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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 651 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 449
  • 123
    Very good
  • 17
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  • 1
unique location

the abbey is in ruins. but it is to be found on Inchcolm Island and the boat trip to get there as well as the small island are very nice.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Hamburg, Germany

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651 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 590: English reviews
Hamburg, Germany
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

the abbey is in ruins. but it is to be found on Inchcolm Island and the boat trip to get there as well as the small island are very nice.

Thank PeterVo
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

My husband and i had spent a week walking the Cateran Trail based at Blairgowrie in 2010. We decided to go to the Island of Inchcolm before returning home. Once inside this lovely Abbey we saw candles and flowers and chairs set out for a wedding. Then a groomsman wearing a kilt appeared and invited us to stay and see... More 

Thank jstandishbrown
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is one of my favourite places to visit. On a sunny day it is superb and the professionally run "Maid of the Forth" enhances the trip.

Thank JBroon
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The trip out to Inchcolm is very interesting but it is well worth taking the option to leave the boat and spend some time on the island. It is so peaceful and interesting with spectacular views around the Firth of Forth.

Thank PMHgte
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

It was exciting to go by boat but it was blooming cold so whether it's sunny or not wear a coat,hat and gloves.

Thank Karen M
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

One can reach Inchcolm Abbey by ferry services available at South Queensferry. It was amazing place. It was very windy that day when I was visiting. You can see seal in north sea. Beautiful Island. In March month you can find puffins in tInchcolm Island.

Thank Anjali_Kal
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
111 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Have taken different people at various times of the year. A delightful boat ride under the dramatic rise of the road and rail bridges over the Forth. You can take the trip to the island and come straight back or get off and explore and get the next boat back. The island is small, a little hilly with views and... More 

Thank Karl S
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2017

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

1 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 3 January 2017

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
25 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2016

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

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