Bathgate is a traditional Scottish town with bustling streets surrounded by gentle rolling hills. Let’s discover its past and find out what it offers today.
A warm, friendly welcome awaits you in Bathgate. Fly fishing, golf or a trip to the threatre? There’s something for everyone.
Prehistoric Burial Grounds
Situated at the foot of the Bathgate Hills, it lies in the shadow of prehistorical burial grounds, Cairnpapple, one of the most important prehistoric sites in mainland Scotland. From April to September, visitors are welcome.
Originally a small, rural farming community, the discovery and extraction of coal, lime and ironstone and opening of the Edinburgh and Bathgate railway in 1849 saw industry and the population grow as it became a key point for the distribution of raw materials to the major ports of Glasgow, Grangemouth and Leith.
The discovery by James Young of shale oil saw the development of a new chemical works in 1852, making it the world’s first commercial oil-works manufacturing paraffin oil and wax.
By the mid-20th century, the mining industry had ceased. As an incentive for the continued development of new business, the UK government offered manufacturers enhanced financial packages to relocate. This saw the arrival of the Austin Motor Company and Morris Motors in 1961. Alas, in 1986, the plants were closed and so began a period of economic hardship.
To find out more about Bathgate’s History, why not pay a visit to Bennie Museum, a quaint house which provides a permanent exhibition of the town’s past.
Today Bathgate town centre is a designated Business Improvement District with plenty to offer.
Stroll through the town and explore its wide variety of local shops. From well known stores to small, independent retailers you can select a prime cut of beef, choose an outfit, try on some jewellery, get fitted for your wedding dress or order the most delectable cakes for a special occasion.
Pay a visit to Bathgate’s open-air market, browse the stalls and pick up a bargain. Situated just off the Whitburn Road, it is open on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 4pm.
For sports enthusiasts, Bathgate has a superb sports centre, open to the public 7 days a week offering a state of the art gym, swimming pool, and beautiful 9-par golf course.
Enjoy a spot of fly fishing at Ballencrieff Fishery. Located at Ballencrieff Toll, it offers excellent fly fishing with spectactular views and can accommodate all levels of anglers.
Visitors to Bathgate can enjoy an excellent range of cafes and restaurants.
Choose from traditional Scottish to Italian, Chinese and Indian cuisine. Whether it’s morning coffee, afternoon tea or a relaxing dinner, there is something for all tastes and occasions.
Spend the evening with friends in one of Bathgate’s bars or pubs. The young at heart can take to the dance floor in a popular nightclub.
From early Summer, Bathgate plays host to a series of popular outdoor events. The West Lothian Highland Games in May is a fun day for all the family and June sees the Bathgate procession and John Newlands Festival. In September, the Bathgate Music Festival is a welcome addition to the events calendar.
With so much to see and do it’s more than likely you will wish to extend your visit. Bathgate offers an excellent range of accommodation from local bed and breakfasts to well known UK wide hotel groups.