West Lothian is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and one of its historic counties. The county, which was also known as Linlithgowshire, was bounded by the Avon to the west and the Almond to the east; the modern council area occupies a smaller area, with land in the west given to Falkirk and land in the east given to Edinburgh following local government reforms in the late 20th century. It did however gain part of the Pentlands from Midlothian.
West Lothian lies on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth and is predominantly rural, though there were extensive coal, iron, and shale oil mining operations in the 18th and 19th centuries, which created distinctive red spoil heaps throughout the council area. The old county town was the royal burgh of Linlithgow, but the largest town is now Livingston.
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