East Calder, 2 miles away is handy for local amenities including a small Supermarket, Chemist, Doctor, Dentist, Post Office as well as Chinese Take-Away’s, Fish and Chip Shop and Pubs.
Livingston is a further 3 miles away where you are well catered for by late-opening Asda, Morrisons, and Sainsburys. The newly extended Centre has opened recently with a large selection of new shops and restaurants, all undercover, as well as a Marks and Spencers and Debenhams. Next door is the Livingston Designer Outlet with lots of designer bargains, restaurants and cinema, also there is an extensive retail park.
On your way into Edinburgh on the A8 is the Gyle Shopping Centre with Morrisons, Marks and Spencers and many other shops all with late night opening.
There is also a 24 hour Tesco en route to Edinburgh, past the Gyle, just off the A8 and also one just before the Forth Road Bridge at South Queensferry if you are heading north or south. In Edinburgh you will find many shops to keep you happy, including Jenners, a wonderful traditional department store.
Also, just a short trip round the City Bypass on the A701 to Penicuik (and also Rosslyn Chapel) you will find a large Ikea and retail park. If you are visiting Britannia at Leith, it is berthed at the Ocean Terminal shopping centre with many interesting shops, restaurants and cinema complex.
Farmers Markets – These continue to flourish in the area, with two in Edinburgh each weekend – Saturday at Castle Terrace and Sunday in Stockbridge. Dates of others in the area are advertised in Reception. General markets still take place in Bathgate on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and also the bigger Sunday Market at East Fortune (beside the Museum of Flight) in East Lothian.
It’s easy to get into Edinburgh from the park. Just a short drive to the local Park and Ride and a 25 minute tram journey and you are at the heart of Scotland’s Capital City.
The most famous attraction in Edinburgh must be Edinburgh Castle but there are so many places of interest. A good starting point is an Open-Top Bus Tour. Your ticket lasts you all day so you can hop on and off at as many attractions as you like. There is the Palace of Holyrood House, St Giles Cathedral and the Royal Yacht Britannia to name but a few. Shopping along the famous Princes Street or at Ocean Terminal near Britannia. You can also visit the new Scottish Parliament building to see for yourself what all the debate is about. Feeling energetic? Why not climb to the top of Arturs Seat, an extinct volcano for amazing panoramic views of this stunning city.
On the Royal Mile, you can visit Mary King’s Close as part of a grizzly tour of Edinburgh’s Past or go a bit more futuristic at the fabulous Camera Obscura. The National Museum of Scotland and the National Portrait Gallery have both gone through extensive renovations and are welcoming visitors again, alongside the National Gallery and Modern Art Gallery which all have something for everyone. For children there is the world famous Edinburgh Zoo, now with the 2 Giant Pandas in residence, Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine), Butterfly and Insect World and Dynamic Earth which are all informative and fun.
If you are visiting Linwater around the festive period the Edinburgh Christmas Markets are a must. With delightful crafts; scrumptious food and drink; and thrill seeking experiences including the ice rink it is a trip not to be missed.
Not quite in West Lothian, but just one mile from the Park is the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena. Europe’s largest indoor climbing arena, with a fabulous Aerial Assault Course not for the faint hearted. Pop in to do something energetic, or have a coffee overlooking the Arena and admire the amazing building. There is also great soft play for little ones on a rainy day – and so close to the Park!
A further 3 miles down the road is the Royal Highland Showground home of the famous Royal Highland Agricultural Show, Gardening Scotland and many more shows and exhibitions throughout the year.
Falkirk wheel 25 miles away, along the M9, is the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s first rotating boat lift which links the Union Canal from Edinburgh to the Forth and Clyde Canal to Glasgow in the Millennium Link. Boat trips are available on the Wheel, advance booking is advisable at busy periods. Whilst in Falkirk, Helix Park has opened and you can visit the amazing 30 metres tall Kelpies, the world’s largest equine sculptures which tower over the Canal.
If you do not care to journey into Edinburgh, or maybe you have visited before, there is plenty to keep you busy around West Lothian from the shopping experiences of Livingston to the history of Linlithgow.
Linlithgow has the beautiful Linlithgow Palace, made famous worldwide by the TV series Outlander. Also the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots in 1542 which overlooks the Loch, Annet House, a museum telling the story of Linlithgow with its attractive gardens and the Linlithgow Canal Centre with a small museum and boat trips on the canal throughout the summer. Also a good High Street with many interesting shops and fine restaurants and pubs.
Above Linlithgow, in the Bathgate Hills is Beecraigs Country Park with wooded trails, a fishery, play areas for children etc. There is also Cairnpapple Hill, a neolithic henge and Bronze Age burial site and Torphichen on the road over to Bathgate where the Bennie Museum tells the history of Bathgate.
We have Hopetoun House, Scotland’s finest stately home, which also has lovely grounds and a Deer Park where you can enjoy the outdoors as well as marvel at the wonderful Georgian architecture designed by the architects Sir William Bruce and William Adam, and home to the Marquess of Linlithgow and his family. Just along the road from Hopetoun is House of the Binns, the historic home of the Dalyell family, now run by the National Trust and still home to Tam Dalyell, who was until his recent retirement, the Father of the House of Commons.
For all the family a visit to Almond Valley Heritage Trust’s Museum Farm in Livingston is well worth a visit. The museum which depicts the shale oil industry of West Lothian has lots of interactive fun for all. Outside on the farm, there are lots of animals to visit, a soft play area and Adventure Zone for older children, ride on tractors and much more, including a homely coffee shop to enjoy a snack or some lunch.
There are also 2 newer additions to West Lothian. Firstly The Five Sisters Zoo in West Calder, who, in 2012, rescued 3 bears from a Circus in Belgium, Carmen, Peggy and Sue who are settling in well in their new home. Also in 2012, The Scottish Owl Centre opened at Polkemmet Park , J4 off the M8, with Scotlands largest collection of owls on display.
Golf of course, is of great interest to many visitors to Scotland, and around the area, you are spoiled for choice. For more special occasions, Ratho Park Golf Club or the famous Dalmahoy East and West courses may be of interest, but Pumpherston and Gogarburn are both good alternatives, with 18 and 12 holes respectively. At Linlithgow, Kingsfield Leisure can offer you a great day out with a 9 hole USGA Specification Golf Course, a 20 Bay Golf Driving Range and Tuition available.
Fishing is also popular with many of our visitors, and there is fishing available below the site on the River Almond, and coarse fishing on the Union Canal. All round West Lothian there are many fisheries, but the 2 closest for fly fishing are Selmmuir and Morton Fishery which are a short drive off along the A71 en route to Livingston.
As you can see, if you visit Linwater, there is so much to do around and about, you may have to stay longer, or keep coming back as many of our visitors already do.
28 May – 5th June: Imaginate Festival of Performing Arts for Children
30th May: Spring Bank Holiday
2nd – 30th June: Summer Nights at the Zoo
5th – 25th June: Edinburgh International Film Festival
9th – 19th June: Edinburgh Festival of Cycling
18th June: A Walk to Remember
18th – 16th June: Colour obstacle Dash; Edinburgh
23rd – 26th June: Royal Highland Show
25th June: Armed Forces Day/Great Scottish Walk & Run Festival/Earth Wind and Tyre regional competition.
29th & 29th June: Edinburgh Marathon Festival
23rd July: East Fortune Airshow