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Celebrating the Forth Bridge UNESCO World Heritage Site

A Scottish Icon and Gateway to Fife

04 April 22

History & heritage

Crossing over the Firth of Forth, connecting Fife and Edinburgh is the magnificent and unmissable Forth Bridge. This spectacular feat of Victorian engineering with its distinctive design and unique red colour is not only one of the country’s instantly recognisable landmarks but is also Scotland’s most recent property to be inscribed the prestigious and internationally renowned title of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To be a World Heritage Site you need to prove you have “Outstanding Universal Value” to all of humanity and meet some very specific criteria as well as be approved by a tough UNESCO committee. World Heritage status is so prestigious, only 1154 sites worldwide have been awarded the designation including the Pyramids of Giza, The Great Wall of China and Notre Dame. Among these famous and incredible sites is our very own Forth Bridge, which was designated a World Heritage Site in 2015!

Apart from being an incredible landmark and famous for its red colour – why is the Forth Bridge a World Heritage Site? Well, it’s all down to its design and being an incredible feat of engineering!  Built in 1890, the Forth Bridge is an extraordinary milestone in bridge design and construction, being the world’s earliest great cantilever bridge (the distinctive diamond shape) and it is renowned for being a masterpiece of human genius! The bridge with its enormous scale and innovative concept is widely admired as an engineering wonder of the world!

When the bridge was built, railways were just starting to change the way we travelled forever. Even now, 132 years after opening, 200 trains still travel over the bridge every day!

For spectacular views of the bridge, head to North Queensferry where you can find the official UNESCO World Heritage plaque and get up close and personal with the 53,000 tonne feat of engineering!

Make a day of it and read more about activities around the bridge.

Did you know that Scotland is one of the first countries in the world to have a UNESCO trail, linking all our 13 place-based UNESCO designations, including World Heritage Sites, Biospheres, Global Geoparks and Creative Cities. Find out more about the UNESCO trail. 

Want to know more about World Heritage Status? Read the Management Plan, state of conservation reports and evaluations on the official UNESCO website!



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