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blog 11.06.2024

Gardens and Parks: Exploring West Lothian's Green Spaces in the Summer

As the summer sun graces the verdant landscape of Scotland (in between downpours!) there's no better time to explore the lush gardens and expansive parks of West Lothian. Nestled between the bustling cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, this picturesque region offers a plethora of green spaces perfect for a summer's day out. Whether you're a local looking to reconnect with nature or a visitor eager to experience the charm of Scottish countryside, West Lothian’s parks and gardens promise a delightful escape.

The Korean War Memorial Garden

For a unique and contemplative experience, visit the Korean War Memorial Garden near Bathgate. This serene garden is a tribute to the Scottish soldiers who fought in the Korean War. The design of the garden incorporates elements of Korean landscaping, creating a tranquil and reflective space. The surrounding woodlands and the stunning views across the Firth of Forth add to the garden’s peaceful ambiance. It's a perfect spot for quiet reflection or a gentle walk.

Scottish Korean War Memorial

The memorial was created by the Lothians and West of Scotland branch of the now defunct British Korean Veterans Association as a tribute to the memory of their fallen comrades.

Almondell and Calderwood Country Park

Another highlight of West Lothian is the Almondell and Calderwood Country Park. This park offers a blend of historical charm and natural beauty, with the River Almond flowing serenely through its heart. The park is divided into two main areas: Almondell, with its formal gardens and picnic spots, and Calderwood, a wilder, more rugged woodland area.


Explore the scenic riverside paths, perfect for a peaceful walk or a cycling adventure. The park’s visitor centre, housed in the charming old stable block, provides insights into the local history and wildlife. During the summer months, the park is alive with vibrant wildflowers, making it a paradise for nature photographers and flower enthusiasts alike.

Almondell & Calderwood Country Park

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

Jupiter Artland

A firm favourite of ours is Jupiter Artland which offers a unique blend of contemporary art and natural beauty. This expansive sculpture park and art gallery, set within the grounds of a 100-acre estate, features a dynamic collection of site-specific artworks by renowned artists from around the world. As you wander through the carefully curated landscape, you'll encounter striking sculptures and installations seamlessly integrated into the environment, creating an immersive and thought-provoking experience. Highlights include Charles Jencks' "Cells of Life," a series of dramatic landforms and lakes, and Anish Kapoor's reflective sculptures that play with perception and space. Jupiter Artland's ever-evolving exhibitions ensure there's always something new to discover, making it a must-visit destination for art lovers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Jupiter Artland

Jupiter Artland is an award-winning contemporary sculpture garden located just outside Edinburgh. Set over 100 acres of meadow, woodland and indoor gallery spaces, Jupiter Artland is home to over 30 permanent and unique site-specific sculptures as well as a seasonal programme of carefully curated exhibitions and events.

Hopetoun House

A visit to West Lothian wouldn't be complete without experiencing the grandeur of Hopetoun House. This magnificent stately home, often hailed as Scotland's finest example of 18th-century architecture, is set within a sprawling 6,500-acre estate. The opulent interiors of Hopetoun House, with their exquisite period furnishings and artworks, is a welcoming place where visitors can of enjoy 300 hundred years of a family homes history. Outside, the designed landscape of the grounds reflect a more naturalist feel and offer a tranquil retreat. Wander through the manicured lawns, explore the woodland trails, or simply enjoy the breathtaking views over the Firth of Forth. Hopetoun House also hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the summer, self-guided tours and family-friendly workshops, making it a perfect destination for a day out steeped in history and natural beauty.

Hopetoun House

Built over 300 years ago, Hopetoun continues to be the home of the Hope family. Hopetoun was also used as a filming location in the internationally acclaimed Outlander TV program.

Polkemmet Country Park

Polkemmet Country Park, located near Whitburn, offers 169 acres of natural beauty. The park is home to the Scottish Owl Centre, where visitors can learn about and observe a variety of owl species from around the world. The park’s vast woodlands and open spaces provide ample opportunities for walking, cycling, and picnicking.


Golf enthusiasts can enjoy the park's nine-hole golf course, while children will love the adventure play area. The park's visitor centre offers information on the park's history and natural features, ensuring a comprehensive and enjoyable visit for all ages.

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.


West Lothian’s gardens and parks are a testament to the region’s natural beauty and rich heritage. From the tranquil woodlands of Almondell and Calderwood to the cultural allure of Jupiter Artland, there is something to captivate every visitor. As summer unfolds, take the time to explore these green spaces, where the beauty of Scotland's landscape is on full display. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, West Lothian’s parks and gardens are sure to provide a memorable summer experience.

Visit West Lothian, Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, West Lothian. EH54 6FF UK Registration No. SC346843

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