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Linlithgow Loch
Linlithgow Loch

Linlithgow Loch

Free admission

Located just north of the small town of Linlithgow in West Lothian, Linlithgow Loch is the largest natural freshwater loch in the region. Outdoor sports enthusiasts find plenty to do here: trout-fishing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and more. The most famous attraction, however, is Linlithgow Palace, perched on the loch’s north shore.

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The Basics

Stroll the well-kept pathways around the loch and surrounding woodlands. For more energetic pursuits, head to the Low Port Outdoor Activity Centre—located in front of the loch—and spend a few hours hiking, windsurfing, or rafting.

Most travelers are drawn to Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. You can see the great hall, court kitchens, and royal chapel, and enjoy the views from Queen Margaret’s Bower to the Forth bridges. To save time at the entrance, book your tickets to the palace in advance.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Linlithgow Loch is a must-visit for lovers of the great outdoors and fans of Scottish history.

  • Due to several steps and uneven floors, Linlithgow Palace may be difficult for travelers with mobility issues to access.

  • Picnic tables around the loch make the area a lovely place to stop for lunch on a sunny day.

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How to Get There

Linlithgow is a 20-minute train ride from the Edinburgh Waverley railway station. The loch is about a 10-minute walk north of Linlithgow station.

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Trip ideas

When to Get There

You can visit Linlithgow Loch at any time, though the weather tends to be more pleasant in summer. Linlithgow Palace is open every day year-round: April through September from 9:30am to 5:30pm, and October through March from 10am to 4pm. Last entry is usually 45 minutes before closing.

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Blackness Castle

Linlithgow is home to another stately former residence. Dating from the 15th century, Blackness Castle is set on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, 4 miles (6 kilometers) northeast of Linlithgow Palace. Go inside and explore the towers of the fortress, which stood in for Fort William in the first season of the TV show Outlander.

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