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blog 19.06.2019

Great Days out in West Lothian

There's so much to see and do across West Lothian this summer. Check out some of our #GreatDaysOut to help plan your day in Scotland's Hidden Gem.

Linlithgow Palace

The home to one of West Lothian's most well known ex- residents, Mary Queen of Scots, Linlithgow Palace really does bring history to life. 

In more recent times, the Palace has featured in hit films such as Outlaw King and Mary Queen of Scots. There's always a wide variety of events going on too, from ‘art attack’ to ‘the big butterfly count’ and even ‘paw prints and poos’ – there are all sorts of events that kids will love. 

Reason to visit this summer: Watch as noble knights battle it out to be crowned champion  during the Spectacular Jousting, taking place on the 29/30th June. Tickets are still available for this fun family day out. 

Linlithgow Palace

This royal pleasure palace was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.

Blackness Castle

Blackness Castle is usually known as the "Ship that never sailed" due to its shape. In more recent times, The Castle was used in the internationally loved Outlander series. One of the most brutal scenes takes place here; when evil Jack Black flogs main character Jamie. Whether its the history that attracts you, or the Outlander links, you're sure to have a #GreatDayOut. 

Reason to visit this summer: Check out the John Muir Exhibition, in the footsteps of John Muir, a leading Scottish American environmental conservationist and known in America as the "Father of the National Parks. This photography exhibition traces Muir's travels from his childhood in Dunbar to the American National Parks he helped to establish.

*CLOSED* Blackness Castle

Step into a largely intact medieval castle whose defences once guarded the Firth of Forth. An impressive venue used as infamous Fort William in Outlander.

Beecraigs Country Park

Beecraigs Country Park, located just a short drive from Linlithgow, has a wide range of activities for the whole family. The park features an adventure play area, mountain bike trails and even an animal attraction. 

Reason to visit this summer: the new Hideaway Cafe, located in the Visitor Centre, has recently been awarded  Best Newcomer; Best Café or Teashop and Best Focus on Gluten. The perfect way to refresh after a days exploring the park!

Beecraigs Country Park

Wide range of activities within 370 hectares (913 acres), near historic Linlithgow. Open throughout the year, free entry.

Polkemmet Country Park

One of West Lothians most accessible country parks, Polkemmet is located just outside of Whitburn - a short distance from the M8 linking Central Scotland. With a wide variety of walks, golf course and driving range, as well as picnic areas and its own Cafe - Polkemmet is the ideal day out.

Whilst you're there, why not pay a visit to the Scottish Owl Centre? Located on the grounds of the park. 

Reason to visit this summer: Why not try one of the many walks around the park for a refreshing day out with friends or family?

Polkemmet Country Park

Popular 68 hectare (168 acre) visitor attraction near Whitburn with woodland walks, play area, picnic & BBQ facilities, Visitor Centre, golf course, driving range, bowling green and home also to the Scottish Owl Centre.

Almondell & Calderwood Country Park

Located to the East of West Lothian, Almondell & Calderwood is tucked out of sight in the valley of the River Almond, stretching for 1.5 miles between Broxburn & East Calder. Left undeveloped & unspoilt, Calderwood is a natural woodland, located on a plateau bounded by Linhouse & Murieston Waters, home to a wealth of wildlife. Calderwood is designated a Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Reasons to visit this summer: BBQ hire is available on site, providing the perfect opportunity to get some friends together after a days exploring.

Almondell & Calderwood Country Park

Open all year, free to visit. Situated between Broxburn & East Calder, probably the best kept secret in West Lothian!

Five Sisters Zoo

Take a walk on the wild side with a trip to Five Sisters Zoo this summer. The Zoo has over 180 different species of animal, with recent additions including two Snow Leopards. The Zoo also features a soft play centre and cafe.

Don't miss out on the Lemur Feeds, just £6 per person. 

Reason to visit this summer: The increasingly popular Photography Evenings return for June, with the next taking place on Tuesday 25th. Find out more on their website here.

Five Sisters Zoo

Five Sisters Zoo is a fabulous attraction which offers fun for all the family. Take a visit to the wild side in the heart of West Lothian.

Almond Valley Heritage Centre

Explore some of West Lothian's history in a fun and engaging way with a trip to Almond Valley Heritage Centre. At the heart of Almond Valley lies Mill Farm where the historic watermill and stone-built byres have served the local farming community for centuries.

Almond Valley welcomes visitors every day thought the year and offers incomparable value. Admission starts from £9.50 for adults, £7.50 for children (age 3-15 years) and £8.50 for Seniors, with further discounts for families, groups, and school visitors.

Reason to visit this summer: Become an expert explorer, learn how to build shelters and survive in the wilderness with hands-on, daily Den Building sessions throughout summer. Find out more here.

Almond Valley

A wonderful day of adventure and play featuring friendly farmyard animals.

Jupiter Artland

One of Scotland's newest 5* Attractions, you can't miss out on a trip to see this fabulous outdoor art exhibition. 

Set over 120 acres of meadow, woodland and five indoor gallery spaces, Jupiter Artland is home to 33 site-specific sculptures from internationally renowned artists, a world-leading learning programme, and presents a seasonal programme of exhibitions and events.

Why not combine a love of exhibitions with music for Jupiter Rising Scotlands newest festival of cutting-edge art and music. Tickets are available for the weekend long festival, taking place Friday 23 August -Sunday 25 August.

Reason to visit this summer: Daniel Lie's "The Negative Years" combines  organic sculptural forms with sound and proposition of experiences. This is Daniel Lie’s first UK solo exhibition and opened recently on 18th May.

Jupiter Artland

Jupiter Artland is a contemporary sculpture garden in the grounds of Bonnington House, just outside Edinburgh. Open 9 May to 27 September 2020.

Linlithgow Burgh Halls

Sticking to the Art theme, Linlithgow's Burgh Halls features a a superb art gallery as well as Cafe - right in the centre of the historic town of Linlithgow

Throughout the year, Burgh Halls features a variety of exhibitions and events - you can find full listings of these here. Currently, you'll find Ade Adesina - Mirage. This exhibition of new work by the artist is a commentary on current affairs and how the human footprint affects our planet.

Reason to visit this summer: Visit the lovely Café, and if the weather allows don't forget to sit outside and marvel at the view of the neighbouring St Michael's Church.

Linlithgow Burgh Halls

A stunning building with a dedicated art gallery, offering a café with garden, visitor information, events, classes, elegant spaces for hire and much more.

Scottish Owl Centre

Featuring one of the worlds largest collections of Owls, the Scottish Owl Centre (located just outside of Whitburn) is a fascinating visit for the whole family.

From the giant Siberian Eagle Owl to the tiny Scops Owl you can learn about their habits and habitats and how to help in their conservation. Let these awesome creatures inspire you to make a difference.

Reason to visit this summer: Visit one of the daily owl shows to get up and close with some of their residents! Details of timings are available on our  listing. 

The Scottish Owl Centre is open daily, with easy access from all over West Lothian and further afield. 


The Scottish Owl Centre

See Owls from all over the world and enjoy the daily all-weather flying displays and Prof Hoot’s Owl School.

The Centre

Whether it's shopping you're after, a bite to eat or an adventure course, The Centre  really does have it all. 

Located right in the heart of Livingston, West Lothian's largest town, you'll find all the big names - from Debenhams and H&M, to Asda and M&S - with plenty more in between!

Reason to visit this summer:  The recently opened Aerial Adventures is a fun experience for all the family. 


Open 7 days a week

The Centre

The Centre is Scotland’s leading retail destination with over 155 shops and restaurants.

Linlithgow Museum

One of West Lothian's newest attractions, Linlithgow Museum has already proven itself as a popular place to visit to discover the history of the area. Located just off the High Street, minutes away from the sights of Linlithgow Palace and Burgh Halls, the museum features a range of interactive exhibitions for those of all ages. 

Reason to visit this summer: See the recently restored Mary Queen of Scots statue right as you first enter the museum.

*CLOSED* Linlithgow Museum

The museum, located in the centre of Linlithgow within the Partnership Centre, is open 6 days a week.

Cairnpapple Hill

Cairnpapple’s henge dates from about 3800 BC. Centuries later the landscape was chosen for a number of Bronze Age burials. Much later still, it was used for early Christian graves. Today, you can visit and enjoy a short walk to the summit to admire  this great example of a henge monument – a rare class of Neolithic ceremonial monument.

Reason to visit this summer: Take in stunning views across the Forth Valley and beyond – you may even be able to see Goat Fell, Arran’s highest peak

*CLOSED* Cairnpapple Hill

Stand on a once sacred hilltop where people first held rituals and raised monuments 6000 years ago. Open in Summer only.

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