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Inchcolm Abbey and Island

| Hawes Pier, South Queensferry, Edinburgh EH30 9TB, Scotland
+44 7836 265146
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US$ 41.12*
and up
Historic Scotland Explorer Pass
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Inchcolm Abbey was established on this island originally as a priory by David I in 1235. It is the best-preserved group of monastic buildings in Scotland. It was the dream of Alexander I to establish a monastery on the island after he sheltered on it during a storm. But following his death, it was his brother David I who invited Augustinian canons to establish a priory, which was later given full abbey status. The abbey has a dramatic location which you can see from the boat before you arrive on the island. The medieval stone screens inside the belltower are rare survivals of medieval church fixtures and the 13th century well-painting is a rare medieval fresco. The island is also famed for its seals, wildlife and coastal defences from the two world wars.
  • Excellent75%
  • Very good21%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“boat trip” (114 reviews)
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
| Hawes Pier, South Queensferry, Edinburgh EH30 9TB, Scotland
+44 7836 265146

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Reviews (708)
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1 - 10 of 640 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

This really is a hidden gem and the bonus is, as you can only reach it by ferry the amount of people on the island is limited! You get 1 1/2 hours on the island plus the same amount on the tour of the Firth...More

Thank Stephen L
Reviewed 2 days ago

This island offers a boat ride in the Firth of Forth, a chance to visit the interesting ruins of an ancient abbey and--if you go when the birds are nesting or raising chicks--a fascinating and close-up view of 1000s of gulls of a few species...More

Thank steve22228
Reviewed 3 days ago

While sceptical in advance that you'd need 1.5 hours to visit such a small island, there was a surprising amount to explore once there, from an ancient monastery to wartime bunkers and gun emplacements. Local wildlife such as seabirds and seals added to the charm!...More

Thank james f
Reviewed 1 week ago

It's a nice small island where you can get taking a boat from South Queensferry. The ruins of the abbey are wonderful and you can explore all of them as you want! It's likely to see seals during boat trips.

Thank clary1976
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

£20 pp for the 1.5 hour trip here including the boat ride back and forward. We really enjoyed the island, the Abbey was interesting. Though, it was a beautiful day when we went, should it have rained? Maybe not as there is little to no...More

Thank Avidfoody
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Not even the cold, grey day stopped us from enjoying Inchcolm Abbey. The setting was beautiful and was great to see all the seabirds up close. Unfortunately we didn't spot any puffins! We enjoyed the history of the Abbey very much and our kids enjoyed...More

1  Thank bigmama86
Reviewed 1 week ago

Absolute must see activity the island with all is birdlife on it is truly beautiful. To see seagull chicks was great but look at these chicks from a distance not close up as their parents don't like intruders nearby. The Abbey is remarkable you have...More

Thank Hortense1957
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a rocky island in the Firth of Forth, between Edinburgh and Fife. It can be reached by a tour boat from South Queensferry, in the shadow of the Forth bridges not far from Edinburgh. The boat will drop you off at the island...More

Thank nonymousEH
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My favourite spot in Edinburgh is the Inchcolm island. You can get here by taking a ferry called the Maid of Forth from South Queensferry, just underneath the rail bridge. It takes about 45 mins to reach the island and you get to spend a...More

Thank Srini J
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

one of the oldest and best preserve abbey. the boat tour with the on going comments is worth the price. pictures possibilities if the day is not cloudy of the royal mile in the distance and on site.

Thank Richard R
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Questions & Answers
Lisa F
2 June 2017|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from l-a-christie | Reviewed this property |
A couple of hours would be fine to see everything but if it is a nice day you may want to spend more time, the beach is actually very sheltered. There are toilets and a tea-room although we took a picnic that the seagulls... More
Maureen A
23 July 2016|
AnswerShow all 9 answers
Response from ian1811 | Reviewed this property |
Best to book in advance. You can just turn up but if it is busy you may not get on?
1 June 2016|
AnswerShow all 10 answers
Response from TartanWanderer | Reviewed this property |
Hi there. I am from Edinburgh originally and I am not aware that there are any Puffins here. If you have been told that there are then I am obviously wrong. When I was there I didn't see any - sorry.