West Lothian Hidden Gems, West Lothian property, Scottish architecture landmarks, Film locations

West Lothian Hidden Gems

16 Feb 2023

West Lothian Hidden Gems

Around 12 miles outside Edinburgh City lies the charming, historic region of West Lothian. The county of Linlithgowshire is a popular tourist destination and home to 15th-century palaces and was the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. It’s known for many things, but here are a few of its hidden gems that are worth exploring.

Bangour Village Hospital

Once a thriving hospital used during the First World War as part of the larger Edinburgh War Hospital, this impressive building is now a dilapidated ruin. Abandoned since 2004, this supposedly haunted site was once an asylum for mentally ill patients and is frequently visited by people eager to explore such a creepy place. The building has been used in films such as The Jacket, starring Kiera Knightley and Adrien Brody, and was once connected to its own railway line. Plans for demolishing the site have been in place since 2020 so be sure to check out this special bit of local history while you still can.

House of the Binns

A more well-preserved slice of local history lies in the form of The House of the Binns. This historic house dates back to the early 17th century and was once the home of the Dalyell’s.  The name of the site means “the house on the hills”, the word bens means hills in Gaelic. It spreads across an impressive 200 acres of parkland, enjoying spectacular panoramic views of central Scotland. Open to visitors year-round, the house contains a preserved collection of portraits, furniture, and porcelain from the history of this house.

Torphichen Preceptory

This magnificent 12th century’s church can be found in the West Lothian village of Torphichen. It comprises the remains of the preceptory (headquarters) of the Knights Hospitaller of the Order of St John of Jerusalem in Scotland, which once gave shelter to the sick and poor visiting the Holy Land. This remarkably intact piece of Scottish history is thought to take its name from the Gaelic “Tóir Féichín”, meaning the sanctuary or boundary of St. Féichín. This beautiful slice of gothic architecture is well worth visiting for anyone exploring the area.

The Cross Well

In the town of Linlithgow, you can find this impressive hexagonal sandstone well. Complete with a pedestal and commemorative stone, this slice of historic Scotland was carved in 1807 by the stonemason Robert Gray. The pedestal features a mask gargoyle and the town’s arms, while the stone commemorates the town’s 600 years as Royal Burgh (1389-1989). The monument was a replica of an earlier structure that dated back to 1628 after the destruction of the original during Oliver Cromwell’s occupation of Linlithgow. Located close to Linlithgow Loch, this central landmark provides a wonderful centre for the town, which is admired daily by locals and visitors.

Blackness Castle

This 15th-century fortress lies on the south shore of the Firth of Forth, near the village of Blackness. Built at a port commonly used in mediaeval times, this impressive, amazingly intact landmark has served many purposes over the centuries. Initially a home for the Crichton house, Blackness Castle has also been a royal castle, a garrison fortress, a state prison, and an ammunition depot. Nicknamed “the ship that never sailed” because of its appearance, this spectacular site is a must-see for visitors of the area and enthusiasts of British history.

Linlithgow Palace

Dating back to the early 15th century, this once-thriving palace was the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. Now, it’s merely an impressive ruin, though one visited by many every year. The gatehouse and spectacular grounds are open to the public, and the area’s natural beauty can be appreciated all year round. After enjoying this immense location, most may need a break. Fortunately, Linlithgow Palace is located near a main street replete with options. Whether it be looking for a place to get a good coffee, getting online and exploring the list of Megaways Slots at Platincasino, getting something to eat, or unwinding and reading a book, it will be easy to find plenty to keep occupied.

West Lothian hidden gems Conclusion

A beautiful area with a rich heritage, beautiful landscapes, and great shopping opportunities, West Lothian is a great place to visit. Don’t miss out on the main attractions and the hidden gems listed above. If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway with plenty to do, look no further than this peaceful slice of Scotland.

Comments on this West Lothian Hidden Gems article are welcome.

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