Polkemmet Country Park is a popular visitor attraction located in West Lothian, Scotland. The park is situated on a private estate that was once owned by the Baillie family, and it offers a range of activities and amenities for visitors of all ages.
One of the main draws of Polkemmet Country Park is its beautiful natural surroundings. The park covers over 168 acres of land, including woodland, meadows, and a large lake. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the park’s many walking trails, or enjoy a picnic in one of the designated areas.
In addition to its natural beauty, Polkemmet Country Park also offers a variety of recreational activities. The park has a golf course, a children’s play area, and a BMX track, among other amenities. Whether you’re looking to relax in nature or get active with your family, Polkemmet Country Park has something for everyone.
Location and Access
Polkemmet Country Park is located in West Lothian, Scotland, just outside the town of Whitburn. The park covers an area of 168 acres and is easily accessible by car or public transportation.
There are several car parks available at Polkemmet Country Park, including a large main car park near the entrance and additional smaller car parks scattered throughout the park. Parking is free of charge for all visitors.
The park is conveniently located just a short drive from the M8 motorway, making it easily accessible from Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The grid reference for Polkemmet Country Park is NS936619.
The park is open year-round, with varying hours depending on the season. During the summer months (April to September), the park is open from 8am to 9pm, while in the winter months (October to March), the park is open from 8am to 5pm.
Visitors should note that the park may be closed on occasion for maintenance or events, so it is always best to check the park’s website or social media channels for up-to-date information before visiting.
Attractions and Activities
Polkemmet Country Park has several picnic areas where visitors can enjoy a relaxing meal surrounded by nature. The park provides picnic tables and benches, making it easy for families and groups to enjoy a meal together. There are also plenty of grassy areas where visitors can lay out a picnic blanket and enjoy the sunshine.
Polkemmet Country Park has a 9-hole golf course, making it an ideal destination for golf enthusiasts. The course is well-maintained and offers a challenging game for players of all skill levels. There is also a driving range available for those who want to practice their swing before hitting the course.
The Visitor Centre at Polkemmet Country Park is a great place to start your visit. Here, you can learn about the history of the park and its surrounding area. There are also maps and guides available to help you plan your visit and make the most of your time in the park.
Scottish Owl Centre
The Scottish Owl Centre is a must-see attraction for visitors to Polkemmet Country Park. Here, you can see a variety of owls up close and learn about these fascinating creatures. The centre also hosts flying displays, which are a highlight for visitors of all ages.
Polkemmet Country Park is an excellent destination for families, walkers, and nature enthusiasts. The park offers a range of activities, including walking, cycling, hiking, adventure, picnic, family, and golf. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day out or an action-packed adventure, Polkemmet Country Park has something for everyone.
Nature and Wildlife
Polkemmet country park is home to a variety of woodland walks that offer visitors the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the area. The woodlands are home to a diverse range of trees, including oak, beech, and birch. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the woods, taking in the sights and sounds of the natural world.
The woodland walks are also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer and badgers. Visitors are advised to keep a safe distance from these animals and not to approach them. It is important to respect the natural habitat of these creatures and to avoid disturbing them.
The River Almond runs through Polkemmet country park, offering visitors the opportunity to take a relaxing stroll along its banks. The river is home to a variety of wildlife, including otters and kingfishers. Visitors may also spot salmon and trout in the river, particularly during the spawning season.
The riverside walks offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside and are an ideal spot for a picnic or a quiet moment of reflection. Visitors are advised to take care when walking along the riverbank, particularly during wet weather when the ground may be slippery.
Amenities and Services
Cafe and Toilets
Polkemmet Country Park offers a range of amenities and services for visitors to enjoy during their visit. The park has a cafe and toilets on-site, providing visitors with the necessary facilities to make their visit comfortable and enjoyable.
The cafe at Polkemmet Country Park is a great place to relax and enjoy a bite to eat. The menu offers a range of options to suit all tastes, including hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, soups, and cakes. The cafe is open seven days a week, from 10 am to 4 pm, and is located near the park entrance.
The toilets at Polkemmet Country Park are open to the public and are located near the cafe. They are well-maintained and regularly cleaned, ensuring that visitors can use them in comfort.
The Ranger Service at Polkemmet Country Park provides visitors with a wealth of information on the park’s history, wildlife, and conservation efforts. The rangers are knowledgeable and friendly, and are always on hand to answer any questions visitors may have.
The Ranger Service also offers a range of activities and events throughout the year, including guided walks, wildlife surveys, and educational programs for children. These events are a great way to learn more about the park and its surroundings.
Polkemmet Country Park offers a range of accommodation options for visitors who wish to stay overnight. The park has a number of pet-friendly lodges and cabins, which are ideal for families and groups of friends. The lodges and cabins are well-equipped and offer all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay.
Visitors can also camp at Polkemmet Country Park, with both tent and caravan pitches available. The camping area is located near the park entrance and offers easy access to the park’s amenities and facilities.
History and Design
The Baillie Family
Polkemmet Country Park was once the private estate of the Baillie family, who owned the land from the 12th century until the 1920s. The Baillies were a prominent family in West Lothian, and their influence can still be seen in the park today.
One of the park’s most impressive features is The Horn, a large hill that dominates the landscape. The Horn was once the site of a fort, and it is thought to have been used as a lookout point during the Roman occupation of Scotland. Today, visitors can climb to the top of The Horn for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
The park was designed in the 19th century by the Baillie family, who wanted to create a beautiful and functional estate. The design of the park was influenced by the Romantic movement, which emphasised the beauty of nature and the importance of preserving it. The park features a number of impressive features, including a lake, a walled garden, and a network of footpaths and trails.