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Inchcolm Abbey

Inchcolm Island, South Queensferry, Edinburgh, Scotland
+44 1383 823332
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Type: Historic Sites
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: David I established a priory here which became an abbey in 1235. It is now the best-preserved group of monastic buildings in Scotland. The island is... more » Owner description: David I established a priory here which became an abbey in 1235. It is now the best-preserved group of monastic buildings in Scotland. The island is famed for its seals, wildlife and coastal defences from two World Wars.Inchcolm means ‘Columba’s Isle’, though the ‘Iona of the east’ has no known link with St Columba. The island is dominated by its dramatically located abbey complex, comprising the best-preserved group of monastic buildings in Scotland. The Augustinian canons settled here in the early 12th century, enjoying the island’s isolation and tranquillity. However, its location in the Firth of Forth also made it a target for English naval raids throughout the wars with England from the 14th to the mid-16th century. The brethren increasingly spent more time ashore in Fife. After the Protestant Reformation of 1560 brought monastic life to an end, the island continued to serve in the defence of the country right up to the Second World War. The island’s remains testify to this history of conflict as well as the history of the medieval church in Scotland. The abbey must be reached by boat from South Queensferry. « less
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Falkirk
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
17 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014 NEW

This is a very special place to us as a family and we have visited many many times. The island is a great place to walk though the seagulls now limit where you can go. The Abbey itself is very well preserved and is a lovely place to visit. It is so special we have a memorial bench there for... More

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Port Hope, Canada
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
17 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014 NEW

Be sure to book the trip from South Queensferry which allows for a visit to the abbey. Excellent historical site. Lots of birds... Stay away from the gulls in breeding season!!! If you're lucky you may see puffins. Lots of seals along the way basking on the buoys. Take a picnic as there are no facilities for purchasing food on... More

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Scotland
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
13 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2014

I live in South Queensferry so it isn't far to travel for me. I visited Inchcolm a few years ago with my sister in law and two nephews from London. We went on the Maid of the Forth and you get the tickets from the kiosk on the esplanade where the boat leaves from. It is lovely on a sunny... More

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Scotland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

We went on the ferry over to Inchcolm on a blustery day and on arrival started to question why. However, the little island has a lovely little beach where seals bask in the shallows. The Abbey is a ruin but is nice to walk around. We sat on one of the ledges watching the seals. Worth the visit.

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Fife, United Kingdom
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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

Had great day here, definitely visit again in future. Boat trip was good giing under bridges, seeing little islands and the seals. It started pouring down rainand thunder and lightning while we were on island but stil had loads fun. Only problem some of staircases were narrow and steep not too good if got young kids.

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Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

Inchcolm Abbey is one of those places that's not very straightforward to visit. It's not opened every day, and you need to take a boat to go over there. But it's all worth it! The boat trip in itself (from South Queensferry) is a great start to your visit. You'll go under the Forth Bridge and will receive explanations about... More

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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

The short boat trip to get to inchcolm island was a great start. You get to see edinburgh and fife from a different perspective. The abbey is set in lovely grounds and ideal for a picnic (if the weather permits). Don't get too close to the nesting seagulls.

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Athens, Greece
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

We took the Maid of the Forth ferry from Quinsferry. What a place! The abbey is almost perfectly preserved, and we felt like we were in a setting from an adventure game. If you go up on the last floor of the abbey the view is bewitching. The small island is full of vegetation and its a place where hundreds... More

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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

I had a very special reason for visiting the abbey as I was getting married there :) It was a wonderful experience in a magical place. All members of my wedding party could access the abbey from the boat although some of the elderly needed help with the flight of steps from the boat up to the abbey itself. You... More

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Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
8 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014 via mobile

This is wonderful piece of Medieval history. The boat ride there is fun and the island is a bird colony alongside old world war two defenses. Inchcolm Abbey is incredibly well preserved. Worth the visit and a takes about 2 hours when you are there.

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