Sun 11 Sep 2016
It was a gorgeous warm, still day in Edinburgh and I went along with my family for a boat trip on the Maid of the Forth, based at South Queensferry. This is a 90 minute round trip to Inchcolm Island, with the option to stop off at the island for a couple of hours.
We arrived at 12.00 for the 12.15 sailing and the boat was very busy. The open top deck was already full, so we got a seat downstairs. Although I was a little disappointed not to be sat in the sun, it was quite good because we had more room and our own table. The kids could have a drink and a snack and we all had a great view out of the window. My husband and I took it in turns to go up to the top deck with the kids to have a look and take some photos.
We got a great view of the Forth Bridge as we passed under it and we even saw some seals as we approached the island. They were very inquisitive and had a really good look at us on the boat. The journey was lots of fun and seemed to pass in a flash. We arrived at Inchcolm by 13.00 and had two hours to explore.
Inchcolm Island is a beautiful place. We had a lovely walk and visited the abbey, which dates back to the 12th century. There was also a nice little beach, where we had fun throwing stones into the water. The only facilities there were a small gift shop and toilets, so I was glad we brought food and drinks with us.
At 15.00 it was time for our return journey. The boat arrived on time, but it took about half an hour to let the passengers off the boat and then to get all of us back on it. This felt like a long time to wait in a queue with two restless children. We were all very happy to be back on the boat and managed to get seats on the top deck this time. We had an even better view from here, especially when passing under the bridge.
We had an absolutely brilliant family day out on the Maid of the Forth – I would definitely recommend it on a sunny day. Don’t forget to take a picnic! The boat cruises run most days from March to October (check the timetable for details). Adult tickets for this particular trip are £18.50, with discounts for Historic Scotland members. Children under 5 go free.