Linlithgow Loch

West Lothian in Scotland is full of historic sites and castles so when you fancy a stroll somewhere new on a weekend, there is always somewhere new to explore. 

There is a short, flat walk around the Loch in Linlithgow, West Lothian making it ideal for all ages. 

The name ‘Linlithgow’ means ‘the loch in the damp hollow’ and there is ancient evidence of people being in the area dating from the Roman times, 2000 years ago. 

How long is the walk around Linlithgow Loch?

The walk around Linlithgow Loch is 2.4 miles and it takes approximately 30-40 minutes. The route is well signposted, flat and is suitable for beginners. 

Can you swim in Linlithgow Loch?

It is not possible to swim in Linlithgow Loch. If you want to enjoy the Loch from the water, during the summer months it is possible to hire boats or canoes. 

What Else Is There To See Near Linlithgow Loch? 

Linlithgow Palace

When travelling in Scotland, you’re never too far from a heritage site relating to Mary Queen of Scots. This Palace is also one such site. Mary Queen of Scots was born here in 1542 which was a convenient rest stop for royals during the Stewart period when they were traveling from Edinburgh to Stirling Castle.

Linlithgow Palace

Despite being ruinous and without a roof, Linlithgow Palace remains impressively majestic. The building that currently stands is left over from the work begun by James I in 1424. James I built the palace following severe damage to the original building caused by a fire. During the next century his heirs gradually completed the building but sadly when James VI moved the court to London in 1603 the palace ran into disrepair. In 1746 a fire broke out in the palace, the remains of which you can see in the form of the current building. 

St Michael’s Parish Church, Linlithgow

St Michael’s Parish Church

Situated between the town and the loch, St Michael’s Parish Church is the second largest church in the West Lothian area. It really holds its own against the backdrop of Linlithgow Palace.

St Michael’s Parish Church, Linlithgow

The previous church on this site was burned in 1424, with the only firm dates of the present church being rebuilt are in 1489. This is only due to John Frenssh being buried there, who is possibly the church’s designer or builder. The rebuilding of the chuch was obviously a family affair as John’s son, Thomas Frenshh was officially master of the ‘kirk werk’. 

The unusual spire on top of this church was built in 1964 by Geoffrey Clarke who is a well known post-war sculptor. 

The porch at the southern end of the church features an arch with the outer edge probably having been taken from the great hall in the palace. 

St Michaels Parish Church Linlithgow
St Michaels Parish Church Linlithgow

Although today the church has barely any furniture, in 1787 Robert Burns visited and hated the sight of pews stuffed into the nave. 

How to Get From Edinburgh to Linlithgow

By Car

It takes approximately 40 minutes to drive from the centre of Edinburgh to Linlithgow. The journey along to A90 and A904 is 19 miles long. There is pay and display car park on Kirkgate which is perfect for the exploring the centre of town and the loch. 

By Public Transport

Trains depart every 30 minutes from Edinburgh Waverley train station to Linlithgow. The journey takes 20 minutes and a return train fare costs around £5.80 a ticket. 


It is possible to walk from Edinburgh to Linlithgow along the Union canal. I cannot say I have completed this small feat, but British Walks have lots of useful information relating to this route. 

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