For a list of events, take a look at this Linlithgow website for details
There are a number of regular events that take place most years, as follows:
- The Linlithgow Players’ pantomime, usually in Linlithgow Academy
- Various Burns Suppers, including the Deacons Court
- Snowdrops at the House of the Binns
- On Easter Sunday, there is usually an open air service at the top of Cockleroy Hill at 9am (then egg-rolling for the kids!)
- LAMP childrens musical
- Linlithgow Reed Band spring concert, usually at Linlithgow Academy
- Street Fair
- June (a very busy month in Linlithgow)
- Scottish dancing at Linlithgow Palace every Wednesday over the summer, well worth it even if you’ve never danced before. There’s usually a good mix of simple ones, and extremely complicated ones which can be quite good fun to watch. If the weather is bad it’s held in the Lowport Centre, which can get quite hot!
- Hop Scotch at the palace continues
- Edinburgh Festival and Fringe. There are usually late trains running from Edinburgh up until 12.30am during this period, which helps if you want to catch a late show.
- Linlithgow Union Canal Society fun day at the canal basin. This includes a cardboard boat race which can be very entertaining, the quality of the boats is very variable so someone usually gets wet.
- LAMP annual musical
- Fireworks at the Rugby Club
- Advent Fair, usually last weekend in November. This involves a torchlight procession along the High Street, buy a torch in advance and take part.
- Linlithgow Reed Band Christmas Concert, usually at St. Michael’s kirk next to the palace.
There is a monthly Farmer’s Market at the Vennel, High Street, on the 4th Saturday of the month . From April to October there is usually a display of classic cars at the market, organised by the Linlithgow Classic Car Group.
Palace, parks,castles, stately homes, museums and libraries
- Linlithgow Palace was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, and is now an impressive ruin in the centre of town and bordering Linlithgow Loch. There are a number of spiral staircases, one of which leads to Queen Margaret’s bower which has good views over the surrounding countryside. During the summer months there are often free guided tours organized by the local schoolchildren.
- Beecraigs Country Park is about 2 miles outside Linlithgow, on the north side of the Bathgate hills, and has a lot to do – playparks, walks, fishing, mountain biking, archery, a visitors centre, deer farm producing venison and a caravan/campsite.
- Linlithgow Library, County Buildings High Street, Linlithgow.
- Muiravonside Country Park is a few miles to the west of Linlithgow, with a playpark, good walks, a picnic area and small open farm where you can see a range of rare breeds up close, and it’s all free.
- Hopetoun House and the House of the Binns are two nearby stately homes which are both well worth a visit.
- In Linlithgow’s old sea port of Blackness, Blackness Castle has an imposing presence on the banks of the Firth of Forth, although it’s now a ruin.
- Centre point of the town is Linlithgow Cross, the focus for any celebrations or events during the year, particularly during Marches Week.
Local shops, restaurants and attractions
- There are many CAMRA listed pubs, including the famous The Four Marys . The Black Bitch is a recommended local pub, often with live folk music.
- Taste and associated deli with a good range of Scottish food, So Strawberry Cafe at The Cross, and many more.
- Bar Leo is good for a more substantial Italian meal, Delhi Winter for good Indian food in The Regent’s Centre, the Champany Chop & Ale House, or even the Champany Restaurant if your wallet, or expenses, stretch to it.
- About two miles West of the town along the Union Canal is Bridge 49 Bistro, it makes a good walk followed by something tasty. A mile East along the canal is The Park Bistro, also serving good food.
- The Star and Garter was nearly destroyed by fire in 2010, but reopened again recently. The West Port Hotel at the other end of town has a good menu, and has recently been extensively renovated.
- There are lots of really good shops on the High Street. A good spot to get books, gifts, jewellery or antiques is the award winning Far from the Madding Crowd, which used to be County Antiques but then joined forces with the local bookshop.
- There are two very good butcher’s shops and a fishmonger on the High Street.
- Purely Patchwork has just about everything you could need for quilting and patchwork. They organise very popular workshops throughout the year, more details on their website.
Walks around Linlithgow
- The John Muir Way has just recently been extended to pass through Linlithgow. The walk itself goes coast to coast from Dunbar (the birthplace of John Muir) to Helensburgh. We’ve walked it ourselves as far as Dunbar, and can strongly recommend it as a good way to see the Lothians, so far we’ve not got past the Falkirk Wheel in the other direction but are looking forward to walking it sometime soon.
- Linlithgow Loch can be walked round in about 1 hour, it’s a fairly flat two mile route, with great views and a chance to see local wildlife. From the apartment, walk down to the High Street then cross over and wak through St. Ninians car park to the loch path. We prefer the anti-clockwise route, but either is possible, it follows close to the banks of the loch, crosses over the Palace Peel and then out to Blackness Road for a few hundred metres before taking a gate back through to an area of parkland beside the loch. There are many birds in this area, and sometimes otters. There are great views towards Linlithgow Palace as you walk around the loch. Towards the end of the walk pass the bullrushes and cross a bridge to return to the playpark.
- A slightly longer walk follows the canal and the River Avon then back through town. Walk up to the canal and then head west towards the aqueduct. When you reach the aqueduct walk to the middle to get a good view towards the Forth, then walk back about 100 metres and take the path down towards the River Avon. Follow this for about a mile, then take a path through woods to your left towards a large water-filled gravel pit, (locally called the lagoon.) Follow the path past the water and up hill towards another wood, then through a large open area and you’ll come out at the roundabout just next to Linlithgow Leisure Centre. Cross the road and follow the the path next to the road the Leisure Centre back up to the canal and retrace your steps.
- Cockleroy Hill is within walking distance of the town, but there’s also a car-park at the foot of the hill which just leaves about a 1/2 mile trek to the top.
- Beecraigs country park, just to the east of Cockleroy Hill has a good range of walks, from short to several miles.
- Fisher’s Brae, at the end of Mill Road, is an old right-of-way which takes the direct route over the Flints to Bo’ness. It’s a good energetic walk, or cycle, with some quite steep sections. At the top of the hill, turn to the right and walk about 100 metres then cut left through the woods down towards Bo’ness.
- There are some good longer distance walks from Linlithgow, it’s about 24 miles along the canal into Edinbugh, or about 12 to the Falkirk Wheel the other way. The Avon Heritage Trail can be joined at the end of Burgh Mills Lane, off Mill Road and follows the river for some distance.
- Mary’s Meanders organise guided walking tours around Linlithgow, and have some good local information.
Sports and activities
- There is a good swimming pool at Linlithgow Sports Centre, as well as five-a-side football pitches, tennis courts and other facilities. Their phone number is 01506 237960 to check opening times and events.
- Linlithgow Golf Club rises towards the south of the town, beneath Cockleroy Hill, with great views over the Forth Valley. The original course was laid out 100 years ago in 1913.
- Ceramic painting at the Painting Cafe (01506 848840) makes a good day out with the kids, particularly if it’s raining.
- The Bridge Club meets on a Tuesday and a Thursday at the Burgh Hall, contact Sally Douglas on 01506 671549 for details.
- Linlithgow Reed Band are often playing at events in the town. The main band practices on a Tuesday in Linlithgow Academy, and training band on a Sunday evening in the Longcroft Hall. They are often looking to recruit new players, either experienced or less so.
- Take a look for details of the Linlithgow Arts Guild musical programme for the year