Explore West Lothian

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To the west of the city you’ll find a region rich in heritage, expansive green spaces, and sights so special you’ll recognise them from TV & film.

Hit the history trail

The ruins of 15th century Linlithgow Palace are perched on a hill overlooking Linlithgow Loch and the idyllic royal park grounds. But it’s not just a picturesque spot, it’s also central in Scottish history, as the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots and a major royal residence of the Stewart dynasty. Inside, you can marvel at preserved architectural details, hear fascinating stories in the now roofless Great Hall, and climb Queen Margaret’s Bower for views to the Forth bridges. While outside, enjoy a picnic by the loch and spot some local wildlife.

Credit Visitscotland Linlithgow Palace

(Image Credit: Visit Scotland)

The Linlithgow Heritage Trail highlights many more points of historical interest in this fascinating, ancient town. And from there, it’s just a 15-minute bus ride to Blackness Castle – an imposing 15th century fortress on the Firth of Forth’s southern shore.

Built in 1612 by Thomas Dalyell, an Edinburgh merchant who made his fortune at the court of King James VI and I in London, House of the Binns near Linlithgow has been the home of the Dalyells for over 400 years. Explore the rich collection of family portraits, furniture & porcelain which reveal the lives of the family through the centuries, or talk a walk through the beautifully landscaped parkland overlooking the River Forth.

Experience art in new surroundings

Set over 100 acres of meadow, woodland and indoor gallery spaces, Jupiter Artland is an award-winning contemporary sculpture garden unlike any other. Here you’ll find sculptures towering over fields, artworks emerging from water and dreamlike installations tucked away in woodlands. Home to over 30 permanent sculptures as well as a seasonal programme of carefully curated exhibitions and events, this is a place where anything is possible!

Discover art on a walking tour with the Broxburn & Uphall Heritage Art Trail. This 3-mile trail celebrates the history of the two towns with a series of site-specific artworks. Expect to see everything from a grand 18th-century hall with a ruined castle within its walls, to the historic Port Buchan.

Credit Visitscotland West Lothian

(Image Credit: Visit Scotland)

Meet some wild ones

Get up close and personal with everything from lions and lemurs to birds and bears at Five Sisters Zoo in West Calder, which is home to more than 180 species. Throughout the day there are talks, live feedings and much more to keep the whole family entertained.

The world’s largest collections of owls can be found at the Scottish Owl Centre in Whitburn. Witness flying displays, get your photo taken holding an owl, and even go deep into the rainforest realm to experience the sights and sounds of the owls of the tropics.

The great outdoors

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(Image Credit: Visit Scotland)

With three Country Parks in West Lothian, the area is blessed with a mixture of green open spaces – perfect for when you want to escape into nature.

Set across more than 900 acres of forest and hills, Beecraigs Country Park is an ideal spot to stretch your legs and find some peace. There are countless walking routes to choose from, alongside mountain bike trails, adventure play area and field archery, not to mention red deer, highland cattle & sheep to photograph.

Polkemmet Country Park offers beautiful woodland and riverside walks, golf and bowls. You can even hire a barbeque to make the most of the elusive Scottish sunshine!

Popular with walkers, cyclists, runners, horse riders and community groups, Almondell & Calderwood Country Park is also a wildlife haven with roe deer, fox, heron, otters and woodpeckers all making their home here.

Family Adventures

The only ‘Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST) Accredited Farm Park’ in the whole of central Scotland, Almond Valley is home to all sorts native rare breed farm animals, ranging in size from giant Clydesdale horses to tiny newly hatched chicks. And with outdoor play areas, soft play, playgrounds and picnic areas, it’s a great place for children of all ages to explore and get up close to nature.

Located on the outskirts of Kirkliston, 20 minutes from the centre of Edinburgh, you’ll find Conifox Adventure Park. Ideal for all the family, the park has outdoor activities for all ages. From 9-hole Footgolf course and Pedal Go-Karts to Off-Road Pedal Tractors and Rope Bridges, a day here will keep all the kids – even the big ones – happy!

Conifox Fathers Day

Walk in the footsteps of Outlander

First stop: a Mary’s Meanders tour. You can choose from two full-day tours, each one zips you between five different locations used in the hit show. If you prefer to pick one location, we recommend the stunning Hopetoun House, used as the home of the Duke of Sandringham in the show.

Film on Forth also offer several itineraries to help you explore famous TV and film locations in West Lothian and beyond.

Shop-hop

Shoppers from all over Scotland visit Livingston Designer Outlet, where the world’s top brands offer up to 60% off RRP. More than 70 stores might be enough for some, but just next door is The Centre – with over 150 more shops and restaurants covering high street favourites. With a cinema and adventure golf, there’s everything you need for a fun-filled day out.

Travelling from Edinburgh to West Lothian

The West Lothian regional boundary is around 12 miles outside of Edinburgh city and is well connected by train and bus. The main train stations in West Lothian are Armadale, Bathgate, Linlithgow, and Livingston North.

For timetables, tickets and further details see ScotRail >

Lothian Country run regular bus services from the city centre throughout West Lothian, with most services running every 30 minutes.

Credit Visitscotland Outdoors

(Image Credit: Visit Scotland)

Plan your trip to West Lothian

For more information, visit the Visit West Lothian website and follow and tag them on Facebook @VisitWestLothian, Twitter @SeeWestLothian and Instagram visitwestlothian  #WestLothian #VisitWestLothian