The eleven main islands of the Firth of Forth in Scotland - many of these are visible from Edinburgh This quiz has tags. Isle of Lewis, Isle of Harris & Stornoway. The Fifth of Forth has many islands along it’s length with some being more well known than others. Inchkeith sits in the Firth of Forth between Edinburgh and Pettycur and its believed to have been used by people for several hundred years. There are around 12 islands. Outer Firth of Forth and St Andrews Bay Complex - Common guillemot - Winter concentrations (SNH WMS) This map layer is a Web Map Service provided by a third party. Every year hundreds of people from across Scotland come together on the banks of the Firth of Forth in South Queensferry and immerse themselves in the chilly ocean water. Now a RSPB nature reserve, a lot of the fortifications from both world wars still exist. It grew up as tall as three metres and suffocated the puffin burrows, leaving the island uninhabitable. Little Ox lies off Musselburgh and the Black Rocks, including the Middle and Eastern Craigs lie just outside the Port of Leith.  The Fidra light was built in 1885 and automated in 1970. , Inchmickery lies about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) east of Inchkeith and it is about 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) north of the city of Edinburgh. The Carr Brigs are a hazard to shipping at the entrance to the Firth just off Fife Ness.  Rona is a tidal islet to the north joined to the main island by a bridge. The Outer Firth of Forth and St Andrews Bay Complex pSPA attracts one of the , Many of the islands were said to have Culdee connections, and had chapels on them. It was also purchased by Sir Hew Dalrymple, from North Berwick Town Council in 1814. Royalists during Oliver Cromwell’s attack built further defenses, gun batteries were added during the Napoleonic period and it was used for gun place… The estuary, the coastal and offshore regions of the Firth of Forth, its islands, and adjacent areas are home to an abundance of bird species of international importance.  Many of the island names have the first element, "Inch-" (from Innis, the Gaelic word for "island"). (2007) "Ammonia emissions from seabird colonies". It has a castle dating from the 14th century, which was later used as a prison and there are the remains of a chapel built circa 1491. All rights reserved. His force of marines were ordered to reinforce Inchkeith, and they built a large square fort, with corner towers, on the site of the present day lighthouse. , Group of islands in the Firth of Forth, Scotland, Mac an Tàilleir (2003) provides no name for the island itself but states that ", Recorded as "Insula Keth" in the 12th century. Expert local knowledge, gifts and inspiration. It has been claimed that the map of Treasure Island was modelled on Fidra, which sits in the Firth of Forth, approximately two and a half miles west of the seaside town, North Berwick. There are two delightful little beaches and lots of areas to sit and relax as well as a gift shop and visitor centre. Most people come dressed up as their favourite characters, in a variety of fancy dress, scantily clad, or even fully clothed from the night before all in good faith of raising money for their chosen charities. We sailed next to the tiny island of Inchmickery, which, like Inchgarvie, looks like a battleship from a distance. , There are various other small islets and skerries in the Firth. The chapter on the Isle of May makes for some fascinating reading in particular. Sitting directly under the Forth Rail Bridge this island has always been seen as strategically important, with James IV and John Dundas building the first fort on the island to help protect against pirates. From the engineer’s point of view the Forth Bridge opened a new era in cantilever construction. Inchkeith was fortified (along with Kinghorn) in 1880. , There is another Long Craig south of Dalgety Bay and Haystack lies between it and Inchcolm. Lamb, sometimes called Lamb Island or The Lamb, is a small, uninhabited island between the islands of Fidra and Craigleith in the Firth of Forth, off the southeast coast of Scotland. The lighthouse on The Isle of May © Nicola Holland. The constant supply of cookies, tea and music was a welcome treat. (More plague sufferers came from the mainland in 1609 and in 1799, Russian sailors who died of an infectious disease were buried there. In 1803, construction was begun of Inchkeith Lighthouse, designed and built by Thomas Smith and Robert Stevenson. Geologically, the Firth of Forth is a fjord, formed by the Forth Glacier in the last glacial period. There are few islands off eastern Scotland and most of any size are in this group. The Siege of Leith", "Trips to Inchcolm: The Iona of the East", "Uri Geller to hunt for treasure in Forth", "Mystical force stirs spoon-bender Geller to splash out on 'pyramid of the Forth, Scotland's Census 2001 – Occasional Paper No 10: Statistics for Inhabited Islands, "Appendix 2: Population and households on Scotland's Inhabited Islands", Statistical Bulletin: 2011 Census: First Results on Population and Household Estimates for Scotland Release 1C (Part Two), "View up Firth of Forth, showing Dubh Craig and Rosyth Castle in distance.  Fidra is also largely basalt and The Bass is a phonolite volcanic plug. Furthest east is the Isle of May, off the coast of Fife south of Crail. The captain, Colin, showed my daughter the ropes and allowed her to take the wheel of the catamaran to sail under the bridges.  This island has a long history of fortification and is now incorporated into the Forth Bridge. Several of the islands contain pre-historic remains created by cultures whose names are unknown. There are other skerries between it and the shore including Bubbly Buss, the Law Rocks and the Hummel Ridges. It is estimated that in 1850 almost 2000 birds were harvested from the rock. Sitting directly under the Forth Rail Bridge this island has always been seen as strategically important, with James IV and John Dundas building the first fort on the island to help protect against pirates. It is 1.8 km long and less than half a kilometre wide. Royalists during Oliver Cromwell’s attack built further defenses, gun batteries were added during the Napoleonic period and it was used for gun placement during both wars. The island is an important bird research area and volunteers spend weeks on the islands studying migrant birds and puffins. He spent one day and one night on the island, describing it as treacherous but mystical and vowed to return to search for the treasure.  St Adrian of May was murdered there by invading Danes in 870 (who killed St Monance in the same raid). The Firth of Forth is an estuary flowing into the North Sea, separating the Kingdom of Fife and Edinburgh. Cramond Island History.  Fidra, Inchmickery and Eyebroughy are RSPB reserves, the last being noted for its cormorants. Why not stay in a castle, a lighthouse or on a working farm? Location: The Firth of Forth is the estuary (firth) of several Scottish rivers including the River Forth. Cramond Island is one of several islands in the Firth of Forth. The existing building was constructed in 1816, which was converted to a "rock station" in 1972 and automated in March 1989.  Its component rock is trachyte and Lower Carboniferous in origin. In the Norse sagas it was known as the Myrkvifiörd. Clett and the Middens are stacks to the east and The Pillow is a skerry to the south east. A stunning, peaceful and serene island with marked paths all over, you can explore to your hearts content.  There are various skerries in the sea to the north including Swallow Craig, Car Craig, Meadulse and Craigdimas. The Middens is a small stack that lies just offshore to the northwest. Along the north shore, from west to east, Preston Island near Culross is an artificial former island.  When viewed from the mainland much of the rock looks white due to the sheer number of birds (and their droppings, which give off 152 tonnes of ammonia per year).  The scientific name of this gannet, Morus bassanus, is derived from the rock. At 7.5 hectares (19 acres) in extent the Bass Rock is the second largest of the islands of the Forth. Leaving from the pretty marina of Port Edgar in South Queensferry, on a luxury Catamaran, we sailed gently under the Forth bridges to our first island, Inchgarvie. The data show a 12 month value for number of AIS tracks crossing each grid cell between 1st February 2011 and 31st January 2012. Sitting directly under the Forth Rail Bridge this island has always been seen as strategically important, with James IV and John Dundas building the first fort on the island to help protect against pirates. , Fidra, archaically Fetheray, is 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north-west of North Berwick. , Craigleith lies close to North Berwick's harbour and historically was used as a rabbit warren. It is located 4 miles east of the Forth Bridge, 1 mile from the Fife coast near Aberdour and just 6 miles as the crow flies from Edinburgh City Centre (Google map link here).. They have also been affected by the successive influences of Celtic, Norse and English-speaking peoples during the historic period and this is reflected in their names. Much farther along the coast there is another West Vows and East Vows at Earlsferry. Towering above us at over 350 feet the sheer cliff faces were covered with over 150,000 gannets. The Forth Rail Bridge and Inchgarvie © Nicola Holland. , Inchgarvie's name is from Innis Gharbhaidh which is Scottish Gaelic for "rough island" or possibly "Garbhach's island". 1) show that the firth is shallow, with extensive shelf areas in Largo and Aberlady bays (Fig. There are various lighthouses and numerous devices to guide shipping in the busy waters near the ports of Leith and Rosyth. Our destination was to probably the most popular of them all, The Isle of May. , The Isle of May is in the north of the outer Firth of Forth, about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) off the coast of mainland Fife. until a thick layer of tree mallow invaded the island. According to the historian Robert Lyndsay of Pitscottie, in 1493 James directed that a dumb woman and two infants be transported to the island, to ascertain which language the infants would grow up to speak when isolated from the rest of the world. It is only about 100 metres by 200 metres in size. It meets the North Sea with Fife on the north coast and Lothian on the south. The island is owned and managed by Scottish Natural Heritage as a National Nature Reserve. The Bass Rock has more than 150,000 nesting northern gannets and is the largest single rock gannetry in the world. We had a lovely two-hour walk around the island and loved watching the puffins. , The Isle of May light has a long history having been in operation since 1635 when a crude coal-fired structure was erected.  Inchmickery's name may be derived from the Gaelic for "island of the vicar".. They weren’t wrong. Rate 5 stars Rate 4 stars Rate 3 stars Rate 2 stars Rate 1 star . More land was then reclaimed using ash slurry from Longannet power station from 1970 onwards and it is now part of the mainland. The beautiful and historic Inchcolm Island and Abbey are situated in the Firth of Forth just 6 miles from Edinburgh city centre and is known as the ‘Iona of the East’. Corbet, Niall (1999) "Management Statement for Inchmickery SSSI". A leisurely and exciting boat trip, especially in May and June when the puffin colony is at it’s peak. Built to link the railway systems of the east coast of Scotland, the Forth Bridge has a total length of more than one and a half miles. The TV personality and spoon bender Uri Geller bought the island in 2009 for £30,000 believing it had hidden Egyptian treasure, namely gold and jewels left behind by Princess Scota, sister of Tutankhamen. Estimate from Ordnance Survey maps unless otherwise indicated. The site extends beyond the 12nm boundary of territorial and offshore waters to encompass the feeding areas of some seabirds (Map 1). In 1878, foundations for Thomas Bouch's Forth Bridge were laid on Inchgarvie but after the Tay Bridge Disaster these plans were abandoned. The gentle slope to the northeast lets boats anchor and seals bathe. The abbey is surprisingly well-preserved with a lot to take in, so I recommend studying up in advance or buying a guide book from the National Trust visitor center upon your arrival at the island. Find more advice on exploring Scotland during Covid-19 on our dedicated page. The Earl of Somerset garrisoned the islands in 1547 after the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh. , The Irish missionary Saint Baldred of Tyninghame resided on The Bass in the 8th century and there is a ruined 12th century chapel on Fidra dedicated to St Nicholas. It meets the North Sea with Fife on the north coast and Lothian on the south. Other bird species on the rock include guillemot, razorbill, cormorant, puffin, eider duck and numerous gulls. It’s in a special protection area, which covers some of the islands in the Firth and is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of the gannet colony. Wrapped up in rather fetching waterproofs that you wouldn’t miss on a dark night, we straddled the saddle-like seats on the rib for an exhilarating ride to the first island – The Lamb. Its most recent use was during the World Wars when the island would act as a defence against any ships wishing to sail up the Firth of Forth.  Inchcolm is similarly varied, consisting of greenstone, sandstone, shale and limestone. On our speedy return to the pretty harbour we explored the excellent Scottish Seabird Centre itself, which has live webcams on several of the islands for those without their trusty sea legs. The Firth of Forth is the only area in the east coast with offshore islands.  The tidal islet of Eyebroughy is about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) to the west of Fidra. Further round, on the relatively flat west side of the island there is the remains of an ancient chapel and prison. A colourful past you might say, and particularly photogenic hugged around the base of the vibrant rail bridge. Its history has been dominated by religion, its use as a quarantine and military events (see above). It was thought that this would be the "original" language, or language of God. The Lauder family owned the island for almost six centuries, and it now belongs to Sir Hew Dalrymple whose family purchased it in 1701.  The rock features in various works of fiction, including Robert Louis Stevenson's Catriona. Although we never landed on the island it’s a popular stop off for visitors who enjoy the Augustine Abbey, a very well preserved example of Scottish medieval architecture. , The light on the small rock of Oxcars was automated as early as 1894.  Inchmickery and Inchgarvie are of igneous origin and the latter is partly made up of picrite. Skene, W. F. (November 1862) "Of the early Frisian Settlements in Scotland". These buildings were later used for filming scenes of the film Complicity. , Only Inchcolm was fortified during the Napoleonic wars. We boarded the Forth Belle at Queen's Landing and while en route to Inchcolm received a great tour of the Firth of Forth bridges, the various little Forth islands and history. Since then, hundreds of volunteers have been working hard to rid the island of the problem, ferried out by boat from the Seabird Centre during the winter months, when the puffins are at sea. The Isle of May is located in the north of the outer Firth of Forth, approximately 8 km (5.0 mi) off the coast of mainland Scotland. Only one of these islands, Inchcolm, has had a resident population in recent years, although there have been monasteries, hermitages, lighthouses and fortifications on most of them in the past. Studies of the landscape beneath the waters of the firth have revealed that the visible surface of Inchgarvie is only the top of a larger crag and tail structure similar in structure to Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile created by glacial action. Bathymetric maps (Admiralty Charts; Thomson 1978, fig. 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