Walk: Livingston's jaw-dropping waterfall

West Lothian | Livingston | Short walk | ★★★
❕ Route currently impassable - see red text below

[Linn Jaw lower falls]

What springs to mind when someone mentions Livingston, West Lothian? Sprawling road junctions, retail parks, 1960s architecture... how about a splendid waterfall? Under a mile from the town's southernmost suburbs, the Camilty Water drops into a short but beautiful gorge sharply at odds with the gentleness of the surrounding farmland. Two substantial waterfalls and several smaller ones tumble into the depths; the largest is actually fed by a crumbling mill lade (the mill no longer exists) but this isn't obvious from below. Parking is limited, but the walk from the nearest road begins promisingly. The last few hundred metres of the route are however a bit sketchy: stepping stones across a side burn, and a very slippery slope to reach the best viewpoint - more details below.

Important

The house and gardens alongside the path are someone’s home, and although we have a so-called "right to roam", we also have the right to privacy. Public access rights do not extend to residential gardens like this, so you should keep to the path until after crossing the wooden footbridge mentioned in the route info below.

[Paths are decent for most of the route... but not all of it]

📌 Walk: Livingston's jaw-dropping waterfall ★★★
Start / finish at minor road corner (space for 1 or 2 cars only - do not block nearby driveways or field entrances), half a mile south of Balgreen Farm and 2 mi south of Murieston, Livingston, G.R.: NT 060627 ///grows.alone.giant

▶ 1 km / <1 mi | ▲ 20 m | ⌚ Short | Moderate
Features: Linn Jaw (waterfall)
Terrain: Clear path except for last 300 m generally gives good going. Then only faint, rough path to waterfalls with uneven stepping stones to cross tributary (not possible in spate, though fallen logs may be an alternative) and unprotected drops next to the path. The best views of the more impressive lower falls involve descending a steep, muddy bank which is often extremely slippery - care needed.

Route & map

Start - remain on path alongside north bank of Camilty Water to wooden footbridge at G.R.: NT 064629 - follow south bank for 200 m until path bends right to follow a tributary upstream - leave path to cross tributary on stepping stones - Linn Jaw upper falls immediately downstream - lower falls - return by outward route. Do not cross to the opposite bank in the area around the weir or falls, as this again leads to someone’s home and you will likely be intruding on their privacy. Wooden footbridge above is closed and unsafe at time of update in August 2020. This route is therefore currently impassable; access to the waterfall is still possible by a different route, from near Morton Reservoir to the east (limited parking).

Route credit: Scotland Off the Beaten Track
For more info on your access rights, see the West Lothian Council Rangers’ page

On our visit

Wildlife: Bewildered sheep and lamb at the foot of the falls; roe deer crossing the road on the way to the start; dippers.
Weather: 8°C, mostly cloudy to start but sun increasingly breaking through.

Also on this walk

📌 Linn Jaw ★★★
On the Camilty Water 1 mi south of Murieston, Livingston, G.R.: NT 065631 ///tiger.afraid.dolphin

Anything else? Easiest access to the waterfall alone is still by the route described above.

Chronological photo guide

[Burnside path]

[Burnside path]

[Footbridge over the Camilty Water]

[Camilty Water]

[Stepping stones are used to cross a tributary before the falls - impassable in spate]

[Camilty Water just above the main falls]

[Upper (manmade) falls]

[Rapids below the upper falls]

[Muddy ground to reach the bank below the lower falls]

[Camilty Water below the lower falls]

[Lower (main) falls]

Comments

  1. Fabulous falls! But I'll have to rely on these photos as proof as the hike down for the view definitely surpasses my abilities!

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  2. Lovely wee Sunday morning stroll!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's possible to bypass the slippery mud slope by hopping over the fence into the adjacent field then walking down to the river and turning left.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The bridge been closed for repair is nonsense, its been closed because it was plastered all over social media and now its being ruined by people who don't even live her. As someone who has been going here for 17 years I have not been all summer because of the destruction and mess and idiots flocking to get a pic for Instagram. There was a reason it wasn't public knowledge for all those years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, our information comes from the West Lothian access officer. We are also sad to hear stories about mess.

      Delete

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