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Polkemmet Country Park



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West Lothian Council
Whitburn (W Lothian)
Bathgate
Lothian
EH47 0AD

Discover a world of excitement at West Lothian's Polkemmet Country Park, where the clock has been turned back and a large area of neglected ground restored to its place as a focal point of the community.

A variety of sporting activities have been introduced to the Park reminiscent of the early part of the 20th Century where, as a private estate, it was the home of the social leaders of the Whitburn area.

Polkemmet Country Park is located on the Western boundary of Whitburn, on the B7066 Whitburn to Harthill Road, and it offers the visitor a range of sporting activities similar to those provided by the Baillie family, who owned the estate for over 300 years.

Among the facilities are: an information centre, golf course, waymarked walking trails, golf driving range, bowling green, picnic and barbecue areas, play areas. The reception area is located in the converted garages of the old mansion house, which was itself demolished in the 1960's. The bowling green has been built to the east of the Park Centre complex, on the site of the old house.

The Baillie family owned the estate from about 1620 until 1957 and they played a significant role in the life of the local community. One lasting reminder of the family is the mausoleum, built in 1907 in memory of Robert Baillie, forth Baronet of Polkemmet, which still stands in the grounds. Early this Century, the family provided a bowling green, golf course and tennis courts on the estate, and talented local players were invited along to make use of the facilities.

When the District Council took over ownership of the estate in 1978 - after many years of neglect - they decided to provide similar facilities and open the estate to the general public. The golf course was opened in 1981, followed by the bowling green, golf driving range, picnic areas, childrens play area and, within the central buildings, a restaurant and bar. In addition, in 1994, a large formal barbeque area was created on the site of the old, overgrown tennis courts and use of the charcoal grill units can be arranged through the park's reception.

A large, central play area, named by local school children as the 'Fantasy Forest', comprising a wide variety of units, some with a local natural history theme, designed to provide a learning experience as well as a play function, some designed to cater specifically for children with disabilities and some unique to Scotland, a major attraction for families with children visiting the park. The end result is that this Country Park provides a recreational area of outstanding value and can be described as "an oasis in a green desert". This relates to the fact that it is the only area of this part of West Lothian which has substantial mature tree covering.

The River Almond meanders through the park and along its course and through the adjacent woodland areas, a number of pleasant walks can be taken. Grey squirrel, rabbit, fox and badger are all indigenous to the park and the diversity of the trees, from conifers to oak, sycamore, beech and horse chestnut, provide the perfect environment for a large variety of birds such as great tit, blue tit, thrush, chaffinch and robin. Several large car parks provide ample parking for people using the facilities and for families just wishing to relax in a more informal manner. The Ranger Service at Polkemmet offers a range of activities based on the study of the environment, which are particularly suitable for school groups and small parties.

New "Miners Adventure Play Area" opened May '09.
This new space set into the landscape with an easily accessible footpath structure, encourages access for all, whatever their age or abilities. The area features large scale fast moving, dynamic play and lower level more social and interactive play spaces.
Key to the design is a large fortress structure featuring slides at various levels, climbing, hiding and role play elements for all ages.

Create Craft Cafe, pop in for a tasty bite to eat or to try out our craft workshop!

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Directions

On the north side of B7066, halfway between Whitburn and Harthill and between junction 4 and 5 of the M8 motorway.

Polkemmet Country Park Postcode for SatNav: EH47 0AD

Contact

 
Tel:
+44 (0)1501 743 905
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