West Lothian is a great area for cycling whether you are a novice, occasional cyclist, want to go out on a leisurely cycle with the family or are a serious mile-eater. West Lothian has plenty of flat and not too hilly routes for starters, the scenery is great and cycling can be combined with a visit to the many other attractions that West Lothian offers.
Cruising along the Union Canal Tow path is ideal for those looking for a flat traffic free-option (please cycle carefully and show consideration for walkers, anglers and nesting swans). The Union Canal meanders through West Lothian taking in historic Linlithgow, Broxburn – ideal for a café stop, and the spectacular Avon and Almond Aqueducts. The impressive Falkirk Wheel can be included in a cycling expedition from Linlithgow, with the option of a train ride back to your starting point.
National Cycle routes 75 and 76 traverse West Lothian. Route 75 (which links Glasgow and Edinburgh) includes a lengthy cycling path section from East Calder, through Livingston, Bathgate and Armadale and onwards to Airdrie. The route has been upgraded following the completion of work on the Bathgate to Airdrie passenger rail line, and also provides opportunities to combine a cycling expedition with a train ride. There are numerous points of interest and refreshment stops along Route 75 including at Almond Valley Heritage Centre, Bathgate town centre, Livingston town centre and McArthurGlen Designer Outlet.
The Round the Forth Route 76 takes in some of West Lothian’s most spectacular scenery, iconic views of the Forth road and rail bridges, Hopetoun House and Hopetoun Estate, House of Binns and Blackness castle. Route 76 can be linked via the Union Canal to also include a visit to Linlithgow.
West Lothian is compact which makes it easier to visit many of the places of interest in one day. Various cycle maps have been produced, which will hopefully help to encourage you to visit West Lothian and you to see for yourself the beautiful countryside on a bike and visit the sites and attractions the county has to offer.
For those of you with more time, or interested in exploring more widely, a cycle map of the whole of West Lothian is available from Spokes, the Lothian Cycle Campaign. www.spokes.org.uk/wordpress/spokes-maps
Please note that, while the publishers take every care to be accurate, no liability or responsibility will be accepted in any circumstances whatsoever, should anyone experience any inaccuracies, loss, damage or injury. This information/maps should be used solely on this understanding.
Local Cycling Maps
Local Cycling Organisations
There are a number of cycling clubs and organisations active in West Lothian, notably West Lothian Clarion and CTC Livingston and West Lothian. Both organise club runs of varying distances particularly at weekends.
|The West Lothian Clarion cycling club formed in 2008 as a result of like-minded local cyclists looking for a way of developing their own ability in the company of others.|
|The Low Port Centre have some information on Junior Mountain Biking Courses for different skill levels and well as adult courses.|
|West Lothian also has a journey planner on CycleStreets.net that you can use to find cycling routes in West Lothian.|
|West Lothian Council also has some great infomation on cycling in West Lothian including safety and health information as well as links to other resources and downloadable .PDF’s.|
|On Meetup.com there is a social cycling group, who enjoy a more a relaxed pace, long pub lunch, cycling mainly on country roads, cycle paths.|
Further recource covering cycling in Scotland include:
|Spokes is the Lothian Cycle Campaign – a non party political voluntary organisation and now with a membership of over 1000. SPOKES has a long history of effective campaigning for better conditions for cyclists, especially in Edinburgh and the Lothians.|
|Bikely is a free and easy to use bicycle route mapping and sharing website created by cyclists for cyclists.|
|British Cycling is the National Governing Body for cycling in Great Britain, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, aiming to inspire participation in cycling as a sport.|
Routes for the serious cyclist in and around West Lothian
For the more seasoned road cyclist, West Lothian has an extensive network of roads to choose from. There are an infinite number of route options incorporating a variety of terrain from long drags and shorter, steeper climbs flatter terrain to the east of West Lothian around Kirkliston, and of course some leg testers in the “Bathgate Alps”.
Testing climbs can be found on the Preston Road, heading into the Bathgate Hills from the south of Linlithgow, and the Ballencrieff climb, from just west of Bathgate sports centre. Kingscavil, east of Bridgend, is a wall that will get everyone out the saddle.