delighted that we are launching The Forth Bridges Trail today. The Forth Bridges communities have welcomed visitors for hundreds of years, be they pilgrims, ferry passengers or those enjoying the coast and our magnificent bridges, and the new trail showcases this long and rich history.
“With the area being so easily accessible by public transport, we hope that The Forth Bridges Trail will encourage visitors to come and explore both sides of the Forth cycling or on foot, enjoying the outdoor activities and excellent hospitality that is on offer, and of course taking in the wonderful views.
“Our thanks go to the local history and heritage groups who have worked with us to identify the stories and images featured on the panels.”
The Forth Bridges Tourism Group was established in 2019 and is responsible for delivering the Forth Bridges Area Tourism Strategy, a 10-year plan endorsed by the Scottish Government to create a sustainable and high-quality visitor destination across the Firth of Forth. Core membership of the group includes City of Edinburgh Council, Fife Council, West Lothian Council, Network Rail, Transport Scotland, VisitScotland and Historic Environment Scotland.
To support the launch of the Forth Bridges Trail, the Forth Bridges website has been redeveloped by Transport Scotland with new content focussed on helping plan and enjoy a visit to the area. This includes the best places to view the Bridges, opportunities for cycling and walking across the Forth Road Bridge, and recommendations of things to do in North and South Queensferry and the wider area. A new visitor video has also been created and there is dedicated activity on the Forth Bridges social media channels.
For more information on the Forth Bridges Trail https://www.theforthbridges.org/visit-the-forth-bridges/forth-bridges-trail/