West Lothian is a region of Scotland steeped in history, with a wealth of attractions that offer a glimpse into its fascinating past.
West Lothian is a region of Scotland steeped in history, with a wealth of attractions that offer a glimpse into its fascinating past. From ancient castles to industrial museums, there’s something for everyone interested in exploring the historical side of the region.
Here are some of the best historical outings in West Lothian:
One of the most impressive buildings in West Lothian is the 15th-century Linlithgow Palace. Famous as the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, this royal palace was a favourite of the Stuart kings, and it’s easy to see why – the grandeur of its ruins is truly breath-taking. Visitors can explore the palace’s courtyards, towers, and great hall, as well as learn about its history through interactive exhibits.
Another impressive castle in West Lothian is Blackness Castle. Built in the 15th century, this fortress was strategically positioned to defend the Firth of Forth. Visitors can explore the castle’s towers and walls, as well as learn about its history as a prison and military garrison.
For a taste of West Lothian’s industrial past, head to the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway. This heritage railway offers visitors the chance to ride on vintage steam and diesel trains, as well as learn about the history of Scotland’s railways.
Another fantastic attraction for those interested in West Lothian’s industrial history is the Almond Valley Heritage Centre. This museum tells the story of the region’s farming and industrial heritage through exhibits, artefacts, and interactive displays.
A fascinating pre-historic ceremonial site, Cairnpapple Hill has a history dating back over 4,000 years. From the summit you’ll be able to take in the stunning views looking out across Forth Valley and beyond, even seeing as far as Goat Fell on Arran on a clear day.
While visiting Cairnpapple, you can also stop at the nearby Scottish Korean War Memorial – the only one of its kind in the UK dedicated to those that died during the Korean War.
The House of the Binns is a historic country house located on the outskirts of Linlithgow. Built in the 17th century, the house is now open to the public and offers guided tours of its elegant rooms, as well as stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Located in Wilkieston this is a unique, hands-on, museum covering the military history of the Scottish Soldier from as far back as World War I to the present day.
One of only two examples in the UK of a monastery of the military orders of the Knights Templars and Knights Hospitallers. The site at the Torphichen Preceptory dates back as far as the 1100’s and contains a ‘sanctuary stone’ in the kirkyard, which marks the centre of an area of sanctuary one Scots mile around, and is possibly related to the burial mound at Cairnpapple Hill (see above).
West Lothian is a region rich in history, with plenty of attractions that offer a fascinating insight into its past. From grand castles to industrial museums, there’s something for everyone interested in exploring the historical side of this beautiful part of Scotland. So why not plan a historical outing and discover all that West Lothian has to offer?