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Bo’ness & Blackness Heritage Trail

Itinerary Overview

Step into the enchanting world of Bonnie Bo’ness with our Bo’ness and Blackness Heritage Trail.

The area around Bo’ness has a fascinating history. Once home to Scotland’s second largest port, Bo’ness sits nestled on the banks of the Firth of Forth, with stunning views across the water. Take an unforgettable journey through time along the banks of the Forth and immerse yourself in Roman sites, Medieval fortresses, and the industrial revolution, right through to the early years of cinema and the charm of steam train travel.

Recommended Time - 2 Days
Total Distance - 99KM

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Day 1

Exploring History & Nature

Stop 1 – Uncover two thousand years of history at Kinneil Estate

Kinneil Estate is like stepping into a history book right in the heart of Scotland. Here you can wander through two millennia of historical sites. From a Roman fort to medieval ruins, a grand country house to key moments in the industrial revolution, it’s all here. You’ll be amazed at how much history you can stumble upon in just one place. It’s a journey you won’t forget!

From there, take a walk through Kinneil Nature Reserve along the picturesque bank of the inner Forth. Near Stop 2, you’ll find the Bridgeness Slab, a replica of the original distance marker for Roman Legions that once patrolled the area.

Stop 2 – Premier Movie Magic at Bo’Ness Motor Museum

From ancient Romans to modern motoring classics! Get ready to be enchanted as you take a journey through movie magic at the Bo’ness Motor Museum. This hidden gem boasts an unexpected collection of classic cars, iconic movie vehicles, and memorabilia from beloved film franchises such as 007, The Saint, Harry Potter, and Thunderbirds. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply curious, the Bo’ness Motor Museum promises an unforgettable experience for all.

Stop 3 – Discover Bo’Ness Town Centre

Bo’ness Town Centre is packed with history and charm. Alongside an eclectic mix of independent shops, you’ll find great places to eat, with choices ranging from traditional fish and chips at Corvi’s to mouthwatering ice cream delights at McMoo’s Ice-cream parlour.

Stop 4 – Indulge in a spot of Railway Romance

Round off a great day out the old-fashioned way! Experience the romance of steam train travel at Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway and the Museum of Scottish Railways. There’s nothing like the roar of a mighty steam locomotive. Enjoy a scenic ten-mile round trip on one of the railways heritage diesel or steam trains. You might even get the chance to visit the steam engine itself! After your trip, take a short walk to the Museum. There you can try your hand at sorting the mail on a mail train or manning railway signals and explore its collection of historic steam engines and train carriages.

Day 2

Take the John Muir Way to Blackness-on-Sea

Stop 1 – Take the John Muir Way to Blackness-on-Sea

Start your day with a short walk or cycle from Bo’ness along the banks of the Forth to Blackness Castle. This imposing 15th Century fortress juts out into the Firth of Forth and is known as the ‘ship that never sailed’ thanks to its distinctive shape and location. Resembling a great stone ship that has run aground, over the centuries, the castle has been used as a garrison, state prison and munitions store.

Stop 2 – Lunch at the Lobster Pot

In the quaint village of Blackness-on-Sea, you’ll find the Lobster Pot pub and restaurant. With quirky décor, a warm welcome and incredible food, it’s a great place to stop for lunch after exploring the castle. Get a hot meal from their extensive menu that includes their signature lobster dishes or just enjoy coffee and a cake while you take in the pub’s unique character.

Stop 3 – Uncovering the Spirits of Blackness Bay Distillery (Coming Soon)

Tucked away behind the Lobster Pot, you’ll find the Blackness Bay Distillery. Housed in a historic, converted stables, pop in to try their unique rums distilled onsite. Visit its vintage stills to find out more about the process of distilling spirits, including the single malt whisky that is currently maturing in casks on the site.   

Stop 4 – Afternoon Tea at Mannerstons Cafe & Farm Shop

Round off your day with a half-hour walk or short drive to Mannerstons Café & Farm Shop on the outskirts of Linlithgow. This family-run business specialises in home-made ice cream, meals made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients and a beautiful farm shop stocking a range of quality authentic Scottish gifts and produce.

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