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.

Map of The Forth Bridge UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • 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)
It's used by:
  • 200 trains cross every day
  • Travelling at speeds of up to 50 mph (80 km/h)
It was built with:
  • 50,000 tonnes of mild steel
  • 6,000,000 rivets
  • And 6% of the steel was recycled
It will last for ever if you look after it.”
Sir William Arrol

Local attractions & experiences

How to Visit

Public transport

Train

Take the train to North Queensferry or Dalmeny, then walk down to the waterfront.

Live times and tickets - Scotrail

Bus

Bus services to and across the Forth Bridges are provided by Stagecoach, Scottish Citylink, First Scotland and Lothian Buses.

Public transport to the Forth Bridges

On foot

Walk or cycle over the Forth Road Bridge using the network of paths.

Maps - walking & cycling at the Forth Bridges

By car

Private cars now travel over the Queensferry Crossing between Edinburgh & The Lothians and Fife.

Maps of the bridge - driving to the Forth Bridges

Live traffic information - Traffic Scotland

Two cyclists heading along the shore, the Forth Bridge in the background
Cycling over the Forth Road Bridge
The buildings around the cobbled Royal Mile, lit up in red and blue colours at night

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

History

  • 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’.

Timeline

  • 1890 - Forth Bridge opened
  • 1960s - Forth Road Bridge opened
  • 2015 - Forth Bridge given UNESCO World Heritage Site status
  • 2017 - Queensferry Crossing opened

Read more

Did you know?

  • It’s been a tourist attraction since its construction.
The world's smallest working light tower in North Queensferry in silhouette against the Forth Bridge
North Queensferry harbour light tower

Learn more about UNESCO

There are six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Scotland.

The Forth Bridge works through UNESCO to build sustainable relationships with other sites across the world, such as Geelong in Australia.

A close up of the steel within the Forth Bridge
Forth Bridge

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Every UNESCO designation tries to include the UN Sustainable Development Goals in their work.

Here’s how the Forth Bridge is working towards three of them:

Goal 3

Good Health & Wellbeing

The Forth Bridge helps promote healthy travel and exercise.

Goal 4

Quality Education

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.

Goal 8

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.

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

Check out all the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Useful links