Country Parks

Country Park Re-open

West Lothian's three country parks have re-opened on Friday 29 May in line with Scottish Government guidance.

However they are only open for outdoor leisure and exercise only, and the majority of facilities and services such as toilets and handwashing visitor centres, cafes and children play parks remain closed.

Please be aware of the changes to the parks and plan your visit accordingly within the guidelines.  You should bring what you need for your visit/exercise so you do not place additional pressures on the emergency services at this time

Car parks are open and please ensure you park responsibly. Please do not park out with the car parks, and if car parks are busy, please consider using other quieter, local parks or woodlands instead, ideally any within 5 miles of your home.

When in the parks, please ensure that you adhere to Scottish Government guidelines on social distancing and hygiene. 

You should be particularly aware of minimizing all shared touch-points such as Park picnic tables, seats and picnic tables.  You must not use disposable BBQs due to the high fire risk at this time.  

Please ensure that you help us by not dropping your waste and please take all your litter home with you. 

Facilities that remain closed at our country parks include:

  • Almondell & Calderwood Country Park - Visitor Centre, public toilets, play area and BBQ area. 
  • Beecraigs Country Park - Visitor Centre, Balvormie public toilets and play area, Sutherland Building, Animal Attraction viewing shed, BBQ area, the Beecraigs Caravan & Camping Site, mountain bike trails and Skills Area. .  The Hideaway Cafe at Beecraigs is also closed.
  • Polkemmet Country Park - the Scottish Owl Centre, play areas and public toilets. 
  • All Ranger Service events and bookings have been cancelled until further notice.

The council's Parks & Woodland team are operating on a much lower staffing level at this time, so we very much appreciate your support to ensure phase 1 of the lifting of lockdown restrictions is a success.

It is essential that everyone follows NHS Scotland and Scottish Government guidance.  Closures remain within Parks & Woodland in the best interests of public and staff health as the public health threat from Coronavirus continues.  It is vital that social distancing, keeping 2 metres apart is maintained and that where households meet with one other household per day, they do not exceed the recommended maximum of 8 people in the overall group.

Fresh air and being outdoors benefits physical and mental wellbeing, and our Country Parks are accessible to local visitors.  Although permitted to travel short distances for outdoor leisure and exercise, the advice is to stay within a short distance of your local community (broadly within 5 miles) and travel by walk, wheel and cycle where possible.  Please enjoy your local outdoors responsibly and maintain Social Distancing.

The Scottish Government guidance on access rights during the current coronavirus emergency applicable under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code continue:-

  • Stay within your local community - please make use of the paths, open spaces and quiet roads in your local area
  • Maintain your distance - please stay at least 2 metres away from other people and if possible try to avoid busy times on popular paths or places
  • Respect the health and safety of farmers and others working the land - please follow all reasonable requests and signs to avoid particular areas, such as farmyards, fields with pregnant or young livestock, and other busy working areas
  • Keep your dog under control - please put them on a lead or keep them close at heel and do not let them approach other people or livestock
  • Avoid contact - try to avoid touching surfaces and if possible plan a route that does not require you to open gates
An image relating to Beecraigs Country Park
Beecraigs Country Park is a great place to visit. It caters for a wide range of leisure and recreational activities within its 370 hectares (913 acres) and can be discovered nestled high in the Bathgate Hills near the historic town of Linlithgow. The Park is open throughout the year and admission is free.
Polkemmet Country Park is a popular 68 hectare (168 acre) visitor attraction near Whitburn. The Park offers beautiful woodland and riverside walks, play area, picnic areas with seating and a barbecue facility. West Lothian Leisure operate the golf course, driving range and Visitor Centre within the Park.
An image relating to Almondell & Calderwood Country Park
Almondell & Calderwood Country Park is tucked out of sight in the valley of the River Almond between Broxburn and East Calder, Almondell & Calderwood Country Park is probably the best kept secret in West Lothian!
Visitors to Almondell & Calderwood Country Park, Beecraigs Country Park and Polkemmet Country Park can experience the invaluable skills that the Ranger Service provides.