Blawhorn Moss NNR - Visiting the reserve
Visit Blawhorn Moss to experience a beautiful landscape and a remarkable raised bog.
From the M8 between Edinburgh and Glasgow, take the A801 at junction 4. Head west for 5 kilometres on the A89 to Blackridge. Continue west out of the village and take the first minor road on the right to the car park.
From Airdrie, head 9 kilometres east on the A89 towards Blackridge. Take the last minor road on the left before the road enters the village. This leads to the car park.
EH48 3AG is the nearest postcode.
The car park is at the end of an unmarked access road leading north from the A89, west of Blackridge village. The access track may be closed at night (6pm in winter and 9pm in summer). There is a barrier restricting access for high and wide vehicles.
The grid reference is NS 878676.
The entrance to the reserve is linked to NCN Route 75 (Glasgow to Edinburgh). Leave the Airdrie to Livingston section at the Blawhorn link road outside Blackridge.
Visit Blawhorn Moss leaflet is a good introduction to the reserve.
There are seats and perches on the access track leading to the reserve and along the boardwalk.
Trails for all
Follow a wide surfaced track from the car park to the edge of Blawhorn Moss. From here a short circular boardwalk takes you to the heart of the reserve. This lets you get really close to some fascinating habitats without getting your feet wet.
Enjoy the sculpture around the boardwalk that explores the species found at Blawhorn Moss.
You can find descriptions and a map of the routes in the Visit Blawhorn Moss leaflet.
The best time of year to visit Blawhorn Moss is between April and July.
Spring is a good time to spot red grouse as they bolt from the heather with their distinctive cackle. If you look carefully in the bog pools, you might spot frogspawn.
On a sunny day the colours of the bog come to life. The rich reds, fuchsias and oranges sparkle in the sunlight. Dragonflies and damselflies add their iridescent hues. Butterflies abound, with plentiful green-veined whites and meadow browns.
The fluffy white heads of bog cotton sway gently in the breeze. Look for midge-eating sundews among the bog mosses.
You can spot shy roe deer early in the morning or in the late evening. Even if you don’t see them, you will probably hear their unusual bark. Look closely at the bog and you’ll see colourful sphagnum moss.
The surface of the bog is very wet in winter. If it’s cold enough, the whole bog will freeze over and sparkle, creating a magical frosted scene. If it snows, the open views of the heaths are stunning, making it easier to spot the occasional bird or roe deer.