“ Location: The Loan, Linlithgow, Scotland EH49 6LN „
Muiravonside Country Park is a former family estate of some 170 acres in the Falkirk Council area and close to the historic West Lothian town of Linlithgow (East Central Scotland). It has a number of special attractions that seem to have been drawing a large number of visitors recently.
~~Ducks, aquaducts and viaducts~~
The park is particularly popular with young families for its farm, which is open to the public all year round and has an interesting range of exotic livestock on display, including a duckpond. It also features splendid riverside walks and open vistas of the countryside beyond, with the nearby Avon aqueduct, Union Canal and a major railway viaduct.
We've been frequent visitors to the park for several decades. When our daughter was quite young we enjoyed occasional trips to the farm. I particularly recall the pigs and piglets. Slightly later, I remember flying kites in the high meadows there (with somewhat mixed success). Nowadays, we mainly go to walk the dog, rarely having to follow the same route twice. There are footpaths through open parkland, woodland, gardens and steep slopes down to the [River] Avon Gorge: plenty of variety for all.
This year (2011) you can take part in badger watches in the park, and there's also a 'doocot' - a dovecot with beautiful white doves which you can see at any time next to the children's play area, adjacent to the visitor centre and tea shop.
~~Access to the park~~
Muiravonside seems to be gaining in popularity recently, with parking in the main park now less easy at peak times in season. The farm is very close to the car park and there are a couple of disabled spaces both here and at the visitor centre, which is not far away.
There is normally a wooded area where you can park close to the main entrance, before the main car park, but this is currently out of action owing (I believe) to ongoing maintenance work. I'd recommend visiting outside peak times, if at all possible. The park is open during the day all year round and up to 8.30 pm from April to September; the farm is open all year from 9.30 am to 4.00 pm.
* Newparks Farm
* Nature trails
* Visitor centre
* Tea shop ('Steading Café')
* Children's play area
* Picnic areas
* Barbecue area
* Kinneil Estate & Museum
* Callendar House and Park
* Blackness Castle
* Linlithgow Palace & Peel
* Beecraigs Country Park
A great place for the kids and for varied walks (with or without the dog). Highlights include the farm, stunning views of industrial archaeology and the steep slopes of the [River] Avon Gorge.
Muiravonside Country Park
Telephone: 01506 845311
~~Footnote: 'Avon calling'~~
'Which Avon?', you may well ask. Nowt Shakespearean, that's for sure! The name 'Avon' is generic, an ancient Brythonic word for a river. Local pronunciations seem to vary.
* Falkirk Online : www.falkirkonline.net/ - details of all major attractions in the area
* Linlithgow (Undiscovered Scotland) : www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/linlithgow/linlithgow/
[© SteveS001, 2011. A version of this original review may be found on other review sites]