Firth of Forth

estuary of Scotland's River Forth

The Firth of Forth is the estuary or firth of Scotland's River Forth. It flows into the North Sea, between Fife to the north, and West Lothian, the City of Edinburgh and East Lothian to the south.

Satellite photo of the Firth and the surrounding area
Map of the Firth
The Ro-Pax ferry Blue Star 1 passing under the Forth Bridge in the Firth, en route from Rosyth to Zeebrugge.

Geologically, the Firth of Forth is a fjord, formed by the Forth Glacier in the last glacial period. The river is tidal as far inland as Stirling.

Traffic is carried across the Firth on the Kincardine Bridge, the Forth Road Bridge and the Forth Rail Bridge. In the 21st century, the Clackmannanshire Bridge has been built close to the Kincardine Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing has been built close to the Forth Road Bridge to handle increased road traffic.[1][2]

In July 2007, a hovercraft passenger service completed a two week trial between Portobello, Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy, Fife. The trial of the service (marketed as "Forthfast") was hailed as a major operational success, with an average passenger load of 85%.[3] It was predicted to cut congestion for commuters on the Forth road and rail bridges by carrying about 870,000 passengers a year.[4] The service was canceled in 2011.


  1. BBC news report, 1 October 2008
  2. "Queensferry Crossing". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  3. "Kirkcaldy-Edinburgh hovercraft trial". The Scottish Executive. 13 July 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
  4. "Plans lodged for Forth hovercraft". Edinburgh Evening News. 7 January 2010. Archived from the original on 16 June 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2010.