Keeping your mind and body healthy and active is really important at times like this.

Updated frequently so you can always come back for more!

Areas to explore around Winchburgh

What a fabulous time to walk through the woods in the sun! The wild garlic and the bluebells coming into flower, the trees budding and paths are not overgrown yet.

There are some great walks around Winchburgh, some on paths you may not know about.

Charles's Bridge

In Scotland, we have great “Right to Roam” legislation but with it there are responsibilities to shut gates, not to cross planted fields and make sure dogs are kept on leads where there is livestock.

Directions

This is an unusual walk that takes you to a very old and difficult to find bridge. It starts at the entrance gates for the Niddry Bing access road. At the time of writing, there are no lorries using the road. Cut round the gates and along the track until you get to the opening into the field on your left. Follow the edge of the field beside the motorway. It’s quite rough at times. You should see quite a few hares hiding in the crop. At the far end of the field there is an old blue plastic barrel. The path leads over the wall behind the barrel. To the right you should see a boggy area with a patch of bulrushes. A pair of Coots are nesting there and the chicks have red feathers on their heads just now. You should also see Peewits (Lapwings) which nest near here. The next part of the walk is a little difficult to navigate!

You follow an indistinct path through the trees and on towards the edge of the conifer wood, always close to the wooden fence at the bottom of the motorway embankment. When you reach the conifer plantation, the path gets better and is right at the edge of the plantation

This is Ross’s Wood (Ross’s Plantation on old maps).

Ross Plantation

The path turns more south and close to a field. Very shortly you reach a stream and boggy area. You cross it using Charles’s Bridge. The stream is very silted up but used to be a mill lade that ran from Niddry Burn to a mill in Kirkliston. The bridge is very old and surprisingly wide.

Charles's Bridge

This was the route of the main Edinburgh to Linlithgow until maybe 1850. Very few people visit this spot. Continue on through the wood keeping the field close on your left. You meet a farm track. Go straight on to meet a road close to Overtoun Farm. Turn left. (Turning right will take you over the pretty Niddry Burn bridge at the farm. If you go this way, take the Niddry Castle/Golf Course route back to the village).

Bings

Follow the road as it sweeps left and under the motorway. You go over the Swine Burn. Cross the main road and take the pavement left, towards Winchburgh. As the road starts to rise, turn up the narrow road to your right. You cross over the Dalmeny to Winchburgh Junction railway line (Dalmeny Chord), past Humbie Reservoir, round the corners and up to Carmel Hill and Wood. At the top, the flooded Humbie Quarry is in the trees to the right. Turn the corner and turn onto a very long straight section with SwineBurn Cottage at the end. Just past the cottage, go straight on at the corner cutting round the side of the metal fence and onto a delightful lost section of road. You cross the Swine Burn again and walk through the trees crossing over the railway and back to the main road close to where you started from. 5 km 3 Miles

Niddry Burn to Ecclesmachan

In Scotland, we have great “Right to Roam” legislation but with it there are responsibilities to shut gates, not to cross planted fields and make sure dogs are kept on leads where there is livestock.

Directions

The route follows an old shale railway line and the Niddry Burn. On the railway, the path is delightful but the nettles are growing and shorts are not recommended!

Start at the south end of the Glendevon Farm Road, beside the construction site compound. Turn right and then left at the track marked “Kirklands Cottage”. Go straight down the track, do not turn to the cottage. You pass overgrown areas on both sides. This was the track of a railway carrying crude oil from the Hopetoun Oilworks to the refinery at Pumpherston. Go into the field on the south side – the one nearest Niddry Burn and walk along beside the rail track. On the far side of the burn you can see tips from an old shale mine. The old line is overgrown until you are about half way down the field. You can either go up onto the track or continue to the far end of the field and go up a good path. There are several badger setts along the track, each with several big holes. You will only see the badgers at twilight or dawn. Continue along the line until you have to go down on the north side (because the line was removed) and follow the path. When you get to the far edge of the field, you need to go through a gateway slightly up from the edge of the field. Continue along parallel with the burn on your left - the rail track re-appears. Further along you will see the impressive remains of a double span stone bridge over the burn. At this point you can go up onto the track for a better view but will need to go back down the same way. Continue along the side of the burn. Just as the burn starts to turn right, look at the burn coming through an impressive culvert under the rail track. The main burn goes through a meadow past the Church and is the Ecclesmachan Burn. The one under the railway is unnamed on maps and must be the Niddry Burn. The hill up to your right is called Tar Hill and, just now, covered in bright yellow Whin (Gorse). There were two tarry wells on the hill and people used the water to “cure” skin complaints. The “tar” residue came from shale deposits. You come to fence running uphill and a wooden gate over the burn to stop the sheep escaping. The view from the top of Tar Hill is very good but our route crosses the burn before the fence. If the water is low this is fairly easy. Follow the edge of the field nearest the burn towards a cottage. You come onto a track that leads to the Threemiletown Road. You can go onto the road and turn left but if you go along the edge of the field beside the road you find a hidden railway bridge and can imagine the route of the line – this is the one you followed earlier. You can easily get onto the road beside the cottage. Walk south and slightly uphill. On your left is the burn in a wooded valley. It crosses under the main road where the road comes in from the right. That road would take you to Binnie Craig. Continue on and take first left. There’s no pavement but the roads are quiet just now! Follow the road. Further on it crosses another abandoned rail track. Can you find it? The bridge parapets are still there and the trees and undergrowth in the cutting gives it away. Eventually you come out at the top of Greendykes Road. Cross over and follow the narrow pavement east. You will have to walk on the kerb at times – take care. At the second corner, the CoreCut Headquarters was the site of the Hopetoun Oilworks (1872 – 1948) Immediately beside the gate take a rough path through the fence. This follows the old line from the oil works to the old Glendevon shale mine (beside the filling station). The field to your left used to be an opencast shale pit – possibly the last shale extraction in Scotland. At one point you cross over Niddry Burn but hard to spot because of the trees. Go past the house and at the top of the track turn left to take you back to the Glendevon Farm Road or turn right to go back into the village. It’s about 6.4 km or 4 miles. Not suitable for buggies!

Walk in the woods

In Scotland, we have great “Right to Roam” legislation but with it there are responsibilities to shut gates, not to cross planted fields and make sure dogs are kept on leads where there is livestock.

Directions

You probably know most of the route but some may be new and it may be time to learn a little heritage! We start at the Community garden and walk east along the Main Street and past the original primary school (now being refurbished). Beyond the allotments you can see the tree lined cutting where an electric railway took the shale from Totley Wells and Duddingston pits to the Niddry Castle Oilworks. The line went under the road. The bridge is still there and you can see it from the field. Turn north on the farm track immediately before the long wood on the left. Very challenging if you have a buggy! The track crosses the railway and swings round beside the motorway. It comes out on the B8020 (Beatlie Road). Turn left and go under the rail bridge, taking the second gravel track on the right. Watch out for traffic! The track goes over another railway line and to the canal. Follow the track round up to the cottages. See the flooded “Clay Hole” on your left. The clay was used to make bricks in Dougal’s Brickworks that was here. There are no signs of these works (140 foot chimneys!) except for the brick road up to the main road. Turn right at the top. There are 2 memorials to the shale miners close by. One in the church’s memorial garden and the new one at Sainsburys. Both are worth examining, both with moving verses. Go along and down Glendevon Farm road, past the pond. In old maps it is shown as a curling pond but was built to drive a water wheel that powered the farm. The wheel was still there, deep underground, until the new houses were built. Continue up the track, looking at the labelled trees. Just past the stone cottages is the old route of another shale track. At the Faucheldean road and turn left and just at the first corner turn right up a track to Fardoch Mohr house. This brings you back on line with the route of the shale track. Follow the track as it goes through an old gateway and becomes rougher. It comes out at the Core Cut yard on the Broxburn Road. The yard was the site of the Hopetoun Oilworks.

Oil Refinery

You can climb the tip from there and you can see a path up. The views are amazing. Walk to Niddry, using the verge at times, sweep right at the houses. Niddry used to have its own “Raws”, a shop and a Miners’ Institute. Follow the road over the canal and rail bridges and turn left towards Niddry Castle. You pass the remains of a huge walled garden. Scotland’s first gardening and recipe book was written by John Reid, the son of the head gardener, in 1683! Drop down the east side of Niddry Castle. It was built by the Seaton family about 1550. Mary Seaton was a hand maiden of Mary Queens of Scots who in the castle when she escaped from prison on Loch Leven.

Niddry Castle

Cut across the Golf Course to come out at the Club House. The proper footpath runs through the trees at the bottom of the tip. It may be overgrown and, just now, you are better to walk round the edge of the course. The massive Niddrie Castle Oilworks were behind where the Club House is now. Follow the Golf Course road and take the narrow path that goes upwards between the railway fence and the wooden fence. It brings you out at the Community Garden. The route is about about 5 and a half miles but can be done in sections.

Walk in the woods

In Scotland, we have great “Right to Roam” legislation but with it there are responsibilities to shut gates, not to cross planted fields and make sure dogs are kept on leads where there is livestock.

The woods have both pheasants and roe deer.

Directions

Start at the back of Sainsburys and head across the waste ground northish towards the canal bridge with the pipe. You will need to go close to the fence round the gas pump to get past the new green 2 strand fence. Go across the bridge, left and slightly downhill. At the first corner turn, left over a rickety wee bridge. This takes you on a great path that runs between the canal and the railway. The path passes the Winchburgh Junction, famous as the name of a Billy Connolly banjo tune. You meet the “Drovers’ Road” (blocked because of the construction site) that comes over the canal bridge with the metal railings and runs up to and over the motorway. Now you can either return by the canal or turn right over the railway bridge and head uphill. Just before you reach the motorway bridge, take the track to your left. This winds past the disused Craigton Quarry – West Lothian’s largest quarry.

When you get to a high stone wall, take the right fork to go behind the riding stables beside Craigton House. Watch out for the manure! You now reach a road. Turn left. If you continue over the railway bridge, you can go back to Winchburgh by the canal or cross the railway bridge and turn left to go along the Bedlam paintball track and through the “battlefield” to find the canal very close to the south side or just past the farm entrance, go through the gap in the hedge, to your right, where there was a gate. Then go along the grass strip at the side of the field, round the corner and parallel to the railway track. When you start to go uphill, take the track that appears to the left and crosses the railway on a sloping bridge. This is close the site of the great Winchburgh Rail Disaster (1862).

Go over the railway bridge and towards the canal. You can turn back along the canal or go over the bridge (watch out for the temporary railings). Then you can either turn immediately left and when you hit the road go nearly straight over onto Lady Walk, a bridle path for horses (can be rough and muddy), on the south side of the canal, or take the narrow path that goes straight ahead. The path has brambles on both sides and may become impassable later in the year. It will take you to a fork just before a rusty oil drum pheasant feeder.

Turn left along a rough path. You get back onto the road you crossed earlier. There are three possibilities: turn right and walk along the road to the main road back to Winchburgh (the roads are very quiet just now!) or turn left and go back by the canal or then right, along Lady walk, cross the bridge and walk back by the canal.

Colouring in FUN
by Winchburgh's Marjorie Vennelle

Colouring in time, easy as 1, 2 or 3 - You choose...

  • Print out the picture then COLOUR IN!
  • Download the image, open in Windows Paint or Apple and COLOUR IN!
  • Save the image? Open in windows paint or Apple and colour in.

Keep/Save your pictures to create your very own story scene!

Colouring Heroes
Colouring Heroes

Say a "Big Thanks" to colouring heroes for providing the latest image

  • Print out the picture then COLOUR IN
  • Download the image, open in Windows Paint or Apple and COLOUR IN!
  • Save the image? Open in windows paint or Apple and colour in.
WCDT
Talking to young children about coronavirus (COVID-19)

Leaders Plus have some great information with downloadable resources for helping to explain the coronavirus to your children

You can find out more information from LeadersPlus

WCDT
Free audible stories for the time that schools are closed

Amazon are currently offering free audible stories while schools are closed.
Go to audible an amazon company