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Inchcolm Abbey

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Address: | Hawes Pier, South Queensferry, Edinburgh EH30 9TB, Scotland
Phone Number:
+44 7836 265146
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes

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

Read all 674 reviews
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  • 465
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  • 18
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  • 1

Wonderful place on the Incholm Island. Beautiful and huge Abbey in an amazing location. We reached the island by boat leaving from South Queensferry, it takes half an hour. The... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Giuseppe C
Rosyth, United Kingdom
via mobile

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674 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 610: English reviews
Rosyth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
407 reviews
240 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Wonderful place on the Incholm Island. Beautiful and huge Abbey in an amazing location. We reached the island by boat leaving from South Queensferry, it takes half an hour. The abbey is very big, well kept for the age, many signs to explain everything. Full of history, very interesting for passionate or not about history. You need a ticket to... More 

Thank Giuseppe C
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We took a sail to Inchcolm Abbey on a perfect day. The sea was like a mill pond...most unusual for the River Forth. The boat we sailed in was clean and comfortable, and the staff could not have been more helpful. When we arrived on the island, we were warned that it was the breeding season for the seagulls, and... More 

Thank M and E T
Level Contributor
40 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The journey to the Abbey is by boat,outside and enclosed arears. Lots of birds to see and seals. If Landing on the Island addional charge applies. Wear flats or trainers, there only toilets are at the visitors centre at the pier. The Abbey is a semi ruin. Take an sick if the seagulls are nesting, they are mean, hold the... More 

Thank jamescu
Level Contributor
91 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Poor show. Arrived by Jetski and found ourselves ambushed by a historic Scotland staff member. Jetskiers not welcome here. What a shame. Awkward.

Thank Pedalpower
Level Contributor
145 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

This abbey was the highlight of my visit to Inchcolm Island. Its remains are well preserved and it is full of interesting facts about a typical monk's day at the abbey back in the 13th century. There is also some excellent information about Incholm Island's part in defending Scotland during World War 2. The views across to the Forth Bridges... More 

Thank sightseercumrambler
Uddingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This for me was a fabulous day out from the minute we passed through South Queensferry (which is a quaint narrow street town) to my first view of all three magnificent bridges from below. We boarded Maid of the Forth for half hour trip to Inchcolm Island. My first view of this medieval Abbey was stunning. If your able to... More 

Thank MusicbirdUdddingston
Levenmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We went as part of a boat trip with Forth boat tours that left from South Queensferry. We had a beautiful day for the trip and we disembarked at Inchcolm for just over 90 mins until the next boat picked us up again. The island and Abbey are well worth a visit and I found it very interesting, calm and... More 

Thank Chasrobo
Level Contributor
76 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We visited the island and abbey this weekend. It's a lovely scenic walk on a warm sunny day and the history of the abbey is highly informative. Climbing to the top of the bell tower was rather cramped in the tiny spiral stone staircase (I'm over 6ft) but the views were well worth it. For only £6 per adult, it's... More 

1 Thank LiamRoberts
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is a fantastic place to visit. Take the boat trip to the island. Once there transport yourself back in time to the time of the monks and the 2 world wars. The abbey is in great condition as are the grounds and surrounding area. But please beware of the seagulls during the breeding season as they can attack you... More 

Thank michael b
Level Contributor
159 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Good place to explore- kids will love it - and also a focal point for a visit to Inchcolme Island. Sail over on Maid of the Forth from South Queensferry- and take a picnic and flasks as there isn't a cafe on the island, although the visitor centre and shop above the landing stage is good and also has toilets.

Thank MarilynJEdinburgh

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