Things to Do near Couston Lakes
Just a 15 minute drive to the historic town of Linlithgow. Birthplace of Mary Queen of Scot, born on 8 December 1542, Mary became Queen of Scots when she was just six days old and much of her life was spent within Linlithgow Palace. The palace has been actively conserved since the early 19th century and is open to visitors all year round. In summer, the adjacent 15th-century parish church of St Michael is open for visitors, allowing a combined visit to two of Scotland's finest surviving medieval buildings. The Palace attracts over 100,000 visitors per year and is just 7 miles from Couston Lakes!
Scotland's capital city is just 18 miles away. Situated at the top of the Royal Mile on top of Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle is the number one visitor attraction in Scotland and the most iconic building in the city. Perched on top of an extinct volcano, the Castle and its Esplanade offers unparalleled views of Edinburgh. Once inside you can explore some of the oldest and most important buildings of the city, including St Margaret's Chapel, The National War Memorial and the Half Moon Battery. The regal Crown Square is a real highlight, where you will find the magnificent Grand Hall and Scotland's Crown Jewels - including the famous Stone of Destiny.
Linlithgow is steeped in history and the town is full of sightseeing options, including Linlithgow Burgh Halls, St Michaels Parish Church. Cobbled streets, coffee stops and many independent shops to spend time browsing through. Best thing is, it's just 7 miles from Couston Lakes!
Livingston Designer Outlets
If you love to shop, Scotland's Largest Designer outlet is just 8 miles away with over 70 boutiques, restaurants and cafés! They have a wide range of stores, offering something to suit every taste. Highlights range from iconic fashion brands, including Fred Perry, Kurt Geiger, Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger, athletic labels like Nike and Adidas, and high-street favourites like M&S and Next. Open till late, 7 days a week.
A fantastic day out for all the family, Edinburgh Zoo is home to over 1,000 fabulous animals, including the UK's only giant pandas. The Zoo is situated in beautiful parkland settings and includes fabulous flamingos, cute koalas and cheeky chimpanzees. Plenty of talks everyday by expert keepers and you don't want to miss the world famous penguin parade. Just 15 miles from Couston Lakes!
The Kelpies are 30-metre-high horse-head sculptures depicting kelpies, located between Falkirk and Grangemouth, standing next to a new extension of the Forth and Clyde Canal. The sculptures were designed by sculptor Andy Scott and were completed in October 2013. The sculptures form a gateway at the eastern entrance to the Forth and Clyde canal. The Kelpies are a monument to horse-powered heritage across Scotland and they're just 9 miles from Couston Lakes!
Beecraigs Country Park
Beecraigs is a country park in West Lothian, approximately 3 miles north-east of Bathgate and is a 4 star Visitor Attraction. The Park comprises around 913 acres of upland forest, woodland and open country, and offers a range of amenities including walks & trails, Visitor Centre and Cafe. In 2010 prehistoric remains were uncovered on the site of the current visitor centre. To the west of the country park is privately owned Cockleroy Hill, which is topped by the remains of a prehistoric hillfort. It's just 4 miles from Couston Lakes!
Described as a major feat of modern day engineering the Falkirk Wheel is a must see destination. Now one of Scotland’s busiest tourist attractions, The Falkirk Wheel attracts around 500,000 visitors each year with visitors traveling from all over the world to marvel at the working sculpture which combines modern engineering and technology with ancient principles set out by Archimedes more than 2000 years ago. Enjoy the full 60 minute Falkirk Wheel Experience as you sail through the sky before travelling along the aqueduct to the Union Canal and back. Take a spin on the world’s only rotating boat lift with this 35 minute rotation of The Falkirk Wheel. Less than 14 miles from Couston Lakes.
Cairnpapple Hill is a hill with a dominating position in central lowland Scotland with views from coast to coast. It was used and re-used as a major ritual site over about 4000 years, and in its day would have been comparable to better known sites like the Standing Stones of Stenness. The summit lies 312 m above sea level, and is 2 miles (3 km) north of Bathgate. In the 19th century the site was completely concealed by trees, then in 1947–1948 excavations by Stuart Piggott found a series of ritual monuments from successive prehistoric periods. In 1998, Gordon Barclay re-interpreted the site for Historic Scotland. It is designated a scheduled ancient monument. Just 2 miles from Couston Lakes.
Polkemmet Country Park
Polkemmet Country Park is a popular 68 hectare (168 acre) Visitor Attraction near Whitburn. Polkemmet Country Park is located on the former private estate of the Baillie family, who lived on the site for over 300 years. The old mansion house (since demolished) sat where the bowling green is today. Polkemmet offers beautiful woodland and riverside walks, picnic areas with seating and barbecue facilities (hireable). The giant aluminium 'horn', an art sculpture, is located in the Country Park. The Park's Visitor Centre, housed in the old stable complex, offers a warm welcome, information and is also the reception for The Scottish Owl Centre.
Golf is very popular in the Park and Polkemmet boasts a 9-hole course with an unusual 9th hole over the river, a 15-bay floodlit golf range and putting green. The Park, and particularly the ancient woodlands, are a wildlife haven. Roe deer, fox, heron, water voles, bats and badgers all make their home here. The many Oak and Scots Pine trees provide food and shelter for the birds and squirrels. There is also an orienteering course set-up in the Park if you want to test your map reading skills. All this, just 5 miles from Couston Lakes!
Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s must-see visitor attractions. It was the key to the kingdom of Scotland, dominating a vast volcanic rock above the river Forth at the meeting point between Lowlands and Highlands. Its origins are ancient and over the centuries it grew into a great royal residence and a powerful stronghold. Visit the Great Hall, the Chapel Royal the Palace of James V and the Great Kitchens. Stirling is only 25 miles from Couston Lakes.