A NEW visitor trail which highlights Scotland's iconic Forth bridges and links the communities of North and South Queensferry has been launched.

The five-mile circular route, named the Forth Bridges Trail, follows 16 points of interests, offering historical facts, local tales and folklore, and panoramic views of the three crossings.

Stops include Battery Road in North Queensferry where The Briggers, the men and boys who constructed the Forth Bridge, are remembered.

Ivan McKee, Tourism Minister, said: "The Forth bridges is one of Scotland’s most loved attractions and visitors are now being offered the chance to explore the area in a thought-out and structured way.

"It’s great to be able to launch the Forth Bridges Trail and celebrate Scotland’s iconic bridges whilst supporting economic recovery and developing the tourism offering to the community.

"The trail supports active and sustainable travel whilst encouraging visitors to explore the local communities, learning not only about the history of the Forth bridges themselves but also that of the communities they walk through as part of their journey."

Signs marking points of interest along the trail have been designed to reflect the red steelwork of the Forth Bridge, which was awarded UNESO World Heritage Site status in 2015.

The panels feature illustrated maps, images and stories in collaboration with heritage groups and each has a QR code linking to further information on the Forth Bridges website.

Other notable locations include the iconic towers on the Forth Road Bridge, with views from the walkway over Port Edgar to the west and the Forth Bridge to the east; The Hawes Inn in South Queensferry, which was featured in work by Robert Louis Stevenson, and a natural rock jetty used by Queen Margaret in the 11th century to cross the river and where the name Queensferry originates.

Ken Gourlay, chairman of the Forth Bridges Tourism Group and executive director of enterprise and environment at Fife Council, said at the launch last week: "I am delighted that we are launching the Forth Bridges Trail today.

"The Forth Bridges communities have welcomed visitors for hundreds of years, be they pilgrims, ferry passengers or those enjoying the coast and our magnificent bridges, and the new trail showcases this long and rich history.

"With the area being so easily accessible by public transport, we hope that the Forth Bridges Trail will encourage visitors to come and explore both sides of the Forth, cycling or on foot, enjoying the outdoor activities and excellent hospitality that is on offer, and of course taking in the wonderful views.

"Our thanks go to the local history and heritage groups who have worked with us to identify the stories and images featured on the panels."