Linlithgow in Scotland is a thriving town just half an hour’s drive away from Scotland’s capital of Edinburgh. Linlithgow’s a popular choice with day-trippers and tourist trips due to its royal connections, outdoor activities, and breathtaking wildlife experiences. It’s for sure that there are many things to do in the town of Linlithgow!
Linlithgow was historically the county town of West Lothian and a popular one at that! Holding popular venues like the famous Linlithgow Palace, the many historic buildings of Linlithgow was enough to draw the attention of royalty. And when the Union Canal and railways were built, Linlithgow became an excellent destination to visit while in the beautiful country of Scotland.
This town in Central Scotland has royal connections, such as being the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots and Princess Elizabeth – It’s no wonder the town is a royal burgh! You’ll be able to see a whole new side of Scottish history as you explore Linlithgow in West Lothian.
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Things to do in Linlithgow
If you love the outdoors, you will be spoiled for choice here. You can explore West Lothian town on foot or by boat as the town is famous for its canal culture.
Linlithgow is a town that is jam-packed with things to do. You can visit monumental castles and palaces like Linlithgow Palace and Midhope Castle, spend some time relaxing while working on your golf or fishing game, or even mingle with the locals at some of the Linlithgow’s best festivals!
We won’t blame you for being overwhelmed at the sheer amount of things to do in Linlithgow, and we’ve created a guide for what you should be doing when you visit!
Linlithgow Canal Centre
Fancy a boat trip? Catch a ride along the serene Union Canal in Linlithgow, West Lothian.
There’s no better way to see the town of Linlithgow than aboard one of the magical boats that run along the Canal. The Linlithgow Canal Centre runs special trips on the last Sunday of the Summer to the Falkirk Wheel and back.
The total trip takes around six hours and must be booked in advance, but it is one of the best sightseeing experiences you can have in town.
Weekends boat trips start in April and end in September, and weekday trips begin in July and end in August. Spring and Summer mean voyages along the Canal in Linlithgow, Central Scotland!
This stunning West Lothian tourist attraction is the perfect place to enjoy a Sunday afternoon walk and admire the local loch wildlife.
If you’re feeling up for it, the nearly 9-mile walk takes you through some of the most stunning parts of the Linlithgow Loch, with highlights including canals, woodlands, and wildlife!
The shorter trip around Linlithgow Loch shows off the magnificent Linlithgow Palace for those who want something a little less intensive.
Visitors can partake in walking, fishing, and water sports at Linlithgow Loch- Linlithgow Loch truly has it all!
Linlithgow is one palace you’ll want to visit, situated beside Linlithgow Loch. The grounds here are simply beautiful – VisitScotland has even rated it a four-star local attraction!
Linlithgow Palace, a royal residence since the 1100s, was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, and it sits almost halfway between Falkirk and Edinburgh. The present palace was built over 200 years and was completed in 1424.
This unique location in the town has featured in the world-famous show Outlander; however, it was set up as a prison when filmed for the tv show.
We hinted towards Linlithgow’s rich history, but the locals here have so many stories to tell.
This is a must-see destination if you want to learn more about the town’s royal connections, the people who have helped shape this county town over the years, and the trades that have made Linlithgow the thriving place it is today. The Linlithgow Canal Museum’s story is fascinating!
You can explore and see artefacts donated by the West Lothian Council, including ancient coins, architectural models, civic regalia items, and many more objects that Linlithgow citizens have generously donated.
You don’t honestly know a place unless you’ve taken the time to explore its history and the Linlithgow Museum offers you the chance to do just that!
See Beecraig’s Animal Attractions
If you want to make some furry friends during your next visit to Scotland, Beecraigs Country Park is an attraction you should not miss out on!
You’ll see a Red Deer herd, Highland Cattle fold, Belted Galloways, and Hebridean and North Ronaldsay Sheep, which all live in the park on the south side of Linlithgow. Scotland is known for its hardy wildlife and livestock, but your heart will melt when you see these adorable animals.
Suppose you want to look at some of Scotland’s most famous animal mascots in real life. In that case, this popular attraction is open throughout the year and is a great day out for all the family, especially since admission is free.
You can’t visit this portion of West Lothian without enjoying a walk along the mighty Avon River and Linlithgow Bridge.
The route along this river is filled with nature and wildlife for you to spot, the perfect setting for winding down your afternoon from a day filled with hotspots in West Lothian. You may even come across locals part of the Linlithgow Angling Club fishing the Avon River, the self-processed ‘Best in the Country’.
The Avon River also holds a few incredible sights for those with a keen eye, like the Avon Viaduct and Linlithgow Bridge!
Bowden Springs Fishery
Are you getting an itch to fish while on holiday? Then it’s a good thing that you arrived in Linlithgow!
The Bowden Springs Fishery is an excellent place to spend an early morning admiring your beautiful surroundings while also increasing your luck of catching the blue or rainbow trout species that the Bowden Springs Fishery keeps in its reservoirs.
The Fishery also offers packages for budding anglers to come to stay at one of their excellent town cottages, positioned ideally next to the reservoirs, and are one way you can live out your fantasies of fishing in the Scottish town countryside.
The Spring Fisheries has two packed reservoirs waiting for you to live out your fishing fantasies, fly or bait!
Linlithgow Golf Club
Just above the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow sits Linlithgow Golf Club, the premier place to tee off while on vacation here. The Golf Club is next to the community football club, making it the perfect way to wind down the day with some footie.
The Golf Club has 18 fantastic golf courses and is situated within the farmland and hills of West Lothian, granting country views as you play. Whenever you’re planning to visit West Lothian, Scotland, try out the luxurious Linlithgow Golf Club if you’re keen to lower your handicap over the holidays.
And after your game, you can relax and revel with your friends in the nearby clubhouse’s relaxing atmosphere.
Muiravonside Country Park
Spanning 170-acres, the Muiravonside Country Park is a fine park jam-packed with things to do that are sure to capture your interest.
Whether you’re up for walking along the nature trails, sitting down to have a picnic with the family, enjoying the play area with your children, or exploring the Newpark’s farm, this Country Park is perfect.
The lovely Muiravonside Country Park shows off just how beautiful Linlithgow, Scotland, can be, with stunning landscapes and views of the River Avon. There are also over 90 species that have been recorded here – Bring your binoculars!
The Cross Well
You can find this spectacular Well right in the heart of Linlithgow, in front of the Burgh Halls on the high street.
The well-head is expertly carved, and there isn’t anything quite like it anywhere else. Famous figures of Linlithgow are carved into it that illustrate essential people of the town’s history, with the very top of the Cross Well graced by a beautiful unicorn statue.
The Well has been a part of Linlithgow since the 16th-century, making this the ultimate symbol of Linlithgow’s past hiding in plain sight!
One of the best ways to look at the beautiful regions around Linlithgow, West Lothian, is a short trek up Cockleroy Hill.
The climb is easy, and although the summit can be a little windy, its views make up for losing your cap! Only joking, but you won’t get better views of Scotland, Linlithgow, and nearby Falkirk than from the top of Cockleroy Hill.
This attraction is perfect for just about everybody, young or old. Better yet, it’s just a stone’s throw south from the town centre of Linlithgow, Scotland.
Linlithgow Folk Festival
One of Linlithgow’s foremost celebrations of traditional culture, this Folk Festival promotes Scottish music, dancing, and songs. It is one of the most energetic and lively festivals you’ll enjoy attending while in Linlithgow.
The Festival begins in a tavern before expanding throughout the town centre and beyond. The Linlithgow Folk Festival takes place in September and is worth the trip alone if you’re a fan of traditional Scottish festivals.
Experience the heritage and culture of Scotland over this five-day Festival the next time you’re in Linlithgow!
This intimidating monument towers over its surroundings and is one of the most significant attractions while visiting the West Lothian Golf Club.
It was erected in 1859 as a memorial to Brigadier Adrian Hope and now stands as an excellent attraction that you can’t miss while teeing off. The octagonal tower has three stages and is made in the incredible Gothic design, with sandstone ashlar steps.
There’s also a plague so that visitors can gather a more nuanced insight into the life and heroism of this Brigadier.
The House of the Binns
The House of the Binns is home to some of the most manicured and praised gardens in West Lothian, elevated even more by the beautiful home of the Dalyells.
The townhouse and gardens have free entry, and strolling through the flowers and parks of this fantastic estate is well worth the trip. The House of Binns brings many visitors to its lovely grounds every year, making it a hotspot attraction for the next you visit!
The House itself is prone to renovations, but those lucky enough to catch it when it’s open can expect magnificent plaster ceilings that were used to impress King Charles in 1633.
Old family portraits, furniture, and pristine porcelain are around every corner – It’s truly a magical event to stroll through the House.
Linlithgow Burgh Halls
One of the most famous landmark buildings to visit in Linlithgow in West Lothian is the Burgh Halls. The building is extraordinary and boasts a striking look that will turn your head as you explore this county town.
The Burgh Halls are also filled with things to do and act as the town’s multifunctional site. You can enjoy the beautiful art galleries, check out the royal burgh visitor attraction, and sit down for a coffee at the Burgh Halls cafe. The venue is also open to other private functions.
Even if it’s just a passing picture, the Linlithgow Burgh Halls are one place in the town centre that will undoubtedly attract your attention.
Ever think you could make the perfect beer that could cater to your favourite tastes and consistency? Krafty Brew in Linlithgow is there to fulfil your brewmaster’s desires by offering you an opportunity to brew your custom beer!
Crafting your beer is a lot of fun, and Krafty Brew also offers hours of tasting beers and conversations with friends and family. It’s also an excellent place to hold venues and events for a year-end corporate party.
You can’t go wrong with an evening of tasting beers, ales, IPAs, and whatever else you can concoct.
North of Linlithgow sits the mighty Blackness Castle, a massive structure that is jaw-dropping to look at with views over the Firth of Forth.
Often called the ‘Ship that never Sailed’, Blackness Castle is a fortification with a long history. It’s served as a garrison and state prison and garnered a hardcore reputation as one of the most formidable wartime strongholds.
You can climb its towers and treat yourself to some of the most amazing views of the Firth of Forth and Blackness Bay! Extra points if you recognise the interior of the Castle from the hit show ‘Outlander’.
Take a trip up to the northern side of Linlithgow, Scotland, and treat yourself to this attraction.
St Michael’s Parish Church
St Michael’s Parish Church is one of the most spectacular out of the many historical buildings you can find in Linlithgow. Its iconic roof decoration and magnificent stained glass windows are a sight to behold and draw in many visitors every single year.
This Parish Church is also an important community centre known for bringing together the Scots of Linlithgow with multiple religious events throughout the year. Feel free to attend one of their beautiful events or masses during your stay if you’re so inclined.
This Parish Church dedicated to St Michael is not only stunning but holds many excellent services and is one of the best churches to see while in Linlithgow, Scotland.
As you make your way towards the Forth Bridges, stop by and see the impressive Midhope Castle, a 15-century fortress situated on a working farm.
The exterior of this keep is surprisingly well-preserved and offers a clear look at how the building would’ve looked to a 15-century noble. Discerning visitors may recall that people used this structure as one of the hit series ‘Outlander’ filming locations.
You also can’t overlook the hidden gems around Midhope Castle like the double dovecot, home to nearly 2000 dove nests, and the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, a stone’s throw away from Midhope.
Party at the Palace
Party at the Palace is one event you don’t want to miss out on while visiting Linlithgow!
This musical extravaganza is set on the stunning grounds of Linlithgow Palace, and its towering presence commands your view while you’re on site. Check out their website for more information.
You can experience a distinctive atmosphere with Scottish bands, dancing, and other exciting events that span the whole afternoon – it’s also a great place to take the kids!
Party at the Palace usually takes place from the 12th to the 14th of August, so grab your tickets as soon as possible!
Kingsfield Golf Centre
Kingsfield Golf Centre truly lives up to its name, and its courses, facilities, and amenities are fit for a king.
Home to a lush 9-hole USGA specification golf course, 18-hole family putting green, 20-bay driving range, and an incredible cafe, this Golf Centre is one of the best places to practise your game while travelling through Linlithgow, West Lothian.
Refine your game in the best way possible with only the top-class facilities that you can find at the Kingsfield Golf Centre.
The Scottish Korean War Memorial
This touching tribute commemorates the fallen Koreans during the Korean War and is one of the only memorials in Scotland that does so.
The Korean-style Memorial also includes an arboretum, with 110 Korean firs planted at the site to honour every ten men who had fallen. This Memorial also has places where you can sit in reflection and survey the stunning landscapes that this Memorial is set in.
The Scottish Korean War Memorial is genuinely a one-of-a-kind monument perfect for anyone with a keen interest in the Korean War from this unique perspective.
West Lothian Local History Library
The West Lothian Local History Library is a cornerstone of references and knowledge about everything in Linlithgow’s past.
The Local History Library holds tens of thousands of books, maps, and photographs that span back many decades into the region’s history – All donated either by the West Lothian Council, National Trust, or the people of West Lothian!
If you are interested in discovering your past in West Lothian, the library also holds census data and records that will have you finding out if you had family in the region in no time!
Statue of St Michael
Created by the renowned Scottish figurative Sculptor, the Statue of St Michael are one of the most recent attractions to be brought to Linlithgow, with the statue finding its place in late 2002.
This incredible statue accompanies a few others. The entire set has matching plinths and colourations that make you feel like you’ve got a ticket to an art gallery in the middle of Linlithgow town centre.
The Statue of St Michael is well worth the visit, considering the importance that this figure holds to the town centre of Linlithgow!
More things to do in Edinburgh & The Lothians
- Things to do in Edinburgh
- Things to do in Livingston
- Things to do in North Berwick
- Things to do in South Queensferry