As many times as I have visited North Queensferry I have managed to completely missed this, it really is the smallest! I found it this week while looking for the Waterloo Monument to start the next part of the Coastal Path. I failed to find the monument but was not disappointed for long when I stumbled across this.
It is situated right on the waterfront of the Firth of Forth, on Town Pier, in between the two magnificent bridges giving it fantastic views over the water towards South Queensferry, and Edinburgh.
The lighthouse was built to guide ferries safely to the waters edge. At the time there was no proper docking places, mere slipways down to the waters edge and considering that in 1811 the Ferry Passage was used by 1,515 carriages, 13,154 horses, 18,057 cows, 25,151 sheep, 2,615 dogs and 5,520 barrel bulk, some kind of lighting system was desperately needed!
I had heard whispers of how good this restaurant was when it first opened almost a year ago, so this week while I was doing the second part of the Fife Coastal Path I took the opportunity to try it out.
I didn’t really know what to expect when I arrived, I had looked on the website where it said it was a bar, so I was a bit comprehensive as I just wanted soup and a coffee somewhere cosy. I wasn’t missing out on this visit though, it’s quite far away from where I live and I wouldn’t get another chance for a while.
You can eat in either part, or order from one and sit in the other. It is separated with a glass wall with sliding doors which I presume they open for special events so they can use the whole area.
The deli serves sandwiches, paninis, soups etc as well as homemade fresh delicious cakes, all lined up in the cabinet along with all kinds of cheese and shelves filled with things like jams, chutneys, olives and pasta. They also do gluten and dairy free as well as take away.
The main restaurant serves proper meals like steak and fish, they also have a lunch menu, a Sunday roast and a really well thought out kids menu. The whole place is kitted out with large solid oak tables, big log fires and very nice chairs! We chose to sit in the main restuarant purely so we could sit on these-
The Festival Fringe in Edinburgh is the biggest Arts festival in the world. With over 45,000 performances in over 250 venues dotted all over Edinburgh, it gets very busy in August, the population triples, and visitors from all over the world descend on the city.
But it gets that busy for a reason, it is a fantastic experience, and if it’s not on your bucket list, it should be. It has such a huge variety of acts – comedy, theatre, musicals, performing acts, children’s shows, music, opera, cabaret, and dance. A whole lot of bizarre, eccentric and hilarious performers line the Royal mile and streets around the Old Town with snippets of their shows to tempt you into the venues. The venues themselves can be anything from a café basement to a gothic church, to world class venues like the Assembly Rooms and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. The food in Edinburgh is brilliant anyway but during the Fringe, tents pop up and stalls arrive selling food from every corner of the globe. Traffic gets hectic, accommodation fills up, and streets get crowded. So to make sure you enjoy yourself and experience everything a little planning is needed…
The first section of the Fife Coastal Path starts from Kincardine Bridge and ends at the Waterloo Monument in North Queensferry and stretches 16.7 miles. It should take roughly 4 to 6 hours to walk and is quite easy with most of the paths in really good condition. It's a big stretch for some people so you could spend the night in Culross or Dunfermline or even stop for a nice long lunch to relax and re-energise.
The path begins at Kincardine Bridge. Built in 1936, at the time it was the largest swing bridge in Europe, and although it no longer swings it still stands impressively next to the lovely little village of Kincardine.
Although the walk doesn’t take you through Kincardine I would recommend taking time to have a look around, it's full of character and charm and certain parts look like they haven’t been touched since the 1800’s. We had a lovely walk through, my daughter had a play at the park while I explored the small roads and alleys, we then headed down towards the rail track to the first Coastal Path board where there are really good views of the bridge and the Power station.
The Fife Coastal Path stretches from Kincardine Bridge in the south to the Tay Bridge in the north and covers 117 miles of pathways, some wild and quite challenging, some easy to manage and most, it promises, truly beautiful.
My challenge was to cover all 117 miles, in six section as written on the website. This is my home county and I thought it was high time I explored it properly! When people talk about Scotland it tends to be Edinburgh then up to the Highlands but I’m making it my mission with this guide to convince people how gorgeous this part of Scotland is.
A romantic break in Scotland is an ideal pressie for Valentines Day, Christmas or just to show your other half that you are still romantic after all...
Lie back, close your eyes, and imagine this...
Up in the Scottish Highlands, in the middle of nowhere, you are both surrounded by nothing but rugged mountains, gentle flowing rivers and breathtaking scenery. It's autumn and the weather is chilly and crisp. You walk, hand in hand, with the wind beating your faces, along a frost-covered path in the valley between towering snow topped mountains. You are both wrapped up with thick wool scarfs and cosy hats and there is nobody else as far as the eye can see, except perhaps a wild stag, peeking at you through the trees or a majestic Golden Eagle flying overhead.
After your exhilarating walk you both head back to your tiny white-washed cottage. The roaring log fire has kept the house snug and warm and you cosy up on the couch in front of the fire with a dram of whisky, wearing big fluffy slippers (sexy? No, romantic? Yes) and a huge soft blanket. There is nothing to distract you in this gorgeous cottage, just utter peace and quiet. The candles are lit and the music is playing.