Firth of Forth is the estuary of several Scottish rivers including river Forth. Geologically it is a fjord formed by a moving glacier in the last glacial period.
Like the rest of the east coast of Scotland Firth of Forth is classified as a macrotidal area, meaning that average difference between high and low tides is greater than 4 meters.
Small docks where river Almond inflows to the Firth of Forth during a low tide in Cramond. Yachts have legs here in order to survive the tidal periods.
Just a 45 km long river Almond flows into Forth of Firth at the town Cramond, just next to the passage to an island called after the town. The name almond/amon is simply old celtic word for “river”.
Cramond Island is one of several islands in the Firth of Forth. It is connected to the shore by a 1.5km walkway which is covered at high tide. So Cramond Island is only a true island for a few hours at time!
Cramond Island has a long and fascinating history. Cramond itself was an important Roman settlement, with Cramond Fort built around AD 142. The port was used to supply the Roman army in Scotland, and Romans might have used the island too.
Throughout most of it’s history Cramond island was used mostly for farming and fishing. The island was once famous for its oyster beds, but these were destroyed due to overfishing. During WWII the island was fortified to protect the river from enemy warships.
Cramond Island is one of 17 tidal islands that can be walked from the Scottish mainland. Even thought there is warnings and timelines when it is safe to cross to island, it’s still common that people get stranded on the island by an incoming tide for a few hours.
The intertidal zone is a marine habitat area that is above water at low tide and under water at high tide. Organisms in this zone are adapted to an environment of harsh extremes. These plants in the Cramond Island are half of the time underwater and another half exposed to direct sunlight.
Even thought North Sea is not as polluted as other European seas like Mediterranean sea and Baltic sea, it is still not recommended to collect all the goodies you can find during the low tide.
In operation since it’s opening day in 1890 The Forth Bridge remains an iconic Scottish structure. Built at the same era as the Eiffel tower which you can put six times into bridge’s structure. For 28 years two mains spans of 521 metres were first and second longest bridge spans in the world.
After a six years of construction, Forth Road Bridge opened in 1964 and at that time 2.5 length bridge was the longest bridge outside USA and fourth longest in the world. It’s planned lifespan was 120 years, but due to double amount of cars crossing the bridge almost each day the bridge started to suffer structural issues and requires repairs. The Queensferry crossing(on the left) should open this year and reduce the traffic.
Each of three bridges across the Forth of Firth is an achievement in engineering and design in the different eras of history. It is essential connection between Edinburgh and Fife, having 24 million cars and 73 thousand trains a year.
Queensferry Crossing is a third bridge in the important cross-Forth transport corridor. An alternative route through the river on the road is only 24km away. 2.7km in length makes it a longest three tower cable bridge in the world.