South Queensferry is the perfect wee day trip to take from Edinburgh if you’re looking for pretty coastal views and a place to spend your day that is also very nearby to the city. It only takes around half an hour to drive from Edinburgh city centre depending on traffic or around 45 to 50 minutes by bus from Princes Street.
See the Forth Bridges
The main draw to South Queensferry for visitors are the views of the famous Forth Bridges – particularly the rail bridge. At 130 years old, it was the first major structure in Britain to be made of steel and allowed for the first trains to go from London right to Aberdeen. It’s a major landmark in Scotland that Scots are very proud of and somewhere I recommend that you don’t miss if you’re going anywhere near Edinburgh. It’s so close to the city it would seem a shame to miss out on this beauty!
Walk through the character-filled cobbled streets
A walk through South Queensferry is also a joy! The main street that is parallel to the coast is filled with character-filled and colourful buildings that line the cobbled streets. There are also quite a few little independent shops here that you might want to peruse. If it’s character you’re after, then its another reason why I recommend visiting South Queensferry!
Eat at the Rail Bridge Bistro
I’m not going to lie and say this place is off the tourist trail, but I personally like eating at The Rail Bridge Bistro most times that I am popping by South Queensferry. The main reason is the stunning view of the Forth Bridges as you eat which you really can’t beat. I also just find the staff here are super friendly and the food really filling and scrumptious – so I don’t mind that it’s a little on the tourist trail! My personal tip for eating here though is to order off the light-bites menu unless you’re particularly starving. Something like the small bites traditional steak pie, although coming in a small(ish) bowl, is actually rather deep and can be very filling despite being advertised as small. The deserts and coffees are also really good.
Visit a stately home at Hopetoun House
Dating from the 17th Century, Hopetoun House is a stately home situated on the outskirts of South Queensferry. I remember going to Hopetoun House for the first time around 15 years ago and being over-awed by it both inside and out. I’m still as impressed with Hopetoun House now as I was then. The panoramic view of the building that meets you as you arrive is a particular highlight.
Follow the John Muir Way
If you’re planning on visiting the historic town of Linlithgow anyway (which I recommend doing), then why not take the John Muir Way and walk from Linlithgow to South Queensferry. After the first initial part of the walk, you’re pretty much walking along the coast until you get to South Queensferry, passing Blackness Castle (which was used in the tv program Outlander) along the way. Above is a screen shot of the route but you can get more info on the John Muir Way website.
South Queensferry is somewhere I’d recommend for any visit to Scotland, but especially if you’re going to be spending some time in Edinburgh, it’s so close and so beautiful, it would be a shame to miss out on it!