Green space for people and a safe haven for wildlife

Larbert Woods

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. Find out more about Larbert Woods at the NHS Forth Valley website, where you will find maps, photos, and local news.

Find out more about the grounds and our walking routes in our Larbert Woods leaflet (PDF 753KB).

Please note, the development of Larbert House is still ongoing. For your safety please follow any onsite safety signage.

Parking Walking

Life’s essentials

There are toilets in the hospital and plenty of places to eat, drink and shop in Larbert.

Walking trails

Cycling trails

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. 

1 December: Maggie's Elf Family Fun Run

Join Maggie’s Forth Valley for an Elf Family Fun Run at Larbert Woods on Saturday 1st December 2018. It doesn’t matter if you run, walk or skip the 1.5 miles to the finish line – we just want you to have fun and help us raise funds for Maggie’s Forth Valley and help us continue our free programme of support for people in our community living with cancer and their family and friends. Fancy dress is encouraged and there will be a prize for best dressed adult elf and child elf. 

Tickets cost £15 per adult and £10 per child with 5 and under going free. Dogs are welcome and they go free too! This is a ticketed event. But we'd also like to encourage anyone taking part to fundraise for Maggie’s Forth Valley. If you want some ideas on how to raise some extra pennies and to get sponsorship forms get in touch and let us know! Arrival and Registration is at 10am with the Elf Warm Up starting at 10:45am. The Elf Family Fun Run will start promptly at 11am. Join us for an elftastic time!

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.

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

There is on-street parking at Lochview, near Larbert Cross, at grid reference NS 854 823.

Using SatNav?

FK5 4WR is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

There are regular buses to Larbert from Falkirk, Stirling and Stenhousemuir and trains from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Falkirk. For details visit Traveline Scotland.

Nearby places

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.