Starting from the historic ferry port of North Queensferry, this 6
km / 4 mile run travels through the 18th century architecture of North
Queensferry to the very modern, though historic scrap yard at Jamestown.
This run is suitable for mountain bikes and other bikes with strong
wheels. The initial survey was carried out on my tourer without any
An alternative, though longer route is available for riders who do not
like climbing hills, the draw back of this is a return on a busier road.
Make the effort if you can as the view from the top of Ferry Hill makes
the climb worthwhile, not to mention the descent into North Queensferry!
The starting point is the car park at the base of the Forth Rail Bridge,
Retrace your tracks back into North Queensferry, just before the Albert
Hotel on your left is a small viewpoint with a sign post showing the
location of various places of interest in the town.
at the hotel and head for the hill straight in front. Look for a defunct
stone well (1816), with an iron drinking fountain farther on to the left.
Turn left and go up the cobbled track on the left, a short though not
too steep path is interspersed with large rounded stones. The well commemo-
rates the Battle of Waterloo and has a iron plaque depicting the legend
of Europa and the Bull - it also depicts what seems to be a local woman
struggling with a foreign seaman - have a look for yourself. Behind the
plaque is the town well.
2: At the
top follow the path going straight on to come out at a viewpoint giving
good views of the Firth and the Hound Point oil terminal .
Retrace your tracks and turn left, following the stony path down hill.
An abandoned former MoD jetty can be seen to the right. Continue along
the path, just before the houses on the shore is a junction. (Turning
left will lead uphill, through some houses and eventually bring you
out at the station, turn left to return back to the car.)
Continuing straight on, pass in front of the houses and onto the grassy
bank, the path resumes on the far side of the green.
Shortly after is the first of three gates, the path at this point is
narrow. Watch out for pedestrians. After passing through the last gate,
go straight on and through a large red gate (usually open) and onto
the shore road.
3: A crude
breakwater lies at the head of the point, a view- finder, detailing
places of interest is at the base of the break- water.
Follow the road around the point and take the right hand fork, follow
the yellow sign posted route, failing to do this will take you through
the quarry, which may be dangerous.
The path heads towards the quarry jetty then crosses a conveyer belt
by a low steel bridge then continues between the scrap yard and the
quarry to emerge at a traffic-calming island turn right and continue
along the road - watch out for pot holes!
will pass the RM Supplies, this metal reclamation (scrap) yard has had
the dubious distinction of breaking up several notable ships, including
the Mauretania in July 1935, the keel section of the Olympic, (which
was the sister ship to the Titanic) in September 1937, and notable Royal
Navy ships, Argus 1946 , Formidable 1953, Glory 1961, Implacable 1955,
Pioneer 1954 and Theseus 1962. This yard is the largest purpose built
ship breaking facility in the UK.
A glimpse of the ship-breaking basin can be had through a gate in the
fence. Otherwise the view is just a massive pile of scrap metal.
A choice of routes is available. Turning left is the shorter and quieter
route but it involves climbing up a hill. The alternative, a busier
road, is to turn right, go under the railway bridge, turn left, go under
the railway viaduct, to the roundabout and follow the Kingdom Cycle
route sign post under the A90 and to North Queensferry. Do not go onto
the approaches for the Forth Road Bridge. Follow the road, down hill
to North Queensferry.
5: My choice
is to turn left and climb up the hill, half way up on the left is a
fenced tunnel which leads to a viewpoint over the expansive quarry workings.
Views to the right as you go up the hill can be had of the Rosyth Dockyard
and Grange- mouth beyond. Half way down the 20% hill and straight ahead
is the old school house, just beyond that on the right is the Jubilee
Memorial Trough commemorating Queen Victoria’s Diamond jubilee, 1837
in North Queensferry, and if you are in the mood to explore, why not
head back towards the starting point but instead of turning left at
the Albert Hotel, continue straight on and head for the old slip way.
To your left is the lantern tower, used to guide the ferry vessels,
from across the river safely into the harbour
Continue straight ahead onto the old pier, on the wall to your left
is a stone mile post set into the wall, Just discernible is “Edinburgh
11, Perth 33, and I give up what the last line says.
Looking back at the house on the left, the Signal Tower House, served
as a lighthouse and administrative building for the ferry.
Also on the left is the old Railway pier, where before the building
of the railway bridge, passengers disembarked ferries to rejoin the
railway trains .