You know, living in the greatest city on earth can be hard work.

It’s exciting, it’s beautiful, it’s culturally colossal…Phew! It’s enough to take it out of you.

And so, sometimes, the smart thing to do can be to live on the fringes of the searing capital lights and dip your toes in, now and again, when the temperature is right for you.

But where can you go that’s far enough away to escape the madness, but close enough to join the party without too much grief?

In our opinion? You’ve got to go to Queensferry. Also known as South Queensferry. Also known as ‘The Ferry’.

Whatever you want to call it, this darling little town to the west of Edinburgh is only a short few minutes train journey to Waverly Station. Sitting at the shore in the shadow of the awesome Forth Bridges, you’d have to be somewhere extremely special to find better views.

A blissful, quaint coastal community, the fresh air and charming character alone will be enough to convince you to settle down here. But there is so much more to it all than that.

So come with us now and discover the magic of this picturesque and popular location… Oh, and make sure to read to the end. There might just be a secret tip hiding for you there.


You might not be slap-bang in the middle of it all out here by the water, but that doesn’t mean that you will ever have permission to be bored. In fact, despite initially sleepy appearances, there’s actually a lot going on in this idyllic site. Okay, it’s not Edinburgh city centre, but that’s not what you’re after here. You‘re after something different. And Queensferry certainly has that.

Queensferry Boat Tours & River Cruises are the best way to appreciate the stunning Forth and experience the land from a completely different perspective. Smashing fun and remarkably affordable, this one is definitely something you’ll want to have a go at more than once. Tranquil, inspiring and joyous, it’s a great day out for all the family.

Queensferry Museum is the perfect place to get you up to speed on the rich history of the area. It is small and, some might say, quirky. But if you’re interested in learning more about Queensferry and the bridges, then this is the obvious place to start. Great fun and supremely educational. Everything a museum should be.

Dalmeny House will knock you off your feet from the moment you lay eyes on it. A spectacular stately home on the banks of the river Forth with unbelievable sights in all directions, the area is a stunning combination of gobsmacking nature and brilliant human architectural achievement.  Whether you just want to walk around outside or would like to witness the classic interior, this slice of class will undoubtedly cast its spell on you. Phenomenal.

Coffee & Cake

So, you’ve woken up bright and early and it’s a glorious day. You hop out of bed with the joy of a spring rabbit and decide a stroll along the water is on order. But first thing’s first. You need sustenance. A little morning easing of the stomach grumbles. Where should you go? Where indeed. If a warm drink and accompanying snack is what you’re craving, there’s plenty to choose from here.

The Little Bakery offers all the yummy treats that you could possibly want at any time of day. Whether you’re dropping in for breakfast of afternoon tea, this lovely little number in the heart of South Queensferry has got it covered. Oh, and if you want a particular recommendation, we would highly suggest you try the hot chocolate. Utterly divine!

Manna House Bakery began life in 2017 and has become the place to go in the area for top-notch coffee and fabulous eats. It’s got the coffee, it’s got the food and it’s got the unreal views of the bridges. What else could you want? Good service? Well, they’ve got that nailed down too! These friendly folk will make your day with a smile and then make you everything else. Go for it! You know you want to.

Brew Culture is what you might call a classic café. Nestled in the centre of Queensferry, this pleasant neighbourhood coffee shop is a great place to stop and have a breather. With a lovely atmosphere and, of course, amazing coffee, we promise you that this gem will become a regular of yours. And with cakes and croissants to stuff your face with, how could you possibly resist?

The Railbridge Bistro might be more than your average cafe (check out their meal menu if you don’t believe us), but we simply had to include it here because of their morning options. If a big breakfast is all that can get you going at the start of the day, then this is where it’s at. But that’s not all. Scones, cakes, coffee…You’re in safe hands.


We don’t know about you, but shopping for us means going somewhere new and picking up things that are utterly unique. Of course, the big stores in town are fantastic and all very important. However, if you’re trying to find something that you probably wouldn’t find anywhere else, then Queensferry just might have the answer.

Seakist is most definitely one for those who like their antiques. Pretty much everything here is somehow related to the sea and it’s fascinating just to be there and have a wee wander about. The staff are lovely and some of the things they have will just look perfect in any home. Unusual and captivating, make sure you take a look.

Harbour Lane Studio has just what you need if you’re scouting for some smart additions to your home. Specializing in their own collection of homeware, as well as from makers across the UK, you need look no further if you’re on the hunt for something interesting to brighten up a room. From lampshades to cushions to, well, pretty much all sorts, this independent store has it all.

Allium was established in 2011 and is highly recommended investigating if you’re looking for some original Scottish art. As well as beautiful prints and artwork, this brilliant gallery also dabbles in jewellery, ceramics and glasswork. Just after something small? Maybe just a card? There’s more to this place than meets the eye. A splendid addition to the area.

Maisie’s Boutique has your Christmas covered. In fact, this marvellous independent gift shop, is required visiting all year around, even if it’s just for a browse. The lovely owners have created something really special here. With a wide variety of cards, wrapping papers and, yes, tonnes of things perfect for pressies, it’s the sort of place that every town needs. And this town has an absolute winner.

Bars & Restaurants

What better way is there to cap off the day in this glorious setting than to spend a couple of hours having a good meal and a nice tipple or two? Well, you can relax. The Queensferry bar and restaurant scene is absolutely five star and we’ve picked a handful of establishments here for you to sample to get you all started. Let’s get stuck in!

The Hawes Inn, so legend has it, was once host to none other than celebrated author Sir Robert Louis Stevenson. In fact, it is claimed that he wrote part of his novel Kidnapped here and that there is actually a passage in the book about this very Inn! If that’s not a reason to visit, we don’t know what is. Well, it also happens to be a top bar with great food and welcoming staff. There’s another reason for you. Pop in! Take in the atmosphere. Imagine the history.

The Boathouse is a name that you’d perhaps expect to come across around these parts and we’re so happy not to disappoint you. And you know what else? This fantastic seafood restaurant certainly won’t let you down. The food looks and tastes sublime and, alongside the extraordinary setting, you really could not wish for a better eating experience. Amazing!

The Ferry Tap has ‘proper pub’ written all over it from the outside. And, once you step inside, you realise that that is exactly what you’ve got. With a classic appearance and vast selection of food and drink, you’ll feel straight at home in this local favourite. Cosy, bags of character…Need we say more? A top, good old-fashioned pub.

Down The Hatch could be the most popular eatery in the entire area. Why? Because their food is utterly ridiculous! Tasty, messy and extremely varied, this flavour explosion will have something for everybody and then a little bit on the side, just for good measure. Go there. Eat there. Go back there. It’s not complicated. It’s simply magnificent.

And our secret tip?

The Loony Dook is a New Year’s Day tradition that is every much as loopy as it sounds. Every year, thousands of people dress up in fancy dress and hurl themselves into the freezing Firth of Forth waters. Up for it? It’s always a great laugh if, yes, a trifle chilly. An entertaining way to start the year. Go on. Have a wee dip.

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