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Inchcolm Abbey and Island

| Hawes Pier, South Queensferry, Edinburgh EH30 9TB, Scotland
+44 7836 265146
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Inchcolm Abbey was established on this island originally as a priory by David I in 1235. It is the best-preserved group of monastic buildings in Scotland. It was the dream of Alexander I to establish a monastery on the island after he sheltered on it during a storm. But following his death, it was his brother David I who invited Augustinian canons to establish a priory, which was later given full abbey status. The abbey has a dramatic location which you can see from the boat before you arrive on the island. The medieval stone screens inside the belltower are rare survivals of medieval church fixtures and the 13th century well-painting is a rare medieval fresco. The island is also famed for its seals, wildlife and coastal defences from the two world wars.
  • Excellent75%
  • Very good21%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“boat trip” (111 reviews)
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
| Hawes Pier, South Queensferry, Edinburgh EH30 9TB, Scotland
+44 7836 265146

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1 - 10 of 623 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago

First caveat: eat before you go. There is no time at South Queensbury and nothing on the Island other than sweets. My bad. This is a magical place. Having visited a range of ancient/medieval sites across Europe, being on an island in the Firth, with...More

Thank davenpeggy
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Had a lovely trip to the island and walk around the abbey. Beautiful weather. Very good boat trip with informative dialogue throughout. Would definitely recommend.

Thank Christine T
Reviewed 5 days ago

The trip consists of a half hour boat trip ,90 minutes on the island to visit the abbey which has been restored to a high standard and it is so tranquil on the Island .,that could have stayed all day.On the day we went the...More

Thank Ashley D
Reviewed 1 week ago

Inchcolm Abbey on Inchcolm Island was an amazing afternoon. I felt like I had traveled back in time. The abbey has been carefully restored and each section had the history of the rooms etc. We had 90 min to explore the entire grounds. We used...More

Thank Robin H
Reviewed 1 week ago

Visited here early kin June 2017. Extremely interesting ruin with lots of steep spiral stairs, nooks and crannies. My husband and I are pensioners and did not go right to the top but our very fit daughter did. Some of the spiral stairs are very...More

Thank Una M
Reviewed 1 week ago

Had a fantastic trip here on a lovely sunny day, Abbey is spectacular and great little picnic areas. It's suitable for all ages. There are toilets and a gift shop on the island.

Thank yvonnesmith694
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Stopped off here while on a Forth Boat tour. It was brilliant. The weather was lovely and we were surprised at the completeness of the Abbey in this remote location. The gulls were rearing chicks so some of the paths were closed( for our safety!...More

Thank MargaretP
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I had plenty of time to explore the abbey as well as the WWI sites on the island. Plus I had time to sit and have a nice picnic...just make sure you bring things with you as there is only a small gift shop on...More

Thank Jessica H
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Beautiful Inchcolm Abbey is a fine example of it's time. An awe inspiring day out for all the family. We went on the "Maid of the Forth" as we had heard this was the best trip and we were not disappointed. It may be a...More

Thank sandracunnea
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

This little island is a must see attraction when visiting Edinburgh. The Island is beautiful. Beware of nesting Gulls who defend most of the paths of this place!! We liked the visitor room and child's quiz and shop. Great views and history. A hidden gem!

Thank Lemsley
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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Lisa F
how much time do you visitors need to give justice to the experience? How often do the ferries run? thank you
June 2, 2017|
Answer Show all 7 answers
Response from LiamRoberts | Reviewed this property |
We just spent a couple of hours on the island, but you could easily spend longer. I would note that there were no toilets (as far as I was aware) so maybe use the boat loo before landing if you're going to stay for the... More
Maureen A
Do you have to book the Maid of the Forth in advance or can you just show up to the ticket office?
July 22, 2016|
Answer Show all 9 answers
Response from ian1811 | Reviewed this property |
Best to book in advance. You can just turn up but if it is busy you may not get on?
Does the island have puffins? If so, are they located in a specific part of the island and is that area easily accessible? We'd only have 1.5 hours on the island and want to know if we'd actually be able to go look for the puffins (assuming they are there). Thanks.
May 31, 2016|
Answer Show all 10 answers
Response from TartanWanderer | Reviewed this property |
Hi there. I am from Edinburgh originally and I am not aware that there are any Puffins here. If you have been told that there are then I am obviously wrong. When I was there I didn't see any - sorry.