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Inchcolm Abbey

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Address: | Hawes Pier, South Queensferry, Edinburgh EH30 9TB, Scotland
Phone Number: 447836265146
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 tranquility. 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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Beautiful Abbey

I visited this Abbey on Inchcolm Island with my daughter and seven year old grandson. We initially were concerned about the length of time we were to spend on the island, until... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
missush49
,
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
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549 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 501: English reviews
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

I visited this Abbey on Inchcolm Island with my daughter and seven year old grandson. We initially were concerned about the length of time we were to spend on the island, until the boat returned to pick us up. We need not have worried as the time past in a flash while we investigated every inch of the abbey. We... More 

Helpful?
Thank missush49
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
35 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Lovely day out for all the family. Catch the Maid if the Forth from South Queensferry to the island. If it's nice weather, take a picnic as no food is available in the island. You can spend an hour and 45 minutes in the island or stay longer and catch the next boat back. Take your hill walking hours if... More 

Helpful?
Thank Kelly-no1
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This was a neat place to explore and poke around. There is some information posted, but the real draw for this was the opportunity to climb around. There was one tiny circular staircase that was especially fun to try and get up and down. The island was beautiful though the seagulls were intimidating (understandable during nesting season) so that we... More 

Helpful?
Thank aringdal
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

It's not just the Abbey, though more remains than of most to give a good idea of its pre-Reformation days: tower, cloister and chapter-house are all impressive. The island too is a lovely spot, carefully tended, with secluded beach, great views all round to Edinburgh and Pentlands, Fife and up to the Forth bridges, wartime relics, and hooching with (noisy)... More 

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Thank franchee60
Eyemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Really interesting and lots of areas to explore, id recommend you take a picnic and enjoy the area :D

Helpful?
Thank Pode0136
Glasgow
Level Contributor
30 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The abbey is beautiful and still in great condition. Many of these places you visit have roped off areas of stairwells you are not allowed up while as an adult I appreciate reasons for this little explorers not so understanding. I think this is why kids loved this so much we had 4 and 9 year old. Every place we... More 

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Thank Belle2375
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I enjoyed my visit to the island and abbey with my wife and kids. Albeit in the heart of Scotland it is somewhat remote due to access. We spent a lot of time exploring the abbey. Take note - head room is low and despite being careful I didn't come away unscathed. The climb to the top is a must... More 

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Thank alyerpal2015
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Although resident in Edinburgh for almost 30 years I had never been to Inchcolm, but had heard about it from many friends. It's very near Edinburgh and makes a great day trip. Our party of five adults and two almost-teenage boys all enjoyed it and some had been previously. The main attraction is the medieval abbey, which you are free... More 

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Thank Gordon T
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
32 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This was our second visit to Inchcolm Abbey. We enjoyed it just as much as the first time. There were birds nesting, so some areas were out of bounds, but there was still a lot to see. They have added a guide that you can book with on the ferry before you arrive who will meet you at the dock... More 

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Thank travelwit
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This was our second trip on the ferry to Inchcom Abbey and it was as enjoyable as the first. The ferry operator gave excellent historical and topical commentary and even made a short diversion under the new Forth Street bridge to explain how it is being built. The Abbey itself is very interesting and even on a bad weather day... More 

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Thank itchi100

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