Walking over the Forth Road Bridge

Going for walks around Edinburgh is something I do a lot and the Christmas and new year break provided a good opportunity to do a little more of just that. Walking over the Forth Road Bridge was a short walk that had been on our 'to do' list for awhile so the break seemed as good a time as any to finally get around to doing it. We'd originally planned to do it on New Year's Day by taking the train to Dalmeny but what we didn't know is that no trains run in Scotland on New Year's Day. How does everyone get home from new year's eve parties after staying over at friends without trains on New Year's Day??🤣 So that temporarily ended those plans but anyway the next day (also a Bank Holiday in Scotland, or at least if you're lucky and get that day off as well) the trains were running so we were able to take one the short journey from Edinburgh to Dalmeny station as planned, close to the pretty little town of South Queensferry, and from there walk to the Forth Road bridge.

If you don't know there are now three bridges that cross the Firth of Forth, the beautiful Victorian Forth Rail Bridge, this one and the baby of the three opened in 2017, the Queensferry Crossing. The Forth Road bridge opened in 1964 and at the time was the largest suspension bridge in the world outside of the USA. It replaced the previous ferry service that crossed the Forth carrying pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists. Inevitably perhaps it was eventually carrying more traffic than it had originally been designed for and a new road bridge (that baby I mentioned earlier) was built. As a result the original road bridge is now only open to buses, taxis, cyclists and pedestrians and has become very popular for walking across and enjoying the views out in the Firth of Forth.

The first crossing at the site of the present day bridges was established in the 11th century by Margaret, the Queen Consort of King Malcolm III. She founded the first ferry service to transport religious pilgrims from Edinburgh to Dunfermline Abbey and St Andrews. This helped to establish both South and North Queensferry and a ferry service remained for over 800 years. Ideas for a road crossing across the Forth were first mooted as early as the 1740s but were only really considered after the building of the rail bridge in 1890. The construction of the eventual one was begun in 1958 and the ferry service discontinued when it opened in 1964.

View Towards the Queensferry Crossing

We definitely picked a beautiful day to take the walk for the first time with sunshine and blue skies in abundance. Unfortunately, and I don't know if this always the case, we had to walk on the side furthest away from the Forth Rail Bridge so the views of it were obscured by the bridge we were on. Is this always the case or just a temporary measure, does anyone know? However when we got across the bridge and into North Queensferry we got to enjoy the Forth Rail bridge close up and in all its glory. Our day culminating with a train ride back across it to Edinburgh. I love spending time along this part of the coast and seeing these bridges up close (even if my favourite is definitely the rail bridge) especially on a sunny winter's day when the sky and sea often seem at their most blue and beautiful. Have you walked across the road bridge? Where should I be going next?

Forth Rail Bridge

Forth Rail Bridge and Road Bridge


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