Take a break at Larbert Woods
We all know that fresh air and exercise in beautiful surroundings make us feel good – and Larbert Woods, the grounds of the new Forth Valley Royal Hospital, fit the bill perfectly for the hospital’s staff, patients and visitors as well as local people.
There are three easy trails through the mature woods and around the picturesque little loch. There’s plenty of wildlife to look out for, including roe deer, birds and squirrels amongst the trees and dragonflies, damselflies and frogs at the loch.
Due to an on-going development at Larbert House, access in the area around the house is restricted, however the rest of the site is still open. Construction is also on-going for the Maggies Centre, a diversion route is available to allow you to access the loch path. For your safety please follow all onsite signage and diversions.
There are toilets in the hospital and plenty of places to eat, drink and shop in Larbert.
Mountain biking trails
Watching wildlife at Larbert
You can tell this is old woodland by the plants that appear in the spring – look out for snowdrops, followed by the drooping russet flowers of wood avens and white wood sorrel. You’ll also find a great variety of fungi on the old trees and amongst the leaf litter in autumn. The brambles here are full of fruit by then too: they’re delicious, but be sure to leave some for the birds and mice, who will be fattening up for winter.
Look for colourful wetland plants around the loch in summer, including water mint, bulrushes and water forget-me-not. You might also spot iridescent dragonflies and damselflies darting across the water, including the large red and emerald damselflies.
Events and activities
Forth Valley Royal Hospital is the first hospital in Scotland to have a ranger on site. The ranger leads walks and other activities in the woods and works with local schools and groups. There are two outdoor classrooms and a pond-dipping and viewing platform at the loch too.
Larbert Wood is also a popular place for Paths for Health walks – a fun and sociable way to enjoy the woods and get some fresh air.
Fishing on Larbert Loch
The loch is popular for fishing.
A partnership for people and wildlife
Larbert Woods is a special green space, restored and maintained in partnership to provide an attractive and uplifting place for hospital patients to recuperate and for staff, visitors and local people to enjoy. Our partners are NHS Forth Valley and Central Scotland Forest Trust.
Larbert House Estate
Larbert House was a family home until the 1920s, when the estate was bought by the Royal Scottish National Hospital to extend their existing facilities at nearby Stenhouse Estate. Larbert provided homes and employment for people with mental health problems and operated as a hospital until the 1990s. In 2010, the new state-of-the-art Forth Valley Royal Hospital was built here. As you explore, you’ll find traces of the formal gardens that surrounded Larbert House before it became a hospital, such as specimen trees.
How to get here
Larbert Woods are beside the Forth Valley Royal Hospital on Stirling Road in Larbert.
There is on-street parking at Lochview, near Larbert Cross, at grid reference NS 854 823.
FK5 4WR is the nearest postcode.
There are regular buses to Larbert from Falkirk, Stirling and Stenhousemuir and trains from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Falkirk. For details visit Traveline Scotland.
Other woods nearby include:
Devilla – a lovely pinewood that’s great for family walks and cycle rides. Look out for red squirrels and stone circles as you explore.
Callendar Wood – over 500 years old, full of fascinating historic features and criss-crossed by enticing carriageways, tracks and paths.
Carron Valley – scenic family-friendly trails beside the reservoir and exhilarating mountain bike trails in the woods.
Nethercroy – lovely wildflower meadows, open woodland and a Roman frontier above the Forth & Clyde Canal.
At Larbert you are also close to Falkirk and the spectacular Falkirk Wheel, a rotating boat lift that links the Union and Forth & Clyde canals.
Share your experience
For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.