An oasis of open windswept moors hidden in the lowlands, Blawhorn is a site full of secrets.
Blawhorn Moss, managed by NatureScot, is a rare survivor of the raised and blanket peat bogs that once covered much of Scotland. This little oasis is conveniently located, half way along the railway that runs between Edinburgh and Glasgow, making it one of Scotland's most accessible National Nature Reserves.
A wide surfaced track from the car park to the edge of the Moss takes you to a short circular boardwalk, allowing access to the heart of the Moss-without getting your feet wet! It is easy to forget that you are a stone's throw from one of the busiest areas in Scotland as you walk through this peaceful place, surrounded by nodding white heads of bog cotton in early summer or the explosive cackle of a red grouse as it bolts from the heather. Look out for the beautiful sculptures dotted around the boardwalk, which are inspired by the wildlife and mosses of this special place.
Best Time To Visit: April to July.
Facilities: Boardwalk across the edge of the bog. Car park available 8am to 9pm (summer) and 8am to 6pm (winter).
Further Information: NatureScot, Strathallan House, Castle Business Park, Stirling FK9 4TZ. Tel: 01786 450362.
Four miles east of Armadale. Take junction 4 from the Edinburgh to Glasgow M8 motorway onto the A801, then head west for three miles on the A89 until you reach Blackridge village.
By Public Transport: The nearest bus stop is in Blackridge, approximately 1 mile south of the Reserve. Trains stop at Bathgate (6.7 miles from Blawhorn Moss) on the Edinburgh - Bathgate line.
By Bike: The entrance to the Reserve is linked to NCN Route 75 (Glasgow - Edinburgh). Leave the Airdrie to Livingston section at the Blawhorn link road outside Blackridge.
On Foot: There is a connecting path from the village of Blackridge to the Reserve.