South Queensferry is packed with charm. Known for its iconic Firth of Forth Bridge, this seaside town connects Edinburgh to the kingdom of Fife. It is also the place where you can find some of the best fish and chips in Scotland.
While it may seem small, there are plenty of things to do in South Queensferry, including some simple pleasures, like eating an ice-cream by the sea or popping into the town’s quirky gift shops.
If you’re looking for non-exhaustive day trips from Edinburgh, start with South Queensferry. It is quick and easy to get to, and provides some respite from the hubbub of the city, especially if you’re visiting in summer.
Here’s how to experience the best this wee town has to offer.
1. Get the train from Edinburgh to South Queensferry
The quickest way to get to South Queensferry is by train. The trip takes about 15 minutes, and you can depart from Waverley or Haymarket. Meanwhile, the bus trip takes about half an hour, although tickets are cheaper.
If you take the train, you will need to disembark at Dalmeny Station, which is the last stop before the bridge. From there, you can take a wee hike through a wooded area to get to the town centre. The path takes you under the historic Firth of Forth Bridge, where you can easily mistake the roaring of an approaching train for biblical thunder.
2. Drool over the gorgeous houses
Situated along High Street, the main street of town, is a row of pastel-washed houses adorned with colourful plants. Walking along this picturesque street is the easiest way to fall in love with South Queensferry – it will also make you wish you could ditch your current job and life plans and move into one of the gorgeous houses by the sea.
Well, you may not be able to buy a house in South Queensferry, but you can definitely treat yourself to a delicious ice-cream from The Little Parlour. You can also find some lovely shops in the main street, including an antiques store; Sea Kist, and a lovely sweet shop called Once Upon A Time.
3. Take amazing shots of the bridge
The Forth Bridge is one of Scotland’s most famous landmarks. Built in the late 1800s, this railway bridge is known for its impressive engineering structure, and has recently become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are various viewpoints along the seafront where you can take stunning shots of the bridge, but if you want to get very close to it, walk down Hawes Pier (if the tide is out). It is easy to get carried away when taking photos of the bridge from this point – especially if there’s a beautiful reflection in the water lapping against the jetty. However, make sure to keep an eye on the tide as it tends to come in fast. You might end up wading through water to make your way back to the beach, so do take caution.
4. Get fish and chips for lunch
Being a seaside town, South Queensferry is popular for its various fish & chips outlets. I highly recommend having lunch at Harry Ramsden Three Bridges – if you’re lucky with the weather, you may be able to sit at a table outside overlooking the sea.
You should definitely try their fish dishes; I’ve had some of the best scampi of my life at this place.
5. Explore the town beyond the main street
South Queensferry may be a small place, but you can still find some hidden spots where you can just sit down to enjoy the view or take more photos of the bridge. Keep walking along High Street until you arrive at the Priory Church. From here, walk down one of the streets leading to the coast, where you’ll find a couple of small, shingle beaches and a quaint wee marina.
You can also spend some time exploring the surrounding woodland, including the Echline Community Woodland situated on the western side of the Forth Road Bridge.
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