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4 Quality Self-Catering / Vacation Rental Properties within easy reach of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Livingston 

Crosswoodhill Farm Cottages logo

All our properties are rated 3 or 4 STAR by the Scottish Tourist Board
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House of the Binns
House of the Binns


a round of golf?



national gallery image
National Gallery

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Deep Sea World
Deep Sea World

Scottish Genealogy Society

Steam Railway

Edinburgh Zoo
Edinburgh Zoo

Linlithgow Canal Centre

Edinburgh International Festival

So Where Do We Go From Crosswoodhill?
Spoilt for choice, here, updated in 2014, are just a few ideas:

Click on any words underlined in blue to open a direct link. Please use the BACK button on your browser to return to this page.

FIRST XI suggestions:

Classic Tour in open-top busIf you've only one day to spare in EDINBURGH  don't miss the Castle, nearby Camera Obscura, the Royal Mile (on foot, exploring all the wynds, alleyways, closes), the Museum of Childhood (half way down and free) and Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano, a good but easy climb (even for quite  young children) with wonderful views. Park at foot of  Arthur's Seat behind The Palace of Holyroodhouse. Ideal for a picnic. If the  weather turns rough, perhaps opt for a guided tour of the Palace instead.  Young children and weary adults would enjoy a multi language commentary "Classic Tour" on open-topped double-decker buses (can be draughty!)  where you get on and off as you please and get a feel for this wonderful city.

The shops, particularly Jenners ( for a long time the oldest independent department store in the world), are a bonus, though many are tucked away out of the main thoroughfares.  However it's worth a walk along  Princes Street, eyes averted away from the very ordinary shops, and instead gaze towards the Gardens, good for a picnic, and above to the Castle on its precipitous crag and the wonderful Old  Town houses tumbling down from it. It's really spectacular!

Go west to GLASGOW, a vibrant city with a string of visitor attractions. Outstanding amongst a wealth of free museums is the Burrell Museum. Enjoy a walk in the grounds there and Pollok House.  Easy  parking for a small charge. The Kelvingrove Museum, free and recently re-vamped, is drawing the crowds.  Equally popular, though not free, is the Glasgow Science Museum,  with  hundreds of inter-active exhibits, Scotland's only Imax Cinema, a Planetarium and so much else it makes a whole family could easily lose a day there.

Set off for South Queensferry and start with impressive HOPETOUN HOUSE  and grounds ( only open Spring and Summer months ) View Forth Bridges from the rooftop viewing  platform and then cruise under the Bridges embarking on the "Maid  of the Forth" at South Queensferry for the return trip to idyllic INCHCOLM ISLAND. Wander the island. Take extra clothing for the  boat-- can be chilly.  If the weather turns nasty forgo the boat  trip and Inchcolm and seek shelter with a guided tour of House of  the Binns nearby. Or Dalmeny House, also close by.

Don't miss the cotton mills of NEW LANARK,      Scotland's most important memorial to the Industrial Revolution and now a World  Heritage site. Beautiful setting, fascinating industrial  architecture; good museum with theme-park-style ride carrying you  through New Lanark's history. Deserves all the awards its had.
After visiting the Mill and Museum walk upstream along the river,  tumbling water, gorges, waterfalls. A wonderful excursion.

You might wish to combine this with a drive to BIGGAR which has exceptionally fine small museums  (Gladstone Court, Moat Park Heritage Centre, Greenhill, Biggar Gas Works) , all popular with children too. Plus a small puppet  theatre in Biggar. If time climb  Tinto Hill slightly west of Biggar. Easy climb with views taking  in much of Southern Scotland.

V, VI & VII.
Explore in and around royal STIRLING and BRAVEHEART COUNTRY.  Stirling Castle  still watches over the old picturesque old town of Stirling.  Below  a Visitor Centre stands on the site at Bannockburn where Scotland won independence in 1314 following Robert the Bruce's victory over English forces.  Also close by is the National Wallace Monument , a tribute to Scotland's first freedom fighter whose struggle to free Scotland from England's occupation was portrayed in the Oscar-winning movie, Braveheart..

To extend your day, combine your half day in Stirling with:
EITHER: South of the Forth:   LINLITHGOW PALACE    and CAIRNPAPPLE  HILL  a few miles away. Windowless, roofless and weathering, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots is magnificent.  Nice loch beside it, great picnic spot.

At Cairnpapple the views are spectacular, especially rewarding in that it's such a short climb to this Bronze Age Cairn. If time,  Beecraigs Country Park is nice for a wander and popular with children.

VII. Go west to Callendar, perhaps visit Callendar House , popular with children, and then tour by car the rugged area between  CALLENDAR and LOCH LOMOND.  Fine scenery and a 100 mile circular route gives a taste of the Highlands in miniature. This is Rob Roy Country; identify with the movie portraying the story of the cattle dealer and outlaw who became a Scottish folk hero. Allow time to walk and explore. Or perhaps take a steam ship on the beautiful waters of Loch Katrine from where you can view breathtaking scenery and the splendour of Scotland's First National Park, cycle or climb Ben A'an. Nearby Visitor Centre .

Take the ring-road around Edinburgh to the rolling farmlands of EAST LOTHIAN. A round of golf, perhaps or a visit to see Concorde at the Museum of Flight. You'll love the Scottish Seabird Centre. Sample the golden water of life at Glenkinchie Whisky Distillery if you haven't already enjoyed unravelling  the mysteries of whisky making (with free tasting) at the excellent Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre in Edinburgh's Royal Mile 

A DAY'S WALKING.  The choice is limitless. Get up early, drive  north into Perthshire, etc and "bag a Munro". Take to the  Borders. Or settle for the PENTLANDS on your doorstep which offers a huge range from gentle strolling to more strenuous routes (books with route- maps available at Crosswoodhill). Wild open spaces just a few miles distant from Edinburgh but a thousand miles in atmosphere from the city centre.

Discover the BORDERS.  Wonderful mixture of landscapes, bleak  moorland, river valleys, lush pasture with the character of the  countryside changing with peculiar rapidity. Peppered with old castles and abbeys telling their tales of Border feuds with England, the Borders also boast  quirky towns and woollen mills (good bargains to  be had in knitwear). Visit gardens, wander round Peebles, nice shops and atmospheric little town. The Borders boasts some of the best mountain biking terrain in Scotland. 

A lazy day in the garden or around the farm at Crosswoodhill.  Barbecue available. 
If you have your fishing rods with you, there is fishing close by where you can land a few trout for your supper. You can't enjoy fresher fish than that!  Lots of other fishing opportunities in the Lothians, Strathclyde and the Borders, all within easy driving distance.

Perhaps take a short trip to ALMOND VALLEY HERITAGE CENTRE MUSEUM (enjoyable for all ages) in old Livingston Village. Our local, highly innovative, museum richly deserves its awards and popularity. Or, if you've brought your swimming gear with you, introduce your youngsters to "Xcite", our much praised local leisure pool. Opposite is the new Livingston Designer Outlet   and another huge retail outlet with big names and shopping bargains galore A magnet for those hooked on retail bargains!

Alternatively, meander up Crosswoodhill's own hilly terrain and enjoy a picnic with the sheep and cattle grazing nearby. Read a book, paddle, doze, enjoy the isolation. Follow this perhaps with mingling with the crowds... lots of theatres and culture in Edinburgh, restaurants to suit all tastes.  An atmospheric Edinburgh Ghost Walk in the dark later, perhaps.  Or join an award-winning Mercat Tour combining haunted locations, candlelit vaults and an excellent history guide.

If you are extending your stay and need a SECOND XI,  here are some further ideas:

A second day in EDINBURGH.  Picnic perhaps in Princes Street 
(children's play area in Gardens there). Take in some museums, e.g National Gallery, Chambers Street Museum,  the Museum of Scotland.. A huge choice and mainly free.. Admire the graceful Georgian architecture of the "New Town": Visit 7 Charlotte Square, The Georgian House to feel at home in an 1820's drawing room.  Bask in the seasonal beauty of the Botanic Gardens and visit the hothouses.  Tour the Royal yacht "Britannia" for a taste of how royalty sailed the seas. Visit Dynamic Earth     and travel back from the present day to the beginning of time.

EDINBURGH BUTTERFLY AND INSECT WORLD, magical for children and in complete contrast to the black diamonds of nearby Scottish Mining Museum. And for more contrasts in the same area become awe-inspired by mediaeval Rosslyn Chapel, or burn off the last of your energy at Europe's largest artificial ski slope on the Pentland Hills.  Hillend, near Edinburgh, offers a chairlift; boots and skis for hire.

Take in the grandeur of the Forth Bridge itself.  You may want to call in at Deep Sea World,  below the shadow of the Forth Road Bridge and one of the largest aquariums in Britain. Some of our guests absolutely love it, others are deeply disappointed and consider it expensive for the time spent there.

A trip which could perhaps be combined with CULROSS, a lovely little sixteenth century burgh surviving intact  in the industrialised upper estuary of the Forth.    Explore Fife, with its beaches, fishing villages, renowned golf courses, the lovely palace at Falkland steeped in history, its quaint village and nearby easy hill-climbs with wonderful views..

Or try the Scottish Deer Centre at Cupar. For golf addicts ST. ANDREWS is a must. You can even play on the Old Course.  St. Andrew's is a lovely town in its own right. The non-golfers can enjoy good beaches.

IV.Raining? Needing to rest weary legs?  Does your family originally hail from Scotland? An opportunity exists in Edinburgh to explore your Scottish roots in the Scottish Genealogy Society Library and Family History Centre. Or by appointment with the Scottish Roots Ancestral Research Service

OR:  Raining but needing a gateway to adventure in the dry? Visit the largest indoor rock-climbing centre ever built.  Ratho Quarry houses the biggest and most challenging climbing walls you'll ever come across. Or enjoy a mix of gym facilities there.  Or simply relax with great food in this fantastic place just 15 miles from Crosswoodhill. 

PERTHSHIRE.  Over the Forth Bridge and up the motorway to  Pitlochry or further to get a taste of Highland Scenery with its lochs, glens and castles. Start  early enough and you can get in some walking or hire mountain bikes.  Just wonderful.

BO'NESS STEAM RAILWAY.  Evoke the past with a re-creation of a typical Scottish branch-line.  Combine this with Birkhill Fireclay Mine and Blackness Castle, perhaps. (Check opening times before setting off to these)
Keen golfers amongst you could perhaps combine this with  a round on the local Harburn Golf Course.  Visitors welcome and the Golf Club can provide limited clubs if you don't have them with you!

A family outing day that will appeal to everyone: wide sandy, almost deserted beaches in EAST LOTHIAN. A bucket and spade day. Bypass Edinburgh on the new ring-road and  make for the seaside around Gullane and Dirleton. Water can be a bit chilly and can be invigoratingly windy.

Or you may want to split the party, with some of the family heading for the beach and those adults with an interest in ancient and unique Scottish sites of mystique, wonder and charm booking instead a Celtic Trail.  Jackie Queally, your personable, informed guide,  will take you to places you may not otherwise discover. Explore her website to discover what could be in store for you. 

A trip to EDINBURGH ZOO. Splendid location on a hillside where lions, tigers and countless other species prowl around Scotland's biggest zoo.  Penguins a great attraction. A universal favourite with everyone. Parking in nearby streets free. Or perhaps other child-friendly activities appeal? Check some out.

Situated on the Pentland Hills as we are, there are just so many lovely walks for varying abilities. Or go further afield, perhaps hire mountain bikes from near Peebles. Lots of Forestry tracks at Glentress, a mecca for mountain-bikers
Or hire bikes from Biketrax Cycle Hire in Edinburgh and explore the (less exhausting for the less fit) flatter cycleways of Edinburgh.

CRUISE THE CANALS and waterways. Linlithgow  and Ratho make good starting points. Visit the Linlithgow Canal Centre where The Canal Museum has a sales counter, a short audio-visual presentation and admission is free..  Or go a bit further north, defy gravity and take a ride on the amazing Falkirk Wheel, Scotland's 2002 modern engineering marvel.  Add to the fun by going aboard a state-of-the-art amphibious transporter or a more traditional canal boat.  Finally linking the Glasgow and Edinburgh canal network, The Falkirk Wheel is the world's only rotating boat lift.  Impressive! 

Finally, take in the vibrant capital city of Edinburgh from a different perspective:
Panoramic view of Edinburgh from Blackford Hill, above the Royal Observatory.

If here during the EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL and FRINGE FESTIVALS allow time just to mingle, stand and stare and revel in the unique atmosphere. Something happening on every street corner and almost every building; quite mind-blowing. Throughout the year Edinburgh's cosmopolitan outlook attracts major music, theatre, dance and arts performances. Entertainment to suit all ages and tastes. Why not check out what's on at the Festival or Kings Theatre during your stay? Or have a look at What's On in Edinburgh and Glasgow via the "List", the most comprehensive listing of events and entertainment.

Each property at Crosswoodhill is well stocked with guide books, tourist information and leaflets for you to browse and plan your itineraries. No-one yet staying at Crosswoodhill has ever run out of ideas of exciting expeditions. Even poor weather cannot dampen enthusiasms as there is so much undercover for those rainy days. "Scotland the Best" and "Scotland for Kids" offer further ideas. As can your hosts. as well as past guests who have recorded their "finds" for the benefit of future guests. 

And a tip before you venture forth. Bring your imagination, but also check out some money-saving ideas. You may want to purchase a Scottish Explorer Ticket if you intend to visit more than one Historic Scotland property as there are huge savings to be gained. Full details on

Needing more detailed information and more pictures?  We now have a new website profiling our 5 Star properties which includes a large See & Do Section with much more information and a good number of photos signposting you to places to visit and things to do within striking distance of our area. We really recommend you explore

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Tel. 01501 785205