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Abseil FAQ

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Abseil FAQs

General info location, weather Before the abseilregistering, teams, insurance On the dayclothing, timings, photos, facilities Sponsorship moneymore forms, meeting your target Restrictionsage, weight, medical conditions, fear of heights Volunteering on the day

Where is it? Which side of the bridge? Which bridge?!

The Forth Rail Bridge Abseil event is based out of the Hawes Inn in South Queensferry – it’s the historic inn directly under the south/Edinburgh side of the bridge.
The abseil is held off the rail bridge (the very famous red bridge!)

Where do I come to on the day?

Come to the Hawes Inn, 7 Newhalls Road, South Queensferry, EH30 9TA – Click to see view on Google Maps
Please be sure to arrive in plenty of time of your assigned registration time.

What happens if it is rainy/windy/cold?

Inclement weather does not usually cause any problems and the event will run as usual in all but the most severe weather.
If there is the possibility of a cancellation/postponement, we would post details at: – if you provided a mobile phone number during registration, we will also send a text message to you with further information.

Do I have to register for a place in advance?

Yes – in order to take part in the Forth Rail Bridge Abseil, you must register in advance by visiting – places can sell out quickly, so don’t wait too long to register.
It is not possible to register on the day of the abseil itself.

My Mum/Dad/friends wants to abseil too, can we abseil together?

If there’s a group of 2 or more of you abseiling at the same event, it is important you call us ASAP after you have registered to take part on 013129 72750 if you would like to abseil at the same time. Although we will try our best to enable groups to abseil together, we can’t guarantee this is possible in every instance. The earlier you call us to arrange this, the more likely we will be able to help and if you call us in the 4 weeks immediately before the event, it is unlikely we’ll be able to enable groups to abseil together, as the event is very full at this stage. Remember, contact us on 013129 72750 to discuss your specific request.

I’m abseiling as a team – can we have a team target?

Yes you can – this is something which many groups find helpful to their fundraising and makes it even more fun. To work out your team target, simply add together all your individual targets.
You can also set up a team online fundraising page with EverydayHero When you are logged in and viewing your page, on the right side of the screen there is a ‘Team’ section which will allow you to ‘Create a new team’ or ‘Join an existing team’. If you create a new team the other members can use the ‘Join an existing team’ option to join your team.

Do I need any training for the abseil?

No previous experience is needed to take part, however, you must be over 16 years of age and parental consent is required for 16 & 17 year olds. Our team of highly skilled instructors will ensure you are safely equipped with everything you need to make your abseil safe and enjoyable.
If you have any questions, give us a call on 013129 72750 during office hours.

Do I need insurance to take part?

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland carries up to £10 million public liability insurance. Please note, however, that this is NOT personal accident insurance and you may wish to speak to your insurance agent to take out such cover through your household policy.

What should I wear?

Wear clothes that you are comfortable in for the abseil. Higher waisted trousers are reccommended to save your modisty and good sturdy footwear. It can be a bit nippy up on the bridge platform and if it’s raining, it’s still pretty wet, so a short waterproof jacket always comes in handy.
Clothes with zipped pockets are also very handy if you plan to bring anything with you onto the bridge. Please only carry absolute essentials you will need during your abseil and the must be secured away in a zipped pocket, for example a mobile phone. Please do not carry coins or keys onto the bridge, as small metal items like this falling from height can cause serious harm to those standing below.

What fancy dress costumes are allowed?

We love people dressing up in fancy dress, however, safety comes first and you not be allowed to abseil in any costume that could cause a health and safety risk to either yourself or others.
Things to watch out for are any costumes which could get caught in the ropes etc. If you do come in fancy dress, please do bring a spare change of clothes, just in case we feel the costume isn’t suitable.. you can then at least abseil in your regular clothes.

Will I get a t-shirt/when will I get my t-shirt?

CHSS participants will get a t-shirt at the registration desk on the day of the abseil itself.

What time will I abseil?

In the days before the abseil, you will be sent a confirmed registration time through the post. This is the time that you must arrive and be ready to register at.
If in the week before the abseil you have not yet received your confirmed registration time, please call us on on 013129 72750 during office hours.
On the day, you should abseil within 45 minutes after your registration time – although this can vary.

What if I arrive late? Will I still be able to take part?

Please call ahead if you can to alert us you are going to be late – 013129 72750 – and we may be able to reschedule your abseil time, although we cannot guarantee it.

Can I have a drink beforehand for a bit of ‘Dutch courage’?

Definitely not. It is important that you do not consume any alcohol in the hours before the abseil. We reserve the right to refuse access to the bridge to anyone who we suspect to be under the influence or for any other health and safety reason.

Can we take cameras/phones on to the bridge?

You can take small cameras and phones onto the bridge, however, everything you are carrying must be attached to your person at all times (e.g. with a wrist strap) and then be safely put into zipped pockets before you abseil.

Can my friends and family watch?

Of course! There are some great viewing opportunities either from the beach or just by the sea wall – just across the road from the Hawes Inn. Well-behaved dogs on leads are also welcome. The time that you actually abseil after you register can vary, so it’s important that your friends and family are there around the same time as you register (in case you go through very quickly), however, they also must understand it can be up to 45 mins after this time before you abseil.
As you walk out on to the bridge, your name will be announced by the event commentator – so your friends/family can look out for you and cheer you on!

What facilities are available at the abseil?

The Hawes Inn very generously allows us to base ourselves inside their historic inn on abseil days. There are marvellous facilities in the pub including toilets and they also serve a great selection of meals!
In addition, you can also visit one of the cafés, restaurants and unique stores which line the main street to admire the Forth Bridges that cross over to Fife.

Will there be photos?

Yes! We have professional photographers who will capture you as you make your descent from the bridge. These photos and additional items are available to purchase after you land back on solid ground and by purchasing your photo you will also receive a digital version of the picture to post on Facebook etc! 10% of the sale price goes to Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

Will there be car parking?

Yes, although we encourage you to car-share or use public transport if at all possible.
If you must park, please do so on Hawes Brae – the hill coming up out of South Queensferry – to the west of the Hawes Inn.
There will be no access or parking available within The Hawes Inn grounds, unless you have a confirmed table booking with them. Even though you have a booking, parking is very limited.

Is there baggage storage available?

Unfortunately not. We recommend leaving any baggage or personal belongings with friends/family members who are attending the event with you.

Can I have some more sponsor forms?

Yes, you can download a PDF of the sponsor form to print out here.
Alternatively, give us a call on or 01463 515 136 or email: and we can send more forms to you.
If you haven’t yet set up on on-line sponsorship page, this is definitely something you should do. It’s quick, easy and makes raising money much simpler, especially from your friends/family/colleagues who you don’t see face to face. To set up your on-line sponsorship page, click here.

I’m worried about meeting my fundraising target

Everyone worries that they are not going to raise enough, however, very few people actually have much difficulty once they get into the swing of fundraising.
Give us a call on 013129 72750 and we will put you in touch with your regional fundraising advisor. We are here to give you lots of support and advice to kick start your fundraising and most importantly of all, make it fun!
You can also check out our fundraising resources available on our fundraising website.

What if I haven’t been given all my sponsor money before the day?

If you haven’t quite raised or collected in all your sponsorship money before the day of the event – don’t worry! We can take a post-dated cheque on the day of the abseil and we will bank it one month after the event, giving you time to finish fundraising or collect additional sponsorship pledges, to meet your minimum target of £185 in sponsorship, minus your registration fee of £21.
If you need a little help raising your minimum sponsorship pledge, don’t worry, call us on 013129 72750. We can offer you practical advice, that will help you smash your target!

How old do you have to be to take part?

In order to take part in the Forth Rail Bridge Abseil, you must be at least 16 years old on the day of the event itself. In addition, participants aged 16 or 17 must have written parental consent to take part. If this applies to you, please call us on 013129 72750 as soon as possible to get the paperwork sent out to you.

Are there any weight / size limits?

We don’t have any specific weight or size limits for the event and have had participants of all shapes and sizes take part in the past. However, if you feel that you might have any difficulty getting into or using a harness, please contact us.
Although we will try our best to accommodate those with special requirements, the health and safety of our participants is our paramount concern and sometimes it is not possible for all participants to abseil. We reserve the right to make this decision at any point on a case by case basis, even if we initially thought it possible for an individual to abseil.
To get in touch and discuss any queries, please call us on 013129 72750 during office hours.

I have had a stroke, heart attack or have a medical condition – can I still abseil?

We work very hard to make the Forth Rail Bridge Abseil as accessible as possible, however, if you are aware of any pre-existing medical conditions/history which could in any way affect your ability to take part safely in the event, including climbing up to the abseil point and abseiling itself, it is essential that you seek advice from your doctor. You then must only take part in the event if you have been advised by your doctor that it is safe for you to participate. You must also communicate any relevant medical information to the registration controller on the day.
In order for you to access the abseil point on the day, most participants must be able to climb stairways to the bridge platform (a total of 50m accent from the registration point).
Although we can sometimes make some limited arrangements for participants who might have difficulty climbing stairs, if you can foresee any issues with this or any other aspects of the abseil, it is important you contact us before you start fundraising to confirm we can make the necessary arrangements on the day.
Although we will try our best to accommodate those with special requirements, the health and safety of our participants is our paramount concern and sometimes it is not possible for all participants to abseil. We reserve the right to make this decision at any point on a case by case basis, even if we initially thought it possible for an individual to abseil.
To get in touch and discuss any queries, please call us on 013129 72750 during office hours.

I’m a bit scared of heights

Everyone is at least a little bit scared as they take part in the event – it’s part of the thrill. When you’re on the bridge, look straight ahead at the amazing views over the Firth of Forth, out over to Fife – don’t look down!
If you feel especially scared, please let our staff and volunteers know how you’re feeling – we’re there to help you feel as comfortable as possible as you take part.

Can I volunteer to help out?

Yes! Simply visit our events volunteering page, click ‘register your interest’ and fill in the form. The form will ask you if you have a specific event in mind – so just enter “Forth Rail Bridge Abseil October 2019”.
We’ll be in touch in the run up to the event with more information – keep the date free in your diary – Sunday 06th October 2019!

You didn’t answer my question..

Call us on 013129 72750 during 9:00am & 4:30pm and throughout the day of the event and we will try our very best to help, or email

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