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West Lothian

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    • Day 27

      Goodbye Camper Van

      October 3, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ 🌬 14 °C

      We returned the camper this morning. It was a great 15 days, but Randy is definitely ready to sit back and let someone else do the driving. This may be a long post as I will cover our last few days out. We had a great night in Fort William, and before leaving the area, we checked out Neptune Staircase, which is a set of eight locks. We wandered along the tow path and watched a small cruise ship finish the last of the locks. We also saw some really cool small tour boats that take around 10 to 12 people out to the islands. Paddle boards, kayaks, and one even had sailing dingys. We spoke to the captain, and it sounds like a cool adventure trip. After that, we headed to The Ben Nevis Visitor Center and Trail Head. Very informative displays and lots of serious climbers getting ready to head out. There were a variety of climbs from a three or four hour slightly challenging hike to full-on rock climbing and multi day climbs. There is also ice climbing, and the photos were amazing. We took a 30-minute hike just to say we did and chatted with a few people coming down from the first summit. Very beautiful stop. We then headed to Glencoe. The roads were better, two lanes for the most part, but the scenery was still so beautiful. This area of the Highlands felt more welcoming. So lush and green, still lots of drama but a little softer. Glencoe Village was small and so cute. We wandered around and found the MacDonald Memorial. Even though the massacre took place in 1692, we found references to it several times. We stopped at the village store, and the owner said that they still didn't welcome the Campbell's, but there was only one MacDonald left in town. We found an amazing place to park for the night, outside of town, but still in the valley. It was a parking lot for a forest walk, and although just off the road, it felt very secluded. There were about 12 other campers there. We went on a fabulous forest walk and came out at a country inn with the best ever pub. Boots, it was called, and there seemed to be more dogs than people. They were having music that night, but I was too chicken to walk through the woods after dark. We met a lovely couple who were in the same car park who gave us all kinds of information on the area. They were staying for music, but they had a flashlight and a dog to get them home safe. We went back to the camper before dark and had a quiet Saturday night. We weren't sure where we were heading Sunday, so we just started driving. We drove along Loch Lomond, and the sun came out. It's probably the best weather we have had in our time in Scotland. We checked out Luss, and it was very pretty, but it was too early to stop, and we couldn't find a good place to park. We ended up driving all the way to Falkirk, which was going to be our last stop before turning the camper in. We are a day early. We paid for overnight parking at the Falkirk Wheel. This is a pretty amazing piece of technology that uses gravity to lift boats who are traveling the canal system. I believe they said the wheel replaced 11 locks. We watched a narrowboat come down the wheel, and later, a group of paddleboarders went up the wheel and headed down the canal. Very cool. We took a walk along the towpath and found a small pub called Lock 16. It was very old and very quaint. We sat on tiny stools and watched the locals enjoy their Sunday afternoon visiting. Back at the car park, we met a really nice couple from BC who are taking a gap year and shipped their custom-built van from Halifax to Liverpool. They have a year to see as much as they can. The next morning, we experienced our first real challenge with the camper. When Randy tried to start it, nothing happened. The battery was dead. It was strange, though, because the battery monitor was showing it had power. Challenge two was my sim card hasn't been working for calls or texts, just data. I sent an email to Bunk Campers, and we waited for a response. While we were waiting we went to the visitors center to charge my phone and Randy met a lovely couple who lent us their phone. After a number of attempts, we finally connected, and the rental company said they would send someone to give us a boost. I also tried unsuccessfully to get the issues with my sim card fixed. What a frustrating waste of time that was. The couple who lent us their phone insisted on waiting until the camper was running, so we had a lovely visit. They had just completed the NC 500 in their large motorhome and were heading to the Lake District in England. Once we were back running thanks to Kenny from Bunk Campers, we stopped at The Kelpies. These huge metal sculptures honor the role horses played in the development of the area. They are very beautiful and they along with the Falkirk Wheel draw hordes of visitors to the area. We found a lovely county park to spend our last night out and really enjoyed the facilities. For the first time in a week we have had electricity. We definitely wanted it after experiencing battery issues. There was a working farm in the park, so we had a beautiful walk through the fields. Unfortunately, the hairy coos weren't around, but there were lots of sheep to provide entertainment. We cobbled together dinner from all our leftovers and played a few games of cards. All in all, we have really enjoyed our campervan and the freedom it has given us. We had plenty of space, and if anything, we would have gone smaller because of the crazy roads.Read more

    • Day 3

      Zweiter und dritter Tag unserer Reise

      July 31, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

      Von Luxemburg nach Rotterdam in circa 6 Stunden. Inklusive Pausen und den üblichen Staus. Vor der Fähre hiess es anstehen und dan Stop and Go, bis wir endlich auf die Fähre konnten.
      Die Überfahrt war, dank der rauen See, eine sehr schwankende Angelegenheit. Von der Seekrankheit blieben wir verschont, doch vielen anderen Passagieren ging es nicht so gut. Da hatten viele eine sehr ungesunde, komische Gesichtsfarbe.
      Frühmorgens bei der Abfahrt hiess es, Achtung, nun wird Links gefahren. Also für mich wäre das absolut nichts, aber René hat das sehr gut im Griff. Ich hoffe das bleibt auch so.😜
      Bei der Weiterfahrt Richtung Edingburg, machten wir einen Stop beim Angel of the North. Wen man schon in der Nähe ist, sollte man sich das nicht entgehen lassen. Dieser Engel soll an die industrielle Vergangeheit Nordenglands erinnern. Er hat eine grösse von 20x54m und ist sehr beeindruckend.
      Weiterfahrt Richtung Edingburg und um circa 15.00 Ankunft auf dem Linwater Caravanpark. Sehr hübscher, ruhiger,etwas abgelegener Campingplatz. Also uns gefällt es. Und, was ja zu erwarten war, es regnet. Aber das ist eben Schottland und wir machen das beste draus.
      Jetzt heisst es relaxen und morgen werden wir uns wohl Edingburg ansehen.
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    • Day 11

      Letzter Tag auf dem Camping.

      August 8, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Am Morgen hatten wir noch etwas Zeit und wollten noch etwas unternehmen. Letzter Punkt auf unserer Liste war die Rosslyn Chappel. Wir haben die Tickets schon vorher gebucht , sonst hat man überhaubt keine Chance reinzukommen. Und die Besuchszeit ist auch beschränkt aber lang genug um sich alles in Ruhe anzusehen. Dies dank den Filmen die dort gedreht wurden. Also sehenswert ist die Rosslyn Chappel wirklich. Leider durfte man drinnen nicht fotografieren und somit kann ich euch keine Innenaufnahmen zeigen. Zurück auf dem Campingplatz wurde
      am Nachmittag alles abgebaut und für die Abreise morgen früh vorbereitet. Schade das diese Ferien schon zu Ende gehen. Aber wir haben jeden Tag etwas neues gesehen und fahren mit vielen schönen Erinnerungen nach Hause.
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    • Day 5

      Tag 5 und das Wetter könnte besser sein.

      August 2, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

      Heute morgen war das Wetter noch immer typisch Schottisch. Es hat geregnet und die Temperaturen waren so Aprilmässig. Gegen Mittag wurde es aber besser uns so fuhren wir los, nein nicht nach Edingburg sondern Richtung Falkirk zum Schiffshebewerk. Das Falkirk Wheel ist ein modernes Schiffshebewerk das aussieht wie ein Riesenrad. Eröffnet wurde es im Mai 2002 und verbindet den Forth & Clyde Canal mit dem Union Canal in 35 Metern Höhe. Es ersetzt ingesamt 11 Schleusen und man wird in wenigen Minuten 35 Meter in die Luft befördert. Die Struktur verbraucht pro Umdrehung nur 1,5 kWt. Ein absolut geniales und einzigartiges Bauwerk.
      Das Wetter hatte sich inzwischen auch gebessert und sogar die Sonne schaute vorbei. Also fuhren wir weiter Richtung Helix-Park. Dort stehen sie nähmlich, die Kelpies, die mich so faszinieren seitdem ich sie auf verschiedenen Fotos gesehen habe. Die Skulpturen sind 30 Meter hoch und bestehen aus einem Stahlgestell auf dem rund 7000 verschieden geformte Edelstahlplatten befestigt wurden. Die Parkanlage mit den Kelpies wurde im April 2014 eröffnet. Ich war richtig happy und konnte fast nicht mehr aufhören zu fotografieren. Dann zeigte sich sogar noch die Sonne, was will man noch mehr.
      Das war ein super Ausflug.
      Read more

    • Day 10

      Vom Winde verweht aber happy.

      August 7, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      Heute machten wir eine Bootstour auf dem Firth of Forth. Dort steht auch die rote zweigleisige Forth Bridge, die ich unbedingt einmal sehen wollte. Als ich dann vor ihr stand war ich hin und weg.
      Die Bootstour führte uns unter der Brücke hindurch und neben den Robbenfelsen vorbei. Die Robben sonnten sich auf dem Felsen und irgendwie hatte ich das Gefühl dass sie ganz genau wussten dass sie fotografiert werden. Ich wäre nicht erstaunt gewesen wen sie uns noch zugewunken hätten. So nach dem Motto „ smile, die Turisten sind da „ Ich wäre gerne no länger dort geblieben aber die Tour ging weiter. Wir fuhren an der Insel Inchoholm vorbei und hatten einen herrlichen Blick auf das Kloster das dort steht.
      Wir hatten wieder einmal Glück mit dem Wetter, blauer Himmel und kein Regen.
      Ich hoffe jetzt das es morgen auch so bleibt, damit wir das Vorzelt trocken verstauen können. Den Morgen ist der letzte Tag hier auf dem Campingplatz.
      Read more

    • Day 4

      4 Tag und heute gehts nach Edingburg.

      August 1, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      Von unserem Campingplatz aus ist man nach 10 Minuten Autofahrt, auf dem Park and Ride und kann ins Tram einsteigen für ins Zentrum. Wirklich eine coole Sache. Bei der Haltestelle Princes Street sind wir ausgestiegen und tauchten in das bunte,turbulente Edinburgh ein. Unglaublich was man da so alles zu sehen bekam. Was mich besonders fasziniert sind die dunklen Fassaden und die unheimlichen kleinen Gassen. Futter für meine Fantasie und meine Kamera.
      René sein Motto hiess, ohne Whisky fahren wir nicht nach Hause. Er steuerte auch gleich ein Whisky-Geschäft an und wurde fündig.
      Danach haben wir noch telefonisch meinem Sohn zu seinem Geburtstag gratuliert.
      Weiter ging es auf Erkundungtour durch Edingburg. Wir haben viel gesehen und doch noch lange nicht alles. Also möchten wir morgen mit unserer Erkundungstour weitermachen.
      Wir wünschen allen eine gute Nacht und bis Morgen.
      Read more

    • Day 6

      Tag 6 herrliches Wetter und müde Füsse.

      August 3, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      Heute war noch einmal Edingburg angesagt. Das Wetter zeigte sich von seiner guten Seite. Sonnenschein und doch nicht zu heiss. Ideal für eine Erkundungstour durch die Stadt.
      Da im Moment das Royal Edingburgh Military Tattoo das Edingburgh Food Festival und das Fringe-Festival
      ( Kunstvestival ) stattfinden, hat es vor allem eines, überall Touristen. Unglaublich diese Geräuschkulisse. Überall spielen Musikbands, die Leute tanzen auf der Strasse oder es gibt Theatervorführungen. Regelmässig hört man die Sirenen von Polizeiwagen und Ambulanzfahrzeugen. Ein grosses Durcheinander. Und wir mittendrin in dieser Menge.
      Wir haben uns Geyfriars Bobby Statue angesehen, die übrigens viel kleiner ist als man meint. Dan einen Rundgang durch den Friedhof gemacht, auf dem auch das Grab von Bobby und seinem Herrchen steht.
      Und was wir noch unbedingt machen wollten war der Aufstieg auf den Calton Hill von dem man einen herrlichen Blick auf Edingburgh hat.
      Ein paar Einkäufe mussten noch erledigt werden bevor wir uns wieder Richtung Campingplatz aufmachten. Am Nachmittag zogen Wolken auf und aufeinmal regnete es in Strömen.
      Aber wie sagt man immer
      „ wen dir das Wetter in Schottland nicht gefällt, dan warte einfach 5 min und es ändert sich „
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    • Day 3

      Signing on from Bonnie Scotland

      September 1, 2022 in Scotland ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Hello everyone,

      MIke and I hit the road again on Tuesday. This time we’re off to Europe for the trip that we planned but canceled in 2020 due to COVID. And, although it feels like we just unpacked our suitcases from our last overseas adventure, the timing of this trip was mostly driven by some cycling buddies who we are meeting in Bordeaux mid-September. The first part of our trip will be in the UK and include family visits and some walking. The second part will centre around the Bordeaux area of France.

      As our trip approached this summer we had an increasing sense of dread from all of the reported chaos at airports. Even Mike, who rarely stresses, was visibly agitated about our planned connection in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport after a report of 16,000 undelivered bags in one day. Aberration or not, Schiphol sounded like a very bad place to be connecting. Adding to our concern, KLM canceled the flight we had booked to Edinburgh so we scrambled to rebook on Easyjet - an airline almost guaranteed not to arrive on time. Mike does love to solve problems so he took to watching Youtube videos of people trying to get through Schiphol. This only increased his anxiety and he pleaded with me to consider carry-on only. I never thought that the words Heather Parry and “ carry-on luggage” would appear together in the same paragraph but now I am rocking my black on black on black capsule wardrobe.
      The actual trip over went without a hitch. Sharon dropped us off early Tuesday and we whipped through security. The Vancouver to Amsterdam flight was business class on KLM and that was a mini-vacation all on its own. Fully reclining seats, a fancy headset, champagne before my bum touched the seat, wine menu, a smiling KLM attendant who gently placed a linen cloth over my tray. It will be hard to go back to cattle class! Because we had only carry-on we didn’t have to leave security or clear customs in Amsterdam avoiding all of the dreaded line-ups that Mike had been streaming on Youtube.
      We arrived in Edinburgh at about 7 Wed. night. Mike thought the pilot had taken a wrong turn because it was a cloudless, sunny day when we landed. My cousin Isobel and her husband Derek Graham welcomed us warmly and we are now in the very pretty town of Linthithgow - about 30km west of Edinburgh. Isobel and I are actually second cousins as our Grannys (Helen and Isobel Sutherland )were sisters. Her Grandmother Isa - for Isabel - married a Baillie and if any of our family come to Scotland , we are most often hosted by one of the Baillie clan. And hospitable they are! I recall on one of my first visits here with my sister Helen we were passed around the family like parcels and everyone enjoyed feeding us as much as possible. We were too polite or shy to refuse any food on offer and we rolled off of the plane when we got home. I’ll try to show more restraint on this visit.
      Yesterday morning we ventured into the city by train. Mike and I were here not too many years back so we decided to forgo visiting the Edinburgh castle , Holyrood Palace etc and instead did a nice long walk. We went to see George Heriot’s where my Dad went to school. The school was founded in 1628 by George Heriot who was the goldsmith to James VI. He bequeathed his estate to the city for the education of “fatherless bairns of the toune of Edinburgh”. Besides it’s beautiful buildings and interesting history, my Dad always said it was a formative part of his education and life. Much like his father and grandfather before him, Dad was a life-long learner and , like many immigrants, had an unwavering conviction that education was the key to success. My siblings and I can attest to the fact that we could get away with quite a bit of shenanigans but we were always expected to make every effort at school.
      But I digress. Edinburgh has been sunny- a remarkable occurence. The festival is over and the city looks a wee bit hungover with a lot of garbage needing picked up. There was a notable lack of buskers such as pipers and men dressed as Braveheart on the streets. The shops were quiet and we were able to pick up a few supplies for our coming walk on the Fife Coastal Path. They say that in Scotland there are 5.4 million people, 6500 Highland Coos (cows), 1 monster (Lochness) and 180 million gazillion midgies. So, on the advice of the shopkeeper of the local outdoor adventure shop we bought a book about the Fife Coastal Path and a can of Smidge to ward of the midgies.
      One very unexpected but happy wrinkle in our visit here is the fact that Isobel and Derek’s youngest daughter Mairie is having her first baby as I write this. When they invited us to stay it was assumed Mairie’s wee bairn would be born mid-August, but babies pick their own dates and Mairie is 3 weeks overdue. She has now been in labour for a full day and Isobel is with her to attend the birth. We are trying to stay out of the way with long walks and efforts to keep the Grandfather Derek calm and distracted. Hopefully baby will arrive in the next few hours. I believe there were plans for a home birth but the whole gang are now at the local hospital. Best laid plans…….
      We took a long walk about the town of Linlithgow today. Very pretty with friendly people, lots of cafes and green spaces.The Linlithgow Palace is at the heart of the town . Mary Queen of Scots and King James V were born at this castle as it was a main stronghold of the Stewarts. I won’t even try to connect the dots from Mary Queen of Scots to today’s monarchy. This afternoon the cousins came round to stare at their curious Canadian relatives. We shared stories and tried to sort out the family tree on my Grandma’s side. Lots of repeated names like Isobel(Isa), Alexandrina(Ina), Ruby, Helen, Fiona, Archie, May, James and Tommy.
      Tomorrow we start the next phase of our trip. Derek will drop us on the north side of the Firth of Forth and we will walk the Fife Coastal Path for 3 days towards St. Andrews.
      That’s the news for now.
      Hope all is well where you are.
      Heather/ Mom xx
      Footnote: Baby boy Archie finally arrived this afternoon.
      Read more

    • Day 16

      Cruise Day 10 - Edinburgh, Scotland

      May 12 in Scotland ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

      We arrived in South Queensferry, Scotland. Our shore excursion was for 8am, we traveled to shore in a boat rather than tender today. Boarded a coach and traveled to Edinburgh, Capital of Scotland. Our excursion was for the national museum, which we both found boring (if you know Brian, that is a rare thing), so we ditched the group and went walking through the city. It's amazing how very little modern buildings we observed throughout our visit. Was lovely walking (Brian might call it a crawl as I was a bit slow today) through the garden in the middle of the city, the temperature was cooler and air felt fresher, was also lovely to see people enjoying a relaxing Sunday either reading, snoozing or rolling down the grassy hills.Read more

    • Day 4

      Day Four: Scottish Highlands

      March 19 in Scotland ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      Today might have not been a large walking day, but it was a long driving day. From edinburgh to Fort William totaling around 81 miles, plus our stops and detours. And I can officially say that even as a passenger, driving over here is stressful. Not only is everything on the left, but the roads are so small. Yet it is all worth it, with the freedom to do whatever we made some very interesting stops. Even going to the midhope Castle, a filming location in Outlander! Even learning about pigeon coops, and how they became a solution to feed serfs year round. Turns out the owner of midhope was pissed he had to pay for it, so he built the largest ugly one he could; classic human behavior, some things never change. After not going into the Stirling castle and decided to only have lunch outside it since it was too expensive with not enough time to enjoy everything in it. So we continued on our journey, seeing some incredible views. The valleys and the mountains just lead such a scale that is unmatched. Coming with the expectation of little hills and seeing these massive mountains were spectacular! It feels so mythical. Something out of a fairy tale. It was just an awe-inspiring day, a nice reset after the expensive, high energy, busy couple of days in edinburgh. It is nice to be in nature and all these huge open spaces. But it certainly isn't getting cheaper, I did pick the most expensive place to start. But hey, it's better to do it when u have money!Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    West Lothian, WLN, West Loðene, Западен Лоудиън, Západní Lothian, Gorllewin Lothian, Mendebaldeko Lothian, لوتیان غربی, Länsi-Lothian, Labhaidh Thoir, Lodainn an Iar, Lodainn Heear, Zapadni Lothian, Lothian Occidentale, ウェスト・ロージアン, 웨스트로디언 주, Lithgoana, Vakarų Lodianas, Западен Лотијан, ویسٹ لوتھیان, Западный Лотиан, Wast Lowden, Західний Лотіан, مغربی لوتھین, 西洛锡安

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