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Blawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve

An oasis of open windswept moors hidden in the lowlands, Blawhorn is a site full of secrets- discover 8000 years of history!

  • Overview
  • Key info
  • Getting There
  • Free Onsite Parking
  • Children Welcome

By using a special boardwalk to cross the peat, you'll soon discover some of its treasures, like the nodding white heads of bog cotton in early summer or the explosive cackle of a red grouse as it bolts from the heather.  Beneath your feet there's over 8000 years of history, locked into the peat layers of this raised bog.

On a sunny day the colours of the bog come to life. There is a wide variety of flowers and plants blossoming away. You can spot dragonflies and butterflies. And also hear the rutting of the roe deer in summer!

In autumn the fluffy white heads of the bog cotton can be seen. The shy roe deer cab be spotted early in the morning or in the late evening and if you don't see them, you will most likely hear their unusual bark. If you look closely at the bog, you will see  sundews peeping through the sphagnum moss.

The surface of the bog is very wet in winter, and if it's cold enough the whole bog will freeze over and sparkle on a frosty morning creating a magical frosted scene. If it snows the open views of white covered heaths are stunning, making it easier to spot the occasional bird or roe deer.

Spring is a good time to spot red grouse as they bolt from the heather with their distinctive cackle or the short-eared owls soaring above the heath on the hunt for small mammals or other prey. If you look carefully in the bog pools, you might spot some frogspawn.


Blawhorn Moss NNR
Near Blackridge
EH48 3AG

Distance:2 kilometres
Start and finish: Reserve car park

Terrain: Surfaced track for over a kilometre plus boardwalk for 700 metres.

By road
Leave the M8 Edinburgh -Glasgow at Junction 4 onto the A801 then head west for 3 miles on the A89 to Blackridge.
Continue west out of the village and take the first minor road on the right to the car park.
From Bathgate, head 5.6 miles east on the A89 towards Blackridge and take the last minor road on the left before the village to the car park.

Blawhorn Moss NNR - reserve car park
The car park is at the end of an unmarked access road leading north from the A89, west of Blackridge village.
Car park postcode:EH48 3AG

By public transport
Local bus company: Bulldog - 01506 636 366
Trains stop at Bathgate (6.7 miles from Blawhorn Moss) on the Edinburgh - Bathgate line.

By bike
The entrance to the Reserve is linked to NCN Route 75 (Glasgow - Edinburgh). Leave the Airdrie to Livingston section at the Blawhorn link road outside Blackridge.

On foot
Nearest bus stop is in Blackridge, approximately 1 mile south of the Reserve.  A path connects the village with the reserve.

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