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Firth of Forth

Firth of Forth: Our most recommended tours and activities

Edinburgh: 'Firth of Forth' Three Bridges Sightseeing Cruise

1. Edinburgh: 'Firth of Forth' Three Bridges Sightseeing Cruise

Your boat tour will depart from the South Queensferry, which is only a short distance from Scotland's bustling capital city of Edinburgh. Your tour will include magnificent views of the "three bridges", including the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Forth Railway Bridge. In addition, you can take in the beautiful panoramas of the Edinburgh skyline, the Kingdom of Fife and the historic island of Inchcolm with its medieval abbey. As part of the tour you will stop at the island to drop off and pick up visitors. Cruise along and discover the magic of the red railway Forth Bridge, the Forth Road suspension bridge, and the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world, Queensferry Crossing. For your comfort, relax onboard in the heated observation lounge or on the outside decks, and listen to the guided commentary while you enjoy a drink from the bar. During your tour, you will find plenty of opportunities to both see and photograph a wide variety of marine wildlife including seabirds, porpoises and seals.

Queensferry: 1.5-Hour Maid of the Forth Sightseeing Cruise

2. Queensferry: 1.5-Hour Maid of the Forth Sightseeing Cruise

Your tour will begin as you visit the booking office and gift shop to collect your boarding pass. From there, you will make your way onto Hawes Pier to board the boat and embark on your sightseeing cruise. Once the boat has departed Hawes Pier, there will be a brief safety message played to all passengers before the audio commentary begins. The journey then starts with the boat heading under the Red Forth Rail Bridge before continuing past the historic Inchgarvie Island towards Inchcolm Island. You can listen as the skipper points out seals, puffins, and other wildlife that can be found throughout the cruise. Once around Inchcolm Island, you can watch carefully for sunbathing seals on the Haystack before the cruise continues back under the Red Rail Bridge towards the Forth Road Bridge and the recently opened Queensferry Crossing. Once under these majestic bridges, the boat will cruise back to Hawes Pier where you will be free to disembark.

Edinburgh: Queensferry Bus Tour & Firth of Forth Cruise

3. Edinburgh: Queensferry Bus Tour & Firth of Forth Cruise

Board your bus in the heart of Edinburgh and travel through the Georgian New Town on a guided bus tour. Continue towards the charming town of South Queensferry, where you will take a relaxing boat cruise on the Firth of Forth. Enjoy superb views of the Edinburgh and Fife coastlines as well as the iconic 3 bridges which cross the estuary, including the Forth Rail Bridge. Look out for seals and puffins, depending on the time of year. Before you head back to Edinburgh on your return bus journey, explore the beautiful conservation town of South Queensferry at your own pace. Discover its picturesque harbour and stunning coastal views, which makes it one of Scotland's most beautiful towns.

Firth of Forth: Sightseeing Cruise with Cream Tea

4. Firth of Forth: Sightseeing Cruise with Cream Tea

The Firth of Forth is simply overflowing with myths, turbulent history, and fascinating marine wildlife. Join this boat tour on a 90-minute cruise onboard a superb vessel. Depart from South Queensferry, which is only a short distance from Scotland's bustling capital city of Edinburgh. Take in views of Blackness Castle, the ship that never sails and featured in Outlander and the Outlaw King. There are also views of Limekilns village, mentioned in Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Kidnapped'. It was from Limekilns that David Balfour and Alan Breck were carried across the Forth in a rowing boat. You will also see the Three Bridges as you have never seen them before including the UNESCO World Heritage Forth Bridge. For your comfort relax onboard with friends and family in the observation lounge or on the outside decks and listen to the guided commentary while you enjoy your complimentary cream tea. Spot the marine wildlife, during your tour, you will find plenty of opportunities to see a wide variety of marine wildlife including seabirds and seals.

From Edinburgh: St Andrews & Fishing Villages of Fife Tour

5. From Edinburgh: St Andrews & Fishing Villages of Fife Tour

A charming day tour at a relaxed pace - discover the fishing villages of the “Kingdom of Fife” and enjoy plenty of free time to explore Scotland’s home of golf; the ancient town of St. Andrews. Leave Edinburgh with views of the iconic Forth Rail Bridge as you cross the Firth of Forth, entering into the ancient “Kingdom of Fife” passing through Aberdour before continuing into the East Neuk of Fife. You will then travel through the picturesque villages of St. Monans and Pittenween, once-thriving fishing centers which were made prosperous by trade with the continent, before stopping in the town of Anstruther, home of the Scottish Fisheries Museum. Leaving Anstruther, journey through Crail and then arrive in the beautiful medieval town of St. Andrews in time for lunch. Here you can enjoy a walk around the town which is famous as the home of golf and has the best-known golf course in the world. It also has an impressive cathedral and castle, now both ruined, and is home to Scotland’s oldest university - where Prince William met Kate Middleton; now the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and the Earl and Countess of Strathearn (their Scottish titles). You will have approximately three hours of free time to explore its medieval buildings and wonderful cobbled streets, as well as having time for lunch. Heading homewards you will travel across the Lomond hills, descending to Loch Leven (scene of Mary Queen of Scot’s imprisonment and escape) and on to the picturesque town of South Queensferry, where you will make a brief stop to admire magnificent views of the Forth Bridges before returning to Edinburgh.

Isle of Skye and West Highlands: 4-Day Tour from Edinburgh

6. Isle of Skye and West Highlands: 4-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Embark on a breathtaking 4-day journey through the Scottish countryside, enjoying the grandeur of the Scottish glens, mountains and coastlines at a relaxed pace. Spend some time exploring the beautiful Isle of Skye and stop to take in the dramatic views of untouched nature as you pass the dramatic Glencoe and Glenfinnan. Day 1: Edinburgh - The Kelpies - Glencoe - Fort William Depart Edinburgh at 9:15 AM and travel northwest to visit the Kelpies, the largest pair of horse sculptures in the world and one of Scotland's most fascinating modern marvels. For lunch, stop in either of the small towns of Killin or Callander, passing through beautiful lochs and castles. After enjoying beautiful views of rivers, lochs, and forests, cross the wild and remote Rannoch Moor, a beautiful location for photographers and nature lovers. You then travel to Glencoe, one of Scotland's most famous landscapes, before heading towards Fort William, where the tour stays for the first night. Day 2: Fort William - Mallaig – Skye After breakfast, get picked up from your accommodation and travel by Glenfinnan Viaduct. It's one of the most spectacular railway bends in Britain and featured in the Harry Potter movies. There is also an iconic monument that commemorates the Jacobites who fought for Scottish independence. After arriving in Mallaig, take the ferry with your group to the southern area of the Isle of Skye. Spend your afternoon exploring the incredible landscapes of the Sleat Peninsula, with potential stops at the waterfalls of Glenbrittle or Cuillin Mountains in Elgol. The tour then heads towards the Lochalsh/Skye area, the base for the next two nights. Day 3: Travel through Skye's most iconic scenery Today the tour offers great opportunities to enjoy some of the most famous wonders of Skye, such as Quiraing, Old Man of Storr, Neist Point, etc. This day's itinerary is quite flexible, depending on the weather and the group's interests. Your experienced guide will choose a unique itinerary and will ensure you get a chance to get off the beaten track and discover what the Isle of Skye has to offer. Day 4: Skye - Dunkeld - Edinburgh This morning you say farewell to Skye and travel south through Glen Shiel towards the Central Highlands. Stop at the historic village of Dunkeld, and have the opportunity to visit the ruins of the old cathedral. The tour then heads through the Lowlands, over the Firth of Forth, and gets back to Edinburgh at approximately 6:30 PM.

Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours & Firth of Forth Cruise

7. Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours & Firth of Forth Cruise

City Sightseeing Edinburgh See all the main attractions with CitySightseeing Edinburgh. There’s multi-language commentary in 9 languages and a special Horrible Histories commentary for your children, narrated by Terry Deary himself. Edinburgh Tour Explore Edinburgh's city center taking in the spectacular buildings including Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish Parliament, and the architecture of the Georgian New Town with a live guide in English. Majestic Tour The Majestic Tour heads north of Edinburgh's City Centre towards the port of Leith with highlights including Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, The Royal Yacht Britannia, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The Majestic Tour features a multi-lingual commentary in 10 languages.  Firth of Forth Bus and Boat Trip Board your bus at St Andrew Square in the heart of Edinburgh for a tour to South Queensferry, followed by a boat tour aboard one of Forth Boat Tours fleet of vessels. Enjoy superb views of Edinburgh and Fife’s coastlines as well as the iconic Three Bridges, the Forth Road Bridge, The Forth Bridge and the new Queensferry Crossing. Get your camera out and look for puffins and seals along the way.

Scottish Highlands 4-Day Castle Tour From Edinburgh

8. Scottish Highlands 4-Day Castle Tour From Edinburgh

Day 1: Depart from Edinburgh and travel north into the ancient Kingdom of Fife. Visit Falkland Palace, built in the 16th century and is set in the medieval village of Falkland. Continue to St Andrews and explore the cobbled lanes and ancient university buildings. Travel north towards Aberdeen and admire the House of Dun, a beautiful Georgian mansion located within a woodland estate. In the afternoon, visit Dunnottar castle - a ruined fortress on the top of the cliffs. Day 2: Spend the day in the Royal Deeside area, famous for its many castles. Visit Castle Fraser, one of the grandest of the Scottish baronial tower houses. Round off your visit with a walk through the beautiful 18th century walled garden. Later on, visit Banchory and look for salmon jumping at the Falls of Feugh. After lunch, explore the house and stunning gardens of Crathes Castle at your own pace. Wander through the outstanding, world-renowned June Borders, and admire beautiful vistas of the castle through the fusion of colourful flowers. Return back to Aberdeen for the night. Day 3: Heads further north and start the day with a visit to Fyvie Castle dating back to the 13th century and holding a fine collection of arms and armour as well as 17th century tapestries. Continue on and travel through beautiful scenery towards Nairn, and enjoy a lunch at nearby Brodie Castle. Explore this imposing castle’s unusual plasterwork and art collection. In the afternoon, take The Clan Stone Walkway which was designed to commemorate the Scottish Clans and their clansmen who fought at the battle of Culloden. After the visit, continue to Forres for your overnight stay. Day 4: Travel south through some of the most stunning scenery Scotland has to offer to Dalwhinnie Distillery and taste the ‘Water of Life’. After a lunch stop in Pitlochry,  head to Loch Leven. Next, you head south to Blair Castle. Here, you can learn about Mary Queen of Scots, discover a ballroom adorned with 175 antlers, and roam the 9-acre Georgian garden at your own leisure before you return back over the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh: Outlander Locations Tour

9. Edinburgh: Outlander Locations Tour

The Outlander television series first aired in 2014 as an adaptation of the 7 historical multi-genre novels by Diana Gabaldon. The literary locations are situated in the Scottish highlands, while the filming locations dramatized in the TV series can be reached as part of a day tour from either Edinburgh or Glasgow. Visit Jamie and Claire's homeland on the Outlander Tour and get the chance to see iconic sites from the first series courtesy of your very own expert. As part of the Outlander Tour, guests will also hear readings from Outlander at certain locations. Your local guide, a fan of both the books and TV series and a former member of the Scottish BAFTA, will discuss information from the Outlander TV series, show you how the books and reality differ and recall incredible tales of legend and local history that could come right out of the books. Your first destination of the day will be the Highland village of Cranesmuir. In reality this is a picturesque 6th-century village on the Firth of Forth, featured on screen as the home of Geillis Duncan and her husband Arthur. In the same village, find the beautiful herb garden where Claire's garden was filmed. From here, head to the 13th-century castle in central Scotland used for Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and the central point for the whole of Clan MacKenzie. This beautiful location was damaged during the Jacobite Rebellion. See the Railway Station, where Claire and Frank alighted from the train and Captain Jack Randall’s Stronghold. Finally its off to the 15th-century castle featured on screen as Lallybroch — Jamie Fraser's childhood home. As this is a private property, this tour is a great way to access the beautiful location, which was also used for the scene where Jamie is arrested. Your Outlander tour finishes back at your hotel/pick up point in Glasgow or Edinburgh in the early evening.

Other Sightseeing Options in Firth of Forth

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What people are saying about Firth of Forth

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,765 reviews

A well organised and very reasonably priced trip. The boat left on time and there was plenty of seating available, as well as on-board toilet facilities and snacks. The crew were friendly and helpful and there was an excellent, pre-recorded running commentary. We had great views of all three bridges and learned a lot of history of the bridges and the locality. On the return half of the voyage the Captain noticed some seals basking on a small island so took a detour round the island so we could all get a good look at the seals and had the chance to take some photographs. Later he did the same when he spotted more seals on a radar buoy. Excellent customer service and we found the entire experience extremely enjoyable and thoroughly recommend it.

Nice trip also with an informative tour of the island. It cost extra but was worth it. I could have been on the island for more than two hours. The excitement of hearing about the bridges and the actual sailing was also beautiful. Seeing Edinburgh from the lakeside. A trip I would like to take again.

Staff were all friendly and helpful. The boat trip pointed out places of interest and also some unknown facts. Enjoyed by a group ranging in age from 16 - 75

This was a fabulous experience. It did rain a lot do make sure you take water proof gear and if you are recalling with kids don’t opt for the last boat

Very good day to appreciate the region of the firth of forth and St Andrews. Accompanied by Marty a friendly guide.