Ben Peach described Binny Craig in the 1910 Edinburgh memoir as ‘perhaps the most striking example (of crag and tail) in the whole of the district’ and the summit is an ideal place to view other features of ice sculpting in the central part of the Midland Valley. The sill that forms the craig, and a dyke extending to the east, have for long been regarded as petrographical curiosities. Their field relationships are comparable to late-Carboniferous dykes and sills of quartz-dolerite in the Bathgate Hills and the upper part of the sill is quartz-dolerite, but the main outcrops are of a distinctive pyroxene-feldspar-phyric basalt, albeit with definite tholeiitic characteristics. There is evidence that oil-shales in the country-rock succession have been ‘distilled’ by heat from the intrusions, which have been impregnated by bituminous material.

Excursion title:

Binny Craig

Date & time:

17 July 2019, 19.00

Finish time:



David Stephenson, formerly BGS Edinburgh


Private cars

Meeting point:

Oatridge College [NT 047 737] – precise parking location to be advised

First locality:

Oatridge College [NT 047 737] – precise parking location to be advised

Excursion route:

South, west and north to summit of Binny Craig, with possible return north and east to complete a circular route

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Tracks and rough, rocky slopes

2 km

about 150 m height gain, including ups and downs on the ridge

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Steep rocky slopes

Inclement weather

Control measures required to mitigate against any Hazards referred to above:

Be careful

Appropriate clothing and footwear essential

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?


May dogs be brought on the excursion?

I don’t see why not but might need to be on lead in places

Toilet information:

Assume none

Geological map sheet:

32W Livingston

OS map sheet:

65 Falkirk and West Lothian


Lunn, J.W. (1928) The intrusion of Binny Craig. Transactions of the Edinburgh Geological Society, Vol.12, pp 74-79.

Available online to members via the Lyell Collection web site.