Paths Across West Lothian
---pa.w.l. Working for "The Old Drove Road" in West Lothian---

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                                                  Some Old Tracks in West Lothian I

Below and slightly to the south of the Union Canal Avon Aqueduct is an example of the appearance of  old tracks where they still exist. A diagram of the track location can be found at-      http://theolddroveroad.googlepages.com/pathsacrosswestlothian7

 There was a historic ford across an island in the River Avon from the western or Falkirk side which is also within Muiravonside Country Park. On the east side in West Lothian, a 200 m or so causeway is seen. The base is on uneven ground but the raised edges are quite distinct,with stone markers embedded from time to time along the edge. The track width is about 5 m. Further east a farm track continues on but all signs of the old track are then lost. The track is marked on the O.S. Landranger sheet 65 map at NS758968 .

The users of the River Avon ford may have wished to gain the higher ground at this easier point because the gradients are  much less than found to the north and south of this area. In fact there are quite sizeable  cliffs which this route avoids, as an observer can see if walking through Muiravonside Country Park to the south or viewing from the right-of-way along the River Avon to the north.  Heading north-east it would then be fairly easy to reach Linlithgow, or to gain the then unenclosed pastures of the rising ground of the Bathgate Hills to the east. Texts mention a rough cart track below the cliffs to the north possibly used by farms. However only later was a reasonable road built past Woodcockdale to Linlithgow, though there was then also a toll bar at Woodcockdale and of course further on access required past the West Port of Linlithgow. All of this of course pre-dated the construction of the Union Canal after 1820.

On the following pages are found details of  some other old tracks in West Lothian-

II        Near Corston Hill

III       Near East Broadlaw to Uphall

IV        Powie's Path to  Mid-Calder