Linn Jaw Falls

Is this West Lothians most hidden and hard to get to scenic spot?
Linn Jaw falls
Linn Jaw falls

West Lothian has very little in the way of dramatic scenery, but this hidden gem of a location is a beautiful spot for some photography and it used to be a great place for a walk as well!

Where is it?

It’s located on the south side of Livingston and as can be seen here, it is close to Morton Reservoir.

Map and location of Linn Jaw waterfall
Map and location of Linn Jaw waterfall

I’ve highlighted the area where the bridge use to be, and you used to be able to park at the side of the road. Walk along a path to reach the bridge, cross over then head down to the falls. But that bridge is no longer there.

It would seem that the landowners have been doing some work to the area for the past couple of years. In doing so they’ve removed the bridge and blocked off all access from the west side of the river. It’s a really poor show. I believe that the bridge is meant to be going back – but will it? I doubt it.

Dramatic waterfall in West Lothian
Dramatic waterfall in West Lothian

So how do I get there now?

Without the bridge, there is another way, but it’s a less than ideal route. Being prepared with the correct footwear is required.

I’ve marked on the map below a starting point and a way to reach the waterfall without having to cross it. The start point isn’t a car park, but it is a large junction/entrance to Morton Clays – so there may well be a car or two there already. If so you’ll need to park elsewhere, which will mean a much longer walk in. There is a car park for a forest walk but it’s about 2 Km back up the road.

Map route to Linn Jaw
Click to open the route in OS Maps

Once parked, you head along a dirt track that is used to access the houses nearby. It’s a pretty rough road and if it’s been raining it can be as much deep puddles as it can road in places. (see images below)

Just over a kilometre later you’ll reach a bend in the road where you’ll have to exit the road and go through a gate. The path (I use that term loosely) is grassy, boggy and unless you have sturdy walking boots or wellies I’d just not recommend it at all!

Linn Jaw falls
Linn Jaw falls

Almost there

As you get closer to the river there is a choice. Go through a gate which will lead through a field (option 1), then you will need to get through another brand new gate. This gate has potential to be bolted shut (wasn’t both times I’ve been) and climbing that fence/gate is less than ideal due to barbed wire. Option 2 would be to walk passed the gate in the photo of the puddle below, then you can cross through or over a small fence, then walk down the other side of that new fence. Walking over the newly chopped down tree remains will bring you to the top.

Either way, it’s not great. Best way is option 1, providing the end gate is open, if it’s not then just retrace your steps and you’ll only have wasted a couple of minutes of your time.

The Falls

You should now be at the point where you can see the river. Not the prettiest right now, but I’m sure it will recover in time. Just follow the river down hill, taking care as it can be very slippy and you will now be at the actual area where you can take photos of the falls.

Weir at the top of Linn Jaw waterfall
Weir at the top area

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