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Inchcolm Abbey

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Address: Inchcolm Island, South Queensferry, Edinburgh, Scotland
Phone Number: +44 131 331 5000
Website
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes
Description: David I established a priory here which became an abbey in 1235. It is now...
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.
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Most recent review
Very Scenic

Nice boat trip over, beautiful island and abbey picture perfect! Don't go if you are afraid of seagulls and they swoop dive you during chicky season haha!

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 14, 2015
Kelly C
,
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
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305 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2015

Nice boat trip over, beautiful island and abbey picture perfect! Don't go if you are afraid of seagulls and they swoop dive you during chicky season haha!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Bonnybridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
158 reviews 158 reviews
57 attraction reviews
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015

Worth a visit, its set on an island in the middle of the river forth, only accessible in the summer by boat from the Hawes Pier in South Queensferry, book online before you go to guarantee a seat. Just a short boat ride out, about minutes, look for the underground tunnel when you are on the island.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2015

liked location plenty of wildlife to view and lovely walk round the island Disliked the food that was for sale in cafe

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Hamilton, Scotland, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2015

Boat trip out from South Queensferry takes you under the Forth road and rail bridges and now the site of the new Queensferry crossing. The Island itself has a lot of history form the time of the abbey to the sea defences of WW 2. Fantastic views out to sea and inland up the Forth as well as plenty of... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2015

I've lived in the area for many years and have always meant to visit the island. The journey there was the best part. Amazing views of the bridges and some up close seal watching opportunities! Bar on the boat too! A great day out!

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South Queensferry, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015

inchcolm abbey is a timeless place to visit. You go by boat from south Queensberry to the island. as you arrive you feel a feeling off peace. I was taken by friends from Cornwall, who had always wanted too see what it looked like. There is a certain amount of people who hold their wedding's there. As it is old... More 

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Nottingham, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015

The boat trip to the island is fabulous. Lots of seals to be seen basking on the rocks. The island is breathtakingly beautiful and one could spend longer than is permitted on the one return journey; If you go early enough you can stay until the next boat departs.

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Cebu City, Philippines
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2015

been there twice, on a friend's boat and on the ferry. both times were easy to do and manageable for families with small children. enjoyed looking around the island and the abbey ruins. careful during seagull nesting season as they can be justly protective of their young ones. enjoyed going and wouldn't mind going again.

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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2014 via mobile

We have done this trip a number of times in the summer. It is always a fantastic outing and the kids love to run around in the island. Be aware of the gulls during breeding season

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Arbroath, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
7 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2014

Did this trip on a groupon - worth every penny to the point we will go back and pay full price and do the ferry trip again next summer. The trip was fascinating from start to finish - paid to stop on Incholm Island - so glad we did. I can understand why it's called the Iona of the East... More 

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