West Lothian: The Best Things to Do

Hopetoun House

West Lothian

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 landscape of West Lothian is punctuated by tranquil lochs, enchanting woodlands, and the picturesque Pentland Hills that form a natural boundary on its southern edge.

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.

Linlithgow Palace

Other significant towns include Livingston – home to one of the largest indoor shopping centres in Scotland, Bathgate, and Broxburn, as well as quaint villages like Torphichen and Blackness which has a must-visit castle overlooking the Firth of Forth.

When it comes to wildlife, West Lothian is a must-visit thanks to its many waterways which are populated by otters, water voles, and an array of waterfowl, while the woodlands are a haven for badgers, foxes, and roe deer.

West Lothian’s tourist attractions, meanwhile, are equally engaging.

The iconic Linlithgow Palace and Cairnpapple Hill, a significant 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

Glentress Forest

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.

Whether you’re a family looking for a fun day out, a nature lover, or just a curious solo traveller, West Lothian guarantees a memorable and rewarding experience for all ages and interests.

Find places to visit and things to do in West Lothian with these visitor guides.

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