Inverkeithing was created a royal burgh in the twelfth century owing to its importance as a port and its strategic position on the King's Highway linking north and south. This strategic position owed much to its proximity to its wee neighbour of North Queensferry at the northern end of the Queensferry Passage. From the time of Queen Margaret the Queensferry Passage, now replaced by rail and road bridges, has been a vital artery of traffic.Inverkeithing, now bereft of other former industries of paper-making, pottery manufacture and ship-building is now largely a residential town. But it retains at its core, its medieval plan and many of the features of a historic Scottish burgh. These include a traditional Scottish tolbooth, a fine auld mercat cross and the essential wide central square. North Queensferry is home to a popular sea life centre, appropriately housed in an old quarry.
Eric Simpson acted as historical consultant for the BBC Grand Tours of Scotland programmes. He has written many books for Amberley. He lives in Fife and has an extensive collection of Scottish seaside memorabilia.