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Edinburgh and Lothians

Whitburn – A Treasure in West Lothian

Whitburn is a quaint town located in West Lothian. Home to some 12,000 people, it has retained its historical feel and is an intriguing destination to visit. Standing proudly along the Almond River, Whitburn of Scotland offers numerous sights and activities to visitors who are spending some time in the town.

Some believe that the first mention of Whitburn was made in a document dating back to 1365 when David II bestowed a piece of land called Whytbourde upon Ade Forrester. According to records, George de Crichton was designated the Baron of Whitburn in 1452 by James II. Several stories are told as to how Whitburn received it name. One states that there were several families by the surname White residing alongside the burn. The town saw major development in the 1800s and 1900s when iron and coal mining was introduced to the area. In 1915 the Polkemmet Colliery, still a big attraction in the town, was created. The mine was shut down in the 1980s and much of it dismantled.

Many visitors to Whitburn visit Polkemmet Country Park. Originally the estate of Polkemmet belonged to the Baillie family up until 1957. For some time the estate was uninhabited and fell into a state of disrepair. The District Council came to the rescue in 1978 and restored it to its former glory after which they opened it to the public. A lovely parkland golf course was created in the Polkemmet Country Park back in 1981. Soon after this, a number of recreational facilities, much like those owned by the Baillie family were installed. These included a golf driving range, bowling green, children’s play area, marked walking trails and picnic spots. This is truly an ideal destination for the entire family. Additionally, there is a fine information center. The sparkling waters of the River Almond run through the Polkemmet Country Park, which is home to small animal life and verdant plant growth.

A reminder of the Baillie family stands in the park. An impressive mausoleum that was originally built in 1907, will usher you back in time to when the family strolled the grounds and invited friends over for recreational pursuits.

Whitburn is soaked in history. Whilst strolling around the settlement you will come across historical buildings such as the Burgh Hall of 1830, the parish church of 1729 and the Whitburn Academy of 1967. Also stop by the King Georges Field sporting facility. If you are looking for some more activity, head over to the Leisure Center with its swimming pools, gym, sauna and steam rooms. Indeed, Whitburn offers tourists a marvelous adventure filled with history and entertainment.