Inchcolm Island is by far the most beautiful of all of the island in the Firth of Forth. It is located 4 miles east of the Forth Bridge, 1 mile from the Fife coast near Aberdour and just 6 miles as the crow flies from Edinburgh City Centre (Google map link here).
The Island is cared for by Historic Scotland and is commonly referred to as the 'Iona of the East' due to it's similarity to the Island of Iona on the west coast of Scotland. Inchcolm Abbey dates back to the 12th Century, being founded by King David I, after his brother King Alexander I was forced to seek shelter there during a very stormy crossing of the Forth in 1123. The Abbey remains as the best preserved group of monastic buildings in Scotland.
The Abbey and it's grounds are all fully open to the public to explore at your leisure and you can even climb up to the top of the tower for spectacular views of the island.
Inchcolm also has some interesting wartime fortifications to explore, The Island was home to around 500 soldiers during both world wars and formed part of 'Fortress Forth' where all the islands in the forth were garrisoned to protect the Royal Navy's base at Rosyth and the Rail Bridge from attack from the sea. In 1916 an ammunition tunnel was dug through the eastern end of the Island by the Royal Engineers and it is still open to explore today.
The Island also has two beautiful beaches and plenty of seating where you can simply bring a picnic and relax and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Island.
There is a small gift shop and visitor centre on the Island which provides a wealth of information on the Island's history. There are also toilet facilities on the Island.
Take a free virtual tour of Inchcolm Island here courtesy of Integral Tours.