Family Day Out with Maid of The Forth
If you’ve been following us along for a while you’ll know that we love a family day out. Heading out for the day going somewhere we've not visited before or re visiting an old favourite. It's how we enjoying spending our weekends or any time that Graeme isn't working. Making memories with the kids whether it be a free day out with a trip to the park, family walk or a planned day trip.
On Sunday 30th April, we were invited along to Maid of the Forth for a 90-minute cruise under the Forth Bridges and around the beautiful Inchcolm Island. We’ve been once before when Oscar was about a year old, it was actually while the new bridge was being built so we were excited to go back when so much had changed.
We caught the 1215 sailing from Hawes Pier, South Queensferry to Inchcolm island which is just 4 miles down the Firth of Forth. It was such a beautiful day. We managed to sit on the outside deck of the boat which the kids loved as it gave us unrivalled views of the bridges and other sights as we passed by. There were lots of seating arrangements chairs and benches facing in different directions which gave optimal views of the surroundings, there was also plenty of 'free space' which was really handy to parents of young children as Matilda was able to get down from her seat and toddle around (with me grasping her for fear she would do something crazy!!).
Of course, we had only been on the trip about 15 minutes before everyone declared they were hungry so we went inside down to the lower deck to get some tea and snacks for the little ones. We had brought along some snacks as we weren’t sure what would be available. There was a good selection of Tea, Coffee and some alcoholic beverages to enjoy on your trip, there was also some biscuits and other snacky bits. We had a cup of tea and got some shortbread, which the kids enjoyed along with the few snacks we brought for them!
The bottom deck was really spacious, walking down the steps opened up to my absolute favourite view, a huge panoramic window overlooking the bow of the boat, it gave the most stunning views down the forth.
The crew were all so lovely and accommodating and seemed to really care about each person's experience. The commentary as we were sailing along was very informative and included lots of things I didn’t know about the local area. As a fan of all things architecture and building, it was interesting to know that the Forth Bridge is one of Scotland’s most iconic bridges and has between 190-200 trains using it each day!
Fun Fact: The Forth Bridge is painted in an Iron Oxide colour (red) to disguise that parts that are prone to rust!
As we were going along crew would also let us know if we were passing any sights worth noting on that particular trip like passing some puffins or seals. The chance of seeing seals and any wildlife, to be honest, is the main reason I adore trips like this. Anyone else almost shocked and get this uncontrollable excitement seeing wildlife that you sometimes wouldn’t expect to see? Maybe that's just me! On this trip we spotted a few Grey seals, Puffins and many Gannets
The trip was 90 minutes long, it’s about a 30-minute sail to Inchcolm Island. Depending on what ticket you choose you can get off and explore the island and visit the beautiful Abbey. It was such a lovely day that I wish we had landing tickets. There are a few beaches on the island that would’ve been great to be able to take a picnic to. You get a couple of hours to explore the island until the boat makes its return trip to collect you and take you back to the port at South Queensferry.
The boat travels around the island giving amazing views of the puffin and bird colonies living at the edges of the cliffs - I wish we’d packed the kids binoculars to get a closer look.
The sail we happened to take was reasonably quiet, it meant that we were happy to let Matilda in particular walk around the lower deck because it was such a lovely day we moved freely between the upper and lower decks being able to enjoy both the warm, breeze-free indoor area and the upper deck.
A huge bonus for me, and many other mamas I’m sure was cleanliness - I know what a bore, but seriously everything was so clean, not an "I daren’t use the toilets" situation here!
Planning A Trip?
This family-run business has been providing sightseeing day and evening sails for over 25 years it's handy location just 15 minutes from Edinburgh means that it's also easily reachable using public transport.
By Train (from Edinburgh) its just 15 minutes away with a short walk from Dalmeny station (South Queensferry) to Hawes Pier where you can book your tickets at the gift shop or collect prebooked tickets.
By Bus approximately 30 minutes - you can find further info and times here
By Car - Postcode for GPS is EH30 9TB or click here to open in Maps. South Queensferry can be very busy so parking space isn't always great so allow extra time for this!
To check out prices and sail times you can visit the Maid of the Forth website here
They have a lot of exciting upcoming events including a 3hr Jazz Cruise and BBQ.
When we were on the outdoor deck I noticed some very trendy festoon lights, it was on leaving that I noticed they also provide evening sails which I think would make a really great alternative date night!
Make a day of it
Other things to do in South Queensferry;
Visit Queensferry Museum
Filled with lots of interesting bits and bobs from the local history. It hosts an amazing view of the bridges. *Check opening times before planning a visit!*
The quirky shops
South Queensferry is home to some beautiful independent shops including Harbour Lane Gallery and Shop. It's owned by illustrator Tori Gray who selects and stocks contemporary work by designers and makers in Scotland as well as her own unique works. They also host workshops from this quirky store. Pop in to see what she has and I'm sure you'll find something you love.
I hope you've enjoyed hearing about our day out with Maid of the Forth. We all had a great time doing something a little different. I'll end the post with a few of my favourite pictures from our trip!
I always love to hear what you think so if you have any comments please add them below!
A huge thank you to the Team at Maid of the Forth for gifting us this experience - we had a brilliant day on board!