Falkland Estate sits at the very heart of Fife, some 35 miles north of Edinburgh
Welcome to Falkland Estate
About 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 as well as fascinating buildings such as the Memorial Chapel, the Tyndall Bruce Monument and the Temple of Decision.
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 to the charity, Falkland Stewardship Trust or joining its Friends of the Centre for Stewardship membership scheme.
The Maspie Den
Love the Maspie Den? We all do. Unfortunately a combination of natural erosion combined with footfall is leading to parts of the Maspie becoming badly eroded. We need to take action. Over the coming months we will be closing off sections to allow the biodiversity a chance to recover. What can you do to help?
- Choose an alternative place to walk. There are miles of paths on Falkland Estate? Some are below, or pop in to the Information Hub and ask us.
- If you do walk up the Maspie Den, please respect the signs – if we close off a section, please do not cross over the barriers.
- Keep dogs on leads so they do not scramble up and down banks.
- Please keep to the paths.
- Report any erosion or damage to our Ranger, Sam Docherty or call the office on 01337 858838.
- For more information on the Maspie, download our Maspie Den newsletter.
Where to walk
The Lomond Hills
Falkland Estate is the perfect location to start your journey into the Lomond Hills. However, there are other access points including the Craigmead Car Park and the East Lomond car park. From 2013 to 2016 we were involved with the Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership programme and there is a wealth of information available through the Living Lomonds website to help you plan your visit.
There are free car parking spaces (but donations appreciated!) 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). Falkland can get busy especially at the weekends so you may be better to consider walking/cycling/busing. Traveline Scotland is a great place to plan sustainable travel routes.
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. Illustrated Map of Falkland will help guide your way.
Directions – by bus
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
The designed landscape of Falkland Estate is a beautiful backdrop to any wedding photographs. If you would like to arrange for your photographs to be taken here, please contact us at least four weeks in advance of your wedding date. In return for a donation to the charity that maintains this landscape, we will be able to ensure that your chosen location has been tidied, is free from potential photographic distractions, and that there is space available for the wedding cars.
We can also host weddings and other ceremonies; please visit the Weddings page for more details
School and Group Visits
School parties (and groups such as Scouts and Brownies) 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 essential that ALL college, school, nursery and other groups inform us of when you wish to come and which part of the Estate you wish to use – this is for your own safety – Falkland Estate is a working farm and there may be times that certain areas are not available. Please email at least 7 days in advance of your visit.
Squirrel Trail – a tale of Two Squirrels
Visit the squirrel 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. The community was assisted in this work by artist Kate Ive. This project was a partnership between Fife Coast & Countryside Trust and the Centre for Stewardship.
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.
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 Environment Scotland guidance.
Visiting the House of Falkland
The House of Falkland has been described as “a rare undiscovered jewel”, nestled at the foot of the East Lomond Hill.
Built between 1839 and 1844 by William Burn, one of the pre-eminent Victorian country house architects for the wealthy Estate owners, Margaret and Onesipherous Tyndall Bruce. The House was purchased by John Patrick Crichton Stuart, the Marquess of Bute in the 1880s. His main architect was Robert Weir Schultz and the House interiors are uniquely decorated in the arts and crafts style. A variety of photos to enjoy are available here.
The House is in the care of Falkland Stewardship Trust and it is currently in use as a school specialising in the education and care of boys who require additional support for learning. Access to the House for guided tours can be arranged through Falkland Stewardship Trust; tours are arranged for members of the Friends of the Centre for Stewardship.
Please call the office to discuss on 01337 858838.
Many of the paths on Falkland Estate are accessible for wheelchair users. Please consult the maps.