Walking the Forth Road Bridge to North Queensferry

I’ve wondered if many visitors to Edinburgh would be interested in walking the Forth Road Bridge, and thought that maybe giving some idea of what to expect might entice you to attempt this walk.For 3 years, my son and I made an annual trip to walk over the Forth Road Bridge, initially checking out the progress on the new Queensferry Crossing which opened in 2017.  This started as a ruse to get a soon-to-be teenager away from sitting in his room, and the idea was that it would be an exciting walk which offered the possibility of a train trip back, as well as a destination for a good lunch.

How to get there:

To reach the Forth Road Bridge, visitors staying in central Edinburgh can take a train from Waverley to Dalmeny Station and then walk down through South Queensferry and up onto the Bridge.  Alternatively you can take the 43 Lothian Country Bus from St Andrews Square to South Queensferry. or the X55 Stagecoach bus to Dunfermline from Princes Street will take you to the south side of the bridge.

The walkway is well sign-posted, and the day when we walked, the east-most walkway was open to walkers (with cyclists taking the parallel path).

Walking over the Forth Road Bridge

Walking the Forth Road Bridge

We started the walk with grey skies looming towards the west, and a couple of times we got caught in a brief shower.  At one point we were sheltering behind the south tower, and one of the bridge maintenance crew (who were seated in a warm van) shouted over to us to get out there!  Easy for him to say.  We were just wondering if any of our belongings would blow away on the crossing.

Forth Road Bridge Towers

By the time we’d passsed the mid point and were heading towards the north tower, it was clearing over Fife and we began to take a few more photographs.

Since 2017 only buses cross the bridge as all traffic now travels across the new Queensferry Crossing. This makes for a great walk with little or no traffic noise.

The bridge, being a suspension bridge, moves a bit when a large bus passes so it can be difficult to get your camera to focus.  But there’s plenty to see in every direction – distant views up river towards the Trossachs  and Rosyth Shipyard, and down river you can sometimes see as far as Berwick Law on a good day.

Forth Road Bridge Love Locks

As we reached the south tower, we saw the second group of love locks on the bridge parapet.  These were sold as a fund-raising campaign on the 50th anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge in 2014, and raised a significant sum for local charities.  The Forth Bridge (the rail bridge in the above picture) has recently been inscribed with UNESCO World Heritage Status, joining 5 other sites in Scotland with this status.  They are: St Kilda, New Lanark, the heart of Neolithic Orkney, The Antonine Wall and the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh.

View towards the Forth BridgeAs we reached the northern end of the bridge we turned to see that it was the turn of South Queensferry to be caught in the downpour.  We climbed up the steps at the Fife end of the bridge to take a look at the progress of the Queensferry Crossing.

Queensferry Crossing being built

In the photograph you might just be able to see a box-like structure sticking out just above the blue metal work.  This is the lift which we watched ferrying materials from base to top of the tower.  If you want to watch progress, you can find out more following the links at the end of the article.

The Queensferry Crossing  opened in August 2017 by the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Rankin's Deli North Queensferry

By the time we reached the village of North Queensferry, we’d worked up an appetite for lunch so headed to Rankin’s Cafe and Deli, where, after a short wait, we were able to order a good value lunch and some warm drinks.  My companion had been visualising the waffles, bacon and poached egg option since the start of the walk!

After lunch, there’s the option of visiting the Aquarium at Deep Sea World, or climbing up to the railway station to catch a train back to Waverley. Enjoy the Bridge Walk when you’re here!

Read more about the Forth Bridges (all three!), including the new Queensferry Crossing on the Forth Bridges Forum

Check train and bus times for access to the Forth Bridge walk using the Traveline Scotland Apps.

Rankin’s Deli Facebook Page has information about daily specials and opening hours.

If you would like to find out more about days out and trips you can do from Edinburgh read our blog

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If you would like some more tips and suggestions about what to do where to go and what to see on a visit to Edinburgh read our blog posts on www.2edinburgh.com

Blog Post updated March 2024

Anything to add?