Witchcraig Woodland & Korean War Memorial
In the serene Bathgate Hills, around one mile east of Torphichen, is the Witchcraig Woodland & Korean War Memorial. This unique 8 hectare site combines both a memorial garden and a hilly, woodland environment with walking routes to explore and excellent views at the summit.
Korean War Memorial (1950-1953)
At the entrance of the site sits the landscaped Korean War Memorial garden which, to the centre, has a historic Korean style wood and slate crafted Pagoda amidst two grass mounds, arranged like the Ying and Yang.
On the mounds are 110 Korean Fir trees and around 1100 Scottish trees representing the servicemen who were killed. The site, which is the only Korean War memorial in Scotland, opened on the 20th June 2000, marking the 50th anniversary of the war's commencement. It was created by the Lothians and West of Scotland Branch of the British Korean Veterans Association and has been managed by West Lothian Council since 2006.
During 2013, a new and more permanent Pagoda was constructed and a service was held to re-open the garden. This peaceful and considerate national memorial offers a tranquil environment for taking a quiet moment to reflect.
Accessible from the memorial garden, this small woodland, which is perfect for short walks, offers routes which showcase the tremendous natural beauty of the area.
At the top of the hill, outside council ownership, is the Witchcraig Wall and Refuge Stone. In this location you are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views.
The Witchcraig Wall is a small enclosure built in 2003 through cooperation with the local landowner to provide a resting place for hill walkers whilst exhibiting the geological heritage and diversity of the Scottish central belt, with 43 rocks from the region integrated into the structure.
Near the wall is a medieval Refuge Stone with the Cross of Lorraine etched onto its surface. This stone marks an ancient periphery where outlaws could find sanctuary.
Witchcraig has a mixed broadleaf and conifer woodland which provides habitat capable of supporting numerous species. Most of the trees are around 20 years old but the site also has mature trees. Tree species include Beech, Oak, Cherry, Apple and Birch. To the east of the site is grassland with scattered trees. In the grassland, plant species such as creeping buttercup and white clover can be found. Animals include badgers and rabbits, whilst Kestrels have been sighted.
- Free parking at layby
- Car park can be opened by prior arrangement for larger groups
- Several resting benches and two picnic tables
- Signposts and information display boards
- No toilets but Beecraigs Country Park has public toilets at its Visitor Centre or Balvormie
- Refreshments available from Beecraigs
- Memorial garden has surfaced footpath which is suitable for wheelchair users
- Access to the Witchcraig Wall and Refuge Stone is via a series of steps
- Unsurfaced paths can be narrow, steep and slippery in sections
The site is accessible via the minor road connecting Linlithgow and Bathgate. From Linlithgow, follow the Preston Road and travel past Beecraigs until you reach the location. Via Bathgate follow the Torphichen Road from the town and turn right at the sign for Beecraigs. Travel on this road until you reach the destination. The Witchcraig Wall is also walkable from both Beecraigs and Cairnpapple.