Official Guide to Edinburgh
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See Edinburgh from a new perspective by sailing on the Firth of Forth

09 May 2017

Edinburgh is a gorgeous city, complete with history and culture, but have you ever wanted to see the Capital from a new perspective? For some of the best views of Edinburgh and surrounding area, you should venture out of the city centre and into the water of the Firth of Forth.

We asked our friends at Edinburgh Boat Charters to share with us a typical day sailing around Edinburgh. With a fleet of boats including a catamaran and a luxury yacht, Edinburgh Boat Charters do both private charters and scheduled trips catered to suit all budgets. 

So what can you expect from a day on the water? Read on to find out...

Travelling from Edinburgh to South Queensferry

Sailing 1

It couldn’t be easier to travel to South Queensferry from Edinburgh centre - just hop on a train from either Waverley or Haymarket to Dalmeny station. From here it’s just a 20 minute walk down to Port Edgar Marina which will allow you unprecedented views of the River Forth and the Forth Bridges, especially on a gorgeous sunny day.

Once you arrive in Port Edgar you will meet your RYA Yachtmaster on board your chosen boat. Here you will receive a full safety briefing and a cup of coffee before you set sail onto the River Forth.

Setting Sail

Sailing 2

Once your skipper has guided you safely out of the marina he will ensure everyone has a chance to “take the helm” and steer the boat across the river. However, if this isn’t for you, feel free to relax and simply enjoy the views.

No matter what length of sailing trip chosen everyone will get to experience sailing directly underneath the Forth Road and Rail Bridges as you head out onto the river. Be sure to look up and watch any traffic passing overhead - the experience is something you won’t forget! The rail bridge is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known as the 8th Wonder of the World.

Sights on the Forth

Sailing Seal

Once under the bridges you can marvel at the Edinburgh skyline which looks amazing seen from this perspective. There are also plenty of local sights to catch your attention: The inner islands of Inchkeith, Inchmickery and Inchcolm are steeped in history and home to an abundance of native seabirds. Make sure to keep an eye out for the local seals which are often seen sunbathing on their favourite buoy in the river.

Routing back underneath the bridges you will then head up to Rosyth Dockyard, the home of Britain’s new aircraft carriers and redundant nuclear submarines. The construction of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth was begun in 2009. This immense warship is the largest to have ever been built by the Royal Navy and is designed to carry forty aircrafts. In 2011 work began on the second aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales, but it is not due for completion until 2019.

Sailing Team

Depending on your choice of trip and the tides, it may be that you continue upriver to view Blackness Castle. This forbidding castle was erected in 1449 and it has seen its fair share of warfare: from being damaged in a bombardment by Oliver Cromwell, to being used as a prison for French soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars. Today it is a popular Historic Scotland tourist sight so this could be a further day trip to consider for your holiday. But for today - it's back to Port Edgar Marina and home.

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