Fresh air, birdsong and greenery right on the edge of Johnstone and Elderslie

Bluebell Wood

Wander where the Bluebells grow

A band of pretty, open woodland clothes the hillside above Johnstone, criss-crossed with paths that meander between the trees and bridge the peaceful Craigbog Burn. It’s a wonderful place for children to play or for a peaceful walk and some fresh air.

There are about 4 ½ miles (7.2 km) of paths through the woods, so you’ll have plenty of choice. The paths are mostly wide, smooth and flat, with a mixture of firm gravel, loose gravel and grass surfaces. Some places can be muddy. Two short sections in the southern part are moderately steep, with two short flights of steps leading to Windyhill.

Parking Walking

Life’s essentials

There are shops, places to eat and public toilets at nearby Johnstone Castle. Bluebell Wood has built footpaths and on-street parking.

Walking trails

Cycling trails

Mountain biking trails

Get fit and have fun

With its easy access by train and bus and wide variety of paths, Bluebell Wood and next door Rannoch Wood are a great venue for walking groups or health walks.

The wood of many names

The whole area once belonged to the laird of Johnstone Castle, a tower house first built in the 1600s that now stands in the middle of modern housing. When the castle grounds were sold off, different bits were given different names. Bluebell Wood stretches along the burn towards Auchenlodment Road, Rannoch Wood is the area between Beith Road and Rannoch Road, and Craigston or Elderslie Wood is the backdrop to Chestnut Drive on the Johnstone Castle estate. It can all get a bit confusing, so plenty of folk just call them ‘the woods’!

Each section of woodland has its own character. You can make a varied, interesting journey from the parkland-like atmosphere of Rannoch Wood, past the burn and dramatic rocky outcrops of Bluebell Wood and out into open countryside in neighbouring Windyhill. There are open views from Windyhill to the east towards Paisley and Glasgow, and north towards the Kilpatrick hills and Ben Lomond.

Contact: Scottish Lowlands Forest District

Address: Five Sisters House, Five Sisters Business Park, West Calder

Postcode: EH55 8PN

Telephone: 0300 067 6700


How to get here

The woods are easy to walk to from Johnstone, Elderslie or Cochrane Castle, with lots of entry points. If you want to bring a car, there’s plenty of on street parking on Elm Drive or Maple Drive, at grid reference NS 428 619. Alternatively, park on Rannoch Road or Tower Road.

Using SatNav?

PA5 9TG is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

The forest is less than ½ mile (800 metres) from Johnstone railway station, and there are bus services along Beith Road and Rannoch Road on the edges of the woodland. Check Traveline Scotland for details.

Nearby places

Windyhill and Rannoch Woods are the forests next door. They make a great extension to a visit to Bluebell Wood. If you’re looking for more space to stretch out in, head for Gleniffer Braes Country Park or the wilder countryside of the Kilpatrick Hills across the Clyde.

and Bluebell Wood, near Johnstone

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