West Lothian, a region in the Central Lowlands, is a rich tapestry of picturesque landscapes, quaint villages, and bustling towns. Known as Linlithgowshire until 1925, it’s nestled between Scotland’s two major cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow, making it an ideal spot for travellers keen to experience the buzz of city life as well as the peace of rural Scotland.
The picturesque Pentland Hills, which serve as a natural boundary on West Lothian’s southern edge, are among the landscape’s many highlights. To the north are the shimmering waters of the Firth of Forth while to the west is mile after mile of rolling fields, making West Lothian a paradise for walkers, cyclists, and nature lovers alike.
The county’s towns and villages are just as diverse as its landscapes. The historic royal burgh of Linlithgow, the region’s administrative centre, is best known for the spectacular palace that was the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. Other significant towns include Livingston, home to one of the largest indoor shopping centres in Scotland, Bathgate, and Broxburn.
West Lothian’s tourist attractions, meanwhile, are equally engaging. The iconic Linlithgow Palace and Cairnpapple Hill, an important prehistoric ceremonial site, provide a glimpse into Scotland’s past, while for nature lovers, the Almondell and Calderwood Country Park and Beecraigs Country Park offer a superb low-cost family day out
The Scottish Owl Centre in Whitburn is a superb attraction that features the world’s largest collection of owls, and Jupiter Artland, an outdoor sculpture park, is a feast for the senses thanks to a collection of outdoor artworks in a beautiful countryside setting.
Find places to visit and things to do in West Lothian with these visitor guides.
Blackness Castle is a formidable 15th-century castle that stands on the shores of the Firth of Forth in the county of Falkirk. The castle is managed by Historic Environment Scotland and it is open daily for self-guided tours. Discover Blackness Castle with this complete guide.
The Forth Road Bridge is one of the most significant long-span suspension bridges in the world, with a length of 1,006 metres between the two end towers. It is located next to the UNESCO heritage-status Forth Rail Bridge and features a footpath that allows visitors to walk between both ends of the structure.
Hopetoun House is a magnificent country house near Queensferry, West Lothian, that was built between 1699-1701 and designed by Sir William Bruce. Visitors can explore the grounds at their leisure and the house is open for guided tours. Discover Hopetoun House with this article which includes an overview and handy visiting tips.
Jupiter Artland is a modern art sculpture garden and art gallery situated in the grounds of Bonnington House near Edinburgh. The outdoor art installation features works by Charles Jencks and other top British artists which is the reason why Jupiter Artland is regarded as one of the finest privately-owned modern art collections in the UK.
Linlithgow Palace is a Renaissance ruin that was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. The fortified building is located in Linlithgow in West Lothian next to Linlithgow Loch. Although the palace is partly in ruin and many sections are roofless it is still an impressive historic attraction. The site is managed by Historic Environment…
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