Visiting Blawhorn Moss NNR & Beecraigs Country Park

Blawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve near Bathgate is only a 40 minute drive for us coming from Glasgow 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 National Nature Reserve 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.
There is a nice grass path which leads to the peatland reserve and then a lovely view over the 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 sat enjoying the sunshine 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. It's not much of a different view but the long grass is home to plenty of nature to keep us entertained for a while.
While a lovely spot especially on our sunny day it wasn't quite what we were looking for so we head back to the car after an hour or so. Since it was still pretty early in the day a quick internet search to see what's near by offered us another local nature hang out and so we opted to continue our weekend wanders and check out Beecraigs Country Park near Linlithgow.
The site proved rather busy on our arrival but as a sunny Sunday afternoon it was certainly to be expected but we head to the overflow car park and find a space without too much issue. 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.
We take a nice walk through the deer park which is quite a big section of the country park and then around the Beecraigs Loch which is very picturesque and also popular with fishermen as there are plenty of little boats out on the water. Taking a nice gentle route we get the benefit of the animals, a lovely loch and a bit of a woodland path before heading back to the car.
It wasn’t quite the afternoon we had planned but Blawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve is a lovely spot and is tipped as an excellent location to spot wildlife in the right seasons. Our spontaneous trip to the Beecraigs Country Park was also a great option to spend a few hours and well worth a wee visit if you’re in the area, it’s not a hiking spot by any means but a delightful place for a Sunday afternoon stroll.