The Forth Bridge is recognisable all over the world. It has three distinct sections stretching across the Firth of Forth made from red steel and millions of rivets.
Standing at one of the viewpoints today, you can see the evolution of engineering through the three side-by-side bridges.
- Stretching between Fife and Edinburgh, over the Firth of Forth.
What makes it special
- For its engineering and innovative use of technology.
- First major structure to be built from mild steel which is cost-effective, reliable and still popular today.
Forth Bridge in numbers
The bridge is:
- 100 metres tall (328 feet)
- 2,529 metres long (8,296 feet)
- 200 trains cross every day
- Travelling at speeds of up to 50 mph (80 km/h)
- 50,000 tonnes of mild steel
- 6,000,000 rivets
- And 6% of the steel was recycled
Die Geschichte der Forth Bridge
Learn more about the history of this iconic bridge.
- What you see today is not the original design.
- The Tay Bridge rail disaster in 1879 saw the bridge over the Firth of Tay collapse.
- The creator, Sir Thomas Bouch had just started work on the Forth Bridge.
- New designs were invited – looking for strength and safety to help reassure future passengers.
- Existing bridge was picked for the elegance and rigidity of the cantilever design which used mild steel on an unprecedented scale.
- The men who built the bridge were known as the ‘briggers’.
1890 - Forth Bridge opened
1964 - Forth Road Bridge opened
2015 - Forth Bridge given UNESCO World Heritage Site status
2017 - Queensferry Crossing opened
DID YOU KNOW?
It’s been a tourist attraction since its construction.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out The Briggers by Elspeth Willis, the story of the men who built the bridge.
Local attractions & experiences
Support local businesses
These Green Tourism businesses are assessed on everything from energy efficiency to biodiversity and awarded bronze, silver or gold.
We want Scotland's UNESCO Trail to be an opportunity to explore the country in a sustainable and responsible way.
Best in class
We've highlighted some of the best sustainable businesses around the Forth Bridge.
The Forth Bridge Heritage Centre
Delve into the history of this incredible structure at this engrossing wee museum run by the North Queensferry Heritage Trust. Unearth a treasure trove of memorabilia relating to the bridge and its construction inside this former Victorian railway station waiting room.
Three Bridges Bus & Boat Tour
Starting from Edinburgh, this combined bus and boat tour takes you right through the city and out to Queensferry on a double-decker sightseeing bus. You'll arrive at Hawes Pier where you can cruise with Forth Boat Tours for amazing views of the bridges. One ticket covers it all, or add in a landing at Inchcolm Island as well.
How to Visit
There are several ways to get to the Forth Bridge and explore the local area.
Take the train to North Queensferry or Dalmeny, then walk down to the waterfront.
Bus services to and across the Forth Bridges are provided by Stagecoach, Scottish Citylink, First Scotland and Lothian Buses.
Walk or cycle over the Forth Road Bridge using the network of paths.
Private cars now travel over the Queensferry Crossing between Edinburgh & The Lothians and Fife.
Discover & Explore the UNESCO Sites of Central East Scotland
To arrive in the east of Scotland from most places in the UK, it’s a simple case of hopping on a train from the nearest station and arriving in Edinburgh Waverley Train Station. There’s also Edinburgh Airport with connections to international hubs across the UK and Europe. From here, reach Dundee by train, or make use of excellent rail, bus, and cycle networks to explore the wider region. Find practical advice and tips on getting around the cities and the region’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, attractions, accommodation, and places to eat.View Journey
Learn more about UNESCO
There are six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Scotland.
Learn more about UNESCO
The Forth Bridge works through UNESCO to build sustainable relationships with other sites across the world, such as Geelong in Australia.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Every UNESCO designation tries to include the UN Sustainable Development Goals in their work.
WHAT ARE THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS)?
An urgent call for action from a global partnership of countries.
Recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations comes from strategies to:
- improve health and education
- reduce inequality
- encourage economic growth
- tackle climate change
Forth Bridge's Sustainable Development Goals
Here’s how the Forth Bridge is working towards three of the goals.
Good Health & Wellbeing
The Forth Bridge helps promote healthy travel and exercise.
The Forth Bridge provides digital education modules ‘GoForth’ which are available via Education Scotland’s Glow Connect platform to all schools in Scotland. It is an inspiring educational resource which offers particular relevance to STEM subjects.
Decent work & economic growth
The Forth Bridge, together with the neighbouring Forth Road Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing, is a tourism destination close to Edinburgh which aspires to encourage sustainable tourism and benefit adjacent communities on both sides of the Forth.