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“How lucky are we?”

Inchcolm Abbey and Island
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$42.66*
and up
Historic Scotland Explorer Pass
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Just over 10minutes on the train from Edinburgh brings you to South Queensferry and to the foot of the iconic bridges spanning the river. From here, take the ferry under the bridges and down the Firth, passing oil terminals and ancient castles as you go. The small island, graced by a ruined Abby, wartime watchers and a small museum is a delight. Visit in the spring for bird life as the island hosts a varied population of breeding gulls, but wait till autumn to full explore the island, as the gulls do not welcome visitors to the less well walked paths. The Abby is wonderfully presented and incredibly atmospheric, the resident warden ensures the area around the buildings complements the settings making it is a very special place to picnic. The resident grey seals are a delight and you really do have to remind yourself just how close the city is and what little effort was required to get there. How to improve this wee gem, a tea room perhaps, though I am happy to trade that for this stolen moment from history

3  Thank Terri T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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504 - 508 of 746 reviews

Reviewed October 11, 2013

We have visited Inchcolm whilst mini cruising on the forth boat tours (also reviewed). We had our snack inside the Abbey (heating room) overlooking the bay where 2 seals had their heads sticking out that almost seamed they were spying at us too :)

Toilets are available

The island as solely a souvenir shop (no cafe neither rest or a thing of same sort, gladly!).

Grand place to tick on your places to visit around the firth.

1  Thank L P B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2013

We enjoyed our trip out to Inchcolm Abbey.It was a pleasant day and so we thought we would get off the boat and spend a couple of hours in and around the abbey after lunch. Unfortunately there was no food or drinks available on the island so we understood then why lots of passengers were eating and drinking on the boat on the way out. We walked everywhere we could and enjoyed exploring the Abbey itself. On the return journey there were interesting sights to see from the boat and we were given some interesting information too. All in it was a pleasant trip

Thank AyrshireRuby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2013

This is a lovely little island and not that big so you can walk round it easily. The Abbey is really nice to see. But watch out for low flying sea-gulls, they can be quite lethal when they dive bomb you if you go near a nest.

1  Thank Bearscot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

Pick up one of the many reasonably priced boats from South Queensferry that will take you under the two Forth bridges and around Inchcolm Abbey,you can choose to stay on board or get of to explore the Abbey and be picked up at a later time,steeped in history the Abbey is a must,there is also all the wildlife,variety of sea birds and there are always the seals to watch,we normally get the 11 am boat on a Sunday morning,certainly blows away the cobwebs from the night before.

Thank pluto308
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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