North Queensferry is a village in Fife in central Scotland, with a population of 1076 in 2011. It's on the north bank of the Firth of Forth, at a narrow point that has been a ferry crossing for many centuries. From around 1068 AD, St Margaret wife of King Malcolm III supported the ferry to ensure regular transport from Edinburgh to Dunfermline (then the capital) and to the pilgrimage town of St Andrews. She was a regular traveller and the crossing became known as "Queen's Ferry".
The distinctive railway bridge opened in 1890, to adorn a myriad biscuit tin lids, while the road crossing was by ferry until 1964 when the Forth Road Bridge opened. By the 1990s this was showing its age and in 2017 the Queensferry Crossing (M90) opened. So nowadays trains, trucks and coaches rumble high above the village, which has become a backwater, with the waves lapping gently on its little-used slipway. The main reasons to visit are the walk-through aquarium "Deep Sea World", to walk across the Forth Road Bridge for the views, and for hikes along the Fife Coastal Trail.
This page also briefly describes Inverkeithing two miles north, which is residential and post-industrial but is a minor transport hub.
Edinburgh Airport has good flight connections across Europe and UK and within Scotland. Direct buses run from airport stop G across the old Forth Road Bridge towards Inverkeithing and Halbeath in Fife, get off at the bus stop north end of the bridge and descend the steps to the village. This is Stagecoach Jet 747 bus which takes 30 min and costs £7.50 single and £14 for a return within 28 days. It runs daily 24 hours, every 20 mins daytime.
A9000, the Forth Road Bridge, is only for bikes, motorcycles and public transport. Other vehicles must use M90, the new Queensferry Crossing. They're both toll-free, take the first exit on the north bank to reach town.
1 North Queensferry Station. This is on the Fife loop line from Edinburgh with frequent trains from Edinburgh via Haymarket (for the airport) and Dalmeny (for South Queensferry) across the bridge to North Queensferry (20 min), continuing to Inverkeithing then looping either anti-clockwise along the coast to Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes, or clockwise inland via Rosyth and Dunfermline to Glenrothes.
Inter-city trains to Dundee, Aberdeen, Perth and Inverness don't stop at North Queensferry, but many of them call at 2 Inverkeithing two miles north. The Caledonian Sleeper from London Euston to Aberdeen also stops there at 05:00, and southbound shortly after midnight. You might prefer to take the sleeper to and from Edinburgh and change to a daytime train across the Forth.
North Queensferry is small and walkable. It's two miles walk over the ridge to Inverkeithing, pleasant enough in fine weather with the gorse in bloom.
Stagecoach Bus 89 runs hourly M-Sa from Crossford and Dunfermline via Queen Margaret Hospital, Inverkeithing and Ferrytoll P&R, taking 40 min to North Queensferry.
Bus 87 is a slower route taking 70 min from Dunfermline via Dalgety Bay, Inverkeithing and Ferrytoll P&R. They run M-Sa every hour or two.
Bus 7B / 7D runs every 30-60 min from Kelty to Dunfermline, Rosyth, Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay, with only the occasional 7D coming in to North Queensferry. This is your best bus on Sunday.
Taxi operators include NQ Ferry +44 1383 669755, Mac's Taxis +44 1383 411111, Graham's +44 1383 413505 and Forth Taxis +44 1383 611611. They're well familiar with the airport run.
- 1 Forth Road Bridge is the only one of the three bridges that you can walk across, usually by the east-side footpath / cycleway, with views out to sea; toll-free. It's sometimes closed in high winds; occasionally also for bridge maintenance, when you use the west-side path instead.
- 2 Deep Sea World, Battery Quay KY11 1JR, ☏ . Daily 10:00-17:00. Open and closed aquarium tanks and a 112 m viewing tunnel for sharks and other ocean fish. Adult £16.20, conc £14.25, child £11.50.
- 3 Harbour Light Tower, 60 Main St. Something of a curiosity, this cute 200 year old structure is the world's smallest active lighthouse.
- Inverkeithing was described in 1758 as a "mean, miserable, paultry town, teaching us what to expect from its neighbouring villages". It was industrial from medieval times, and is now part of the Fife rustbelt and commuterland. It's worth a brief stop for St Peter's Kirk (rebuilt in 1826 in Gothic), the Hospitium of Grey Friars from 1350, and Mercat Cross. The Town House Museum remains closed in 2021.
- 4 Inchgarvie is the gaunt islet beneath the railway bridge, looking like a stone warship: indeed it was fortified in wartime. What you see is just the tip of a submerged crag similar to Edinburgh castle, but dwarfed by the massive bridge supports. It's uninhabited and with no access.
- Inchcolm is the most interesting of the three small islands further east, for its ruined abbey. Boat trips visit from South Queensferry.
- Walk the Fife coastal path. Use OS Landranger Map 65 "Falkirk". Going east, the path hugs the coast through Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay, then at the ruins of St Briget's Kirk it swings inland to come into Aberdour. Going west, you have to stay on the road as you pass under the bridges and follow it inland, to avoid the navy base. There's a couple of miles to tramp through industrial Rosyth before you can return to the coast at Limekilns, and continue west via Charlestown and Torryburn to Culross.
- 1 Carlingnose Point Wildlife Reserve, Carlingnose View. An area of coastal grassland and bushes. The Fife Coastal path passes through the reserve.
- Inverkeithing Highland Games are held in early August at Ballast Bank, Inverkeithing's main park. The next are on Sat 6 Aug 2022.
- Scotmid on Inverkeithing High St is open daily 06:00-22:00.
- 1 The Wee Restaurant, 17 Main St. Small but classy place emphasising Scottish food made from locally-sourced ingredients. Fairly popular, reservations recommended.
- North Queensferry doesn't have a free-standing pub but there's a lounge bar in the Ferrybridge Hotel.
- Inverkeithing main drag has The Half Crown, Burgh Arms, Central Bar and Gallagher's.
- If you're up for a breezy walk, you can stroll over the bridge to South Queensferry for historic pubs such as Hawes Inn.
- 1 DoubleTree by Hilton Queensferry Crossing, St Margarets Head KY11 1HP, ☏ . Comfy spacious hotel looking onto the bridges. B&B double £100.
- 2 Ferrybridge Hotel, 1 Main St KY11 1JG, ☏ . Small trad hotel by the old ferry pier. B&B double £80.
- Queens Hotel in Inverkeithing is a simple clean place close to the railway station.
This is commuterland for the capital and has 4G from all UK carriers. As of Sept 2021, 5G has not reached this area.
- Go north to see Dunfermline Abbey, and west along the coast to charming Culross.
- East along the coast to Aberdour and Burntisland, but much of it is industrial until you get past Kirkcaldy.
- Cross the bridge to South Queensferry and Edinburgh.
|Routes through North Queensferry|
|Perth ← Dunfermline/Rosyth ←||N S||→ South Queensferry (via Queensferry Crossing) → Edinburgh|