The Forth Bridge UNESCO World Heritage Site
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.
Discover why the Forth Bridge is special
The Forth Bridge is recognised for its engineering and innovative use of technology.
It was the 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) and 2,529 metres long (8,296 feet).
Around 200 trains cross every day up to 50 mph (80 km/h).
It was built with 50,000 tonnes of mild steel, with around 6% recycled.
Around 6,000,000 rivets hold it together.
The history of the 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.
Explore the local area
The Forth Bridge sits between Edinburgh & The Lothians and Fife.
There are several viewpoints on both sides of the Firth of Forth.
The closest towns are North Queensferry and Queensferry.
Sustainable 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 local attractions & experiences
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.
Live times and tickets from Scotrail
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
Walk or cycle over the Forth Road Bridge using the network of paths.
Maps of walking & cycling at the Forth Bridges
Private cars now travel over the Queensferry Crossing between Edinburgh & The Lothians and Fife.
Maps of the bridge for driving to the Forth Bridges
Experience more UNESCO sitesMake the Forth Bridge part of a longer trip - we can help you plan a trip to all of the UNESCO sites in the local area, including Dundee and Edinburgh.
UNESCO Sites to Explore in Central East Scotland
There are four UNESCO sites to explore in this central east spot. Explore Edinburgh with two designations and then travel across and stop to learn more about the Forth Bridge. Your final stop is Dundee, our City of Design.View Journey
Learn more about the UNESCO Trail
There are six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Scotland.
Read more about Scotland's UNESCO Trail and watch UNESCO: Explained
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.