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Today, we enjoyed a fascinating boat trip which connected with a wide range of sites and sights including marine animals, historic and new bridges, latest military technology, historic houses and an island with an evidenced history spanning the Viking period through medieval to 20th century military defences. All of the foregoing in the space of just under four hours and in reasonable weather conditions. Excellent value!

We joined the tour boat at South Queensferry, itself a historic town, on the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh. The Firth of Forth is a bay or estuary where the River Forth joins the North Sea in eastern Scotland.

Our principal destination, where we alighted and spent about 90 minutes was Inchcolm Island. There is evidence of religious activity from the 10th century, Viking period. This was followed by monastery built in the 12th century, which was upgraded to an abbey  (Augustinian) in 1235 and continued in operation until the Reformation in 1560 when it was disbanded. The ruins are in a good state of repair and show evidence of :

  • 12th century church.
  • 15th century church.
  • Chapter House
  • Warming House
  • Abbot’s House.
  • Cloister
  • Dormitory
  • Refectory
  • Kitchen.

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Another interest on Inchcolm are the remains of military defences (mainly gun emplacements) from the two World Wars.

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Whilst navigating around the waters of the Forth we encountered:

  • A small colony of grey seals basking on rocks.
  • The iconic Forth Rail Bridge.
  • The Forth Road Bridge and its under construction successor, the Queensferry Bridge.
  • Historic Hopetoun House.
  • Two aircraft carriers under construction at Rosyth Military Dockyard, the Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles.

Grey Seals in Firth of Forth

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Forth Rail Bridge

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New Forth Crossing under construction

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Aircraft Carrier, Queen Elizabeth

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