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Inchcolm Abbey

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: | Hawes Pier, South Queensferry, Edinburgh EH30 9TB, Scotland
Phone Number:
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 643 reviews
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  • 444
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    Very good
  • 17
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  • 1
Awesome Old Abbey

Best place to spent time when your in Edinburgh. Highly recommend this place can say picnic spot. ...

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 6 days ago
Stevie D

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643 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 583: English reviews
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Best place to spent time when your in Edinburgh. Highly recommend this place can say picnic spot. ...

Thank Stevie D
Burntisland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Went here and of August and although it was very windy as we waited for the boat at South Queensferry it was calm, warm and sheltered on the stunning beach. You get Lenny of time to wander around the Abbey and can take a picnic - just beware the seagulls - they're evil! This would make a stunning wedding venue

1 Thank l-a-christie
Motherwell, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

A very nice trip under the Forth Bridges and along the Firth of Forth to Inchcolm Island. A lovely little island with the ruined abbey to explore. Take your own food as there are no eating places on the Island. A very pleasant day out.

Thank June M
Central coast
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

This trip must be done in really good weather. You can catch a tour bus near Waverly Station. The bus takes you out to South Queensferry and you board a ferry out to the island. You get to sail under al the bridges and view the newest bridge, really spectacular. Do take a picnic lunch and sit on the lawns... More 

1 Thank TuckyCentralcoast
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2016

Would definitely recommend a visit to this lovely island and abbey. Quite a cold day when we visited but still very enjoyable. The boat trip from South Queensferry was interesting with points of interest and wild life being highlighted. With good weather it would be a great place for a picnic.

Thank Clive H
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2016

I've visited here twice, and would go again. On a sunny day, there is a wee beach you can paddle at, the abbey itself is lovely and has lots of nice stairwells and bits to explore. Theres a couple of little walks you can do on the island, which are short and manageable. Put together with the boat trip you... More 

Thank EilidhMac
West Ferring, null, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2016

Beautiful little island with interesting history. If you go at seagull nesting time, make sure you take a helmet!

Thank Jane M
Hastings, New Zealand
Level Contributor
110 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2016

My friends and I took the ferry to Inchcolm island for afternoon trip. The abbey is great to explore and the WWII bunkers are cool (be careful!) to look around. Although we didn't see many puffins, in season there are many! Be careful of all the seagulls when they are breeding and take some water with you!

Thank Monique B
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 November 2016 via mobile

Inchcolm island is a must for anyone visiting the area, it is beautiful! The trip out to the island is leisurely and enjoyable too.

Thank Sue W
Level Contributor
41 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2016

Loved this trip, the atmosphere was amazing as was the boat trip to get there, the guide actually lives on the island which has not running water and has to be brought over,

Thank zargessa1

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