THIS column is dedicated to walking and ramblers' groups from across Scotland, where they can suggest the best routes to enjoy from their areas and further afield.

Over the coming weeks, The Herald Magazine writers will be suggesting their favourite walks too. See the panel at the end of this story if you want to get involved.

Blawhorn Moss, West Lothian

By Susan Swarbrick

Start: Blawhorn Moss car park.

Distance: 1 mile (2km), although there are longer trails to explore.

Time: Allow at least an hour.

Terrain: All abilities path and boardwalk. Contains one section with a gentle to moderate slope.

Level: Suitable for most.

Access: Leave the M8 at junction 4 and take the A801 north towards Armadale. Then head west for three miles (5km) on the A89 to Blackridge. Continue west out of the village and take the first minor road on the right to the car park. The nearest postcode is EH48 3AG. The grid reference is NS 878676.

HeraldScotland: Blawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve, near Blackridge, West Lothian. Picture: Susan Swarbrick/The HeraldBlawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve, near Blackridge, West Lothian. Picture: Susan Swarbrick/The Herald

If travelling by bike on the NCN 75 route between Glasgow and Edinburgh, leave the Airdrie to Livingston section at the Blawhorn link road outside Blackridge. There is a train station at Blackridge on the Helensburgh to Edinburgh line.

What makes it special: Incredible views, wildlife spotting and a feeling of walking through history.

BOGS may not get the sexy coverage that some of their natural counterparts do, but a trip to Blawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve will hopefully go a long way to sparking some love for the tranquil beauty of these oft-overlooked wild places.

Hidden amid windswept moors is a rare survivor of the raised and blanket peat bogs that once covered much of central Scotland. Blawhorn Moss is the largest and least disturbed stretch of active, raised bog in the Lothians – very little has changed here over the past 8,000 years.

READ MORE: Best walks in Scotland: The Dunnet Forest Circular, Caithness

READ MORE: Best walks in Scotland: Earlston and around the Black Hill, Scottish Borders

In bygone days, Blawhorn was a lookout point for coaches on the Glasgow to Edinburgh road below. The watcher blew a horn to alert the Craig Inn at Blackridge – a coaching stop – to prepare for thirsty travellers and a change of horses.

Route: From the car park, follow the wide, surfaced track heading east. This initial section has trees on either side before curving around to the left, heading north.

As the path continues, there is a fork to the right. This is the beginning of the trail which passes along the bottom of the reserve towards Blackridge. There will be time to explore this later, but for now ignore this branch and continue straight on.

After a few minutes, you will reach a gate on the right. Pass through this and continue to follow the path as it again heads east, then north. Soon you will reach the edge of Blawhorn Moss NNR and a circular boardwalk which takes you to the heart of the reserve.

HeraldScotland: Blawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve, near Blackridge, West Lothian. Picture: Susan Swarbrick/The HeraldBlawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve, near Blackridge, West Lothian. Picture: Susan Swarbrick/The Herald

The sculpture-lined boardwalk is short and sweet, yet packed with opportunities to get up close to fascinating habitats without getting your feet wet.

Once you have had some fun trying to spot insects and plants amid the bog, retrace your steps back to the car park or follow the path into Blackridge if you wish to further stretch your legs.

Don't miss: With the changing of the seasons there are always new and interesting things to see. In early autumn, patches of purple heather add an additional splash of colour to the golden, red and green bog plants.

If you are lucky, roe deer can be spotted early in the morning or late evening. Listen out for their unusual bark as you walk.

READ MORE: Best walks in Scotland: Linn of Dee, Aberdeenshire

READ MORE: Best walks in Scotland: Dunskey Glen and Bays near Portpatrick, Dumfries and Galloway

In the winter, keep your eyes peeled for hen harriers as they seek a roosting place and short-eared owls on the hunt. If it's cold enough, the bog will freeze over and sparkle, creating a magical frosted carpet.

HeraldScotland: Blawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve, near Blackridge, West Lothian. Picture: Susan Swarbrick/The HeraldBlawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve, near Blackridge, West Lothian. Picture: Susan Swarbrick/The Herald

Fun fact: The thick, black peat at Blawhorn Moss is slowly formed from the remnants of dead plants with a millimetre laid down each year. Today, it is deep enough in places to bury two double-decker buses.

Useful information: A permanent exhibition at the Craig Inn Community Centre in Blackridge tells the story of the area's coaching history, with objects donated by local people. It is open on Mondays and Tuesdays, during library times. Visit westlothian.gov.uk or call 01506 282282.

A handy guide to Blawhorn Moss NNR can be downloaded from the NatureScot website, visit nature.scot/visit-blawhorn-moss-national-nature-reserve

Do you have a walk you would like to suggest? Email susan.swarbrick@theherald.co.uk