6.5 miles,
10.4 km
Average time to complete:
2.5 hours
Route type:
Total elevation:
65 metres


This trip along the coast will take you from one slice of Scottish history at Kinneil, to another at Blackness, via the local nature reserve on the Firth of Forth.

Starting in Kinneil Estate, take a wander round the grounds of the house before walking around the coast of Kinneil Nature Reserve. Following the coast takes you into Bo’ness where you may hear the puffing of steam engines from its working steam railway.

A gentle stroll along the flat coastal path follows the John Muir Way all the way to Blackness Castle, nicknamed ‘the ship that never sailed’ due to its unique shape.

After soaking in the history and maybe a coffee or ice cream in Blackness, hop on the bus back to Bo’ness and it’s then a half hour walk back to Kinneil Estate. Or for a shorter version, start and finish your walk near the bus station in Bo’ness centre.

The quoted 6.5 miles is one way, from Kinneil House to Blackness Castle.


This route follows mainly shared walking/cycling path on tarmac with some unsealed surfaces around Kinneil Estate. The coastal sections are almost entirely flat. We have therefore rated this route as low difficulty.

Getting There

By rail: The nearest train station is Linlithgow 4 miles away.

By bus: Bo’ness Community Bus operates a service between Bo’ness, Blackness and Edinburgh.

By car: There is some parking available at Kinneil Museum and plenty of parking options in Bo’ness. Please avoid starting this route from Blackness as parking and congestion can be an issue.


This route takes in Kinneil Estate and the coastal path round local nature reserve. However there are shorter options if you want to start and finish in Bo’ness centre and take a wander to the nature reserve from there. If you’re feeling energetic, skip the bus and do the whole return journey on foot!

For a full listing of businesses and attractions on this route, view it on the Plan Your Trip page.

Points of interest

Kinneil House

Historic Home of the Dukes of Hamilton, the house dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries. It's open on selected days throughout the year and guides from The Friends of Kinneil take people through the House and tell its fascinating story. Check with Kinneil Museum for information on the next open days.

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Kinneil Museum

Kinneil Museum is located in the 17th-century stable block of Kinneil House, and acts as an interpretive centre for Kinneil Estate. The exhibition '2,000 Years of History' tells the story of the park from Roman times to the present day.

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Kinneil Local Nature Reserve

Great mixed woodland walks with an opportunity to visit Kinneil House, a 15th-century tower house.

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Bo'ness Town Centre

This quiet coastal town has an incredible range of historic buildings dating back to the 16th century, alongside a steam railway and Scotland's oldest cinema.

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Bo'ness Hippodrome

The Hippodrome is Scotland's oldest purpose-built cinema. Screening everything from blockbusters, to foreign cinema, indie gems, and classics, it also hosts the annual Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema in March each year.

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Bridgeness Slab

A replica of the ancient Roman distance slab found here at the eastern end of the Antonine Wall.

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Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway

Take a step back in time with a ride on a steam train and learn all about the history of rail travel at the museum and visitor centre.

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Blackness Castle

This imposing 15th century castle has hosted garrisons, prisoners and more recently many a film crew. Climb the towers for fantastic views of the Forth. Please note parking in the castle car park and external grounds is limited to paying customers only.
Open 10am-4pm daily

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