Forth Bridge voted nation’s favourite

The Forth Bridge from South Queensferry at sunset
The Forth Bridge from South Queensferry at sunset

The Forth Bridge has been voted Scotland’s greatest man-made wonder in new research by VisitScotland as part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016.

The 126-year-old bridge and UNESCO World Heritage Site pipped Edinburgh Castle, The Kelpies and the Glenfinnan Viaduct to take the top spot, with 30 per cent of the votes in the survey.

Other ‘wonders’ on the list include Stirling Castle, Falkirk Wheel, Caledonian Canal, Scott Monument, Bell Rock Lighthouse and Melrose Abbey.

The research reveals that almost 60 per cent of Brits have made an ‘architectural pilgrimage’ in the UK, i.e. travelled just to see a famous building or architectural wonder.

And rather than just an endeavour of the older generations, more than half of millennials surveyed (16-24 year olds) said they had done so. The most popular Scottish ‘architectural pilgrimage’ was to Edinburgh Castle.

Six out of 10 Brits also stated that a destination’s architecture and design played an important role when deciding where to go on a short break.

The research comes as VisitScotland celebrates another successful themed year in 2016.

The Year of Innovation Architecture and Design has supported 24 events to date with highlights including Hinterland at St Peter’s Seminary, Local Heroes at Edinburgh Airport, the Findhorn Bay Festival, Clo Mòr Festival of Harris Tweed and Ignite Dundee.

The national tourism organisation hopes that visitors will continue to experience Scotland’s architecture in 2016, but also take the time to discover more about the country’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in 2017.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “It is no surprise that our awe-inspiring Forth Bridge has taken the top spot in this research and it is wonderful to see that new man-made wonders like The Kelpies are already proving a hit with visitors.

“This year has shone a significant spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design... I hope many people continue to make architectural pilgrimages to Scotland.”