Trip to Inchcolm in the Firth of Forth

You know what it’s like, somehow you just never get around to doing the touristy things which are on your own doorstep. So when we saw that the weather was going rapidly downhill towards the end of the week we thought we would seize the last good day and take that trip to Inchcolm which we’ve been putting off for about 25 years. King David I founded a priory which became an abbey in 1235. Apparently they’re the best preserved monastic buildings in Scotland. This is the boat which we went on, I was surprised at how fast it could go but the captain was really good and slowed the boat down for people to take photos of seals and puffins.

Forth Belle at Inchcolm

It was a good trip and the water was very calm. I particularly enjoyed going underneath the two bridges. We went past Oxcar lighthouse which was built by the ‘Lighthouse Stevensons’, Robert Louis and D.E. were from the same family. You can see Leith (Edinburgh’s port) in the background.

Oxcar Lighthouse 2

And this is our destination Inchcolm Abbey, on one of the five islands in the Forth.

Inchcolm Abbey from Forth

This is the abbey from on the island, as you can see it’s a ruin but there’s still a lot to see and parts of it are quite intact. If you have the notion you can get married in the abbey, I suppose its different and for some reason people are always looking for unusual venues.

Inchcolm Abbey from Island

The island has been used for defensive purposes in the last two wars and at one point there were 500 soldiers garrisoned on it but most of the barracks have been demolished although you can still see the gun emplacements. The Forth Bridge was the target of the very first German bombing raid of World War II but of course they didn’t even manage to damage it, although they kept trying.

We tried to walk around the whole of the island but had to give up because the seagulls are nesting at the moment so the adult birds are particularly aggressive and it was beginning to resemble a scene from The Birds so we had to turn back.

Another great day out but if you are thinking of taking the trip make sure that you check the weather forecast first. We had a beautiful afternoon there but if it had rained it would have been pretty miserable as there isn’t really anywhere to shelter on the island. It must be really wild when the wind is roaring but I quite fancied the idea of staying on the island, there is a wee house there which is inhabited, presumably by a caretaker who must tend the plants and cut the grass, what a great job!

It was great sailing under the two bridges but I’m leaving those photos for another post!

Meanwhile here’s the Abbey tower.

Inchcolm Abbey tower