The Forth Bridge, which had the longest spans of any railway bridge when it opened in 1890, and was the earliest great multispan cantilever bridge, was inscribed on the World Heritage list a few months after my previous visit to Scotland. I must have glimpsed it from a distance while crossing the Firth of Forth via the nearby auto-bridge back then, but this time around I obviously had to set aside a dedicated time-slot for visiting it.
Now, how exactly do you visit a structure like a railway bridge? I suppose you can take a train ride that would go over that bridge, but then you will not see much beyond flickers of support beams. Or you can get close to it on the land and get the visual appreciation of the entire structure without setting foot on it.
Of those two choices, the former may still be in my future, but this time around I fixed on the latter. We drove to the village of North Queenferry, which offered us the following majestic view from its quay.
Here is a wider angle that takes in the coastal support tower.
The coastal path allows walking under the bridge, so we got under it for a few different perspectives.
We then went to Carlingnose Point for an elevated view.
And finally nearly trespassed on someone’s private property for the highest non-aerial viewpoint.
Marvels of human ingenuity and innovation never fail to fascinate me.
Depending on your personal definition of what constitutes as visit to a World Heritage site, you may take as little as 15 minutes to admire the Forth Bridge from the quay. Additional perspectives are always optional.
North Queensferry is less than 25 minutes away from central Edinburgh by car. Queensferry on the south side of the crossing is even closer and offers similar ground-level views.