Welcome to Falkland Estate
Falkland Estate sits at the very heart of Fife, some 35 miles north of Edinburgh. There have been settlements here from at least the time of the Iron Age people who built hill forts. It was a favourite royal hunting ground of the Stuart monarchs and home to Victorian leaders of rural and architectural style. Nowadays, it is a place of thoughtful stewardship of land, nature and community.
The Estate covers around some 1900 hectares, just under one-fifth of which is wooded, with the rest divided between arable farmland on the low ground and rough grazing on the hills. More than a third is an important "designed" landscape whose major elements date from the 19th century.
Falkland Estate is today a place of recreation for many visitors. It has a network of pleasure walks from the Victorian and Edwardian periods.*
We hope that you have an enjoyable visit to the Estate. There are interpretation boards to help guide your way.
Please look after the Estate responsibility, following the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Please note that Falkland Estate is a working farm and there are often tractors and other farming machinery in use.
There is no charge to visit Falkland Estate and access is available every day of the year. If you would like to help maintain this beautiful landscape then please consider making a donation or joining Friends of Falklands Heritage.
*extract from Kenny Taylor's 'Falkland Estate, an unfolding history'
School parties are welcome to visit Falkland Estate. We may be able to offer you some facilities such as use of the Workshop (with toilets and kitchen), maps and guided tours in return for a donation to the work of the charity. Guided walks and Ranger days can be organised (fee applicable). Please email the Woodland Ranger with your request.
It is important that ALL school and nursery groups inform us of when they are coming - this is for your own safety given that Falkland Estate is a working farm and we need to be aware of where you are going on the Estate.
Squirrel Trail - a tale of Two Squirrels
Visit the new rubbings trail to discover the story of red squirrels that have lived in the forest of Falkland for thousands of years, but are now struggling to compete with the grey ones introduced just 100 years ago.
Before you go, print this booklet along with instructions to take along with a pencil to do the rubbings. You will find the trail in the woods between the cricket pitch and the Pillars of Hercules.
Members of the local community helped to create the red squirrel rubbings trail, installed in the forest of Falkland on 8 November. This project was a partnership between Fife Coast & Countryside Trust and the Centre for Stewardship.
Over 45 individuals from Falkland Primary School and volunteers from the Centre for Stewardship attended workshops run by artist Kate Ive. Not only did the participants get to grips with their creative side but they also learnt about the plight of the red squirrel in Fife.
Kate said: “I am delighted to have been involved in the project. The kids really embraced the themes and as a result produced wonderful drawings. I hope the local community enjoy exploring the trail, discovering the artworks and learning about the life of the red squirrels.”
The trail is part of the Fife Red Squirrel Project (2011-2014) co-ordinated by Sophie Eastwood, Red Squirrel Project Officer for Fife Coast & Countryside Trust. It is supported by the Fife Environment Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund and is also being part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community LEADER in Fife Programme 2007-2013.
Sophie said: “Although red squirrels are still widespread across Fife, the low numbers seen around Falkland recently are a real concern. It is really important for people to understand why the red squirrel is disappearing from some areas and what we can do to help.”
The main threat to the red squirrel is from introduced grey squirrels that compete for food and spread the fatal squirrel pox virus, while remaining unaffected by it themselves.
Take a walk with a difference! An (up to) two hour walk through the upland landscape of Falkland Estate. Audio walks were created by sound artists David Chapman and Louise K Wilson who worked with us in 2009-2012 to research, explore and uncover the sonic properties of the estate.
You can download the recording (MP3 files in Zip archive 62MB) There is also a downloadable map to help you on your way.
Please note that the due to the 2012 storms, the audio walk trail is not passable in many areas but we have left the trail on the website for you to listen to.
Metal Detecting on Falkland Estate
Metal detecting on Falkland Estate requires a permit. Anybody wishing to carry out metal detecting on Falkland Estate must seek permission from the Estate in advance. A meeting will be organised with the Land Manager and if permission is given, it will be in a designated area only. Please note that we reserve the right to refuse permission. Contact the office on 01337 858544 or email. Anyone carrying out metal detecting without permission will be reported to the police.
Note: it is a serious criminal offence to detect in some areas without permission. See more for Historic Scotland guidance.
Directions - on foot
From the Village of Falkland - After turning into Falkland's main street (passing the Palace on your right), continue past the fountain, and keep straight ahead into the street called Westport (passing the Violin Shop on the right). At the end of the village, turn right (following the sign for the Cricket Club). Go through the main gates and you are at the entrance to Falkland Estate.
Directions - by bus
There are bus stops in both the village of Falkland and by the Pillars of Hercules cafe. Check Traveline Scotland for details.
Directions - by train
The nearest train stations are Ladybank and Markinch. Check Traveline Scotland for further details. There are occasional connecting buses from Ladybank to Falkland. For Markinch, you will need to get a bus to Glenrothes then back out to Falkland. There is also a taxi office in Markinch .
There are free car parking spaces at the entrance to the Estate (opposite the fish pond) and at the Pillars of Hercules cafe. There is also a public car park in the village of Falkland (sign posted).
Many of the paths on Falkland Estate are accessible for wheelchair users. Please consult the map.
There are several eateries in Falkland including tea rooms, pubs and restaurants. The Pillars of Hercules cafe is based on Falkland Estate.
There are a range of craft and gift shops in Falkland along with a grocery shop and chemist. Falkland Estate has its own range of farm products which are available directly from the Stables. Visit our shop page.