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10 reasons to head west from Edinburgh

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Are you visiting the capital and looking for something different to do? Here are some unmissable attractions in Falkirk and West Lothian, all within easy reach of Edinburgh. So why not venture out of the city? You’ll be surprised by what you find.

1. Helix Park and The Kelpies

The Helix, Home of the Kelpies

The Helix, Home of the Kelpies

The 5-star Helix Park in Falkirk is home to the two iconic 30-metre-high Kelpies – an impressive sight to see during the day and at night. Learn about the story of the Kelpies in the visitor centre, explore the park and the miles of walking and cycle paths it offers, and make sure you head to the adventure zone – the kids will love it!

DISTANCE: 25 miles from Edinburgh Waverley Train Station

TRAVEL: 25 mins by train from Edinburgh Waverley to Falkirk High

2. Falkirk Wheel

The Falkirk Wheel is the world’s only rotating boatlift linking two canals, the Forth & Clyde and Union Canal. Take a boat trip and experience it for yourself, head for a stroll through the Falkirk Tunnel, or try a Segway tour with the Scottish Segway Centre.

DISTANCE: 28 miles from Edinburgh Waverley Train Station

TRAVEL: 25 mins by train from Edinburgh Waverley to Falkirk High

3. Callendar House

Callendar House and Park in Falkirk

Callendar House and Park in Falkirk

Callendar House dates from the 14th century and today it is a proud 5-star attraction (with free entry) and Outlander filming location. Learn about Rome’s Northern Frontier and try early 19th century food prepared as it would have been in the restored 1825 kitchen. In Callendar Park you can find plenty of woodland walks as well as the remains of the mighty Antonine Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

DISTANCE: 26 miles from Edinburgh Waverly Train Station

TRAVEL: 25 mins by train from Edinburgh Waverly to Falkirk High

4. Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway

You don’t need to travel far from Edinburgh for a steam train experience. All aboard the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway! This heritage railway, which is another Outlander filming location, is full of charm and home to Scotland’s largest railway museum. Enjoy afternoon tea on-board or book in for one of the special event days, such as the special day out with Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends.

DISTANCE: 19 miles from Edinburgh Waverley Train Station

TRAVEL: 20 mins by train from Edinburgh Waverley to Linlithgow

5. Blackness Castle

Known as ‘the ship that never sailed’ due to its unusual shape, Blackness Castle is one of Scotland’s most impressive strongholds which overlooks the Firth of Forth and has featured in the popular TV show Outlander. Climb the towers and wander the curtain wall for spectacular views of the Forth Bridges and Fife.

DISTANCE: 19 miles from Edinburgh Waverley Train Station

TRAVEL: 20 mins by train from Edinburgh Waverley to Linlithgow

6. Linlithgow Palace

From a mighty fortress to a magnificent palace where Mary Queen of Scots was born, Linlithgow Palace. Once a retreat for royals, allowing them to break the journey between Edinburgh and Stirling castles, today you can admire the wildlife-rich Linlithgow Loch from the towers, wander the impressive ruins, and it’s said the palace grounds are a great place for a picnic.

DISTANCE: 18 miles from Edinburgh Waverley Train Station

TRAVEL: 20 mins by train from Edinburgh Waverley to Linlithgow

7. Linlithgow Canal Centre

From the Linlithgow Canal Centre, take a cruise to the Avon Aqueduct or The Falkirk Wheel. Sit back as you watch the world slowly float by before enjoying some freshly baked treats in the tearoom, situated in the former canal workers’ cottages. Make sure you visit the Canal Museum too where there are helpful volunteers on hand to answer any questions.

DISTANCE: 18 miles from Edinburgh Waverley Train Station

TRAVEL: 20 mins by train from Edinburgh Waverley to Linlithgow

8. Hopetoun House

Hopetoun House is an architectural gem, dating from the 17th century and is filled to the brim with Georgian elegance, whih has stayed virtually unchanged for three centuries. The grounds offer a haven for wildlife where you can explore the Spring Garden and Sea Walk Trails all the in shadows of the Forth Bridges.

DISTANCE: 13 miles from Edinburgh Waverley Train Station

TRAVEL: 20 mins by train from Edinburgh Waverley to Linlithgow

9. Five Sisters Zoo

With 180 species of mammals, birds and reptiles from across the world, Five Sisters Zoo has plenty to see for a busy day out. The zoo is dedicated to supporting animal welfare and is home to rescued circus bears and lions, as well as monkeys, otters and crocodiles.

DISTANCE: 18 miles from Edinburgh Waverley Train Station

TRAVEL: 25 mins by train from Edinburgh Waverley to West Calder

10. Beecraigs Country Park

Nestled high in the Bathgate Hills, Beecraigs Country Park boasts miles of woodland paths and trails to be explored. The Animal Attraction at the park is a real highlight where visitors can see red deer and Highland cattle, and the adventure play area is a great place for the little ones to burn off some more energy.

DISTANCE: 20 miles from Edinburgh Waverley Train Station

TRAVEL: 20 mins by train from Edinburgh Waverley to Linlithgow

Check out these great videos showcasing all that Falkirk has to offer. Explore more things to see and do with day trips and tours from Edinburgh.

 

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