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Addiewell opened in 2008. It houses all prisoner types with the exception of females and convicted young people.


The prison is situated in the village of Addiewell, which is in the central belt of Scotland, between the two largest cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh. The prison was built on a site formerly known as Addiewell chemical works which produced paraffin oil. It was an active site for nearly 100 years, opening in 1860s and finally closing in 1956. 

Front of Addiewell prison

Visiting the Prision

Addiewell has a bright and comfortable visits hall, which holds up to 50 visits at any one time. The visitors’ centre is run in partnership with Cyrenians offering support for those are visiting the prison. We aim to make the visit experience as enjoyable as we can, but at the same time ensuring that safety and security procedures are adhered to by all visiting Addiewell. There is full wheelchair access to the visits hall and disabled toilet facilities.

Please ask staff questions if you have any concerns with regards to your visit.

  • Photographic ID

    One of:

    • Driving licence, or
    • Valid passport, or
    • Citizen’s card, or
    • Bus pass (credit card style) or Disabled car badge
    • Young Scot Card (with visible hologram)

    If photographic identification is not provided, the Operations SPCO/Manager will be contacted for advice.

    Visitors must also provide proof of their address, which must be less than 3 months old:

    • Utility bill (gas, electricity, telephone etc)
    • Bank or building society document
    • Headed letters (doctor, dentist etc)
  • Families can access the visitor centre before crossing the secure line when they attend the prison. Visitor centre staff also participate in family bonding visits.

    Those who are supporting someone to travel to the prison but not visiting themselves can access the visitor centre and have a refreshment while they wait.

    Sodexo staff will book families in for their visit, and they can wait in the visitor centre until the visit time starts. They will then be taken through to the security area and searched.

    Contact information
    Email: [email protected]
    Phone: 01506 874500 ext. 3914 (also has answer machine facility).

    Visitor Centre opening times - please note these are not visit session times.

    • Tuesday      1.00pm – 9pm
    • Wednesday 1.00pm – 9pm
    • Thursday     1.00pm – 9pm
    • Friday          1.00pm – 8.30pm
    • Saturday      9am – 5pm
    • Sunday        9am – 5pm

    Getting there: estimate of bus/train costs
    Bus Day Ticket for West Lothian: Approx. £5.
    Train ticket from Glasgow to Addiewell return: £12.60

  • The visitors’ centre provide meaningful support and information for families and friends affected by imprisonment.  If you have not visited a prison previously are advised to speak to staff, particularly if you are unsure of prison procedures.

    The visitors’ centre has information notice, toilet facilities and lockers for any belongings which are not permitted in the visits hall. Staff will advise on this. £1 coin is required to use the locker.

    On entering Addiewell you turn right into the visitors’ centre where you should deposit any property for the offender prior to the visits. You will be searched by trained staff, processed through the biometric- finger scan and then taken to the visits hall by staff.

    Visitors will be directed to their allocated seat and will be met by offenders, who must remain seated in their allocated seat, at all times. The visits hall has a cafe with hot/cold refreshments and a children’s play area (parents are responsible for supervision). Staff will inform offenders and visitors when the visits are finished and will accompany visitors back to the visitors centre.

  • If you're an approved visitor, you can hand in property (one parcel per month) to the property desk at visits - this includes books purchased from our approved supplier. All property must have prior approval in order to be accepted and you must mark the parcel for the individual’s attention with their date of birth, prisoner number and property reference number clearly displayed.

  • You can post in property (one parcel per month) for prisoners at your own expense - including books from our approved supplier. All parcels must have prior approval in order to be accepted and be marked for the individual’s attention with their date of birth, prisoner number and property reference number clearly displayed.

  • Prisoners can be sent money (we advise sending recorded delivery), postal orders or cheques. Cheques will be banked by finance department and can take up to 10 working days to clear.

  • Convicted prisoners at HMP Addiewell can book their own visits using technology on the wings.

    For those on remand, they can also book their own visits but have to give at least 24 hours notice.

    Alternatively, visitors can book remand visits (allowing 24 hours notice) using the dedicated phone line: 01506 874 500 and select option two (open Monday – Friday 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm).

    When phoning the visits booking number visitors should know the individual’s name, number, date of birth, the date and time of the required visit and details of who is visiting.

    Visitors will need to provide names, dates of births and addresses.

  • Legal visits are booked by telephone 01506 874 500 select option 2, again giving 24 hours notice. The visit booking line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm.

    Legal visits can also be booked via fax or email: [email protected]

  • Solicitors looking to register for and use video link technology to conduct meetings with their clients in custody can find more information via the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

  • Specific visits complaints forms are available in the visits waiting area. All other complaints/comments should be made in writing to the prison.

Visiting times

    • Monday
      • 13:30-14:30
      • 14:45-15:45
    • Tuesday - Friday
      • 13:30-14:30
      • 14:45-15:45
      • 19.00-20:00
    • Saturday and Sunday
      • 13:30-14:30
      • 14:45-15:45
      • 16:00-17:00

Getting in touch

Family and Friends

If sending a letter to a prisoner, put their name, prison number and location, followed by the prison postal address.


If you are writing to your client, the Scottish Prison Service considers that it is necessary that you adopt the “double envelope” process as recommended by the Law Society. It is the experience of the Scottish Prison Service that adopting this process ensures that your client receives his or her correspondence unopened and assists in mitigating the abuse of the right to receive such correspondence in this way. If you require further information you can contact us as follows:

Addiewell is designed as a “learning” prison, where those in custody can address their offending behaviour and the circumstances which led to their imprisonment. The learning aspect aims to improve their employability prospects, their wellbeing and community support networks, leading to a reduction in reoffending.

Addiewell provides 40 hours of purposeful activity, per person, per week. Purposeful Activity is divided into three main areas: Learning and Skills, Jobs and Programmed Interventions. We also adopt an effective Peer Support Model, where some individuals are identified for support roles throughout the prison. They act as positive role models for fellow people in custody and assist staff in the delivery of classes, programmes, sports activities, induction and prisoner support services.

How to get there

  • From M8: Leave the motorway at Junction 4 (signposted Bathgate/Falkirk/Whitburn). At the roundabout below take the exit for the road heading to Blackburn/Whitburn. Turn left at the traffic lights and head towards Blackburn. About a half a mile later and at the next set of traffic lights, turn right onto the B792. The turn off for Addiewell is two miles up that road. Turn right onto Livingstone Street, then left into Station Road. The prison entrance is about 200 yards along that road.

    From A71: In West Calder Main Street, turn left (right when travelling from Edinburgh direction) down Cleuch Brae into the B792 road for Blackburn. The Livingstone Street turn off for Addiewell village (as above) is two miles along that road.

    There is full parking facilities with disabled bays.

  • The village is served by a number of bus routes and there is a bus stop within walking distance of the prison. Bus timetables are available at the visits waiting area.

  • Addiewell railway station is a very short walk from the prison, on the same line as Shotts, serviced by the Glasgow Central to Edinburgh train. The train runs through Cambuslang, Uddingston, Bellshill (connections to Motherwell and Lanark), Carfin, Cleland, Hartwood and Shotts in Lanarkshire, before going through the West Lothian towns of West Calder and Livingston then onto the capital.