Walk: Buzzing off to Beecraigs

West Lothian | Linlithgow | Half day walk | ★★

[Union Canal east of Linlithgow]

Tourists mainly visit Linlithgow for its famous palace, and rightly so - but the area is also blessed with some excellent walks which are a little more off the beaten track - certainly for international visitors, at least. This varied circuit links the Royal Burgh with the royal stags of Beecraigs Country Park, found on higher ground south of the town. The Union Canal and Beecraigs Loch both feature and provide good opportunities for watching waterfowl, while the tiny but prominent summit of Cockleroy (see our separate walk) can easily be incorporated into the route for superb views across the Forth valley region. We've listed this walk as a half day route but it could easily fill a whole day if you include the optional extension, linger within the country park or even make a detour to Linlithgow Palace.

[Parkley Craigs]

📌 Walk: Buzzing off to Beecraigs ★★
Start / finish on Manse Road (street parking) at bridge over Union Canal, 5-min walk south of Linlithgow town centre, G.R.: NT 004770 ///cools.path.briefing

▶ 14 km / 9 mi | ▲ 290 m | ⌚ Half a day | Moderate
Features: Ross Doocot; Union Canal; Beecraigs Country Park ★★
Terrain: Generally good going on a variety of paths, tracks and minor roads. Approach to Beecraigs is quite steep and muddy.

Route & map

Start & Ross Doocot - Union Canal - Wilcoxholm - Parkley Place - Cauldhame - Hiltly - enter Beecraigs Country Park - Hillhouse Woodland - visitor centre - Animal Attraction - south side of Beecraigs Loch - woodland to southwest - Cockleroy car park (optional detour to summit) - track just west of visitor centre - path alongside Preston Road - rejoin canal towpath - start

Route credit: Scotland Off the Beaten Track (map also shows optional detour to Cockleroy)
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On our visit

Wildlife: Sheep, greylag geese, mute swans, mallards, goosanders, yellowhammers, tits and other small birds. Red deer and Highland cows at Beecraigs.
Weather: Sunny with light winds. Around freezing with fresh snow above 150 m; canals and lochs mostly frozen.

Chronological photo guide

[Ross Doocot at the start]

[Union Canal]

[Union Canal]

[Track away from the canal]

[Looking north from the track to Parkley Place]

[Parkley Craigs]


[Farm at Hiltly]

[Hillhouse Woodland]

[Hillhouse Woodland]

[Red deer at Beecraigs' "Animal Attraction"]



[Beecraigs Loch]

[Beecraigs Loch]

[South side of the park]

[West side of the park]

[Path beyond Cockleroy]

[Return to Linlithgow]

[Good views of Linlithgow Palace from the canal towpath]


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