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​Top 8 Things to Do in West Lothian

Whether you are looking for a family adventure or a tranquil couple’s day out, West Lothian has lots to offer. Discover hidden gems, explore Scotland’s history and culture, or get to grips with nature, all in this historic county. Catherine from The Luxury Editor has rounded up the Top 8 things to do in West Lothian, whatever you are in the mood for.

Five Sisters Zoo

Just 30 minutes from both Edinburgh and Glasgow is Five Sisters Zoo. Established in 2005, the zoo is home to over 180 different species of animals, native and non-native, including bears, lions, arctic wolves and a large selection of birds and reptiles. Run by a dedicated team of volunteers, the zoo is a non-profit organisation, meaning all money made is injected back into looking after these amazing animals. Get closer to the animals and learn about the incredible creatures on display through the daily keeper talks and feeding and handling sessions, or see if you have got what it takes and sign up to be a keeper for the day with the Zoo keeper experience. The Five Sisters zoo is a great way for all the family to connect with Wildlife.

For more information, visit the Five Sisters Zoo wesbite:

Linlithgow Palace

The birth place of both James V of Scotland, and Mary Queen of Scots, as well as the home to many of the other Stewart monarchs, Linlithgow Palace is a significant part of Scotland’s history. The ruin of the palace and the Chapel, sat in beautiful park lands and beside Linlithgow Loch, are great places to learn more about the Stewart dynasty and Scotland’s challenging past. Just a short distance from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling, Linlithgow Palace is really easy to get to and the perfect day out for all ages.

For more information, visit the Historic Scotland website:

Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway

Scotland’s largest railway museum sits on the bank of the Forth river in Bo’ness, just a short drive from Edinburgh. The Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway offers the chance to experience a journey on a working steam train whilst also learning about the importance of steam railways to Scotland’s history and culture. This family-friendly heritage centre offers an education adventure suitable for all ages. Keep and eye out for regular events such as their Afternoon Tea on a Steam Train – perfect for an alternative Birthday treat!

For more information, visit the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway website:

Linlithgow Canal Centre

The Linlithgow Canal Centre is another great family day out, located just south of Linlithgow on the Union Canal. During the Spring and Summer months this buzzing centre is full of activity, from boat trips along to the Falkirk Wheel, their informative museum all about the Scottish canal system, or their bustling tearoom. The centre may be small and sweet, but it has the only Canal museum in Scotland, and offers visitors the chance to experience a cruise down the waterway or even hire your own boat for a day excursion! Run by the Linlithgow Union Canal Society, the centre often has events running too, such as it’s wine and cheese cruise, canal fun days and Falkirk Wheel Cruises.

For more information, visit the Linlithgow Union Canal Society website:

Hopetoun House

Self proclaimed as ‘Scotland’s finest stately home’, Hopetoun House is a stunning 18th century manor house, set amongst 6,500 acres of estate which included Hoeptoun’s farming enterprise and other outdoor activities including clay pigeon shooting. Located on the outskirts of Edinburgh, the beautiful building designed by William Bruce, is still home to the present Lord Hopetoun and his family. Take a tour around the amazing collections in the house, enjoy the nature trails and scenic walks around the house grounds, before enjoying some refreshment in the welcoming Stables Tearoom. The house also often has popular events being held, including Snowdrop Sunday, special guided Grounds Walks, and their special Christmas shopping fair.

For more information, visit the Hopetoun House website:

The Scottish Owl Centre

Explore the far northern forests and discover the birds and animals living there, or journey to the rainforest and experience the sights and sounds of the owls living there, at the Scottish Owl Centre. The centre has over 100 owls from 40 different species from all across the world. The centre also has over 20 owls in their ‘Flying Display Team’, the largest collection of trained owls in the world, performing daily flying displays. The Scottish Owl Centre is located in the Polkemmet Country Park which contains a huge adventure playground, a 9-hole golf course, a driving range and various woodland walks and is only 30 minutes from both Edinburgh and Glasgow.

For more information, visit the Scottish Owl Centre website:

Almond Valley Heritage Centre

The perfect day out for kids, Almond Valley Heritage Centre is absolutely packed with things to see and do! Explore the old stone buildings of the watermill and byres, home to friendly farm animals, pets and poultry with handling experiences scheduled throughout the day. Cross the river over to the woods and gardens where trampolines, pedal carts and an amazing outdoor play area await. The brave can even take a zip wire through the trees! Next, take a trator trailer ride or a trip on the narrow gauge railway, before heading to the indoor soft play area, interactive displays and activities in the museum. The Heritage centre is located just south of Livingston, and only 15 miles from Edinburgh.

For more information, visit the Almond Valley Heritage Centre website:

New Hopetoun Gardens

Since moving from the walled garden at Hopetoun House, to their custom built facility, the New Hopetoun Garden centre has grown in size and scope. With over 30 years experience as landscape gardeners, Hopetoun Gardens are experts in anything to do with Scottish gardens! Not only are all your gardening needs catered for here, you can also explore w a whole host of showcase gardens, from the Woodland garden to the Oriental garden, or the Sensuous Retreat. After exploring the gardens for inspiration, check out the award winning gift shop and bustling tearoom!

For more information, visit the New Hopetoun Gardens website: