Have buggy, will walk

Article in the Konect Directory, March 2012

By Karen Murray

Take your baby, your buggy and enjoy the great outdoors.

Regular readers of Konect will know that we like to recommend a good walk for you to try out, but perhaps those of you with babies and small children might find the terrain of some of these walks a little tough to negotiate with a buggy.

Thanks to a website entitled simply ‘walks with buggies’ we have found some suggestions for walks that can include wee ones not yet walking. I decided to try one of the suggestions for myself and found a delightful walk, enjoyable for anyone - with buggy or without.

The walk starts out from Livingston South railway station, which means that for drivers there are plenty parking spaces.

Buggies at the ready and you are off. Facing the station, with the Co-op on your left, you walk under the tunnel ahead of you following the signs for Murieston Trail. At the top of the lane, you come onto Robin’s Lane. A right turn will take you eventually to the Centre at Almondvale and you may feel everything is very built up here. However go left onto Robin’s Lane and take the second path on the left - red grit - and you are very quickly in a much leafier environment.

Follow the red grit path walking through a tunnel of trees and breath in the air. The path is totally flat and perfect for perambulating. Continue to the end of this path where there is a wooden fence. Left will take you to Murieston Water and an equally enjoyable walk but not for those with buggies.

Buggy walkers turn right following the Campbridge Park sign. The path immediately veers round to the left behind some houses and you shortly arrive at Murieston Mews where you might want to stop to admire some beautiful houses. If not, cross the road and rejoin the path straight in front of you. The red grit gives way to grey grit but is still flat and easy terrain.

There are a number of paths, grassy or gravel, that go off this path. Those on the left will take you down to Murieston Water but are not suitable for buggies. Stay on the main path all the way to the end, through another tunnel of trees enjoying the greenery as well as the bird song and the odd squirrel that is bound to scamper across your way.

The path becomes a restricted access road so be careful of the odd car. Just before the end of the path, you will see a sign to Campbridge Park on your left.

If you are simply out for a walk, you can then about turn and retrace your steps - knowing that back at the car park you will find a shop, restaurant and toilet (you need change for this).

If however you are up for more exploration, then go through the park entrance. The path splits in two and both will give a bit of a bumpy ride for a buggy but are negotiable. The right path takes you to a pond, which in reality is a flooded disused quarry but rather pretty nonetheless, complete with lily pads and very peaceful. Boardwalks take you up to the edge and there is a bench for a rest, snack, escape from buggy time, before heading back.

If you are walking sans buggy, you can follow the boardwalks, up and down some steps, through the trees to the other side of the pond and over a bridge to reach another boardwalk that follows along Murieston Water. This path will eventually take you back to first part of your walk where you turned right to follow the Campbridge Park signs.

The buggy walk (2.5 miles) takes just over an hour taking into account squirrel watching and a rest by the pond. The non-buggy route takes a little longer and there are various paths off shooting the main path which you can also explore if you have plenty of time.

I was very pleasantly surprised to find such a leafy haven nestled within a built up area and even better that it is accessible to all. If you get a chance, head to Murieston and enjoy.

Thanks to Cathy Nettley who suggested the walk on the walks with buggies website.