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Livingston is a large town in West Lothian in the central belt of Scotland, built as a "New Town" from 1963. In 2020 it had a population of 56,840.


In the 12th century a Flemish man, De Leving, built a fortified tower (long gone) and the settlement of Levingstoun or Livingston grew up around it. In the 19th century, West Lothian became urbanised when the shale oil industry developed, but the Livingston area remained farmland until the 1960s. Then five "new towns" were built rapidly to relieve congestion in Glasgow, four of them on greenfield sites (East Kilbride, Glenrothes, Cumbernauld and Livingston) while the fifth was built onto the existing town of Irvine. Livingston was laid out on a grid, with A899 running north-south and A705 running east-west, and a chequerboard of residential estates. These include Livingston Village, Bellsquarry, Craigshill, Howden, Dedridge, Ladywell, Knightsridge, Murieston, Adambrae, Deans and Eliburn. The town has expanded to engulf Polbeth, West Calder, East Calder, Mid Calder, Uphall and Pumpherston. It was run by a development corporation (a "quango") until 1997 then local government transferred to West Lothian; Robin Cook was its MP from 1983 until his death in 2005.

Get in[edit]

Map of Livingston (Scotland)

By road[edit]

The M8 (Edinburgh-Glasgow) runs to the north of Livingston and the usual approach is to exit at jcn 3 and turn south onto A899. Otherwise follow A71 which runs south of town.

By bus[edit]

Lothian Country Bus X27/28 runs daily from Edinburgh every 30 mins via Heriot Watt University at Riccarton to Livingston, taking an hour, and continuing to Deans and Bathgate. Bus 287 also plies between Livingston and Bathgate; change there for Bus 29 to Falkirk.

First Bus 600 runs from Edinburgh Airport every 30 min via Ratho, Newbridge, Kirkliston, Winchburgh, Broxburn and Uphall taking an hour to Livingston, and continuing to Whitburn.

Stagecoach Fife X51 runs hourly from Glasgow Buchanan station to Livingston, taking an hour, and continuing via South Queensferry and over the Forth bridge to Dunfermline, another hour.

Blue Bus 77 runs M-Sa every 2-3 hours from Lanark, taking 40 min.

Livingston 1 bus terminal is on Almondvale Ave between the two main shopping centres.

By rail[edit]

The fundamental assumption of a 1960s New Town is that everyone will drive, and railways are old hat. So the town straggles between two railway lines, neither particularly convenient.

2 Livingston North is next to Carmondean Shopping Centre between Eliburn and Deans. It has trains from Edinburgh every 20 min via Haymarket, Edinburgh Park and Uphall, taking 20 min. These continue west via Bathgate and Glasgow Queen Street (50 min) to Helensburgh or Milngavie.

3 Livingston South is by the Murieston shops and has trains from Edinburgh every 30 min via Haymarket, Slateford, Kingsknowe, Wester Hailes, Curriehill and Kirknewton, taking 30 min. These continue through West Calder, Shotts and a dozen other halts, taking up to an hour to reach Glasgow Central.

Get around[edit]

Livingston from the air

SD Travel Bus 31 runs hourly from Livingston to Linlithgow and Torphichen, continuing to Bathgate. There's no bus along the lane to Cairnpapple Hill but it's an easy bike ride.


  • 1 Almond Valley, Millfield EH54 7AR, +44 1506 414957. Daily 10AM-5PM. Mostly for pre-teens, with museum, farm and narrow-gauge railway. Rides & slides & animals. The railway is 762 mm gauge, hauled by a rinky-dinky industrial diesel, and runs weekends April-Sept plus daily in summer school holidays. Adult £9.50, child £7.50. Almond Valley Light Railway on Wikipedia
  • 2 Cairnpapple Hill, 3 miles north of Livingston, is a 4000-year-old ritual complex with Bronze Age and early Christian tombs. The burial chamber has been roofed over by a modern concrete dome but you can shimmy in. It's open daily Apr-Sep 9:30AM-5:30PM, adult £6.
  • 3 Torphichen Preceptory, 3 miles northwest of Livingston, has been a religious site at least since the Bronze Age. In medieval times it was a base for the Knights Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem, providing shelter and treatment for pilgrims. In 1298 Edward I of England was injured by his own horse before the Battle of Falkirk and was treated here. It's open daily Apr-Sep Sa Su 1-5PM, adult £2.
  • 4 Jupiter Artland, Bonnington House, Wilkieston EH27 8BY, +44 1506 889900. Daily 10AM-5PM. Extensive contemporary sculpture garden and gallery. You arrive through artistic earthworks (no tobogganing please). The Steadings has a long-term exhibition (Tracey Emin in 2022), then you stroll through the woods and try to figure out why each sculpture was so named. Dogs only admitted if they're artistic members, presumably they have to pass a test or submit a prentice piece. Adult £10, conc £9, child £6.


Alien's gravestone at Torphichen Preceptory
  • Walk the Almond Valley. The best of it is downstream: use the car park on Pumpherston Rd (by the bottle bank) and follow the riverside trail. From the weir this follows a feeder sluice to the Union Canal, which spans the valley by an impressive aqueduct.
  • 1 Deer Park Golf and Country Club, Golf Course Road EH54 8AB, +44 1506 446699. Daily 6:30AM-9:30PM. Country club with spa, swimming pool, ten-pin bowling and golf course: yellow tees 6193 yards par 72. 18 holes £15 pp.
  • 2 Escape Livingston, 11 Beveridge Square EH54 6QF, +44 330 133 1620. F-Su 10AM-10PM. Escape games: teams of 2 to 12 are locked in a room and have to solve a series of riddles, clues and puzzles to escape within the hour. £35 for 2, £42 for 3, £48 for 4, £55 for 5 and £60 for 6.
  • Watch football at 3 Livingston FC, Almondvale Stadium, Alderstone Rd EH54 7DN. They play soccer in the Scottish Premiership, the top tier. Their home ground is the 9000-capacity Almondvale Stadium aka "Tony Macaroni Arena". Livingston F.C. (Q867921) on Wikidata Livingston F.C. on Wikipedia
  • 4 Dalmahoy Golf Club, Kirknewton EH27 8EB, +44 131 333 1845. Upscale golf course, country club and hotel.
  • Vue Cinema is a multiplex in the main shopping mall at Almondvale Ave.
  • West Lothian Highland Games used to be held in Bathgate village, but were scrapped in 2022.


Livingston shopping centre

The core of Livingston is an extensive shopping area, bisected by Almondvale Avenue. The area east of the avenue is Livingston Centre and has more eating places. West side is the Designer Outlet; Vue Cinema is here. Together they have over 250 stores, generally open M-W F 9AM-7PM, Th Sa 9AM-8PM, Su 10AM-6PM. These 250 are relentlessly the same as each other and as any other retail unit in the country, not least by lying empty: as of mid-2019 only about half the units are occupied.


There's no stand-out, but lots of budget places in the main mall of Almondvale, with others in the villages of Uphall and Mid Calder.

  • La Vita Viva, 35b Main St, Mid Calder EH53 0AN, +44 1506 885138. M-W noon-5:30PM & 5-9PM, Th-Sa noon-10PM, Su noon-9PM. Small restaurant with good selection.
  • Tony Macaroni, The Hub, Almondvale Cres, Livingston EH54 6QX, +44 1506 410505. M-F noon-9:30PM, Sa Su 9AM-9:30PM. Large Italian restaurant on two levels.
  • Sapphire, Units 2 & 3, Bankton Centre, Murieston (next to South rwy station), +44 1506 417272. Daily 4:30-11PM. Basic Chinese, eat in or takeaway.
  • Imperial Palace, 14 Marrfield Terrace, Uphall Station EH54 5PY, +44 1506 438656.
  • Khushis, 15 Bank St, Mid Calder EH53 0AS, +44 1506 884514. Su-Th 4-10PM, F Sa noon-11PM. Cheap and cheerful place, byob.
  • Zaika, 1 Follyburn Place EH54 6BF, +44 1506 461561. Daily 4:30-10:30PM. This is nowadays just a takeaway.
  • Frankie & Benny's, Unit 10 Dedridge N Rd, Livingston EH54 6XG, +44 1506 465420. Su-Th 9AM-9:30PM, F Sa 8:30AM-11PM. Budget chain eatery.


Sculpture at Jupiter Artland
  • Brucefield Farm (The Carvery), Brucefield Industrial Estate, Rutherford Square EH54 9BU, +44 1506 417788. M-Th 9AM-11PM, F-Su 8AM-11PM. Family-friendly carvery, does takeaway.
  • Lime Kiln (aka Hungry Horse; formerly The Granary), Almondvale Boulevard EH54 6QT, +44 1506 410661. Daily 9AM-10PM. Family-friendly but erratic eating place.
  • Beefeater Restaurant & Pub is within the Premier Inn at M8 jcn 3, open daily 07:00-23:00.
  • 1 Livingston Inn, 2 Main St Livingston EH54 7AF, +44 1506 413054. Su-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight. Pleasant old pub with food, has rooms.
  • Harvester on Almondvale Ave is a chain pub with food open daily 9AM-8PM.
  • The New Year Field, Unit 1, Livingston Designer Outlet, Almondvale Avenue EH54 6QX. Daily 8AM-midnight. JD Wetherspoons pub with food


  • 1 Linwater Caravan Park, Clifton Rd, East Calder EH53 0HT (3 miles east of Livingston), +44 131 333 3326. Park for touring caravans, motorhomes and tents, open all year. Two-person tent £20.
  • 2 Premier Inn Livingston, Deer Park Drive Livingston EH54 8AD (at jcn 3 of M8), +44 871 527 8632. Reliable budget chain with 74 rooms. B&B double £80.
  • 3 Livingston Lodge Hotel, Hawk Brae Livingston EH54 6TW, +44 1506 460841. Decent mid range place. Room only double £70.
  • 4 Macdonald Houston House, Uphall EH52 6JS (A899 two miles north of Livingston), +44 344 879 9043. 3-star hotel, 71 rooms. 16th century manor house set in 20 acres of gardens & woods. B&B double from £120.
  • 5 Best Western Hilcroft Hotel, East Main Street, Whitburn EH47 0JU (A705 eight miles west of Livingston), +44 1501 740818. Clean comfy modern hotel with 32 rooms. B&B double £75.


Burial chamber within Cairnpapple Hill

As of July 2023, Livingston and its surrounds have 4G from EE and Vodafone, and 5G with O2 and Three.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Livingston
GlasgowCoatbridge  W  E  → junction Edinburgh
KilmarnockMotherwell/Carluke  SW  E  West EdinburghEdinburgh City Centre

This city travel guide to Livingston is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.