Weekend Wanders: Blawhorn Moss NNR & Beecraigs Country Park

This weekend we're checking out Blawhorn National Nature Reserve near Bathgate followed by a last minute additional trip to Beecraigs County Park.

Blowhorn Moss is only a 40 minute drive for us and has the intriguing tag line "Wide, wet and wild" so we went off to investigate.

Despite online instructions saying the place was difficult to find we spotted the signs from the road pretty easily but the access road is something to be desired and gave us quite the rattle in the car. Blawhorn Moss is the largest and least disturbed lowland bog in the Lothian region - a fact we didn't really take in when we picked this as our Sunday walking spot.

Blawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve

There is a nice grass path which leads to the peatland reserve and then a lovely view over moor but only minimal walking routes which really only consist of a single boardwalk loop at the very edge of the reserve. It is however a lovely view and we get a wonderful show of the dragonflies chasing each other and landing round about us as we sit enjoying the sunshine on the boardwalk.

Dragonfly Pond on the Boardwalk

It's a nice spot for lunch but since we were actually looking for a bit more of a walk we head on the trail which leads to the near by village of Blackridge. Its not much of a different view but the long grass is home to plenty of nature to keep us entertained for a while.

We head back to the car after an hour or so more but since its still pretty early we do a internet quick search to see what's near by and decide to check out Beecraigs Country Park near Linlithgow.

Its rather busy on arrival but this point it is a sunny Sunday afternoon and so we have to head to the overflow car park. As it turns out the park is quite the family attraction with it's own deer park and herd of Highland cattle which we thoroughly enjoy as well. Although be warned they do have big signs that say "Fresh Venison" at the visitor centre so maybe be prepared if you take children to explain what venison is and why they sell it at the deer farm.

Beescraigs Deer Farm

We get to do a nice walk through the deer park which is quite a big section of the country park and then around the Beescraig Loch which is quite picturesque and very popular with fishermen.  I'm a nice gentle route but we get the benefit of the animals, a lovely loch and a bit of a woodland path before heading back to the car.

Fishing boats out on Beescraigs Loch

It wasn't quite the afternoon we had planned but Blawhorn Moss is a lovely spot and is tipped as an excellent location to spot wildlife in the right seasons. Beecraigs is also worth a wee visit if you're in the area, its not a hiking spot by any means but a delightful place for a Sunday afternoon stroll.


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