Often just called Queensferry, or “The Ferry” by the local inhabitants. It is located in West Lothian and is part of the City of Edinburgh. There are just under 10,000 people living there.
Queensferry has always been an important and strategic town. It is a former Royal Burgh and got its name from the ferry that used to run between here and North Queensferry. The ferry was in operation until 1964 when the Forth Road Bridge was built. There are oil, electronics and whisky interests in the town.
The ferry was an important part on the pilgrimage to St Andrews and started running in 1071 when Malcom III allowed pilgrims free passage. The “Queen” from Queensferry is Queen Margaret. Because of its royal connections it was given Royal Burgh status in 1636.
The town continues to sit in a strategic location. It is only 8 miles from Edinburgh Airport, 10 miles from Edinburgh and provides important road and rail links to the north of Scotland. The famous landmarks of “The Ferry” are the two (soon to be three) bridges, the Forth Railway Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge. The new bridge, the Queensferry Crossing is due to be completed in 2016.
It is a very historic town with buildings dating back to the 17th Century. These include Tollbooth Tower, the Black Castle, St Mary’s Episcopal Church and the Hawes Inn. The Hawes Inn was made famous by being mentioned in Robert Louis Stevenson’s book, “Kidnapped”. Part of the book was written while he was staying there.
The Forth Bridges
The Forth Railway Bridge. In 1879 there as a disaster with the Tay Railway Bridge in Dundee. The bridge collapsed causing large loss of life. Because of this it was decided to build a very strong and sturdy bridge. It was designed by Sir John Fowler using a cantilever method of support. Work was started in 1883 and was completed in 1890. It contains 10 times as much steel as was used to construct the Eiffel Tower. It has the world’s second longest single span in the world.
The Forth Road Bridge. It was opened in 1964 by the Queen. At the time it was the largest suspension bridge in the world. Every year it carries around 12 million vehicles.
The new Queensferry Crossing opened in 2017 and is now the major route to connect Edinburgh to Fife and the North of Scotland. The Forth Road Bridge only carries busses.
Queensferry High Street
The High Street of Queensferry has an unusual stepped cross section. This was done because of the steep sloping hillside beside the shore. There are houses on the top section and shops at street level. This gives the town an interesting character.
Visit South Queensferry
Visiting the town during the quieter periods will give you a chance to step back in time. Much has been done to preserve the historical feel of the town with its narrow, cobbled high street. There is Black Castle, dating from 1626. Plewlands House from the 17th Century, Tolbooth from the 17th Century along with its clock tower. The Hawes Inn.
Nearby are some large stately homes to visit – Hopetoun House. Home to the Earls of Hopetoun since the 17th Century. Dalmeny House. Home to the Earls of Roseberry. Dundas Castle. Home of the Dundas Family.
Yearly events include the Ferry Fair, the Loony Dook and the walk of the Burryman.
Your visit to South Queensferry will no doubt be an unforgettable one.