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Local walks and viewing spots

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The spectacular sight of two of the world’s most impressive structures combined with the outstanding natural beauty of the Firth of Forth draws countless visitors to the Forth bridges.

The bridges are flanked by the Lothians to the south and Fife to the north, meeting land in the historic towns of South and North Queensferry.

On the southern shore, Blackness Castle Walk in Falkirk offers some superb views of the Forth bridges. This easy, free walk begins at Carriden Parish Church in Bo’ness and takes visitors through woodlands to a track that runs along the River Forth and up to the 15th century castle. Additional walks in Edinburgh and The Lothians can be found on the VisitScotland, Visit West Lothian and Visit Mid Lothian websites.

The Fife Coastal Path to the north is Scotland’s longest continuous and most popular coastal walk, stretching 117 miles through countryside, villages and towns. It is open and free for visitors to start their walk at any point. At historic North Queensferry in Fife the Path winds under and past the bridges allowing visitors to make their way onto the Forth Road Bridge footpaths. On the east side of town, the Path continues through Carlingnose Wildlife Reserve, a strip of semi-natural coastal habitat managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, that offers great views across the Forth and the bridges. Further details can be found on the Fife Coastal Path and Fife Coast and Countryside Trust websites.

Further south in Edinburgh, the rocky summit of Arthur’s Seat and The Salisbury Crags in Holyrood Park and the historic Edinburgh Castle give panoramic views of the Forth bridges.

The Forth Road Bridge itself features a one-of-a-kind visitor experience with footpaths and cycle tracks open for the public to traverse the 2.5km-long span and view the iconic Forth Bridge, works on the Queensferry Crossing, and across the Firth to the North Sea. Read more about them in the 'Visiting FAQs'.

There are further plans for future visitor opportunities to the Forth Road Bridge and Forth Bridge. To celebrate the Forth Road Bridge’s 50th anniversary in 2014, a limited number of visitors will also have an opportunity to climb one of the bridge’s main towers and experience unique panoramic views. Further details can be found on the Forth Bridges Festival website.

To mark the 125th anniversary of the Forth Bridge, there are plans for a dedicated visitor centre and viewing platform accessible from North Queensferry and guided walks to the top of the south tower from South Queensferry.

Further details can be found on the Forth Bridge Experience website.