Airdrie to Bathgate Railway Path

This fine tarmac path between Airdrie and Bathgate runs beside the new railway, along the shore of the Hillend Reservoir and has fine views over the central plateau of Scotland. It passes through Plains, Caldercruix, Blackridge and Armadale. Sculptures along the route reflect the rich industrial and railway heritage of the area.

This high-quality path runs alongside the railway between Plains and Bathgate, with a few short sections on minor roads through settlements. Between Drumgelloch, on the east side of Airdrie, and Plains, the route uses a shared-use path alongside the A89. 

If starting from the west, cross the car park at Drumgelloch station and turn right onto Katherine Street and left up to the A89. By Katherine Park you will join the shared-use path alongside the road. This takes you all the way to Plains, where there are a variety of shops, and then on to Ford Bridge, where a new wooden footbridge takes you directly onto the traffic-free path. 

The railway path continues to Caldercruix, where there is a short loop on road past the train station and then a crossing of the B825. This takes you onto one of the most scenic sections of the route along the southern shore of the Hillend Reservoir. The Airdrie & District Angling Club is a nice place to stop for drinks and snacks  - look out for the Calor Gas Fishermen standing sentinel nearby! The path carries on across open country. This is the Central Scotland Plateau which has fine views to either side. This area was once a major producer of coal and shale oil. 

About half-way along the route you pass Blackridge. Note that there is no direct access to Blackridge station from the path. To reach the station, turn left at the road crossing (B718), go under the railway and up to the A89. Turn right and after less than half a mile, turn right again. 

Continuing on Route 75 takes you to Armadale where the route loops around the station. When you come to a large, ramped bridge over the railway line, you know you are approaching Bathgate. To go into the centre of the town, carry straight on, cross the wooden footbridge near the supermarket and follow shared-use paths to a roundabout and go straight up Whitburn Road (B7002). For the station, turn right at the roundabout and at the next roundabout (by the supermarket and with the Poured Metal sculpture in its centre), turn left and after a few hundred metres take the right fork leading to the golf course. Turn left through the narrow tunnel under the railway and find the railway station to your right at the top of the slope. 

Bathgate used to have a lot of heavy industry, but the coal industry declined sharply in the 1960s.  If you carry on Route 75 towards Edinburgh, you cross the now pleasantly redeveloped site of the British Leyland factory which closed in 1986. The Poured Metal sculpture in Bathgate marks the site of the steel foundry.

Many of the artworks on the original Sculpture Trail could not be retained when the railway and path were rebuilt, but you can still see the Sun Dial at Drumgelloch (some distance from the path near the railway line), the Steam sculpture, the Legs at Caldercruix, the Calor Gas Fishermen at Hillend Reservoir, the Fibonacci Tower (pictured) and the Bathgate Face - an earthwork at Guildiehaugh by the side of the path as heads east out of Bathgate towards Livingston.

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Please note

We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.

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