Prestige property: Putting on the fun in an open house in West Lothian

If you were to set out to design the best house for weathering the last couple of years of the nation having to stay at home, you might very well come up with something like Ochil View near Linlithgow.

Not only can it afford a large family to all have their own space, with five bedrooms and five public rooms, but Ochil View is surrounded by a glorious garden set up for relaxing –with a hot tub, putting green and football field, and its crowning glory, a separate garden lodge complete with its own bar.

However, the property is just as well set up to provide entertaining space on a larger scale once stay-at-home restrictions eased, according to Ochil View’s owners, the Ryder Cup-winning golfer, Stephen Gallacher and his wife, Helen, who bought it 15 years ago.

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The couple are both from Bathgate, but appreciate the property’s location – just a mile from Linlithgow train station, handy for the Capital and Glasgow, and 11 miles from Edinburgh Airport.

Ochil View, near Linlithgow, West Lothian

Helen explains: “The schools are great and it is close to Kingsfield Golf Centre, where Stephen practices, about a three-minute drive away.”

Ochil View was built 20 years ago, by Stewart Homes, one of just four in a quiet cul-de-sac.

The Gallachers have carried out three major projects since they moved in, as well as replacing the kitchen more than once, most recently in the last year.

Helen recalls: “First we converted the double garage to a gym and fitted out an office above it.”

Ochil View, near Linlithgow, West Lothian

She runs the accounts for her husband and their charity, the Stephen Gallacher Foundation, which supports young golf players, and this gave the couple a designated business space kept separate from family life.

Their next project was a double-height extension to one side of the house, which added a dining room with direct access to outdoor decking via folding sliding doors, and a bedroom above.

The outdoor area leads out to the garden lodge, the Gallachers’ latest project – serendipitously completed the year before lockdown.

Helen admits: “We got the timing right. It does have the feel of a pub, so during lockdown it felt a bit like going out when we weren’t able to. Stephen and our son, Jack, watch the football in there together too.

Ochil View, near Linlithgow, West Lothian

“It has been a fantastic addition and definitely saves the house from getting messy now we can have people round again.”

The lodge has a shower room and store room and just next to it is a putting green – created by Stephen for home practice.

The field at the back of the plot is also used for sport, but provides handy car parking when the Gallachers host larger gatherings, and Helen points out it has access from the road and the garden so could suit a family with a pony, or livestock. At half an acre, it is an impressively big chunk of land to be attached to a house that isn’t rural.

The decor inside is neutral to suit the Gallachers’ minimalist tastes and make the most of the natural light streaming in. The central vertical window on the front of the house, which illuminates the glass staircase, is a highlight.

Ochil View, near Linlithgow, West Lothian

The new kitchen is by Linlithgow-based Kutchenhaus and leads to a dining room and sitting room, thus forming a relaxed family area. In addition, there is a cinema room and a further lounge, plus a more formal dining room, a whole wall of which opens to the garden.

Upstairs are five bedrooms, three bathrooms and two dressing rooms, both fully fitted with bespoke storage shelving.

Ochil View has been designed and adapted to be practical with an enviable division of purpose – whether it be work, exercise, watching a film or quiet drinks.

Helen says: “It means we can keep it really tidy. When you are a professional sportsman you need to be so organised, on time and relaxed or it might impact your job.”

It is an easy house to run and the garden is also low-maintenance yet very attractive with mature shrubs and trees, lit by pretty garden lights and circled by a wall.

The Gallachers have planted selectively for additional screening both to maintain their privacy and to keep the family dog – a cockerpoo called Smudge – safe. Electric gates mean that the property is entirely enclosed.

Ochil View, near Linlithgow, West Lothian

With their daughter, Ellie, heading off to university, Stephen and Helen are moving back to Bathgate to be closer to extended family.

The couple have really made the most of the luxury of space at Ochil View, however. Helen relates: “Last month, we had 70 people for Ellie’s 18th, and we’ve had various parties over the years.

“I think there is a danger that our friends and family will miss the house as much as we will.”

Ochil View, near Linlithgow, West Lothian is priced at offers over £1.1m.

For more information, contact Turpie & Co. on 01506 668 448.

Ochil View, near Linlithgow, West Lothian
Ochil View, near Linlithgow, West Lothian
Ochil View, near Linlithgow, West Lothian
Ochil View, near Linlithgow, West Lothian
Ochil View, near Linlithgow, West Lothian