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Go Forth – and celebrate Scotland’s iconic bridges

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Two of Scotland’s most famous landmarks, The Forth Road Bridge and the adjacent Forth Rail Bridge, will be at the centre of a festival taking place from Thursday, September 4, until September 13.

More than 100,000 visitors are expected at the 10-day festival, which has events taking place in North and South Queensferry and on the road bridge itself, which this year celebrates its 50th birthday.

Tony Martin, vice-convener of the Forth Estuary Transport Authority, said: “Since 1964, the bridge has made a real difference to the lives of Scottish people.


“It is a genuine success story, carrying over twice the weight and volume of traffic that it was designed for, and providing a valuable transport link used by 25million vehicles a year.

“It’s fantastic to take the opportunity to celebrate this golden milestone with a real party atmosphere that everyone can take part in.”

Highlights include offering members of the public a rare opportunity to climb to the top of one of the Forth Road Bridge towers, a boat flotilla on the Forth, a torchlight procession over the bridge, a birthday parade, spectacular fireworks display, food and craft fairs and an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest sit-down outdoor lunch.

Other events taking place include:

Art trail
This offers a fantastic opportunity to see some of Scotland’s premier professional and amateur artists in a picturesque setting. The Art Trail Exhibition, which takes place throughout North and South Queensferry, will offer a leisurely way of viewing related pieces of sculpture, photography and visual art with the temptation of local fare along the way in some of the area’s finest tearooms, restaurants and bars.


Tales from doon the ferry

Walking tours, suitable for all ages, take in a mixture of historical sites and tales from Queensferry’s past.

Walks begin under the rail bridge, once regarded as the eighth wonder of the world, and last around 90 minutes.

Boat trips

One unusual way to view the bridges is by taking to the water. There’s a variety of options available including sailing trips on the beautiful yacht Inspired Capital, which offers half and full-day trips.

The Maid of the Forth also offers 90-minute sightseeing trips on the Forth throughout the festival.

Nick Nairn has created menus for the Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch event

Craft, food and drink markets

A craft and food market takes place on Friday, September 5, featuring local artisans displaying their crafts, which range from cakes to woodwork, soaps to jewellery.

South Queensferry High Street is the venue for huge food and drink markets on September 6 and 7.

There will be more than 50 exhibitors offering the chance to taste high-quality products, watch cookery demonstrations or take part in the Scotland Welcomes the World to Lunch event, which features tantalising menus created by chef Nick Nairn.

Other entertainment on offer during the markets includes street drummers, bands and Scotland’s cycle stunt team The Clan.

Rowing regatta

In the 19th century, a rowing regatta took place annually on the Firth of Forth. The Queensferry Regatta will take place, with clubs from the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association racing each other in six categories.

Biker rally

Set aside Sunday, September 7, and witness the spectacle of 2,014 motorbikes crossing south over the Forth Road Bridge.

Each rider will be making a contribution to charity, which means this isn’t just a celebration of a much-loved structure, but a way of giving back to the local community.

Boat flotilla

A very special day of celebrations will see the Firth of Forth decorated with vessels of all shapes and sizes in one of the signature events in the 2014 festival.

A multitude of crafts will travel along the stretch of water in front of North and South Queensferry on Sunday, September 7.

Tall ships, pleasure boats, warships, private yachts, ferries, motor-boats and canoes – it is sure to be a magnificent and emotive spectacle.

You can witness this event from perfect viewing points at South Queensferry as well as from the Forth Road Bridge.


Taking place on Saturday, September 13, this spectacular event will see fireworks and thousands of torches light up the Forth Road Bridge when 2,014 torch-bearers will form a kilometre-long river of fire across the bridge to Fife before returning to a giant Bridge Party in South Queensferry.

There’s live music from Scottish rockers Big Country and special guests Bwani Junction, who last year famously
performed at the top of one of the bridge’s 156m towers.

The spectacular fireworks finale will be launched from the Forth Road Bridge at precisely 10.06pm in recognition of the structure’s 1,006-metre main span.

The event will conclude with a giant outdoor ceilidh – the Forth Fling – before partygoers are transported back to Fife and Lothian by free shuttle bus.

For full details of the festival, along with booking options, visit